What’s the difference between a doctor and God?
– God doesn’t think he’s a doctor.
That old joke still gets me every time… But now some serious stuff. I’m not omnipotent. I’m not sure if I can, or need to be. Sometimes I delude myself that I could be. And sometimes I seem to think that I should be.
I want to share a secret. Last night, I was scared. Like really scared. And anxious. Of driving.
In my life, I’ve faced numerous challenges. I’ve kept public lectures. I’ve faced horrible bosses and mean people. I’ve stood against bullies at school. I’ve gotten death threats at work. I’ve treated swearing, antsy narcs and mentally very unstable patients ready to jump me if I make a wrong move. I’ve sparred with men much bigger than me and nearly gotten choked by them at krav maga practice (btw, thank you guys for not letting me get off too easy!).
Tonight I was supposed to go to a get-together held by a friend from my former ER workplace. There would have been some other nurses I knew as well and it would’ve been so nice to see them after a long time. But during this week I’d been secretly fretting the whole idea of going. My friend lives an hour’s drive away and I’ve had so much stress lately that I was afraid how I would cope with the drive. To make matters more complicated I have an early morning wake up tomorrow for work so I wouldn’t be able to spend the night there, but would have to drive home late in the dark after a stressful – because even positive stress is still stress – day meeting my former coworkers.
Yesterday evening I was nearly shaking with nervousness and stress and fear all night. At the same time I was angry at myself for being such a wuss. I’d been through worse this summer and survived. But I remembered the cost to my body – how much HC I had to take and how tired and awful I felt after pushing my body over exhaustion. I didn’t want to feel that way again. I also feared the very small possibility of fainting behind the wheel when driving or something else like that to happen.
So last night – after already staying up half the night thinking what I should do – I messaged my friend that I wouldn’t be coming today. That I really needed to rest. After sending the message, I was at the same time relieved and disappointed. In myself. Because of my fears.
Yes, I was afraid. And it makes me a human. But I was also afraid that being afraid would “stick on me”. That I was on the way of becoming this fearful, helpless woman who would need someone to hold her hand all the time and would soon be unable to do anything on her own. I don’t want to be a victim. Even – or especially -to my own thoughts.
All these things twirled in my head – the hopes, the fears, the past events, the future. I was afraid I was going crazy. I’m usually a really cool and sensible person, but yesterday I was a nervous heap. I’ve noticed I’ve become a lot more emotionally labile after being diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency. I don’t know if it’s the adrenaline to blame, or low or high cortisol, or maybe it’s completely unrelated? But I think I remember vaguely not being this way before. And of course most of days I’m still the “old” me, strong and witty and resourceful. Just…not today.
I pondered a while whether I should write about this – not because I still think I’m God 😉 – but because I’ve lived my life being the tough chick. Revealing a chink in my armor makes me feel very vulnerable and naked. And afraid. And human. And that is why I needed to share this. This is my victory over my fears. I can face them and reveal them to the world. And still stand here. In my whole incompleteness.
Would sometimes the bravest thing be admitting you’re afraid? ❤