A not so new normal

I was at acupuncture earlier this month, updating my provider on our vacation, how well I’d done and how proud I was for not only surviving, but surviving well. And she was like, Of course you did well. That’s the normal you’ve worked hard to achieve. It’s only your mind that thinks it’s five years ago, when that was not your normal.

I sat there, completely flabbergasted. She was right — I have been feeling well. I have worked hard to get here — it’s been 12 years in the making, actually. That’s when I decided, on my 35th birthday, that something had to change. Um, because I couldn’t get up off the couch and I had a 2-year-old and an 8-year-old who needed me.

All the head meds, all the reflexology and acupuncture, all the doctor’s visits and learning how to eat for my gut, as well as how to manage my anxiety — that’s all paid off. And the truth is I’ve been feeling well for a while now. Setbacks have come when I tweak my diet or life inevitably throws me a curve ball. But overall … I am well.

I am well. I can’t wrap my mind around that fact. I need to flip my thinking so that I look at my life from today’s vantage point and not c. 2007, afraid of what could happen on the gut and anxiety fronts, expecting the worst day in and day out because that was just my reality.

But how do I flip the switch in my mind so I expect to feel well vs. always waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the next IBS attack, for the next panic attack?

Hell if I know.

Well, maybe I do: Maybe, it’s like any habit I have attempted to form, when I make a conscious effort to reframe my routine — and eventually, it does become routine. Maybe it’s as easy as setting the intention each morning to be well. To recognize that I am well each night before I go to bed.

(That seems too easy, really, but I’m willing to give it a go.)

I don’t know, this is interesting to me because I am not a naturally optimistic person (nor am I a pessimist — I’m just a realist who expects the worst 😉 ). I like thinking about reality vs. perception, what’s really true and what I think is true. And I want to be well. I’m enchanted by the idea that I could expect to be well, all the time.

How different my outlook will be if I can master my thoughts.

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5 thoughts on “A not so new normal

  1. Chris N says:

    Good for you. Life is always going to throw something up at us but it’s our choice how we deal with it. Learning what it takes to get thru the day ( even with IBS) is a big deal.

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    • Trisha Walker says:

      The irony of posting this today is that I got into something at lunch and have felt off since about 2 p.m. Was it the jicama? Am I eating too many blueberries? Is it that my salad at lunch was made of spring mix, not leaf lettuce? I have no idea. I’m still trying to remember that, while annoying, I would have given almost anything to feel this bad five years ago — because it would have meant I felt pretty good.

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  2. Roberta says:

    Sometimes you need someone else to say things out loud, because you’re too close to be able to make the observation yourself. I’m glad you’ve come far enough that there is a distinctive before-and-after, even if you got there gradually. Which, really, is the only way change happens. Gradually.

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    • Trisha Walker says:

      Totally true, having her say that was such an eyeopener and reframed my outlook. There’s always the expectation that if we make a change, the results we’re seeking will happen quickly, but you’re right, it is a gradual process, which may be why it’s hard to notice when you’ve finally gone from Point A to Point B.

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