I’m desperately hoping that someone out there can relate to what I’m going through now and give me some feedback on how they’ve coped with it. Since receiving the news that I’ll be having major surgery a few weeks from now my anxiety levels have started shooting through the roof and I’m sleeping even less – if that’s possible. With that I’ve been having nightmares and flashbacks – which I’m certain are related to past trauma – and I feel an overwhelming need to control or make right as many things as I can before the day arrives, even though I know this won’t be possible.
I’ve created a to-do-list of the practical things I have to do: power of attorney, pre-surgery appointments, financial arrangements (pre-paying bills), and post-surgery homecare needs, among other things. The list is almost finished, except for a few people I need to contact to let them know when I’ll be going into the hospital; and detailed instructions I need to write for the people who will care for me after surgery, but I feel like what I’m doing to prepare is not enough. Logically I know what I’m doing is right, but emotionally I feel as if I don’t have a clue about what to do. Listening to my body, I’m hearing mix of uncertain sounds in response to each thing I do and feeling waves of nausea as each day closes. I’ve experienced a mind-body disconnect before, but this time is different and I can’t explain how.
The funny thing is that I’m not anxious about my surgeon’s abilities. I’m somehow anxious about my body’s ability to make it through something that ultimately is what it needs to get better. I don’t know how to calm my mind and body – even with the forced activity of my art/gratitude journal, Zentangle, music, and buckets of ice cream – beyond what I need to do to keep up appearances with everyone around me that I’m fine. I don’t know what to do in the middle of the night when it’s dark and I’m most alone with myself or in the daylight when the tears start and I can’t turn them off.
Does anyone have any experience with this kind of fear?
OneRepublic – Counting Stars