You may remember, some months ago, I slipped through the cracks. I was all set to make some noise about it, but as it turned out, I didn’t have to. That very same week I was called in to see the doctor for my results. Unfortunately, the ‘all clear’ I was waiting for didn’t eventuate.
Today, I’m a little bit nearer to knowing how far the ‘cancer’ has progressed, if at all. I’ve been told that the one they found was at a very early stage and not invasive, but that there could be more. So I’ve had another biopsy, and again, I’m waiting for the results.
Waiting in silence
This time, I’m waiting in silence. It’s the only way I can deal with it. I’m not yet able to talk about it freely, because I’m so afraid. And I certainly don’t want to chase them for the results. No news is good news in this case.
There are so many ‘what ifs’ going round in my head at the moment. I can’t even tell you what they are, I’m too frightened to say them out loud. Every time my mobile rings, my stomach lurches; people ask if I’m OK, and I burst into tears. I’m not functioning as I should, I know that. But I have found some ways of dealing with the waiting, and dealing with the fear.
Whatever your fear might be, whether it’s unfounded or not, whether it’s life threatening or not, I hope this post will help you. Because fear is fear, after all. It’s always scary. But I firmly believe it can be conquered. At least for a little while…
Delay your fear
I once believed you should face your fears head on, so that you’re no longer scared. So you can move on with your life a stronger person.
Now, however, I believe – if you’re not yet ready to do that – there’s no shame in delaying the fight.
The most important thing is to be ok in that very moment, and not to think about how you might be in the next.
Delay the worry. Say to yourself, I’ll worry about it another time. Even if the worry is so awful that you can’t possibly ignore it. Even if you feel that everything else is meaningless, it’s imperative that you calm yourself.
Worrying does not help with any situation. Worrying only makes things worse.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
So without further ado, here are my top five ways to deal with fear. The most important thing to remember is that there is a time for silence, and it is now. There’s no shame in retreating.
1. Healing music
When you’re in the throes of panic, putting music on may be the last thing you feel like doing. But it really does help to bring your heightened senses back to where they belong — in the present moment. It reminds you that you are fine right now. And your senses tell you this as you let the music envelope you.
Choose something that speaks to your soul. What I mean by this is find a sound that comforts you, a sound that takes you to somewhere you feel like you’ve been before. A melody that calms you and makes you feel good.
Personally I love listening to Cuban music, or Viking music, and I also found a great track on YouTube that claims to heal your body and emotions with an ancient frequency. Whatever its claims, it works. By the time I’ve listened to 30 minutes of this track, I am ready to take on the world.
Guided meditation can be another great way to achieve a state of relaxation, but I feel there is less expected of you when you listen to music.
2. Essential oils and incense
I don’t know what I would have done lately without my essential oils. I have found a blend that — upon smelling, and rubbing behind my ears or on my toes — immediately grounds me. Whatever state of stress I’m in, the smell transports me to another place, where I’m at peace and can deal with anything. I even pop a few drops on a bracelet, so that I can carry the smell with me as I go about my day.
Smells invoke feelings, and if you can find a smell that embodies your very own happy place, it really, really helps with banishing fearsome thoughts.
I am currently also investigating the benefits of ingesting certain oils, such as frankincense and lemon. It seems there is a world of information out there, and most of it sounds positive.
3. Write it down
I’m a writer; it’s what makes me happy. But even to those who don’t generally put pen to paper, I would wholly recommend you give it a try. To write down those awful thoughts is to release them into the world, and when you write things down, you can see the thoughts objectively. Maybe then you can see them from a different perspective. A more positive perspective. Even if you can’t, there is a certain catharsis in the act itself.
When I first found out, I couldn’t blog. But I found poetry the best way to express myself. Everyone is different.
I also like to write down sentences that make me feel better when I read them. Little ‘day to day’ quotes to live by. Pearls of wisdom from a friend.
My husband said to me recently something that really helped me through the last few days, so I wrote it down, and now I read it and it makes me laugh. He said:
‘Someone who’s dying wouldn’t be cleaning out the pantry.’
I’m pretty sure that’s true. I’m not currently dying. I’m ok right now.
4. Read a fast-paced book
Immerse yourself in a good thriller or fast-paced suspense novel. I recently read ‘Truly Madly Guilty’ by Liane Moriarty. It’s not generally the type of book I’d read, but I really enjoyed it for it’s can’t-put-down-ability. When I was sick of the circles in my head, I’d turn to someone else’s. It was liberating.
And if your immediate response is that you don’t have time for reading, I would say to you, it’s better than time spent fretting.
5. Affirm, affirm, affirm
I’ve found that repeating positive statements in my head, while out walking or driving, really helps to build up my strength.
I am healthy, I am strong.
I am healthy, I am strong.
You’d be surprised, after the fiftieth time of saying this to yourself, you really end up believing it. And then you take up something crazy like kickboxing 🙂
Are you afraid of something? Is it affecting your life? If you can’t see past the fear, I encourage you to seek professional help. But I hope some of the above techniques will help you to get through the days until you are better x