I'm going to start off with the bad changes first. You guys know how I have been having stomach problems since late July-early August of last year? Well, thankfully, I've been able to eat more foods, like fries and fried chicken, though I still can't tolerate many acidic foods. The bad news is that I somehow managed to lose an extra pound so I'm unfortunately underweight at this point. I just found out yesterday (I hadn't been weighed in days). My first reaction was to cry and freak out, but I didn't. I looked at the positive: at least it took 2 months to lose a single pound instead of a week or two like it was two months ago AND all I have to do is just snack more often. I know it's because I hadn't been eating enough calories due to lack of appetite and feeling fullness in my stomach. The good news in all of this is that 1) my pre-stomach problems appetite has been back this past week (which means I'm always hungry and snacking) and 2) yesterday was the first time that I was able to get enough calories (that I counted, anyway) to hopefully start gaining weight. It's going to be a slow progress but I have to be patient. I can do this, no matter how exaggerated some people's comments may be. Seriously, just don't say anything if it's not comforting or supportive. I know God will help me along the way and that's all I need.
Okay, now the good changes. I've been reading this great book called Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe (which my good friend, Kerri, sent me for Lent). Though it's a short book (only 134 pages), I'm taking my time reading it because there are a lot of great things that have spoken to me and have made me want to slow down and really think. A lot of what's in the book relates to having anxieties, worries, etc. As I read it, I make notes and reflect on how it'll help me with my anxiety. You know how I wrote that I wanted to cry and freak out over my weight yesterday, but didn't? That's because I took what was in the book and applied it to the situation. Instead of worrying about it and having a full blown panic attack, I just said "Okay, this is happening now. This can be fixed. I have full faith in God that He will help me get out of this situation" and then I let it go. Just like that. Sure, anxiety wanted to creep up on me for the rest of the day but I would say the same thing and then shift my attention elsewhere.
The biggest change within me these past couple of weeks has been growing to trust God more than I have in the past (which is completely necessary in order to grow spiritually) and letting go of my fears. Fears are the driving force behind my anxiety and PTSD. Fear that I won't do a good job on an assignment. Fear that I will lose my mother like I did my father. Fear that I will get hurt somehow. Fear of this. Fear of that. That's absolutely no way to live. Of course, I've gone through traumatic experiences (which resulted in my having a PTSD diagnosis) but I am not going to let it slow me down or define me. I know I'm going to have some off days in which I want to lock myself in my room and not come out but I'm not going to do that. I haven't been doing that. If something gives me anxiety, I still go ahead and do it. I shake as I do it (shaking comes from fear/anxiety) but I still do it. I place all my trust in God and I go forward. And all of this courage comes from the reflections I make while reading the book. (btw, if you suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, worries, etc, I HIGHLY recommend reading the book.)
In the nicest, most charitable way I can think of, I'm going to say that my therapist has not been the right fit for me. I am sure she helps other patients with her methods but we just don't mesh so I haven't been able to get anything out of the sessions. I have gotten more out of the book than I do the sessions (which are ending next week). My faith is the biggest part of who I am. I chose this. When I am asked to identify myself, I say I'm first Catholic and Mexican-Spanish (possibly Irish) American second. I truly believe that the answer to my getting better (both physically and mentally) is in the Lord. I'm not saying "doctors and therapists can't do nothing for me" or anything like that. They are here on earth to help us in whatever way they can help but, if I am given a choice of trusting someone who uses my faith or morals against me or trusting that the Lord will guide me while I find the right person to help me (if it's not something I can do on my own), I'm going to trust Him and place all my worries with Him. And this realization has been huge for me because I'm a worrier by nature and I have often thought that some of my problems just needed concrete evidence as an explanation. No more. More trusting and letting go and less worrying.
This blog post has gone in a different direction than I intended but, what can you do? Sometimes you just need to write things out without having a clear idea of what you want to share.
Anyway, I need to go pick up my mom from work (poor mom has been having problems with one foot and can barely walk at the end of the day). Sorry for the long post. ;)
If you have any prayer requests, please send them my way. If you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, remember not to go too crazy as we're still in Lent. ;) Have a great weekend, everyone!
As always, thanks for reading and God bless!