The Waiting Game

Some people are better than others at weathering out the waiting game, and are able to go about their normal everyday life only occasionally thinking casually about what might happen. And the rest of us (yes, me included) are paralyzed by the uncertainty.

Have I ever told you how much I hate to wait? I am, in all honesty, not the patient type in the least bit. Waiting sets my nerves on edge and puts my mind in overdrive. And I get cranky! Very cranky. I want answers so I can come up with plan A and plan B (in case plan A fails) which will lead to a successful and happy solution. Limbo does not work for me. I need to take care of the situation and move forward.

One of the most frustrating experiences in life is having to wait. We wait at the grocery store to check out at a register. We wait in traffic jams. We wait for trains, buses and at airports. We wait in doctor’s offices. We wait, and wait, and wait. Many of us (yes, I am referring to me) lose their patience, become bored, get anxious and angry.

Waiting on life changing news can be incredibly slow and stressful. Fear of the unknown can make waiting unbearable, when you are unsure of what is about to happen next, you become anxious.

When waiting for results of medical tests, that intervening wait time can almost feel debilitating. You (yes, it happened to me) get worried sick. You can’t focus on anything else. You are powerless. You feel unable to make any plans. Every hour feels like days and days feel like years.

You need to take a step back and stop “catastrophising” the situation. It is normal to fear the worst and think your world is about to collapse. But…it won’t! It may be impacted by the results, but it won’t stop time from moving forward for you. Even if you get bad news, because once you get the results, you can start planning a solution and move forward. But, for now, you have no idea what the outcome will be — so, why all the worrying?

The worst thing we can do while waiting is to worry. Yes, I know, easier said than done. But let’s face it: worry is like sitting in a rocking chair, rock all you want, it won’t actually take you anywhere. And our immune system can be affected by our own psychology. If we stay in a negative state of mind, it will effect our overall health.

Yet, is it worth considering the worst case scenario? It depends on the nature of the news you are waiting on. The key is to think positively and productive. Preparing for the worst can, in certain situations, be a good technique. Just focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot.

Stay away from Google!

You will drive yourself crazy from information overload once you start scanning the internet. Although you think there are only one of two ways it can go, in reality there is an entire spectrum of a variables you can be told.

You should on no account start blithely searching the Internet for medical information. You are guaranteed to find details that back up your worst fear, thus throwing you into more of a panic state of mind. If you feel the need for information or advice, call your General Practitioner. But remember, nobody can give you accurate information without the test results, and they can’t get you those test results any sooner.

A distraction is your best weapon against waiting time anxiety. Grab a book that you have wanted to read. Grab a friend to see a movie and do some retail theropy. And while you are out and about, stop for coffee and talk about your fears. There is no point in bottling it up. That will just make you feel worse. Tell your friend, and more than likely, they will spring into motion and keep you distracted.

My distraction was a good thing for my family and friends. I made jelly. Plum, apple cinnamon, peach, caramel apple, mixed berry and watermelon. I think all together I made over 100 jars.

Do Not…I repeat…do not resort to alcohol or other unhealthy behaviors in attempt to mask your sorrows. This just magnifies your fears. Go for a walk. Go out to a nice green space for some outdoor exercise. It will help you to relax and lift your spirits.

If you stop to smell the flowers or admire the landscape, it will remind of that there is beauty in your life. Get closer to God, give him your fears.

Remember, you have a choice about how you deal with the wait…either lay back, give in to fear or continue living the life God layed out for you.

Isiah 41:10

So, do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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