If by chance you are unfortunate to be home bound or indulge in watching day time television, you will nauseous from advertisements from competing providers of funeral insurance and ironically life insurance. To avoid being caught unprotected and without sufficient financial support for your grieving family, you will be encouraged to consider your loved ones, and buy a policy. In some cases 10% of the premium will be reimbursed after holding the policy for 12 months. None offer the option to buy more time, the one commodity that is the most precious.
There are those of us that buy insurance. We attempt to cover ourselves for potential loss of our health, car, boat and/or our home and its contents. We insure our pets. We buy travel insurance. We are those that don’t simply leave it to chance. Then there are, other kind of people, that don’t. They are those that either scoff at the concept or simply can’t afford the expense.
There is however a type of health insurance that costs nothing but your determination and commitment to change. It requires you to ‘get real’ and undertake an analysis of how and why you think the way that you do, decide whether this circuit of thought is productive and conducive to your health and well being. You may decide to adopt a new code of practice. You may prefer to undergo a re-wire, a tune up or a complete re-build.
This mental health service for me, has required the cleaning of my battery terminals which are clogged with stubborn residual of ‘criticism, anger and shame’, the Holy Trinity of childhood grief. It has required a new language which I have adopted to assist to divide that which supports and nurtures me, and that which does not. This includes ceasing the invitation of thoughts that spiral downward and strangle my self love, confidence and self worth.
I have been practising the power of ‘no’ and the art of gentle but firm assertion. I have been tested in numerous ways, which would have seen me previously surrendering my will to avoid disappointing another person. My polite English upbringing has not served me well in this regard. I have learned that my health must come first, that I must come first and that this is not the act of selfishness. I have learned to switch off the chorus of ‘you should…blah, blah, blah’.
I now use the word ‘prefer’. A small word that says this is my choice, that out of a sea of options, I choose this one. I have been applying the ‘prefer manta’. I prefer to surround myself with others that reciprocate with energy. I prefer not to invest my time, intellect and energy into other people who draw upon my knowledge, compassion and good will to serve themselves alone. I prefer to focus on my health and well being, before that of others.
I have a way to go but these tentative steps are keeping invasive non-productive thoughts at bay. Managing the fear of reoccurrence and the fear of damage created in undertaking the cancer treatments of chemotherapy and radiation, requires specific cognitive behavioural therapy strategies. The knock of fear is ever present and urgent. I prefer to focus my thoughts on that which supports my health and well being and brings peace to my soul. Repeat again. You get the message.