Time to Speak Your Truth?

Just about twenty years ago our daughter Andie arrived in the world, three months before she was meant to be born.

I chronicled the entire journey in my memoir, Preemie.

One chapter that stood out for so many readers was when I introduced the first doctor we’d see after Andie’s three month hospital stay. Readers were outraged and wanted to hun

t that doctor down to give him a piece of their minds and urged me to do the same.

Ultimately, I ended up writing a letter to that doctor. A letter I never sent. Because that letter wasn’t really for him, it was for me. For me any one else who has ever been made to feel less than, afraid and uncertain.

Dear Pediatrician,

I wonder if you remember me?

We met almost twenty years ago?

I was the one with that really preemie baby.

Remember?

She had an ostomy bag and a scar on her back from her heart/lung surgery?

I carried her in a soft pink fleece and was a little shaky having just brought her home from the NICU?

Do you remember me?

Well, I remember you.

I remember your charcoal-colored cashmere sweater and matching thick-framed glasses.

I remember the glossy photo of your three beautiful children hanging on your office wall.

I remember the shiny silver pen you used to record your notes and how you never looked up when you said my daughter would always be small.

I remember you did look up when I said, “No,” and how I had to explain that I meant No, she wouldn’t always be small.

I remembered how you chuckled, and mumbled something about me being in denial.

But I remember knowing that I was not in denial.

I remember the deep knowing I felt within my being – the knowing that my girl would not meet your expectations, but her own and the expectations of those who loved and believed in her.

I remember wondering about the other parents you might meet and what would happen if they believed Your Truth.

I remember promising myself that someday I would tell you just how wrong you were.

Well, that someday has arrived.

My daughter, her name is Andie, in case you don’t remember, is turning 20 next week and is currently 5 feet 10 inches tall and an amazing young woman.

I promised myself I’d tell you just how wrong you were, but instead, I think I’ll just say… Thank you.

Thank you for your certainty in all the things our daughter would not be and your certainty in all the things she could not do, because without your certainty, perhaps I would never have found mine.

Thank you, dear doctor, from all the parents in the world who’ve ever been told what their child is not, so they can believe in everything their child is.

 

Today is National Prematurity Awareness Day.

Please pass this along to anyone you believe it may help, and I’d love to hear any of your experiences around the power of forgiveness and speaking your truth, or if it’s something you’re struggling with yourself.

 

Magical Moment: Much Needed Anxiety Relief

photo: nine koepfer unsplash

Boy, there’s a lot happening in the world right now, hey?

Years ago, as a new Mom (I always capitalize!) of two young children, one medically fragile, I dealt with anxiety on a pretty deep level.

It got to a point where something had to give, and I ended up creating what I’d later call my ~ Anti-Anxiety Go-To List ~

I’ve heard from enough of you to know that I’m not alone in dealing with this issue right now. If you’re like me, and seeking solutions to turn down the volume when life tilts toward too much, I hope you find this helpful. (If you’re at a place where normal, everyday functioning is being affected, please seek medical care.)

If any of the suggestions below resonate, try them out and see what works for you. I’d love to hear!

1. Recognize and acknowledge that you’re anxious. You can’t really deal with anxiety, if you don’t know you’re anxious, right?

2. Say it out loud. I’m anxious. Say it again. I’m anxious. Let out a big exhale. Say it again. As many times as feels right to you and you feel your breath return. When we bring what’s hidden down in the dark to light, it loses its power.

3. Drink water. Lots of it. Remember your body is an energy circuit and energy flows best and freely through water.

4. Recall what you’ve eaten, or not. Hmmm, it’s 11am and I’ve had two cups of coffee and a half a gluten-free peanut butter cookie. Is it time to feed yourself? Preferably some protein. (On a side note, since discovering a gluten allergy eight years ago and cutting out all wheat products, the level and frequency of my anxiety decreased significantly.)

5. Look back on the night before. How many glasses of wine did I drink? Is that pit in my stomach like I felt last time I poured one too many?

6. Nap. Speaking of last night, what time did I go to bed? Oh man, a 20-minute lie down would do me wonders. What about you?

7. Close your laptop. Set down your phone. How long have you been sitting in front of your computer? When was the last time you looked down at your hand and didn’t see your phone resting there? While you’re at it, shut off all the beeping notifications and other sounds!

8. Move your body. Walk. Get Outside. Don’t worry about how far, just move and release what’s built up on the inside!

9. Write. This step is key for me. Once I begin writing, once my pencil touches paper and words begin to flow, I no longer carry all the unease around. I never know from one time to the next what form this will take, maybe a list, maybe a bunch of jumbled words on a page or formed paragraphs, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the page holds the worries and they’re no longer inside of me mucking up the works.

10. Soul-Soothing Music – Lately I’ll put on a piece of Pachelbel and feel my pulse slow down and my mind clear. What music helps you relax?

11. Warmth – Envelop yourself in a blanket or wrap a scarf around your neck. Put on an extra sweater. The cozy feeling of warmth always makes me feel more safe and secure.

12. Meditation – Sit, breathe and get centered. How you do that is up to you. I love this guided meditation

13. Self Care – Reiki. An epsom salt bath. A social-distance walk with a friend. What feels good to you?

14. Other Alternatives – Rescue Remedy, CBD, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils. Do a little research. Talk to friends and family and ask what’s worked for them. Let’s get the conversation started!

15. Get Organized – This is a recent addition to my list and came as a bit of a surprise. While enlisting all my known techniques, I discovered that for me a lack of order is quite anxiety inducing. I came to recognize that things like clutter on the counter or piles of unopened mail, can induce lots of stress.

16. Is it Yours? Finally, be sure to recognize whether the anxiety you’re carrying around is actually yours! It’s not unusual to take on the angst of others in our lives.

Most importantly, I remind myself of my favorite quote by Eckartt Tolle and allow it to play in my head on repeat:

“And this too shall pass.”

It always does, doesn’t it?

What about you? How do you manage your anxiety? Any favorite tips or tricks you can share?