Grace Under Pressure?


You know, when I’m daydreaming and sort of just fantasizing about life, I picture myself as a person who would display enormous grace under pressure.

I imagine myself hearing scary news and reacting in a calm and measured way. “Well,” I imagine myself saying to my doctor, “I’m just so happy that I live in a time when there are good treatments for this disease.”

I see the looks that my dear family would share. “Isn’t she amazing?” I imagine them murmuring. “So brave.”

When I picture myself (too often these days) facing a world on fire, a world where the grid has gone down and the food supply chain is broken, I see a strong, brave woman. I see myself channeling my inner Ma Joad, bracing myself to face the danger with a sturdy back and an unflappable courage.

In my head, I am always serene but strong. I do not waver. I smile through the darkest moments. I rise above the challenges that face me, ready to take on any struggle in order to take care of those I love.

I am, of course, completely full of shit as far as this fantasy is concerned.

I know this because for the one and only time in my life (so far), I have a couple of minor medical issues facing me. I am not dying. I do not have a terminal illness. I sort of have more of an annoying few days of medical tests to make sure I don’t need some medical intervention.

Should be nothing.

But it’s something.

The reality of my life is this:

I am not a serene, calm, accepting older woman who is ready to take on any challenge. Instead, I am a scared, whiny, weepy mess of a woman who wants to curl up under my covers with a box of cookies and a glass of wine. I want my kids. I want my mommy. I want a boatload of m&ms.

I am disappointed in me, to be honest. I’m afraid that when the shit hits the proverbial fan, I won’t be the one to organize the neighbors into a rescue force. I won’t be the kind and wise lady who sets up a foraging team to feed the kids in town. I doubt that I’ll be the resilient leader who looks at the reality of the situation yet manages to stay hopeful in the face of disaster.

I suspect, to my chagrin, that if I get scary medical news in the next few weeks I’ll start whimpering and I won’t stop until I’m either all alone or no longer capable of whimpering.

I don’t want to be a horrible and wimpy aging human. I don’t.

But I’m not sure how to turn myself into the person I see in my head.

Any suggestions?

12 thoughts on “Grace Under Pressure?

      • Yeah. I’m into CBD for pain now. I was on antidepressants during some scary medical times, but quit when I decided I wanted to feel again (even when it hurt!). I never took more than a minimal dose so quitting wasn’t hard for me. Kudos to you for getting off. I know it isn’t always easy like it was for me.

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  1. Of course you’d be front and center leading the charge. It’s always easier when the issue lies outside of yourself. Maybe the universe is suggesting that you would benefit from others taking the lead this time. Whimpering doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Good luck and hope the news is good.

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  2. Be Yourself and cry if you need! Ask for help and take in the hugs 🤗 But by all means keep writing as wonderfully as you do, may it bring you peace & calm♥️ Wishing you well!!!!!!

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  3. When you’re scared, say you’re scared, if only to yourself. I find that that admission helps one better factor the risk/ reward inherent in fear. And makes options to better circumstance less fraught and opaque.

    Anything that suggest an existential crisis will produce quintessential fear.

    A fear that can’t be mastered; only managed. And your obvious self-effacing nature appears up to that task.

    Regards

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