Last week, I asked in my Instagram Story if you all wanted me to do a Q&A. Majority of you said yes and some of you sent me your questions. I was asked a lot of good questions! For instance, I was asked about when to go to therapy, blogging, Chicago, and kids. I divided the Q&A into two posts. This is the first of the set. In this post I’m going over when to go to therapy, my anxiety, and kids. A lot of these questions were about serious topics, and I wanted to be able to answer them as best I can.
Q&A: Answering About When To Go To Therapy, Dealing With Anxiety, and Kids
How do you balance blogging and work when you feel poorly or ill?
Nowadays, I think balance is a funny word because the truth is that there is no such thing as balance. Every day is different, and things will pop up that will throw off your schedule. What has helped me is prioritizing and being okay that some things can’t be done – this is the really hard part. I hate not being able to do EVERYTHING I wanted to get done.
My priority is my health. So if I’m ill, I know I have to take care of myself. Your health and life is something we should not take lightly. Life and time are precious. The moment I was diagnosed with cancer, I was open about my illness. And I think having that open communication with my (previous) employer helped a lot.
My (previous) job understood when I had to step away or take time off. Unfortunately, my job’s work load was a lot to handle that I had to make the executive decision to resign. At the end of the day, I had to be realistic with my condition and put my health first. I no longer function the way I did before cancer.
As for blogging, it is something that I am passionate about and do for fun. So I try not stress about it. This is my space, and I like to come to it for enjoyment and not an added stress. I also try not to overcommit with partnerships. If I’m too sick to work on the blog, that is totally okay. I am fortunate if I monetize it, but I don’t want to rely on my blog’s income. I’m okay if I make nothing out of it.
I guess long story short, there is no such thing as balance. I had to prioritize. If I feel really ill, I take a step back and do what I can to get better.
What are your daily motivation factors?
The fact that I am living is motivation in and of itself. Living and aging are a privilege. Even if I’m going through a tough time, I know it is not the end of the world. In my mind, I am constantly thinking about those who are less fortunate than I am, and there are many who still think their life is amazing. So from my perspective, why should I think any less of my own life?
How did you get to a point where you felt comfortable going to a psychologist/therapist?
The most important thing to note about when to go to therapy is that you don’t need to have something wrong in your life to go see a therapist or psychologist. Kathleen from Carrie Bradshaw Lied wrote a post on this topic. Sometimes we all just need someone to talk to. Here is my approach: If you thought about therapy, I think you should go. When it comes to health (physical or mental) it is best to be proactive instead of waiting until it all goes wrong. Why suffer?
I’m not quite sure if there was a specific time in my life I realized I’m ready for therapy. I’ve always been an anxious person and socially awkward (Hence, why blogging is my outlet).
Every time I see my oncologist she always asked me how I’m doing and my goals. She really puts in the effort to make sure I have a healthy life, and everything she recommended has helped me. So when she told me it was a good idea to see an onco-psychologist aka psycho-oncologist (trained psychologist specially for cancer patients), I did it. She noticed after my mastectomy I had been more anxious than usual. I’m glad I went because it really helps. It’s not perfect, but every time I leave I walk away with clarity.
Sometimes Tre comes with me to my sessions. And I can’t recommend enough how important it is as a couple to go together. He didn’t sign up to see my psycho-oncologist (he sees a therapist) but we both agreed that it has helped us get a perspective we would not normally see if we tried to manage everything on our own. He is able to fully understand my anxiety. Likewise, goes for me about Tre. The thing is our health (mental & physical) affects our significant other as well.
What is causing your anxiety?
Many have assumed I have become more anxious because of cancer, but it is not the only reason why. Cancer is part of it. This is not an easy question to answer because there is not one thing that causes me to have anxiety. I’ve always been an anxious person. However, back then (when I was younger), I didn’t know that what I was feeling or going through was anxiety. Sometimes, I don’t even know what is causing me to be anxious. Below, I will share some things I know for sure that increases my anxiety.
Some Of My Anxiety
I mostly get anxious when I have that feeling of incompleteness. I agonize if I can’t get everything done that I wanted to finish in a day. To me, it’s like a dark cloud hovering over me until everything is complete.
I also get very anxious in small group get togethers. I prefer one-on-ones. Sometimes it depends with who, like if it is with my family, I am totally fine. Friends? Ehh it depends. It’s funny because when it comes to public speaking, I am comfortable speaking to a large group of people like hundreds or thousands. But if it’s like 20, 30 people in a room, I am in total panic mode.
So there ya go. That’s just a few things I get anxious about.
What is one thing you cannot live without?
Tre and my family (that includes my in-laws too). Honestly, as long as I have them, everything else is replaceable. The people you love and who love you are irreplaceable. The thought of losing the ones I love really hurts and it always brings me to tears to think about it.
How did you turn your passion for fashion and blogging into reality?
I just did it! Blogging was actually my husband’s idea but I’ve always loved reading blogs. When I started, I had no expectations but to share what I love or obsessed with. Hence why I came up with the blog name RD’s Obsessions. When it comes to passion, I strongly believe you should just do it. The best reward you can get from starting is that you are doing something you enjoy.
I’ve also had a passion for running a business. And when the blogging world started to monetize, I decided to practice my entrepreneurial skills. I come from an actuarial science, finance, and analytics background and it was the perfect marriage of combining my passion and skills.
The thing about blogging is you have to start because you love it not because of money. There are months when I receive no monetary compensation at all, but it has never stopped me from blogging. Everything I share here is something I am excited to share and talk about.
I’m assuming this question wants to know if I have kids or want kids or when I want to have kids? I’ll try to answer this the best I can. Warning, this might be a long explanation. First off, no we don’t have kids. But we definitely would love to have kids. We’ve been talking about having a family together before we were engaged! I get so excited thinking about our future half-Asian babies!
Which I’m sure leads to when? Our original plan was to wait a little after our wedding. We wanted to be a little selfish and enjoy just the two of us. But we were also not opposed to having kids earlier than expected. My family has a history of having difficulties having kids. So to me, any time we can have kids is just a blessing itself. I think about 6 months after our wedding, we decided to give it a try and see where it would take us. Of course, a couple weeks later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And that changed everything.
The Scariest Decision I Thought I Had to Make
Actually one of the scariest moments was when my medical team was waiting for my period before further testing could be done regarding my cancer. It didn’t come when it was supposed to and we were waiting and waiting. My oncologist suggested I could be pregnant and both Tre & I knew it was a possibility. They told me that I had to be prepared to make some difficult decisions if the pregnancy test came out positive.
I think that was so scary. It went from trying to save me to who should I save. Thinking about that exact moment as I type it out is making me so emotional. I never EVER want anyone to feel the way I felt about this situation. And I hope I never have to make this decision.
Thankfully, the pregnancy test ended up negative. We ended up going through the fertility preservation prior to starting chemo, and ended up with 8 embryos.
I’m honestly struggling to figure out when to have kids. I realized that no one is really ready to have kids until they have one of their own. But the cancer thing changes everything. I have to really feel sure when I’m ready because there is no turning back. When we will try to have a baby, I have to get off cancer treatments. Meaning there is nothing trying to fight out the cancer that could be rogue in my body. Meaning, it might give the cancer an opportunity to arise. And then what when that happens?
If that happens, I have to be ready to handle whatever that might be and be okay that some things are out of my control. That is scary. My mind has some crazy made-up vision of the future of Tre being a single parent and that hurts a lot to think about. Really really hurts.
The cancer thing also makes me question if I’m sure Tre and I did everything we want. Were we selfish enough that we will not regret wishing we did certain things before having kids? Honestly, I ENVY anyone who can make a decision to have a baby and see where it goes. No one is ever really ready, but having your health in question makes the decision even harder.
I know there are different options to grow a family. So I guess in the end, we’ll see what we decide. We just know we want to have kids.
Ending This Q&A
I hope this answers your questions about when to go to therapy, my anxiety, and in general about having kids. Hopefully you all enjoyed reading this Q&A. I will be sharing the second set next week.