Big, HUGE, MASSIVE +1 to Writerchick for this one.
Post surgery, every ache, every pain and I was questioning myself ‘Is this it…?’ I was walking on egg shells, having the fear that with every step something was going to break. I needed to talk to a professional and I sought out a psychologist. Through this I (semi) learnt to accept and put somethings in place to be able to cope and manage a little better.
I know, for me, if I let my mind takeover, it can take me down some awful dark places. I also know that it can be extremely difficult to crawl back out of those dark holes, so I try to avoid them. If I can feel myself headed that way, I know, I need to make some changes to divert my mind. The psych helped me to identify my triggers, identify the signs and make a plan to change my mindset, to break that cycle. I found when the only voice I hear is my own, those same incessant thoughts kept reoccurring. I didn’t have the ‘answer/solution’ in the first place, so replaying it again and again and ag… only increased my stresses again and again and ag… I was an absolute mess. I needed help.
The first step is to identify there’s an issue. You’ve already done that. The second step is to accept you need help and then find that help. This is where I stumbled. I had what I call the ‘Caveman mentality’ ie I man, I strong, I can beat this myself. Only I couldn’t and the more I physically pushed myself to overcome it all, the more my body and mind pushed back. I was driving myself into the ground (it was actually my wife who identified this) I was telling myself I was building stamina by pushing my limits, when in reality I was frying myself.
Seeing a psych was the best thing I could have done. She assisted me in accepting that ‘this’ is my new reality. I can push my limits, but there is always a consequence for doing so (usually in agony). I try (not always successfully) to work within my limits. Those limits can vary wildly, so managing that can be a challenge, but I try to learn what works for me. I put somethings in place to reduce my ‘What if’ stresses what if ‘X’ happens? What if ‘Y’ happens. I made a will. Set a medical power of attorney. Made sure my insurances were covered. Cleared my debts. Detailed my wishes and why. This was not so much for me, but to prevent tension if the worst was to happen. In very basic terms, if there was something I could do to try and reduce the stresses. If it was within my control, it was up to me. I couldn’t control the medical, so I had to hand that to the medicos. The rest was up to me.
Some people may tell you they know all about it. It’s a lie. Unless they’ve lived it themselves, been in the same position, they really have no clue. I say this because for many years prior to my own situation I taught people with disabilities and thought I knew all about disability. What I knew was all of the theory or what I call ‘Book Knowledge’. Living it…OMG… it’s given me a whole new education I wouldn’t wish on anybody. But here we are. We learn to manage the best way we can.
We know because we’ve lived it too, so come talk to us.
Merl from the Modsupport Team