I'm reading this book about willpower. Dan Wegner had read that a Russian writer bet his younger brother that he couldn't go five minutes without thinking about a white bear. The brother lost the bet.
Trying not to think about something is exhausting. Riding the ridiculous adrenaline roller coaster of anxiety disorder is exhausting. Having a good reason makes the temptation to ruminate harder to resist.
What I'm trying to use, this time, are positive role models.
At my last mammogram, the doctor told me I have a cluster of something that needs to be biopsied. The consult is on Monday. I have no idea how long I'll have to wait to actually do the biopsy and get the results.
I'm trying not to think about white bears, or as they're otherwise known, breast cancer. I think about them approximately five times an hour when I'm awake and once a dream when I'm asleep.
I've been out of the financial/job woods fewer than 90 days.
Back to the book: I have willpower fatigue. It is not in my nature to be upbeat and resilient. These are learned behaviors I am working on. Whenever you watch the show about the natural disaster, there's always the zen guy and the freaking out guy, and they're in the exact same situation.
I'm trying to learn to be the zen guy, because if I do have cancer, freaking out will be totally counter-productive.
I look to my two dear friends and one SIL who have successfully navigated this path to prop myself up against the fear. If it is, it is. I'll work my hardest to be the zen guy.
I'm grateful this didn't happen when I was unemployed, because it took all my energy to just buoy myself from morning to night then. A medicine I needed got denied at that time so I went without, and my Vitamin D fell to dangerous levels. Even now, I'm low, and the struggle is real. The thought of working with a husband traveling and adding on any other health energy drains is sort of terrifying, I'll admit.
It's exhausting to listen to myself talk, really.
So I thank you, role models, strong women who batted away breast cancer in a matter of months due to early detection, who make me think even if it's bad news I can knock it out with minimal collateral damage. You made it look good, ladies. You gave me hope.
My prayer is not that I don't have breast cancer, but that I possess the resilience to deal with whatever comes my way.
I'm trying to become the zen guy. But yes, I would also like a rest break, do you hear me, God? It's me, Rita.
Don't think about white bears, He says.