Just Some Randomness

By April Scott | November 1, 2013

How’s Your Patience?The saying goes, “Patience is a virtue.” By its very definition, virtue means “behavior showing high moral standards.” Well, I consider myself to have very high moral standards, but I struggle, daily, with patience. For the longest time it was not something I was overly aware of. I knew there were certain things that tried my patience: children, disorganization, etc. But upon further review, I am in a constant state of urgency, anxiety and panic. Well, I used to be.I will provide a little background first. My mom passed away in May of 2011. We were very close; not just mother/daughter, we were each other’s salvations. She had heart surgery and was released from the hospital, which made me think she was in the clear. That was not the case. She passed away in her bed at home. Not surprisingly, my life changed immediately. So for the last 2 years I have grieved, I’ve accepted the incident. Or I thought I did. I was having anxiety attacks, frequently. They were debilitating; they affected my work and my life. I thought I had some sort of heart condition, like my mom, and I became a semi-hypochondriac. {{more}}Eventually it became too much. I found a primary care physician and started the long process of test after test, looking for answers. Blood work, EKG, stress test, Echo, the works. All were negative. It wasn’t my heart. That was a relief, however, if made me realize that it was a mental problem, and a major one. It required immediate attention. I found a therapist, I was prescribed medication. I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder/Panic Disorder with hypochondriac tendencies. I’ve been on Lexapro for almost 4 months now. And…..I FEEL GREAT. I was one of those people who always felt anti-depressants were over prescribed. They are not for everyone. And I can honestly say that the medication would not be helping at all if I wasn’t trying to help myself in the process. So let’s bring it back to my patience issue. While I was sick, and undiagnosed, I thought everyday was my last. I was positive I was going to die in my sleep. My patience level then dropped drastically. I didn’t have time to wait around. Things needed to be done immediately and done right. That made my anxiety that much worse. After a great amount of reflection, I am learning to slow down and take it day by day. I don’t live like it’s my last; I just savor what I have and am thankful for it. One of the great lessons I have learned is that you are ultimately in charge of how you feel, emotionally at least. I was reading a book that suggested I change key phrases in my language. Phrases like, “I have to” or “I need to” would be changed to, “I choose to” or “I would like to.” It was powerful to realize that, in reality, I don’t have to do anything, I simply choose to. I don’t have to work, but I choose to so I can earn money and live a comfortable lifestyle as I choose to. Changes like this make for more positive thinking, which leads to a more positive lifestyle. It’s not easy; no one is perpetually happy all the time. But being aware of how you think and your actions to those thoughts makes a world of difference. So now, my patience has doubled. I ask myself, “What’s the reason for stressing over this? The situation is small compared the bigger picture.” Patience; it’s not inherited, it’s learned and applied.