In ……. Whoosh
You can do it little buddy. You got this.
I have a confession- In this story I am 'little buddy'. And anxiety is coursing through my veins, it’s dancing in my stomach, it’s stomping on my chest. Freaking anxiety. My wingman. My liar asshole wingman (you can’t do this, this is too hard. You are doing it wrong. Danger up ahead) Non sequitur time. (I am superb at those. And bonus points to those of you who use non sequitur this week in a sentence).
/ˌnän ˈsekwədər/ noun
1. a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.
Michael and I are getting extra life insurance on each other. Don’t worry- it was my idea. Otherwise that would absolutely mean he was just about to murder me according to every single Dateline I’ve ever watched. This process is a real pain in the ass and involves all the things I HATE. Talking on the phone. Talking on the phone to a STRANGER. Talking to a stranger on the phone about private MEDICAL things. Nothing makes me feel older and more pathetic than listing all my ailments- ESPECIALLY as someone who works so dang hard to exercise and eat healthy and take more supplements than I can count on one hand.
Familial high cholesterol
Degenerative disk disease
5 yes FIVE herniated disks…. I’m going to stop now. I’m depressed.
Then I had to fill out things, and fill out things to get access to my medical records. FINALLY we got a phone call that my account was approved with some changes made to our initial request- a decrease in coverage and increase in cost that they would discuss with me on a phone call. After playing phone tag for a couple of days, I finally connect with the super nice but for sure ex radio DJ on the phone.
Christina Kelly! I’d just like to go over some information (all said in a booming game show announcer voice). We DID approve you, but not at the original amount because of the following conditions:
- You are 5 ft 2 inches and weigh 170 lbs.
- You are being treated for anxiety
My eyes go wide. I feel anxious, even a little ashamed, like I screwed up at something. Ummm…..I don’t weigh 170. 170? It says 170? (I feel like he thinks I’m lying and I need to talk extra to prove I’m not lying.) I can send you a picture. (Stop talking Chrissy).
"I don’t weigh that. I weigh 115. Maaaaybe 117 after a long weekend. Maybe someone confused 117 with 170?" I say.
"I’ll look into that with the department who put your file together and we can get to the bottom of this. Is it true that you are being treated for anxiety?"
"Well… Yes, I do have anxiety and I’m taking medication for it. I don’t see anyone about it though- I should (stop talking Chrissy). So- does that count as “being treated?” (stop talking Chrissy).
Turns out, it does. Which is fine. I didn’t want to ask the guy any more questions, I just wanted to be off the phone. I figured I would ask any questions I hadn’t yet processed to my friend Google in the privacy of my own non-judgemental computer.
Google said, Because anxiety can have a major impact on both your physical and mental health, life insurers typically treat anxiety as a very serious disease, similar to heart disease or other physical ailments that may shorten your lifespan. As a result, having anxiety can make it more difficult to get approved for life insurance coverage — and can also affect what you’d pay for an insurance policy.
WHAT?! My anxiety got worse reading about it. HAHAHA! Why do they even have to include that info? Why do I feel like I did something wrong by having anxiety?! WHY IS ANXIETY COSTING ME MONEY? I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG. YES YOU DID STOP BEING ANXIOUS. This is all out of my control, so I just keep breathing and stop thinking about it. (Anxiety is HARD WORK).
Anywho- flash forward to today. Sunday August 14, 2022. Tomorrow starts a new School Year Schedule change. (We had just, ALMOST figured out our Summer schedule). I used to blame my TOTAL schedule change anxiety on Grey. I just get anxious because HE is anxious. Every autistic kid is different but for Grey it absolutely means struggles with transition and change. Although he does get super duper anxious- I have my very own pot of anxious brewing on the stove at most times, but schedule change brings it from the back to the front burner. I have to work to separate his fear from mine.
WHY so anxious? I ask myself. I want to do it perfectly. I want to support and remember things and times. I want to make each boy a visual schedule which is VITAL for their life when we have any big schedule change. As I type out my specific worries/concerns they look ridiculous to take up space in my brain. That’s what anxiety does, I remember. Lies and tells me every little thing- is NOT going to be alright.
But it is-right my friend? It is. Every little thing is.
Today the most perfect words found me at the most perfect time. It’s a Ted Talk by Caroline Myss- Choices that change your Life. This 25 minute ted talk is Liquid Golden sunshine. You must listen.
She shares, "I want to emphasize the power of choice. And perhaps there was a time when we wouldn’t even talk about it, but we have to talk about it today.
Because choice is a fundamental power of the human experience. We need to put choice as an authority, as a power that is so huge, that if I ran the world… I would make studying the power of choice part of every e school curriculum .That everyone should learn, that the power of the choices you make have infinite consequences. From the littlest choice to something that is great big, huge- and that – here’s the paradox, you have no idea what a little choice is, or a big choice. What we are used to doing, is believing that a big choice is an obvious one: buying a house, getting married, getting a divorce. In fact, those are your small choices. The choices that actually matter when it comes to your health, when it comes to healing, when it comes to positioning yourself, empowering yourself, are the tiny ones that-or the choices I should say, that you think have the least power, that you make in the privacy of your own company, that perhaps you think are the most insignificant, I have found repeatedly, repeatedly, are the most powerful choices of your life, the most powerful. That have the most powerful impact on your biology, on your soul, on your sense of who you are, on your well being on your whole life map
You can watch the whole talk HERE.
Myss talks about looking to the future to make choices, because the past us no longer exists. “Be in the newness. Not afraid of it. Be in that newness. Be there.”
The switch flipped in my head as I walked to the bright light of the newness. I showed Grey his new schedule and I comforted him as his hands shook and big old globe sized tears chased each other down his cheeks. He went to his Summer Schedule (which had less hours of work) and said, “This one, this one, this one” over and over. I remembered we had a choice.
Now it's time for new, and there will be good things in it. That schedule is over. And this week will be hard but then it will get easy. You can do this, because you are so smart and so strong, and I am here to help you.