A lot of people battling c-diff experience a lot of anxiety. Here’s how I fought (and continue to fight) through it:
I think the first step is just acknowledging the anxiety and the fact that it’s perfectly normal. In fact, your brain is doing exactly what it’s hard wired to do. The problem is you don’t actually need it to. The upside is you can rewire your brain so you don’t have that anxiety. Notice-Shift-Rewire is a simple strategy to start that process.
What also helped me was Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor’s research and the 90 second rule. You’ve been through something traumatic, so it’s natural to feel worried or scared. Most of us experience that. Recovery is physical, mental, emotional. The best any of us can do physically is support our body’s recovery by following medical and nutritional advice. Be careful with our bodies, with what we put in them, with what we try to push them to do. The mental and emotional are very closely linked. How you think affects how you feel. Think positive thoughts. Read positive things (and not negative). Surround yourself with positive people, people who believe in your full recovery. For emotional, remember that emotions really only last 90 seconds. Seriously. It’s science. Everything after that, is basically you stuck in your own head about it. So when you find yourself feeling a negative emotion, that’s ok. It’s natural. Give yourself 90 seconds to feel it and then let it flow through and out of your body. Stop your brain from making it last longer, get out of the emotional loop. I personally do that by practicing gratitude. Once for example, something happened that triggered a fear response in me: the c-diff is back, I’ll never be healthy again, etc etc. I had a complete breakdown right in the middle of the public street. I just sobbed and sobbed. For about ninety seconds. And then, I got up, looked around and forced myself to choose 3 things I’m grateful for, and I focused on those three things until I felt better. I had another emotional response later that same day. Sat down on the bathroom floor and cried it out. Then did it again: 3 things I’m grateful for. Break the feedback loop, get out of my own head, focus on those things. I know it sounds kinda lame. But it’s based in neuroscience, on how our brains work. I practice gratitude every morning and every evening: at least three things I’m grateful for. Force myself to do it. It has improved my mindset, my emotional and mental health. The longer I’m healthy, the better it gets. Less fear, anxiety.
Another thing that helped me is meditation. So if I just can’t break the feedback loop myself, I go to a meditation app. I have both the Calm app and the Buddhify app. Buddhify is free. Even a quick meditation (3-5 minutes) can help break that loop.
Other C-diff posts are here.