Thursday, May 26, 2022

Exorcising Bad Experiences

When you are faced with life threatening disease, i.e. a pulmonary embolism, you will most likely have mental health issues. What worries us most is the possibly of dying unprepared. It's a sad reality because the mortality rate is high. My doctor reminded me about this earlier this week. He said, "You could have died." Yes doc, twice. And that's the reason why I have to fiercely protect my health, physically and mentally. 

Being part of a support group for pulmonary embolism survivors has helped me a lot in the past three years. Most of the members are from the other side of the hemisphere because that's where PEs are more commonly diagnosed. I think though there are similar PE survivors here in the Philippines, it's just not as easily diagnosed (took more than a year for mine to be detected in Singapore). 

One of the members sent an important reminder for us -

I was spiraling down again because of the events happening around me. I had to stop watching the news and make important decisions regarding destructive relationships. The stress was not good for me and I ended up sick again. My chest x-ray have some worrying results, but it seems my doctor is chill about it. Following the reminder from my support group, I'll just be chill about it too. Do not panic when your doctor isn't concerned about your findings. 

I was 8 years old when my Mom got me my first journal. She told me I should write down my experiences, whether it's good or bad. I eventually found it helpful to vent my frustrations through writing. And that's what I did the other night. I poured out 35 years worth of hurt. It felt like a huge tree bark* was pulled out of me when I finished the note. This was followed by two full days of chest pains and nausea, but I think I'm much better now. I was able to talk about it with my Kuya without getting teary eyed. It's now all just in black and white**.

*It was no longer just a thorn

**There is an NLP technique where they help you minimize seemingly large issues. The important issue is represented by a full color picture, as you progress it becomes black and white and it eventually disintegrates.  

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