Last night my dad was rushed to emergency, my heart immediately began to race. In new Jazmine fashion, as soon as I hung up with my mom I began to breathe deeply. Why? Because while I call myself an anxiety survivor, it still shows its ugly face on occasion.

I wrote a blog some time ago on when parents age. I talked about having older parents and what aging looks like today. Last night was a reminder. It was a reminder that with aging, complications in the body may occur. My father is no exception.

When my mom called I was in the middle of cooking dinner for my family. I told her I’d meet her there, but she insisted that I stay home to feed my children and she’d keep me updated. After some back and forth I agreed. I also knew that my older sister was on her way so I felt a bit more at ease.

I began noticing that my heart was still racing. That my stomach had begun to hurt. My hands were also a little shaky. This folks, is what anxiety looks like for me, even today. I’ve learned how to cope better through the gift of therapy, but it doesn’t just disappear.

Last night I had some of my family over for dinner. After everyone left, and the kids went up I emailed my boss to tell her that I wouldn’t be in, then I began to clean my kitchen. Cleaning for me is an outlet. It calms and soothes me. Sounds crazy but it’s definitely true! I find that exerting energy helps to put my body in calm down mode.

When I was done washing dishes (because I’m old school), sweeping the floor, putting away food and bleaching my countertops, I sat in silence. I found my breath, closed my eyes and began to pray. Immediately after I felt better. Through therapy I’ve learned how to manage my response to trauma. To bad news. To difficult interactions. I’ve learned how NOT to clench my jaw and skip meals because my stomach was nauseous and in knots. I’ve learned how to breathe and pray my way through.

This morning my father is still hospitalized, and I’m going to meet my mom there, but I find peace in knowing that he’s in the best place possible! That he’s receiving the best care, and not just because I work for the organization.

When times get rough, always remember to find your breath and just breathe. Allowing yourself to succumb to the stress of a situation you can’t control is detrimental and will not change the outcome.

Until next time…🦋

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