Under the Knife: Dealing With Medical Anxiety

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As a kid, I had no fear of doctors or dentists. I had Lymes Disease as a teen, and I barely fussed when they came to my house to put in a PICC line. My dad on the other hand, almost fainted.
When I had to go for an MRI to check for a potential brain tumor, I thought it was too enclosed, but I dealt with it and wasn’t nervous about the tests.
Boy, have times changed me!

i’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I would say my anxiety towards medicine, doctors and being sick really started when I was pregnant and had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Things started happening to me that I had never experienced. I’ve never been in a hospital so much in my life until that time. A few years prior, someone in my family had gotten really sick. A few years prior to even that, another family member had quite a few major surgeries and Cancer. I think as we get older, it’s more likely that we will deal with illness and health issues. My experience with Lymes taught me that I had some drug allergies, but I rarely complained. I got blood work constantly and I wasn’t anxious, but did want to get better.

Now as an adult and single mom, I’ve learned I have many allergies to medications and I really get anxious when it comes to medical situations. I think getting a divorce and becoming a single parent through the years also heightened my level of anxiety: I must be ok so I can be here for my daughter.

I’ve learned a few things though to help manage these fears, and it’s a work in progress always:

1. Don’t Google Your Symptoms.

2. Meditation Helps You Manage Anxiety.


3. Taking Charge of Your Health Through Diet and Exercise Helps.

4. Find a Friend Who Understands Your Anxiety as a Support.

5. Don’t Google Your Symptoms.

Those five things definitely help me! Not to mention realizing I can only control so much. Diet, exercise, fresh air, supplements, and rest are also key tools to keep me in as control of my health as possible.

So, today when I learned I might need to have something cut open on me— nothing major— I felt anxious. But not like I normally would. Sure, my stomach is grumbly. Sure, I’m worrying about it a bit more than I’d like, but it’s not overtaking me. I am doing what I can to avoid having to do that, and in the meantime, I have as much of a plan as I can. I called a supportive person and that helped also.

The moral of this anxious story? When it comes to anxiety, it’s important to understand what may have triggered your anxiety or reasons for having it. For me, a rough pregnancy and becoming a single parent definitely contributed to my anxious feelings over medical situations. Knowing this and realizing that I tend to worry over these things has allowed me to help take control over my fears and refocus in a more positive way.

Breathe in and Breathe Out,

Laura

4 Things Thoughtful People Always Do

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There are certain things that thoughtful people—friends, lovers and family members — do on instinct and also, well-crafted thought. It’s very easy to tell when someone is particularly thoughtful: that person makes us feel very cared for and loved. Special. We feel safe and also, able to be our true selves, vulnerable and all, when someone is so thoughtful.
Here’s why:

Thoughtful people take action considering your feelings first.

Someone who really cares about you doesn’t make a move without considering how you might feel first. This is the person who knows how nervous you get when going to the doctor’s and in turn, calls you before and after an appointment.
The thoughtful person delivers both good and bad news in a way that considers the other person’s potential comfort level and response first.

Thoughtful People Love to Show You How Much You Mean to Them.

Thoughtful people enjoy expressing their feelings for you whether you’re their best friend or their spouse. When your birthday comes up, that person will be the first to plan a celebration for you. When you get a promotion at work or accomplish a goal, your thoughtful person will be right by your side to celebrate you. And if times are tough, that same person will be there to hold your hand and tell you how much you mean to them.

Thoughtful People Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses As Much As Your Own.

Thoughtful people know their own limitations, as well as the things they excel at. They are able to create a good network of people that complement these strengths and weaknesses, and they are very aware of their loved ones’ flaws and good traits.
In the same vein, they never make their loved ones feel bad for these flaws but instead, help the people they love to get stronger each day and also, support their friends, family members and romantic partners, knowing that somethings are harder for them than others.

Thoughtful People Pay Close Attention.

Thoughtful people are very attentive. They remember things about the ones they love, and try to tune in to their partners and friends emotions and feelings. They work hard on their listening skills. Let’s be honest: many of us are not good listeners. It really is a work in progress for all of us. Thoughtful people try to listen and keep their eyes on the ones they love. They do their best to give them focused and genuine attention, rather than being constantly distracted.

Thinking, Doing, Loving,

Laura

What If Nothing Is Really Worth It?

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The other weekend, I found myself in the woods with someone I’ll call a friend as there is no real word to describe him. It was a beautiful day and a nice hike together.
Of course, I had a great and special time. It was a beautiful evening and late afternoon. But a few times as I walked an occasional muddy path, I thought back to a really horrible memory for me. At 14, I was basically taken advantage of by a 22 year old male. Thirty years later, I can still envision myself lying in the leaves that late summer evening. I can remember wanting it to stop.

This wasn’t the “Me Too” days. This was the “It’s My Fault” decade, where women and girls and men and boys alike all remained silent about these things.
I shook the memories off, and was able to fully enjoy the time with my friend who is at times, very creative and thoughtful with plans. This was a surprise trip and a thoughtful one at that. I wanted to go back with my friend and expressed it right away. We were hiking or walking mostly on a flat path amongst a garden and the woods. It was really special. It gave the woods a better definition for me— superseding those bad memories which have left a mark on my mind that will never go away. No one tells you that. That the memories never leave but the power they once had does— if you work on it.


Lately, I have felt a struggle to stay on an enlightened and positive path. I have made huge progress and gotten so far and I’m proud of that, but I keep falling and stumbling anyway, without fail. Perhaps it’s the isolation of COVID, or maybe it’s being a single parent for a long almost seven years, but I wonder if I have anything to offer. If anything I’m writing resonates or clicks within others. I wonder if I’m really connecting with people. I see myself hitting roadblocks and nothing I do seems to get me past them, despite the fact that I work very hard. If you know me, you know I’m a dedicated friend and partner and parent. That when I commit to something, anything— I really commit to it. That’s why I drive almost an hour to train weekly. Because I’m committed.

But I have to wonder if all my hard work is really getting me anywhere and if my writing really natters anymore. If I matter anymore. Maybe it’s best I just go dark and stop writing. Maybe I’m not really offering anything to anyone.
In the small of my mind where it is quiet and dim, I feel a real loss and feel directionless and hopeless at times.

Everyone feels stuck. Everyone feels darkness and hard times. The question I’m wondering is when it ends? And when does someone’s years of dedication and hard work really pay off? When do things pay off for me?

Maybe though me writing is not adding up to anything. Maybe there is nothing left to say because, nothing has changed for me. To develop, I need new experiences and I feel I’m not finding them. I feel defeated.

Peace and love is solely underestimated. To me, it’s the only things worth living for. Without peace of mind and love, life is worthless. Money can only carry someone so far.

love,

Laura

5 Ways I’m Committing to Myself and My Happiness

I have realized how important it is to prioritize my happiness and my child’s, especially during this pandemic. Life really seems to be a repeat of the same day sometimes, and the relative or moderate isolation we experience in comparison to our former lives is difficult.
I just couldn’t waste another minute being counter productive to my happiness in a time when things are already so terribly difficult and uncertain. These are the 5 things I’m doing to prioritize myself and my well being and happiness.

Meditation

This practice keeps me in the moment. It teaches me how to focus, relax and be mindful of how my emotions play into how I feel, physically and mentally.

Not Compromising

It’s important to me to make sure I get what I deserve. Meaning, I’m treated the way I should be. I won’t comprise on settling for less when I deserve the best. I won’t tolerate being friends or dating someone who doesn’t truly show me how important I am and show me how he or she values me. In the same vein, I promise to give myself back to others what they deserve. I promise to be a great friend and partner, giving others my full attention. This is what meditation also helps with— staying in the moment.

Movement

Whether it’s weight training with IFS or stretching or doing yoga, dance … committing to moving my body and caring for it is very vital to my happiness. This also means taking rest days. Taking time to stretch. I’ve injured myself by pushing myself too hard and I can’t afford to do that.

Boundaries

This means not answering work emails late at night at ten pm— unless urgent obviously. I have to be present at work but also, present for my kid. This is so important right now. This also means requiring any freelance clients to not short change me, ask me to do free work or walk all over me. This means telling people what I want, what I don’t want and what I won’t settle for. It means abiding by my values and needs. Asking for what I need and not feeling bad about it.

Daily Way

To be happy, living day by day is the way. When I look too far ahead, sometimes even just a week ahead, I feel anxious and sad considering how the world currently is today. By living in the moment and in the day, I am more present to myself and others.

With love,

Laura

How Honest Are You Really?

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Love rejoices in the truth. So, how honest are you really, when it comes to your partner? Yourself? Your feelings?

Do you really have any clue of how you feel? Are you really open to your partner and spouse? Are you available and open, or are you hot and cold, playing games? Are you unavailable?

Who do you hurt with these games and lack of availability? Not just your partner, but yourself.

Do you believe you deserve love? Are you self-aware? Or do you bullsh*t yourself and others? Do you not know how you feel? Are your actions against your words? Are your words not in line with your actions?

What is it you fear? What are your hang-ups?

How honest are you with yourself?

 

Laura

 

When You Realize Your Worth, You’ll Say Buh-BYE to Lazy Partners & Bad Offers

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There is nothing more joyous than owning your own happiness and realizing how worthy you are.

When you do, it suddenly becomes so easy to laugh off bad partners. To say goodbye to men or women who don’t appreciate you or your value. To not want someone who makes a crappy effort or half-ass effort to be in your life.

It just becomes clear overnight– yes, really— that you deserve better.

So, when your ex comes a calling with same lame offer to Netflix and chill or when some guy or gal who doesn’t really appreciate you wants to hang out– but not commit to you or date and show you how important you are to them–

It’s easy to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

For me, there is only one relationship, one situation worth entering into:

The one where the person really makes an effort, is excited to see me and be with me and enjoys being with me.

I am not interested in situationships. I am not interested in being someone’s option. I am not interested in being your or anyone’s friend with benefits.

I am only interested in someone who sees spending time with me as enjoyable and a MUST. Someone who really likes me and finds me fun to be around and wants to get to know me better.

Someone who knows how to ask someone on a date and follow through. Someone who is a good friend, too and caring.

Someone who sees my VALUE. Someone who sees me as so valuable, that he appreciates any second of my time.

That is all I am interested in.

Everyone else, can take their offers elsewhere. My price tag will not be on sale or reduced.

K? Thx. Bye,

Laura

 

When a Night Out Isn’t Just a Night Out: Life During COVID-19

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It’s amazing how quickly we adapt to a new way of living. I almost can’t remember a time before this pandemic. As an extrovert, being isolated or relatively isolated has been challenging. I really enjoy working from home as I am very organized and good at time management, so it works for me, but I miss seeing my friends. I miss having normalcy for my daughter especially, as well.

But it’s almost as if this is the way it’s been for a year or more— not just five months.
Wearing a mask that matches your outfit sort of makes sense now. I haven’t really had a use for masks other than the quick trip to the drive thru or at the beach boardwalk, but I started to realize that if I’m going to need masks, I might as well make them cute.

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Tonight was the first night in a long time that I got to enjoy dinner out. It wasn’t crowded, I was masked and I felt comfortable. I was worried it would be too mobbed but since it was a weekday evening, I made out well.

I came home happy. It had been such a long time since I got to enjoy a meal and socialize. I realize that this pandemic has been harder on me than I thought. A lot harder. The isolation has been intense. I miss my family and sadly, I can’t see them as my parents are high-risk. Worse, someone I love has dementia, and I could be missing out on the last precious moments of this person’s cognizance thanks to COVID-19.

This is how it is though— for now. I decided to stop looking to the future and instead, focus on the day. Yes, much like the alcoholic’s anonymous credo, (and nope, I’m not a drinker and never was—- I’m a two drink date!) I’ve decided to focus on one day at a time. And for today, it felt a bit like old times, albeit in a very pretty tie-dye mask. I’m willing to bet Barbie would wear my very outfit and mask.

Hugs to All Of You Alone and Lonely,

Laura

Someone Who Deserves You

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Someone who deserves you …

Feels honored to be by your side.
Is proud of you.
Loves showing you off to friends and family and the world.

Shows you deep respect and care.

Is kind to you.

Wants to spend time with you and not just for his or her own needs.

Expresses love to you.

Works on him or herself to be the best person he or she can be— not just for you, but for themselves as well.

Doesn’t take you for granted.

Wants you to stick around.

Can’t imagine life without you.

Appreciates you and attempts to understand you.

Listens to you.

Makes the effort to be available to you.

❤️
Laura

3 Reasons It’s Great to Get Away After Being Hurt By Someone You Trusted

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It is rare that I get a moment to myself. In truth, when I’m not with my daughter, ( who I’m basically with 24.7) I miss her terribly. It’s so weird being without her!

I got a few days to myself and so, on the spur on the moment, I decided to get somewhere to stay overnight for a night. Nowhere fancy at all because mama’s on a budget, but just somewhere close to the beach.
Normally I’d never make a plan like that, but I had a really bad week. Someone really hurt my feelings and it seems like things have just been difficult no matter what I do,  so I decided to pack some books and just find a place to lay my head at the end of the night. With it being Covid, I won’t go anywhere minus to pick up food or eat dinner and lunch  outside or hang far away from others by the beach.  I follow the rules.

Here are 3 reasons to go away after someone has hurt you or done you wrong … or heck, even if you’re just in a bad mood:

Change of Scenery May Cheer You Up

Sometimes a new location can help you snap out of a funk or bad mood.  It’s also a great distraction! Sunshine tends to help me when I’m upset, so being away for one day should hopefully boost my Covid and “dealing with someone’s hurtful choices“ bad mood.

Some Quiet Time May Help You Think

Getting away can help you find time to think and reflect. I’m personally hoping to do some deep thinking and make some big decisions in my mind while I’m taking my quiet time.

Doing Something Nice For You Can Boost Your Spirits

Going away or taking a day trip can be a great way to treat yourself and cheer yourself up.
I know after dealing with disappointment after disappointment, I could use a pick me up.

Find a Quiet Spot,

LL

 

 

 

Calling Someone Out on Their Cold Behavior Takes Guts

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I was excited to finally enjoy some alone time with a partner when the person announced he didn’t have any interest in seeing me.

Cold and heartless, I was so hurt.
There was nothing I had done wrong but this person had no desire to see me on the one chance I had free.

It was a glaring sign that this person not only didn’t care about me, but also thought very little of me and didn’t respect me.

I hit a wall. I had to call out the bad behavior because I had had enough.

The moral of the story? It’s hard to tell others how we feel but it’s necessary and when people are unkind and disrespectful , it’s necessary to say you’ve had enough.

Be Strong,

Laura