Inside Out

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The other day I had a checkup at the doctor. It was a new, to me, doctor, and I hadn’t been to a doctor since 2018. 

I am not a person who does well with germs or the doctor/sickness. I get bad anxiety from these things. We are talking I nearly didn’t go to the ER after I broke my ankle because I can’t stand the idea of coming into contact with sick people or seeing people who have gotten into a bloody accident. 

On this day that I went to go see my doctor, I had to get my blood drawn in the morning so I could talk with my doctor and make sure all my levels looked good (it’s a good idea to get your blood checked if you are vegan to make sure you don’t have a deficiency, especially in B12). 

By the time I got to the doctor, I had already felt like I had been poked and thrown into this world of germs. I knew for sure the people I was talking to would’ve been seeing people all day long. That’s a lot of germs. 

Of course there was a protocol for how things are done and it was safe, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared. 

Maybe scared is the wrong word and anxious/nervous would better to describe what I was feeling. 

Anyway, I get into the room where my doctor will see me and my nurse takes my blood pressure. It is high. Like I’ve never worked out a day in my life and have eaten McDonald’s three meals a day for twenty years high. My pulse was also at a rate that I normally reach after I have gone on a fast-paced walk. 

I could feel my heart. I was so anxious that my skin was red and the nurse actually told me something along the lines of “woah you’ve seen sun” because I looked sunburned. 

My palms were sweating. I felt uncomfortable. And yet, this was not a foreign concept to feel like this for me. 

Maybe it sounds dramatic to you, but when you are someone who experiences anxiety it really can get so intense and the things your body will do is wild. 

My doctor asked me why I was nervous and I said because I was at the doctor and she simply did not understand that concept at all. 

After my appointment I started to calm down but it really was evident that my adrenaline had been pumping. 

I called my grandma later that day to talk about my experience and how my blood pressure was high. She knows what it’s like to feel anxious at the doctor, so she understood my experience. She replied with something like “but you are always so calm. I can’t imagine you freaking out.”

This got me thinking. There are a lot of times in my life where I feel that I can fake confidence. I can fake feeling in control and like I know what I’m doing in many situations. At the doctor I can’t do this though because they look inside. They see past my skin. 

A page from a book.

This picture is from a book (The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy) that a lovely woman, whom I admire, let me read. The whole book is full of food for thought. It makes you think about your life and what is really important. 

This particular quote made me think of this situation I went through. It also made me think about life in general. 

You truly never know what someone is thinking or feeling. Someone can look calm, cool, and collected, but on the inside is freaking out. You could judge someone for having tattoos and piercings, but what matters is their personality. 

People judge based on looks without even considering that the person they are judging has feelings. 

So to my grandma I play it cool and I stay calm, and maybe other people see me that way too. 

A lot of times I am actually overthinking every interaction I am in and question myself. 

My outsides may look like a calm sea but where everything is happening on the inside I am a tumultuous sea with dark, deep water. 

Just a friendly reminder to check in with people. 

Don’t assume people are doing good, feel calm, or know what they are doing because they appear that way to you. 

You can’t see inside their mind. 

You don’t know how they are feeling. 

Are there days that would’ve been improved for you if someone simply checked in?

Until next time,

-H

Published by Hannah Opp

My name is Hannah and I am a certified integrative nutrition health coach. I love nature, animals, and going on adventures.

2 thoughts on “Inside Out

  1. This was a particularly powerful post. Great wisdom for everyone to consider.

  2. Great post! ‘Love the book that you referred to! My answer to your last question is “absolutely”! It is important to stay connected.

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