Health

Routine Mammograms Are Never Routine for the Anxiety Monster

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I’ve been dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for a few years, and have all kinds of tips and tricks to live with it effectively, and am quite proud of the way I managed to keep the Anxiety Monster at bay.

It’s a frustrating condition to deal with, especially if you are a logic thinker like I am.

I mean come ON. In this particular situation:

  • It’s very common for women to be asked back, even WITHOUT dense breast tissue.
  • 90% of women called back are cleared.
  • I was cleared.
  • Dense breast tissue runs in my family.
  • There is no history of breast cancer in my family.
  • I am healthy as a horse otherwise, with zero symptoms of anything, clear bloodwork, and I look after myself.
  • My doctor just examined my breasts a couple of months ago.
  • It’s awesome that we have such a good system.
  • etc etc etc

But here’s the thing.

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The Anxiety Monster takes the form of wispy fog that worms its way through your thoughts, and latches onto the smallest negative thought to shake it up and make you dwell on it.

Logic has nothing to do with it.

Instead, the Anxiety Monster is reminding me that other types of cancer run in my family, that I have an MRI scheduled to get a closer look at a fatty lipoma in my side (which is also super low risk, so much so that it took 3 months to be scheduled), and that you just never know.

Which you don’t.

And I know that.

Which is why, when my sister said, “you have too much brain,” (meaning I’m overthinking things), I responded, “maybe, but anxiety just doesn’t listen to my brain.”

So What Do I Do About It?

Well, the first thing I did was talk to trusted friends (and my sister) who get it. They don’t brush me off or tell me to stop being silly.

They know I’m not making this up or feeling this way because it’s fun.

Secondly, I took my herbal supplements recommended by my Naturopathic Doctor (and approved, by the way, by my medical doctor). This includes holy basil tea (which is quite calming — my favourite is Tulsi) and Ignatia Amara.

Thirdly, I decided on my mantra for the next few days, which is,

I’m not crossing any bridges until I come to them.

Thank goodness it’s a gorgeous day and I have lots on the schedule, including time outdoors with friends. I feel so much better this morning, and the Anxiety Monster is at bay.

Don’t get me wrong — he’s still there.

But he can’t get to me today — mantras and self care are THAT powerful.

What About You?

If you’re reading this because you’re in the same or maybe a similar situation, first let me say that I’m sorry, and I hope you are putting some self care into place.

Secondly, you should know there are so many things that you can do to help if you are dealing with news or waiting for some kind news — I wrote about it last summer when I had a Super Bad Awful Year:

Sending you a hug in solidarity,

Ruth.

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