In the past I have suffered from Graves disease which is a form of hyperthyroidism. I am fortunate that, for me, the drugs work and send the condition into remission. I have had 3 or 4 recurrences which just meant I had to go back on the anti-thyroid medication.
Before I was diagnosed and in the periods before the drugs could kick in, it could get pretty rough. The thyroid controls your metabolism which basically effects everything, your skin, your muscles, your heart, your temperature, your mind. One of the most disturbing effects was anxiety. Your body’s metabolism is in a state of flight ie heart pounding, sweating, shaking- your brain follows. My anxiousness didn’t so much take the form of panic attacks, more often a feeling of being inadequate and overwhelmed. Routine tasks became like climbing mountains. Driving, shopping even conversation became gargantuan tasks in my mind. I lacked any confidence in my abilities to extend myself beyond the most mundane.
In hindsight that experience has done me a favour. It has made me grateful for every opportunity I get to experience something new and challenging. I like to take on things outside my normal sphere, just to prove I can.
I’m not a risk taker but I do like to promise myself that at least once a month I can do something outside my comfort zone. I am a reasonably unfit introvert with perchance for procrastination so stepping outside my comfort zone may be other people’s norm. Some of the things I have done in the past few years to fulfil my promise to myself are:
-Sing solo in front of a group of people. (a WEA class – and it was voluntary!)
-Drive into the inner city of Sydney (So what! you say. I learnt to drive in regional areas so city traffic and parking freaks me out. I am yet to drive over or under the harbour)
-Take on ethics teaching to groups of primary children (I learnt so much but it was definitely out of my comfort zone for first 6 months)
-Go on long bushwalks (this is sort of in and out of my comfort zone as I love being in the bush but am reasonably unfit)
-Attend meetings and gatherings where I knew nobody.
-Got a puppy (I swore I would never own a dog as they are too much work and tie you down and I knew nothing about dogs. I was right.)
Of course there is other times when I like to indulge myself. A massage, a walk along the beach, reading a good book.
So hence becomes a new blog routine. Every month, apart from my other posts, I will do one called, In and Out of my Comfort Zone.
IN: This is going to make be sound very spoilt – I got a new car. My previous car was over 10 years old so the difference in technology and comfort is mindboggling. Sometimes I just sit and imagine I’m in a luxury spaceship. I am thinking of moving my writing space out there. Comfort, privacy, music, 360’ view. What more could you want?
OUT: I signed up for my first NANOWRIMO. National Novel Writing Month. That is a challenge to write 50, 000 words in the month of November. Did I mention that I was a procrastinator and a slow writer? This is my worst nightmare and my most necessary kick up the backside. I have made myself accountable by joining up with some other local NaNo nuts for write-ins and progress meetings. I feel the pressure mounting. Sunday is N-day.
What are your INs and OUTs this month?