Sea Change

The end of January is upon us.  I was scheduled to go back in to hospital for two weeks at the beginning of next week, however, due to the absolute craziness that February is dumping on me, I have opted to push it back a few weeks. It is unfortunate though, as in doing so, I found out that my doctor in the hospital is departing the centre at the end of February to open a new clinic in Edmonton. The reason it is unfortunate is, this doctor has been one of the most effective I have had in the last few years. The only saving grace is, he said he will do what he can to keep my ongoing treatment plan intact. That’s two doctors this year that I’m losing.

I don’t like it, but change happens. I do not deal with change very well. That is no secret. However, as much as I dislike dealing with change, it is something that is totally unavoidable. Even if we keep to a strict routine, things can’t help but to change. Try as we might, we cannot stop the hands of time. We get older, no matter what we do. Life throws us curve balls regularly.

Even though I am not working at the moment, and I am working on my physical and mental health, I am not immune from change. The last year has brought various challenges that I have had to deal with, like it or not. Something I am beginning to realize is that I am dealing with the change as it comes. It’s not a matter of liking the change that occurs. The change will occur whether we like it or accept or not. Coping with the change  is where things matter most. Coping ahead is one of the hardest, but best, strategies for dealing with change.

Simply put, coping ahead is having an ample supply of coping mechanisms in place before you need them. These coping mechanisms can be something simple, such as having upbeat music to listen to when you are stressed, to having the number for the local distress centre programmed in to your phone, to having a trusted friend you can call to talk with. Admittedly, the first two are easier, as I personally don’t like dumping on my friends when I can avoid it. Coping ahead can also involve something else, such as more frequent follow ups with your doctors, or pre-planned admissions to hospital to act as a stress release valve. There is no set skills that people use to cope with stressful situations. It is completely individual, as not everything works for everyone.

Change is an inevitable, and sometimes painful, part of life. Change is not catastrophic though. It can take you places you never thought possible. Change helps shape who we are, and who we become. No one event in our past defines who we are. All the changes in our life help shape us. Some good. Some bad. We are more than happy to take the good, learning to cope is key to deal with the bad. This, I am starting to learn.

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