Thursday, November 12, 2015

Laugh at it.

If you don't laugh, you'll probably end up crying.

Yesterday, I had my first dermatologist appointment. Horrible to have waited this long, but at least I went, right? The experience reminded me of how far I've come. Going to a doctor used to mean scouting the right office, nervously walking in to many of them to scope it out and make sure it was "safe," obsessively researching the doctor online, finally choosing a doctor to make an appointment--only when I had to--and then losing sleep the night before the appointment. That was just leading up to the appointment. Some were disasters (didn't go in, ran out of room) and others were huge successses (made it thorugh long enough to get medication, still freaked out but didn't show it as much as I used to).

Yesterday I realize my appointment is in a hospital. I started to mentally freak for about a second until I started laughing.

That's right, laughing.

Many years ago, just going to a doctor's office would have destroyed me--and you can imagine I didn't fare well in hospitals either. And being on the second floor would make my inner child go nuts because she always sought after a quick pop-out-the-door escape plan.

I was fine. No Xanax. No major freaking. And, in fact, laughter.

Did I mention that I took an elevator, too? That used to drive me into a tailspin.

When we got into the elevator (my husband a nd I both had appointments) he's like, "Calm down," before I said a thing. He's had to pre-emptively calm me down so many times.

"You know, honey, I am okay," I said. "It is what it is, and I am okay."

I can't say I wasn't a little nervous, but I can't believe how far I've come. My entire baseline anxiety level was maybe a 1 instead of a 10 before even going in to the parts that scared me. Even when the doctor sliced off a mole, which involved a needle, I was okay. I was just so grateful to be able to do the experience--so grateful, in fact, that it easily trumped any fear. Now that's recovery.

And even if you're not there,  you can get there. It happens eventually. Healing can happen. You just have to work at it. Find the right tools, the right support system.

I think it's cool when you are not only healed, but when you can be eternally grateful for that healing. For your strides. And when you focus on that, the things that used to scare you aren't so frightening anymore. They are milestones you can look back on...and relish, and appreciate. And perhaps, laugh at.


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