You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. Eleanor Roosevelt
Sometimes in order to try a new treatment, you have to go through a rough patch before you can come out the other side. I have recently started a new treatment to try to limit progression of my disease. However, I have yet to find a treatment that did not come with some down sides. Throughout my life, with and without illness, I have always been an anxious person. I always had to plan for every possible what if when looking at any situation. Sometimes, there are not answers to questions that I have. Especially when a treatment is newer and there is not a lot of data about the what ifs. Such is the case with my recent journey. I just had the second round of an infusion. The infusion itself has been known to cause anxiety and depression in some. In addition to that, the drug you need to take before the infusion also causes anxiety for me. I know that fact from past experience. So when I started on this path, I tried to prepare myself by saying “This is just going to be the drug. Don’t freak out if things start to get ugly but it will be temporary.” For anyone who has dealt with an anxiety disorder, that is like telling a heroin addict to stop using because it is bad for them.
So here I am again. Having conversations with myself in my head about how this is just the drug. This is temporary and reaching in to my tool box to find a life line. Lots of mediation, talking to friends, listening to music and painting. Here comes why I always say to try everything to see what works for you. Through this journey of mine, I have taken online art courses. One I am doing now led me to Flora Bowley who did a session on “Circles: How to Call, Gather and Lead.” While I was listening to her talk about how to start a community and to provide a welcoming space for people to come, I heard a nugget of inspiration. She spoke briefly about a woman named Sarah Blondin who puts out a podcast called Live Awake. Something in that spoke to me. I didn’t even know why. So I looked Sarah up on YouTube. This is why I believe that the universe always sends us what we need when we least expect it. When I looked the podcast up, the first one I came across was titled “Live Awake-Fear Unmasked.” Fear? That is exactly where I am sitting right now and trying desperately to talk myself out of. So I grabbed my headset, went to my favorite spot outside in my sun room and listened to Sarah.
As someone who does not consider herself an overtly emotional person, the next 10 minutes were magical to me. I cried and smiled and felt relief from the knot in my stomach for the first time all day. Listening to Flora and then Sarah was exactly what I needed at that moment in my life. They will probably never know that, but the world works in mysterious ways.
Going further into the mysteries of the world, I then listened to a playlist of Flora’s on Spotify, my newest love for places to find music to move my soul. While listening to it, I painted a picture that I have included as my feature pic for this entry. The music sheets in the background came from a friend and it was the perfect spot to put them. So many connections that led me to feel much better and stronger to get through my latest storm. Thank you Flora, Sarah and Susan for helping me find my calm within the storm.
I am including the podcast in the hopes that it may help others to listen to it. This is my call to all of you to try anything to see if it is a positive addition to your tool kit to help you along your journey. Please share anything that has been recently added to your kit that you feel may be helpful to others.
Enjoy in peace.