I used to think my anxiety was good, because I believed that it would save my life one day,
that one day all the probing and prodding I subject myself to, in the name of ‘health’, would catch a ‘tumor’ or a ‘bug’ right in the nick of time.
When I was young I would sometimes convince my parents to take me to a walk-in clinic or an ER, and they did, and I was always fine. I was just taking up space, stealing time from those with real emergencies.
A couple of weeks ago I found a lump in my breast. It wasn’t imaginary, it was real, and I obviously assumed the worst. That night I kept thinking of what I would do if I actually had cancer- what kind of person I would be. Would I be crippled with fear or would I be strong? I went to the walk-in clinic the next day and then a couple of weeks later I had an ultrasound. Then the clinic called me back. I was fearful in the waiting room but the doctor eventually told me that the lump was just a lymph-node, nothing to really worry about.
I always manage to find something to stress about but most times there’s no point in stressing, even when you find an oddity. If you think you have an illness, there’s nothing your mind can do for you, unless it’s educated in science or medicine, and even then you need the right technology to find the real answers.
I need to learn to live without hypochondria because I don’t need it to save my life. I’m glad that I took care of my health when I found the lump in my breast. But all the waiting-room stress and the sleepless nights I could have done without.