I often feel like an expert in being chronically ill. I know how to look up doctors on my insurance company’s website. I know to ask if they cover me just in case when I make an appointment. I know to ask if the tests are covered as well when they suggest something. I know how many physicals and dental check-ups I get a year and I know what out of network versus in network means. I know how to get reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. I know what an FSA is. I know I can ask my pharmacist if the medications I take could have dangerous interactions.
There’s so much advice online about talking to oneself as a friend. You’re supposed to stop the negative self-talk that’s just making you more anxious and depressed. One of the number one pieces of advice on the internet is to treat yourself with kindness. You write out positive affirmations and say them into the mirror. Or you repeat mantras.
I need help knowing how to support my husband. He’s been going through a very stressful time at work now for months. It’s dragging out unbearably, but we keep hoping that soon it will be all resolved. In the meantime, he is stressed, and me, as an extremely empathic anxious person, am stressed by his stress. I want to help him and support him, but I also feel anxious and worried all the time by what he’s going through as well as what it means for our lives together and mine with him.
I was talking to a new doctor the other day: explaining my surgical history. You see, I’ve had the same surgery twice. I first had reconstructive surgery when I was thirteen years old. My spine was an S-curve: both curves around 85-90 degrees. My right lung was collapsing and my heart was being squeezed. I had to have surgery to stay alive. I was and still am grateful to my surgeon.
I brought my same bad habits to my new work. I’ve been tutoring online and in person since the summer, because I wanted to have some way to contribute to household expenses as well as have purposeful work to do each day.