03/28/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Terror Becomes Trying

Trying to learn the lesson, trying to forget, trying to know the difference between real anxiety and induced discomfort. Terror in one's heart can arise when faced with one's greatest fear.

Tonight, quite by accident, I was in the middle of a movie in which the main character, whose name is LISA, gets cancer and dies a horrible death. This isn't in the description so there is no way I could have known this would unfold and prevented it. The description of THE OTHER MAN was enticing and a bit naughty and the thrill of seeing Antonio Banderas in pursuit was too much to resist.

After I swallowed the pills I knew would bring comfort within a short amount of time, 1 Buspar and 1 Ativan, I found myself on the john and hearing the voices of so many people who have said with various wording, "I know you will kick this." Or survive this. Or get beyond this. Or heal and get well. People who believe I am strong and therefore won't be toppled by the trauma of chemo or the terror of night fears.

My therapist who has had personal experience dealing with health issues that topple most others said,

"Once I got past my mourning and past my anger, I crawled into my being and my illnesses. I have a relationship with my illnesses. I understand terms it poses. I don't like it every day but my illness and I negotiate this out, on a daily basis. That's what you will need to go for and that's a matter of going inside yourself and really learning to trust your imagination, trust your own instinct and pay attention to all kinds of stuff that you may not be aware of yet but your starting to become more in tune but that's what an illness will teach if you choose it. With where your body/mind is, your emotions are. Teaches us a lot if we're willing to learn."

I am willing to learn, especially when scared out of my wits. Which is still often enough at this stage when I'm the astronaut suited up and waiting for blast off, waiting to experience real G-forces for the first time and not synthesized learning NASA induced G-forces.

I also realized when trying to remember a thought I just thought to include, but which has escaped me, that I should breathe deeply to relax and let the thought return. With that realization, I am aware that I haven't been aware of my breathing for hours. That I got wrapped up in my drama with someone else earlier. Then I was forcing myself to finish some work when I really wanted to rest, then I was watching a movie that was starting to scare me but I didn't escape out into entertaining myself with another form before bed. The answer isn't to give myself carte blanche to rest instead of work, but to be more aware of what my body's true needs are in every moment. In every moment, deep conscious breathing will serve me better than shallow unconscious patterns that deliver survival rather than thriving.

Not only did I write the truth of what was disturbing me in my online diary, I was then able to write something here in my 500 Words for 500 Days For Redemption that is a lesson for me to remember another day, and something that someone somewhere else might also find comforting. This is my process. I'm glad I used it this morning.