I just got out of surgery and this post-op is nothing short of terrible. I’m ok, but geez do I know how to have fun… Finals week at school and all I can think about is debt. Debt.
I talked about it to a few people and I wasn’t left feeling any better. But something finally helped and I am taking deeper more peaceful breathes. Here’s what happened:
I opened my email to respond to a few messages from this page and I read a few sentences only people with OCD would understand. I felt connected like I do when I talk to someone else with a story like mine and I am reminded that we are not alone.
My nerves calmed a bit because I remembered why I am going through Naturopathic Medical School. OCD.
My therapist had me do some “homework” once and come up with a list of short term goals like “keep daily anxiety under control” and long term goals like “get accepted into school”. We then discussed how to modify some of my behavior so that I could work on both sets of goals at the same time. Is “acting out” and getting “wasted” the best way to move toward my long term goal? Of course it would help in the short term, but once I started this assignment, I realized how many of my decisions were based on instant gratification. To be fair, sometimes we need to make things better in the moment, and making the healthy choice isn’t always easy. But, we can’t give up.
I learned from this that the “big picture” was something to keep in mind and focus on when I felt anxious. Reminding myself why I might need to delay instant gratification brought my anxiety levels down and I felt I could better tolerate the stress. And I could tolerate it!
When I did that exercise, my long term goal was to get accepted into medical school, now it’s opening a practice that specializes in natural medicine emphasizing mental health.
Stay strong my friends!