Overcoming Negative My Anxiety

This picture was taken while I was enjoying my morning coffee. God’s perfect canvas.

Four years ago, I was in rehab. learning to stand and walk after my Incomplete SCI. Today, I am blessed to be on my first long distance family vacation. Surprisingly, I almost decided not to go as my anxieties grew to overwhelm me and that would have been tragic.

The thought of traveling with a walker, being able to get through the airport, board the plane, and relinquishing my walker to the airline and hoped that it arrived safely was scary. Additionally, I grew concerned about things such as: sleeping accommodations, pain, and whether I would ruin the family excursions due to my lack of mobility and using my walker on the beach. Although these may be valid concerns, focusing on them continually became debilitating.

As these feeling grew it also affected my behavior causing me to anger easily and forgetting to do things with love and kindness. I am lucky that my husband holds me accountable even if I do not like to hear it. Giving me the opportunity to change my behavior and ask for forgiveness. Life is short and overcoming these feelings leads to greater opportunity and happiness.

In those suffocating moments, I ask God to take my anxiety away and flood my thoughts with all the possibilities that I would be afforded. I then invoke the help of others asking them to pray for me as well. Lastly, I focus on my thoughts so that when the negative ones try to creep in, I immediately stop them and reframe them into positive ones. For example, if I start feeling like am I may ruin our planned outing, I reframe the thought into I am going to have a great day with my family.

Overcoming anxiety is never easy but learning to reframe your thoughts is an important step in aiding to combat it. Remember for every negative thought there is at least one positive one to replace it and focus on. Looking forward and seeking out the new adventures aids us to keep moving forward and overcome our fears and anxiety.

Published by Denise Rogers

I am a wife, mother, stepmother and grandmother who enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting, gardening, and I am learning to live with being disabled. In 2017, after my 8th thoracic spinal surgery, I lost all feeling from the waist down as well as losing my proprioception on the right side. This has made it difficult to stand without assistive devices and made it, so I am having to relearn to walk. Plus, I have another uncommon condition called Chiari Malformation Type 1 which also creates balance issues as well as many other health issues. Because of the Chiari and the spinal cord injury, I have been left with severe nerve damage which causes a great deal of pain (5 and greater on pain scale) as well as spasticity, muscle spasms, and allodynia (burning) in various areas of my body. I have endured 8 surgeries on my Thoracic Spine and will probably need more as the drain that was placed will eventually clog and require replacement. Currently, I have a spinal to pleural cavity shunt, which drains the CSF from my arachnoid cysts into my pleural cavity. Professionally, I am a retired Health Care Professional with over 26 years of experience. I have worked in the Public Health realm as well as in Long Term Care and Acute Care. I have a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. It is my hope that through sharing my personal trials, experiences, and triumphs that I can help others keep moving forward. No matter what life throws at us we can always tell a better story. I know that God is with me and because of this anything is possible. His promise to be by my side every step of the way helps me to keep pushing on even when there are setbacks.

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