I posted earlier about my somewhat miraculous healing (or what I believed to be) since being off alcohol. How I ended up NOT breaking my nose after I did the face plant on the concrete walking my dogs, how my kidney stone started traveling after lying dormant for 5 years, how just generally my muscles recovering faster after exercise.
Earlier this month I went in for a dexascan and when I had my first one, 2 years ago, it showed I have osteopenia (which is the level just below osteoporosis). My doctor suggested adding Vitamin D and calcium supplements (both I did) and exercise. I did not start my exercise program until I got off alcohol. I’ve been doing daily exercises (nearly) 4 months ago today!
I was CONVINCED that my dexascan would show improvement. When I had this scan done, I was around 5 months alcohol free and just shy of 4 months of daily exercise. Well, I got a call from my nurse, she left a message stating it showed osteopenia and that my doctor is recommending Vitamin D and load bearing exercises. I was so disappointed!! And I began to worry. I also started that negative talk, “what’s the freaking point?” This, mind you, came on the heals of my intense craving just the day before!
I am reading Simon Chapple’s How to Quit Alcohol in 50 Days and it is an amazing book. Ironically, the chapter I started reading after getting the news about my scan was about worry. He talked about worry and how alcohol can intensify this emotion. He discussed strategies he used in early days of coming off alcohol to help with worry. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
First of all, he suggested scheduling “worry time”. Telling yourself when a worry presents itself, that it is not the scheduled time, so you’ll deal with it then. I found this so interesting. It’s not putting it off, but literally scheduling a time in the day, when you can think about the worry and deal with it as best you can. That will be your only focus. So when I’m busy living my life, a worry pops up, I just say to myself: “it’s not worry-time, let’s deal with that during the scheduled time”.
Second, he recommended journaling. I’ve already seen how helpful journaling has been. So, that’s exactly what I did. I grabbed my iPad and just started journaling about my worry over the results of the scan. I wrote my fears and how disappointed I was that it still showed osteopenia. Then the words started flowing…I don’t know the exact numbers and won’t know until I actually see my doctor in September. Maybe, compared to my first dexascan, there is improvement. Also, I have been drinking for around 40 years of my life, being off alcohol for 5 months and only exercising consistently 4 months, maybe it’s just going to take some times for my bones to heal and recover. And, lastly, no matter what, I have to consider my family history. My mom has osteoporosis and it is definitely hereditary.
After writing in my journal, learning some tricks and strategies for dealing with worry, I felt so much better! Again, another lesson learned while abstaining from alcohol, but most importantly helping me with self-discovery and growth. I’m learning so much.
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