Even though Ben is home from work today, I’m dreading the day. Although I wish I was in a positive enough headspace to be excited about the extra time with him, this benefit is outweighed by my aversion to driving to Connecticut to see two doctors. These appointments are particularly stressful for me, and while I’ll have the companionship and chauffeur services of my beloved, my anxiety and discomfort about the appointments spoils the day. What a terrible attitude. I’m going to take this moment to kick myself into gear and coerce myself into a mindset of gratitude and happiness. I will try to flip the balance of these opposing factors today such that the benefits of a bonus day with Ben will hopefully surpass and drown out the unhappiness and nervousness harbored for my appointments. I will refocus my worried mind into appreciating good parts of the journey and perhaps with the assistance afforded by his company, the appointments themselves won’t even be as bad as they often are.
I also hate being in the car, whether driving or as a passenger. I actually prefer driving, because I don’t get carsick, but I’m such a poor driver that the risk isn’t worth the savings in ill feelings. Being a passenger is a major assault on my sensory integration center. The visual stimuli are overwhelming, and I feel dizzy, tethered at a distance from my body. I’ve tried looking out the window and consciously not looking out the window, but in either condition, when I go to lie down and close my eyes at night after a car ride at any point that day, I feel like I’m still in the car, whirling through turns, accelerating onto highway ramps, jostling over bumpy roads, and being thrust into my seat or forward toward the dashboard with changes in speed. It’s like my body gets wound tightly during the ride and then continues to spin for hours, particularly at night in the absence of other visual and motion inputs.
In other news, it’s a balmy 20 degree morning, which I say without sarcasm. Contrasted with the single digit highs we’ve been stuck in for a couple weeks, this morning feels mild. I’m down to one pair of pants and four layers on top, which makes me feel comparatively spry and actually able to move. As usual, my toes are numb, but that’s typical in temperatures below 55 for me or so. This warmer weather is certainly a welcome gift for today, so there is one other good thing to focus on.
I will also keep the end goal in mind: that seeing doctors is supposed to help me feel better and take care of my body. They are not my adversaries. Theoretically, they should have my best interest at heart. My natural reaction is to feel frightened and overwhelmed when I’m there, but I can understand the lunacy of this from a logical standpoint. Sometimes emotional responses are totally irrational. If only it was as easy to right them as it is to detect their faults! I say this somewhat in jest, yet there does seem that identifying the disparity in where a current emotional response is in relation to where I want it to be does help close the gap. Awareness, for me at least, is often a potent first step in course correction.
I’m now armed with the knowledge that I will be taken care of by the doctors and I have nothing to fear nor fret. I have shifted my mindset from dread and reluctance to one of at least attempted gratitude and pleasure for spending time with Ben in whatever “adventures” (seems like a better word than medical appointments!) we face today. Let’s see how long I can hold on to this better attitude. I challenge myself to wear my cloak of mental fortitude and positivity today. Despite the physical pain I’m in, the hassle of appointments far away, the discomfort of being in the car for so long, and the fact that I don’t like seeing doctors, I will be brave and a pleasurable companion today. There will be good parts of today and I’ll try not to miss them by being a nervous grouch.