Today everyone at my office is getting ready for the holiday party. I can just see them all, arriving in the kitchen in a flurry to stuff the fridge with their pot-luck contributions for later this afternoon.
I talked to Sonya on the phone last night while she made bread pudding. Charlotte can always be counted on for a gourmet surprise. I, however, will not be there with my hot buffalo chicken dip complimented in years past. I’m into my third month of being unable to go to work.
I know I should avoid whining, but I’m going to embrace it and indulge in a little pity party. Then I’ll get on with my day. I decided to follow this approach after seeing a cancer patient interviewed on a t.v. talk show (yes, I watch talk shows these days, another lyme-inspired low). Continue reading →
I tend to call it “going around the mulberry bush.” My therapist calls it circular thinking. But the best analogy, the one that truly tells you how irritating repetitive negative thinking can be, is “like a broken record.”
To those of you too young to have heard a record skip, trust me. The grating sound sets you on edge just like this destructive thought process.
Negative thoughts start zooming around in your brain, one begets another, and pretty soon they are following each other in a maddening loop that keeps playing over and over. The loop invades your days, and it wakes you from slumber at 3 a.m.
“What if I never get better. What if I can’t get my life back. What if I can’t keep my job. What if I lose my house and savings because of out-of-pocket medical costs. What if my spouse/partner/friends abandon me? What if…”
I have two words for you from the great comedian and t.v. therapist Bob Newhart: Stop it. (Sure, this video is tongue-in-cheek and there’s certainly a time for professional therapy. But sometimes you can change the perambulations of your mind all by yourself. And humor definitely helps.)
Cultivate the mental discipline to cut those thoughts off with one swipe of a magic scythe. Because you don’t have room in your life for stress right now.
To recover fully, you need more than medication to kill the bacteria; you need a strong immune system. Do all you can to avoid stress. Start by watching this video. Hopefully you’ll enjoy a laugh.
Then, listen for Bob Newhart’s voice whenever you catch yourself pointlessly repeating worries. And just stop it.
Last winter, housebound and often in bed, I watched the video above many times every day. Who knows why it makes me laugh out loud—though I will admit, dogs and food rank as two of my favorite things.
At any rate, more than 123 million YouTube views say I am not alone. I am pretty sure I accounted for a healthy portion of that number.
Let me just say that it’s a downer struggling to recover from a disease that affects your mind, your body, your family life, your career, and your bank account. Sometimes you just have to look to humor to get by.
To my daily task list (swallow pills, infuse IV drugs, inject blood thinner, follow steps to detox, rest, exercise (baby steps), rest some more, and eat loads of vitamin-rich food), I have added: laugh.