Tag Archives: attitude

Fight or Flight?

Fight or flight is a real thing. When it comes down to it, I like to think that when it matters, I stay and I fight. I fight for my family, I fight for friends, I fight in situations when I have to be level headed, I fight to get things done.

However, I would be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes I choose flight. Mostly I choose flight when it comes to things that seemingly only concern and affect me. It must be the same for many, if not all of us, as members of this imperfect human race. I can’t help but think as I consider upcoming days and events that I’m already feeling the anxiety, the panic and wonder if this time I will lean towards flight.

I feel as though sometimes life is like a speedway. I remember the first race I went to. An hour drive out of state, a chilly night spent sitting on cold seats with the chill seeping through my clothes, and so much noise! You could barely hear yourself think let alone speak, and it was absolutely exhilarating! Fast cars, dust, and a boisterous crowd all focused on the speed and continuously steering to the left. It sounds funny now that I think about it but I could definitely see why people liked to come and feed off the energy and just have a good time. The only change now is that I’m thinking of those races differently. I’m picturing myself starring in this nightmare of a scene, pulled from the benches and forced into a car and told to just go. No training, no warning that this was going to happen, no nothing. And boom. There I am in the driver’s seat forced to make the drive, bearing left and left and left and left… at stomach-churning high speeds. Trying to control myself, trying to not hit others, trying to get out of this alive.

Certainly a lot of things in life are consequences – good and bad – of our actions, and we know some outcomes as we go into the decisions. Other things are thrown at us and we’ve had to wing it and just fight to survive the speed. The crowd on the side can watch and cheer or call for our downfall, but regardless of the spectators, this is something you have to experience firsthand. And while sitting on the sidelines has a certain kind of rush, it’s nothing compared to the combined fear and euphoria of our own personal races on the track. Nothing will compare to your feelings as you sit in that driver’s seat fighting and wondering how to best survive the situation. Wondering when will the race end, what had you done to deserve this, when will you be safe, where was the “opt out” button, hoping that you won’t spin out, and hoping that the occasional jaws-of-life scenes you saw as a spectator wouldn’t apply to you.

Sitting here, chewing my nails, worrying about certain things in my future, I start to the feel the flight urge. Sometimes, you’re forced into the driver’s seat with no warning. Other times, you will inexplicably know it’s coming, especially if it’s happened to you before. So I sit here and contemplate whether to tap into my bank account and book a flight somewhere I’ve never been. No ties, no associations; a nameless stranger on unfamiliar paths. I’ll be choosing my own consequences, I think to myself. I’ll spare myself this part of the anxiety. I get the chance to walk away. “Unscathed” is the word I think of, but I know whatever I decide, there are always consequences. I can’t sit here and write that in this case, I’ve chosen one of the other. I can’t piously allude to not choosing flight. But I also can’t rule out my chances for the fight. In some ways I guess that’s what the phrase means anyway. When it comes down to the moment, will it be fight or will it be flight?

As for this idea that I mostly fight when it concerns the welfare of others, maybe I should start fighting for myself too.

Photo by John Westrock

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Gray Area, Singular

I don’t know how to start this but perhaps I should start by setting minds at ease. No, I don’t have cancer or other lesser known incurable illnesses, and yes, there’s something I can still do about it.

I had a doctor’s appointment today and beforehand I was super worked up and this time not the general “I hate doctor’s and doctor’s offices” kind of anxiety. I had been feeling off for a while now and suspected that I could possibly have diabetes and today that was confirmed. Well… sort of. My doctor called it a “gray area” because some doctors say that at this point a patient would definitely be diabetic, while other doctors — including mine — say that we are not quiiiteee diabetic but are “pre-diabetic.”*

Let me back it up a little bit. As a Pacific Islander, my risk of diabetes is higher, and I have a history of diabetes in my family. (Needless to say, I always hate when people who are about to chow down on something too sugary/unhealthy joke that they are having diabetes for dessert.) Today, we took an initial first test and while that got whisked off, my doctor and I were having our usual chat/check-up when another lady pops her head in and tells my doctor a number. We stopped talking about whatever it was we were talking about and my doctor says that I am “pre-diabetic.” There’s not much that I know about these things so I’m confused about the numbers at first, but those words put it into perspective.

It’s like they say, it’s one thing to know and another to hear it said out loud. This doesn’t change your life in any way, but it does mine. Using numbers, I can tell you that I am .2%* away from the official diagnoses for diabetes. Using words, my doctor said that I need to “Act like I’m diabetic. Eat like I’m diabetic, exercise like I’m diabetic, live like I’m diabetic.”

That’s for sure going to be hard. And so far, this post is the first that I’ve said about any of this, other than to my family. I’m not super psyched about being so public about it, but I wanted to make this an opportunity to make it known in some capacity so I would feel even more accountable to good behavior on my part and really living life like I am diabetic. Someone very close to me said that at one point they were told that they were “pre-diabetic” and that they were in denial about it for so long because they “didn’t want to have diabetes” and never did anything about it and now their numbers are off the charts. So far, I’m doing okay. The nurse brought in the diabetes kit and my doctor sent it away so I didn’t come home with one today. What this means for me though is a change of lifestyle and for sure, a kick in the behind.

Not coming home with a kit almost felt really great. It means that they’re not seeing proteins where there shouldn’t be proteins or any damage to any organs in my body. I said it “almost” felt really great because there’s still a lot I have to do on my end to really feel great about not having the kit. I’ve been prescribed diabetes school (which I didn’t realize existed) and sent home with lots of handouts on measures I need to be taking to make sure I don’t have to come home with that kit.

I’ve already starting making some of those changes this very evening and made this post to acknowledge and put to words what perhaps my mind can’t/won’t comprehend. Life changes are good sometimes and changing my lifestyle to combat diabetes is one of them if I make sure to stick to it.

This is as far as the gray area goes. What I do to make sure I’m in the clear is now black or white.

Thanks to those of you still reading my blog and keeping up with my sporadic posts. For those that know me and that read my blog, sorry I won’t necessarily get the chance to chat with each of you personally about this (or any other post for that matter) and I appreciate your discretion and sensitivity to the fact that I might not want to talk about these things in person/all the time.

*terms and stats are as accurate as they were described to me by my healthcare provider.


Love, Man

{I will post the funnier side of the doctor’s appointment at some point so we (and by we I mean I) are not so bogged down by heavier matters.}

Grateful

Sometimes I think people are too harsh on gratitude. They look for the big things to be grateful for and often miss the small things—and often times the most precious things—to be grateful for.

Of course, I’m guilty too, but I’m working on it.

Hallelujah! By some miraculous feat, your taxes got done! Huzzah, Kumbaya for you! Let’s be grateful.

But did you remember to be grateful for the soft wind that is slowly, but surely blowing the last of winter away?

Do you think anything of a child’s laugh? What’s a world without innocent, nonjudgmental laughter and mirth?

All I’m saying is look up, look around. There are so many things to be grateful for, even if all the big things are going wrong.

In fact, wouldn’t we want to value all the little things even more?

Credit to Humans of New York
“For the longest time, I was so focused on being deaf in my left ear, that I almost forgot my other ear was perfectly fine.”