I haven't posted for a while because I've been...stressed. Really stressed. I've got problems at work, with finances, in my family, with friends, in my personal life...and I've been worrying a lot about a lot of other things too. The fact that I'm stressed and worried about things also worries me because I'm terrified it will trigger another flare.
I'm kind of good at worrying. It's a talent. I can see scenarios (negative ones) that others just couldn't fathom. It's not just recently either. My mom tells me that even in grade school I was always worried about something and would always have this scrunched up little face. It's part of my personality.
But, I've spent too many days with my life filled with worry. It's sucking the joy out of the rich blessings I have. So, I've been reading a book by Stephen R. Covey called How to Stop Worrying, and Start Living. I haven't finished it yet, but I've really enjoyed it so far.
He suggests some exercises to cope with worrying and I've been trying them and I do think they are helping, but I am going to need practice! Here is my own variation of some of his steps to take when you are worried.
1. Write down what you specifically are worried about. This might seem unnecessary, but I discovered that once I wrote it down, it seemed more manageable.
2. Ask yourself, "What is the worst thing that could happen." Then, write down if that happened what the result would be.
3. Come to terms with the "worst thing" happening. How would your life change? What would happen? Write your answers down. A lot of things I was worrying about relate to my family's finances. When I asked what was the worst that could happen, I thought of our house being foreclosed on and having to declare bankruptcy. If that happened, we would probably rent a townhouse. The rent for even a really nice townhouse around here would be less than our house payment. When I thought about this, I discovered even though it wasn't the ideal, it would be alright. And if that happened, I would feel a lot more relaxed because more of our monthly income would be freed up for other things. (So, what was the point of worrying?)
4. (I added this step myself) Ask yourself, "What is the best thing that could happen." So many times I focus on the negative things, but it is just as likely that something good will happen as something bad. It can't hurt to be positive! Write your answers down.
Just those four steps sure have helped already. And so far, I haven't had any hint of any bowel issues. Since stress seems to be a trigger for a lot of us, I challenge you to try these steps for something you are worrying about and see if it helps you.
In other news:
We are having another boy!
Yeah! We are really excited, although I was certain I was having a girl this time. My husband says I jinxed myself.
Also, I am only taking Asacol right now and just found out you can't take that while breastfeeding. I'm torn. I really believe that breastfeeding is super important, but all of the doctors are saying to stay on the medicine and just bottle feed. This is one of the multiple things I have been stressing about. I am actually leaning towards ignoring the doctor's advice and getting completely off medications. A sacrifice for my child. Scary. If my UC flared and got bad enough, I would probably have to stop breastfeeding and get back on the meds. I'm hoping that if I can relax and reduce my worries and watch what I eat that I will be okay. Hard to do with a new infant. Still have about 4 months before the decision has to be made.
In closing, this song was running through my head the whole time I was writing this post probably because of the line about worrying being like trying to solve an algebra problem by chewing bubble gum. Remember to wear sunscreen.