How to Play the Waiting Game?
The other day, a friend asked me about the best way to wait for word from doctors after a new cancer diagnosis.
She said, “I’m new to this whole cancer thing. Waiting for results, doctors and procedures makes me crazy. Is there a better way to deal with it?”
Her question gave me pause.
Just recently, I had a similar experience with one of my loved ones, and in moments like these, you cease to be a doctor. You become a vulnerable, scared human being.
To be honest, being doctor actually makes you feel worse.
I acknowledged my friend’s feelings. It’s hard to deny that the waiting game is anything but easy.
Here were my recommendations to my friend:
Try to remember to stay present and be in the moment.
Notice when your mind wanders off to scary places. Those places in your imagination are always, always darker than reality.
Pull your thoughts back to the present, single moment.
Move your body. Anchor your thoughts to the movement. Go for a walk, clean your car, mow your lawn, whatever. The important thing is to get out of your head and into your body.
Another way to deal with it is to feel, to crawl into the fear and anxiety. Here’s what I mean: Sit upright, put your feet flat on the floor, close your eyes and connect to the earth and the cosmos. Then, try to locate the feeling inside your body. Guide your awareness into this feeling and ask the feeling to move through your body.
This really helps to prevent any feelings of being stuck. I’ve seen people who seem to burst out at the seams because they’ve held back and refused to feel. They have a lifetime of stored up feelings they’ve never dealt with.
Storing feelings is the opposite of what you are doing when you crawl into the fear. Let your feelings flow and observe them. You can return to this process again and again. I borrowed this from Hiro Boga.
Try it; it really helps.