“Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life but the ability to cope with it.” -Unknown
When my daughter, Nava, was critically ill, on a ventilator in a drug-induced coma for three months, one of the ICU doctors called me in after a couple of weeks to tell me that if she survives, it will be a long road.
He started writing out a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication to “help” me through this horrific ordeal. I certainly don’t fault him here as this was an extreme acute situation and he didn’t know if I could manage without falling apart.
His offering of “the pill” was an awakening.
I realized I better start doing something to keep myself strong so I can function through this and be by Navi’s side. This was my impetus for gearing up into self-preservation mode.
The next day I began my walking regime around the hospital streets. I started taking 30 minutes off from sitting by Navi’s bedside listening to every beep, bleep, and gurgle, to engage in my non-medicated self-prescription program.
Truth be told, I’ve been a walker for the past 17 years, since my friend dragged to the gym the summer of my separation. I guess I was ready because it didn’t take much coercion. A bit of “c’mon get moving; it’ll do you good” was all I needed. I showed up, and have never stopped.
It became a way of life, a grounding and healthy reprieve during my divorce, my working and going to school, and dealing with the illness and disabilities of Navi’s earlier years. I found something to hold to that I felt was keeping me healthy and strong, both psychologically and physically; and exercise was it.
And so when Doctor S. pulled out his prescription pad from his pocket, I pulled my exercise tool from mine; two working legs and I was on my way.
I at least wanted to give it a shot. But mind over matter, I knew then I wasn’t starting with any pills. Side effects are a biggie with my sensitive gut.