When faced with a medical crisis, we all handle things different. Each one variance and unique. The common factor in all this absurdity, is that we are scared. Something smacked us without warning. Our brain tries to digest the information the best way it can be stored. One half of it goes to the rational side and the other gets lost, dispersed to other compartments, we often can’t find.
Next, what do we do with this information? Do we scream and cry? Do we throw things against the wall in anger? Our initial reaction might be a theorem of how we will handle what’s been served on our plate. For instance, someone who is angry with their news, might go into denial, too angry to get help, or the person who screams and cries, will obsess and research until their fingers go numb from typing. There are other categories with a different juncture, but these are the two main ones that come to thought.
How do we take our reaction, say health related, or something negative in our life and melt it into one cohesive outcome on how to handle it?
I’ve shared in my blog post “Grief to Zen” about how I had to go through the 7 stages of grief, and then learn coping mechanisms to get me back to reality. This served me well, and whether we want to deny it or not, you will go through the 7 stages of grief. Sadly, many get stuck on a stage and won’t progress to the next one. They are holding on tight as a means of control. With that mentality, they can’t heal. Anger is the hardest one to overcome. Anger is deep, fire, hate, consuming. At any point, not moving through the steps, mental health assistance is advised. It takes a lot from someone to accept and more often won’t because they are engrossed.
Physically something took over yourself or a loved one, and we generally focus on that. We can research, listen to physicians, and our brain can process the information more. We become guarded, protective- kind of like a suite of armor. We don’t allow room for emotions until it hits at the wrong time. I’m a firm believer that despite all the websites and promotions out there, mental health is a stigma and will continue to be a stigma. For that factor, the reality is that we are zoned into facts rather than emotion. Or should I say we closet our emotion, hiding it from others.
I consider myself lucky that I have zero filter and I’m logical. I was dealt a hard blow to my health, and I had to process everything medically that was going wrong, south, or could get better. I knew medically, what was in store for myself whether I wanted to believe it or not. I packed that information on my rational side of the brain. The zero filter came out because I allowed myself to show every emotion on the spectrum to anyone who would listen. I didn’t care what people thought of me. Deep down, I knew that given the circumstances, they would understand. Knowing that piece of information that I had a circumstance, gave me permission to express how I felt. This is what has got me through thus far. Do I get scared that my raw emotions might stigmatize my value as a worker, wife, friend, family member, a person of society? Yes. Do I let that scared feeling devalue how I feel and leave me to regress? No.
I’m a survivor of statistics, that are not usually met. I physically made it out of hell. I’m happy and overjoyed that I’m in the place that I am because unfortunately too many people have different outcomes. So, while I physically mend, I am willing and acknowledge the emotionally I need work. My physician told me that I have PTSD. That’s not an easy feat to get through. But unless I acknowledge, and don’t let stigma overtake me and become vulnerable, those emotions will work themselves out.
My message to anyone reading this- if you are experiencing emotional distress, allow yourself to feel it. Don’t bottle it up so you can be your own hero or protect yourself. Emotions are part of the healing process. If your feelings are dark and deep, then seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you feel like you can cope with emotions, then let them out. Call a friend, talk to a mental health provider, journal it, blog it, talk to your pet, to a wall, a loved one. The list goes on. I won’t isolate this just to medical conditions, but life in general. I think we have a routine where we go on about our day and things get muddy, frustrating, and we bottle it up. We don’t allow ourselves a reserved time to work it out mentally. That voice in your head that talks, and analyzes everything, it needs to come out vocally too. Your emotional health adds more value than you know.
My message to anyone with a medical condition- we were given something that we didn’t expect. This wasn’t on our life plan and it’s hard to reroute ourselves in a different direction. We must accept that it is what it is. We must do what we can to keep ourselves healthy, but also emotionally healthy. A battle can’t be won with clouded judgement. The clear mind knows the way.