The Struggle to Share The Messy Middle
In the mastermind coaching group I’m in, we all struggle with talking about and sharing our messy in-the-middle-of-it experiences. We all think other peoples' stories are worse, or somehow, more valid than our own, so we don't share ours. We also realize how powerful, not to mention helpful, it is to do just that; share the messy middle of any struggle. I have begun practicing this in the group and with my closest friends. And now I’m going to share my current messy story with you.
My Current Story
I developed a fibroid on the very tip of my tongue. A dentist and physician consult resulted in a referral to an oral surgeon. Up until that point, my fibroid was just a nuisance that I grew accustomed to—occasionally suffering when I accidentally bit it—which of course, caused it to develop even more. The referral caused my mind to go off into worst-case scenario land. The oral surgeon quickly put my mind at ease, saying that it looked completely benign, but needed to be removed, because it wasn’t going to resolve itself. And, that once it was removed it was standard procedure to send it off for biopsy.
Yesterday was surgery day in an efficient in-patient clinic. I chose a sedation procedure. I laid on the table. I felt the i.v. go in my hand, the oxygen inserted in my nose, closed my eyes and it was instantly 20 minutes later where I was sitting upright and talking to the attendant monitoring my blood pressure. My husband/driver and I listened to the post-op instructions and in less than one hour after the procedure, we were on the way to get pain med prescriptions filled.
Only, before I could get my first pain pill ingested, the freezing on my tongue wore off and the pain of the surgery completely overwhelmed me. I spent the next 15 hours trying to get to some state of tolerance, without toxifying myself with pain meds.
The Ledge of Panic and Despair
The intense pain triggered the flight/fight response in me big time. For a couple of hours, I literally tried to flee my body. My mind went deep into terrible scenarios. I couldn’t comfort myself with food— couldn’t get anything past my swollen tongue— water was even painful and difficult—couldn’t vent by talking to anyone—I wrote notes to my very helpful, attentive, worried husband—I couldn’t distract myself with reading a book or watching t.v.—and I certainly couldn’t have a glass of wine to take the edge off. I finally resorted to practicing my coaching tools! All the ones I recommend to everyone else. I practiced them like a mother-*%$@. And for hours.
The tools work. I got myself off the ledge of panic and hopelessness The pain meds eventually caught up.
I'm quite dehydrated, I'll work on that today. I'm also, hungry, not sure how that's going to go. I’ll be keeping on top of my pain killers for the next few days, as well as observe myself. I’m not at the 24-hour post-surgery mark yet and I have awhile to wait before the biopsy returns. I also have some ‘feedback’ to give to my surgeon! I certainly have deeper compassion for people in any kind of pain.
Here I am attempting to wrap it all up with a good lesson. But, how about, instead, I leave it at; can you relate? Does this apply to any part of your life? What about your messy middle, do you share it?