Broken Toes, Ear Infections, and 2018

Broken Toes, Ear Infections, and 2018 - Anxiety Blog Post

As others started the new year off with resolutions and hope, I started my new years off with antibiotics and an ear infection. Yay! Even as I write this, I can’t hear anything out of my left ear. Though I’m not big on new years resolutions, I sort of had a new years revelation this year. 

A week before Christmas, my dog managed to snap his toenail in half. Now, if you know anything about dogs, you know how bad that is. Dog toenails are not like ours. There is literally a bone inside of them. So, a badly broken nail = exposed bone.

Now, out of all the things that can happen to your dog, a broken nail is definitely not the worst. Except I have the dog version of myself: an anxious mess who can’t handle many of the things a normal dog wouldn’t think twice about. We spent over $150 just trying to find a cone that wouldn’t cause him to have a total meltdown.

Yes, my dog was having real, legitimate panic attacks because of the cone of shame. I know most dogs aren’t a fan of the cone, but ours would literally freeze in place for HOURS, panting, refusing to move or eat or drink. It was horrible.

Eventually, we found a soft, “calming cone” that, although he did not love, was finally able to at least sleep and lie down with it on.

Pictured above: My pathetic animal begging me to remove his cone via his giant, sad eyeballs

Anyway, just days before Christmas he managed to break open his somewhat healed nail, bleed all over the vet clinic, and cause us to begin the healing process all over again.

This was also the same day I came down with the-cold-that-lasts-forever. So yes, I was sick over Christmas. And the whole time I couldn’t stop internally whining (…and sometimes externally whining). This is so not fair! I mostly said in my head because I knew how pathetic it sounded.

I moped around with my mopey dog for days until I finally left the house again on Christmas Eve.

My husband Jefferson works at a church, so we went to our Christmas Eve service (in a blizzard, by the way). That night I could barely hear the sermon through all the coughs and sneezes.

A few days after Christmas, we went to my in-laws and spent three days with Jefferson’s side of the family. Pretty much everyone was sick there too, including my brother-in-law and his two little kids.

At the end of our stay, I finally had my New Years Revelation. This might sound completely obvious, probably because it is. But as someone who grew up with severe anxiety, I have had to become…introspective…in order to keep myself alive. To advocate for myself. To know what I can and cannot handle.

But as an adult, I knew it was time to come out of that bubble.

I really want to emphasize that I know this shouldn’t be a revelation to me. Especially not as a 25-year-old married woman! Of course I knew all these things; that life isn’t fair and other people deal with annoying, sad, and horrible things too. But I think it was the first time I not only realized it, but realized I need to change the way I think because of it.

Yeah, my dog broke his toe and I had a cold (which would eventually turn into the terrible ear infection I have right now). But it seemed that almost everyone at my church had a cold too. And my sister-in-law had to deal with two sick kids and a sick husband at the same time. It wasn’t “fair,” or fun for them either. But I never heard her complain.

My new years revelation is probably something 10-year-olds figure out. Life isn’t specifically targetting me, it’s targetting everyone. Life is hard. It’s not fair, and it doesn’t have to be.

I don’t really do New Years Resolutions. I don’t really think they work for me (though if they work for you, more power to you!) But for 2018, I feel my perspective has shifted a bit and my goal this year is to make sure it doesn’t shift back.

For 2018, I want to be able to enjoy family get-togethers even if I have a cold. I want to be able to leave the house without having a panic attack just because my dog has a minor injury. I want to realize that life is just not fair, it never will be, and that is actually okay.

I think the biggest thing for 2018 and remembering that I can’t control everything and I need to stop trying.

Has anyone else had a new years revelation? Do you “do” new years resolutions?

2 thoughts on “Broken Toes, Ear Infections, and 2018

  1. Hi,

    i love this post. I have spent MANY years (more than you have been alive) moaning and complaining that life stinks. It did, too, but no more or less than for other people. I was just being selfish. I’m a mirror image of your age, and I’m just beginning to see that sometimes life is a female dog. Some of it was self-inflicted, some of it was just life being life. It’s taken me this long to start to accept that and to try and put into perspective my life, and to start to accept me for who I am, and as such, taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.

    Thanks for the brilliant post. Very good, and very thought provoking.

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks so much for your comment and for your insight :) My anxiety makes me constantly worry about all the ‘what ifs’ and everything that can go wrong – I think I’ve finally realized that yeah, stuff does go wrong and that’s just life!

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