Coping Mechanisms

I’m weird, and one of many reasons why is that I like having extra time to process things. Most people say “oh, get it over with sooner!” but I turn things over in my mind, over and over, until it doesn’t seem so scary. Then I like to put it out of my head until the day it happens. I’m talking about the inevitable stuff, such as my upcoming surgery or a doctor’s appointment or…I don’t know, the SAT’s.

(My former coworkers and I were talking about that at breakfast this morning. I’m pretty sure I did nothing for the test and still managed to get into the college I wanted – but that’s just me.)

Up until recently I was relatively fine. I need this surgery. My aunt is a good preview of what will happen if I don’t do it, and I’ll probably be worse off since I have trouble even now. It’s not even that bad because I’ve been through worse, really. Just a little arthroscopic procedure and I’ll be out of the hospital the same day.

Then I make the mistake of thinking about the specifics. What about my other knee, is that going to be secure while they’re doing this? (I’m sure it will be, and if it isn’t, I’ll be out cold.) What if I can’t figure out how to get around? (I will.) It’ll be weird having my knee straight for so long, won’t it? (I’ll adjust.) Going to the bathroom and showering will be a major frustration. (…that one might be true. The downstairs bathroom is tiny.) All these “what ifs” swirl around until I feel too overwhelmed to think about anything. They still annoy me, even though I can give myself a rational answer right after asking myself an irrational question.

Up until recently I could deal because I had time. I could lose myself in day-to-day stuff because the surgery was so far away. Well, now it’s next week. Gotta admit, I’m freaking out a little. You can tell by my use of non-word “gotta” in a sentence.

I’ve resorted to distraction, and fortunately in the era of Netflix, there’s always plenty of that. The anxiety returns on occasion, but I’m usually okay if I’m watching Charmed (my current marathon show). I’m also okay when I’m writing. I’m speeding through my novella lately. I might even try to finish it by next Friday. Normally I believe in facing fears – or in this case, the root of my anxiety. This is not a normal situation though. There’s nothing I can do, and if I get too nervous, I might convince myself to postpone it. I think the best thing to do is write…or watch Charmed, whichever works.

 

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