Aside from my recent ranty post about Bell Let’s Talk, I haven’t blogged in almost 6 months. There are a few reasons for that, aside from writer’s block. First, I was re-evaluating what I wanted from this blog.
Second, I felt like I needed to do some aesthetic changes but not only had writer’s block, but also…creative (?) block. Third, my anxiety has been almost completely under control, which gives me very little to write about (yay?) However, after my brief hiatus, I am back!
So, what’s been going on with me over the last 6 months? A lot. In September we brought home our new puppy, Olive. She’s now almost 7 months old. If you’ve read any of my posts you know that I’m a huge dog-lover, but Olive was a challenge, to say the least.
She was needier than any other dog I’ve ever owned, had a difficult time getting used to being alone, and was. so. clingy. And whiny.
Plus, housetraining her seemed impossible (compared to Max who had less than 5 accidents in his entire life – Olive would frequently have 5+ accidents in a single day).
At 7 months old, she is a much better dog – with consistent training and patience and a lot of love. As we speak, she’s been sleeping with Max on the couch since 8 am! Yay!
In the summer, I also decided to take better control and care over my mental health. So I did almost 2 months of CBT for my emetophobia, met regularly with a psychiatrist, and eventually reconnected with my therapist who I’ve seen off and on for almost 4 years now.
I also did approximately one million tests to try to figure out what was going on with my stomach issues (if anything other than ‘it’s your anxiety’).
The final test was an endoscopy – something I have been putting off for almost four years. Well, I did it. On Friday, I allowed a very nice doctor to shove a camera down my throat and into my stomach. While awake.
Most people choose to be put out for it, but I did not want any sedation. When I had my wisdom teeth out, my body did not react super well to the sedation. Since this procedure takes less than 5 minutes, I figured I would be able to ‘handle’ it while awake.
And so, even though I was crying (see picture below…) and shaking like a leaf, I sucked it up and I refused sedation (even though the very nice nurses looked at me like I was insane) and gagged my way through my endoscopy.
Jefferson thought it would be hilarious to take a picture of me crying in the hospital waiting room (“You’ll find this funny after!” – He was right)
After it was over, I realized that…all of that gagging didn’t make me anxious. My biggest fear – the phobia of vomiting – didn’t get in the way. Now, I was DEFINITELY scared, but more about the potential complications, fear of the unknown, etc. But my phobia of vomiting didn’t even come into play – even though gagging is usually one of my biggest triggers.
What the heck!?
And if that’s not crazy enough, when I saw my therapist last week, she told me I didn’t need to come back.
She told me I was handling things well. That I was using my coping mechanisms well. That I was able to use ‘self-talk’ to think logically – that my anxiety wasn’t taking over, not just during my endoscopy but…during my everyday life.
I have never in my life been ‘dismissed’ from therapy before. There is usually SO MUCH to talk about that I feel like I need a 4-5 hour session instead of just 1.
But, I am actually doing really well (generally). I am not saying I am cured (no, not in any way). I am living with anxiety – but I am actually living. Not just surviving. This is honestly very new for me, and I sort of keep waiting for things to ‘get bad’ again. Which, they might. There are always ups and downs when it comes to mental health.
But CBT seemed to work really well for me. I haven’t had a panic attack about vomiting since September. I haven’t let my anxiety stop me from doing even the scariest things. I work 30 hours a week now without any anxiety, I lead meetings at work and even help manage others.
I had such a hard time blogging again because I had no idea what to say. Things are good – I usually write when things are terrible. I am not really sure where to even go from here, to be honest. If my anxiety is basically under control, WHO even am I?!
But I’m willing to figure that all out – and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride!