Many heartfelt thanks, Samantha Beach. After two years of not seeing any doctor, I registered with a new one yesterday because my yearly physical (covered by my insurance, thankfully!) was obviously overdue and I needed medical advice on how to keep my stepmom safe when I go visit her because cancer means she has a severely weakened immune system. As a result, I got my first ever flu shot, plus a tetanus one (one in each shoulder, for symmetry!), and blood drawn. Can you say needle fest?! :-)

I explained to the doctor that I’m looking for therapy but that money is an issue so he and his team said they’re do some research and let me know. There may be non-traditional options, in which case I’d be a willing guinea pig so long as no drugs are involved. No idea yet but I’ll be sure to report back. I’m lucky that the GP is part of a big group in a major city (Seattle) that involves teaching hospitals/clinics so fingers crossed.

Then again, I won’t be able to start anything until I come back from Europe. The way things stand with my family, I’ll be gone for at least a month and may stay indefinitely. It’s complicated.

Alas, I can relate to what you say about coping some days and feeling the situation is under control, and falling apart on other days and wanting out The thing to keep in mind is this: you’ve made it so far, well done you! If there isn’t anyone else to give you a pat on the back then you have to do this yourself and nope, it’s not narcissism, it’s basic survival.

It took me a very long time to learn how to be kind to myself and appreciate every little step taken forward, every minute shred of improvement but acknowledging how far you’ve come makes all the difference. (For example, sorting out that physical yesterday felt like a giant leap. But sometimes the giant leap is as simple as actually putting body lotion on, which means I’m taking care of myself. I kid you not, I really struggle to do anything extra like this. I’ve defaulted to basic maintenance, which means clean but no frills.)

And when there’s a bad day, remember it’s always finite. It’s a day. You get a new one every 24 hours and with it the opportunity to start anew.

Hang in there! xoxo

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