Today was my therapy appointment. It had been three weeks since my last session. I’d been patting myself on the back for doing really well over the past few weeks. Seems when life is mellow, it’s rather easy to be optimistic and light hearted. Two weeks ago, I was told I needed to have a breast biopsy and it had me feeling very nervous. It was decided the spot our radiologist been watching needed further investigation. (See my post titled “Leftie”)
Now, I don’t know anything yet and my appointment is set for this coming Monday. Since getting the news that more tests were needed, I’ve been in various stages of logic and panic. Last night was the worst. I had trouble sleeping due to stabs of panic in my chest. Just as I’d get settled down, fear would hit. I’d become restless and struggle to find a position which made me feel comforted. I was rehearsing my therapy appointment over and over too. I was all in knots and couldn’t wait to get to therapy just so it could be over.
We talked the entire session about all the fear and stress I’d been having over the past two weeks. I was not wanting to admit where my mind had been. I didn’t want to admit how scared I was. I didn’t want my feelings dismissed. I didn’t want to cry about this. I wanted to prove to myself that I was as strong.
Having the reaction I did to this sort of news doesn’t make me weak. It is a normal reaction and that was the parting words from my therapist after our session. My therapist is great and I am really glad I found him. He’s the most optimistic person I’ve ever met and he told me why he’s that way. His mindset is to always look for the good, even in rotten situations. We talked about how even if I do need surgery, any scar is a reminder how surgery helped me. That was definitely as spin I hadn’t thought of. I even got to thinking about what if I did end up with a scar. Maybe I could do a photo shoot about the experience? Definitely a better mindset that what I had moments before.
I was happy my feelings and fears were not dismissed. They were validated and by the time I left, I was feeling more positive and strong. The big action point from today’s session was: Do not label a thought as “good” or “bad”. Ask yourself if the thought is helpful. There are no good or bad thoughts, there are just “thoughts”. But there are definitely helpful and unhelpful thoughts. Taking the labels of “bad” or “good” away gives our brain less absolutes. The brain likes absolutes. By removing the judgement of a thought, it allows for more room. It allows for more “gray” area in which the mind can play. Is it good or bad to be thinking about what if I have scars? No. Is it helpful? Not at this juncture, no. I haven’t even gotten my biopsy done! It could quite possibly turn out to be nothing at all. We’ll know on Monday.