Day 44 Healing Work (It Just Got Very Real)
Before I write about my main subject, I want to acknowledge the support, understanding, advice, resources, and encouragement I have been receiving in two of the forums. It has been comforting, refreshing, and giving me hope.
Can I Learn to Cry?
Do You Try to Convince Yourself it Was Not That Bad?
My main topic today is a visceral sense of reality I just gained when I got home from work. Philosophically, I view reality as mostly an internal perspective, what is 'real' is what I think is real, rather than what is 'real' simply being what is in the world. I think this way because it helps me make sense of how people have such different understandings of reality and truth. How one person can be completely certain, and absolutely correct that the sky is blue while another person standing right next to them is unerringly sure the sky is grey. It's all about perspective.
Because I tend to view reality as internally constructed, I sometimes forget about the external component. There is an external reality in which I move, that impacts my perceptions.
When I got home tonight I got a call from my therapist related to our conversation today that shook me into external reality. As of today it's less than seven days to the gynecologist consult. Today in therapy we talked about my appointment plan and I signed a form for my therapist to call the gynecologist. My therapist and I spent some time talking about my 50 Statements exercise, which was centered on thoughts I have about going to the doctor.
There were several issues in the exercise that were relevant, that she thought would be good to discuss with the doctor. She also checked in with me about a few of the statements to see how I'm feeling about them now. It's been more than a month since I completed that exercise. I'm feeling a lot less anxiety than when I wrote it.
So, I left the appointment not expecting anything further until my next therapy session on Wednesday (the day before the gynecologist). But, shortly after I got home my phone rang. I wasn't sure who the call was from, but (for some reason) I thought it could be my therapist. So, I didn't answer. I wanted it to go to voicemail and listen to the message. I didn't want to have a conversation at home that others could hear.
My therapist's message said she had a productive conversation with the gynecologist. She was pleased with the doctor's perspective. In fact, the two of them are going to go out to lunch. As an aside, I think it could lead to a good collaboration between them.
Anyway, the thing about reality is that the doctor would like to have a copy of my appointment plan ahead of time. She'd like to read it before the appointment. Perhaps the two of them will talk about it. I don't know.
When I heard that request in the voicemail, the reality of this appointment suddenly really struck me. This is going to happen. (Unless I change my mind.) It's already started to happen.
As I write this I'm using my breathing exercise to slow down my heart, to get away from the pain and the energy building in my abdomen. I get this weird sensation when I have an anxiety attack like something in the center of my guts is pulling inward. My muscles spasm and I get dizzy. Pretty soon I have to lay down because I'll pass out.
It officially now feels that real to me. I'm flirting on the edge of an episode. I think it started even a bit last night. I had a huge migraine that sent me to bed an hour and a half early, and I woke up at 3 am unable to get back to sleep.
So, I have been asked to bring the letter to the doctor's office, or to fax it.
Do I want to do that?
If I do, it will be another level of reality, another layer of anxiety to cope with.
If I do, they'll have a copy in the office. Possibly in my file.
If I do, I'll be that 'difficult' patient . . . officially, the one they point out when she comes through the door.
If I do, I'll be taking a step up the mountain toward overcoming this fear.
If I do, I might make the appointment easier because the doctor will be better prepared.
The challenge will be figuring out how to get the paper there. I'm not OK with faxing it. I never have any openings in my work day. I will have to reschedule things to make time and I will feel incredibly awkward doing that, not wanting anyone to know why.
But I'm going to do it.