Bumpy roads.

I’m sitting right now on a plane, on a bumpy road, trying to control my nerves. We’re apparently flying over some weather related bumpiness, the pilot explains, which should calm down soon. I’ve never really been a fan of flying. I’m not quite to the point of needing Xanax, but I have a cocktail or two and listen to music (listening to Foreign Exchange, “Better”, at the moment to keep me easy) to distract me. Not sure if it’s working. So, opened up Microsoft Word and started writing.

This weekend, we attended the No Fear Ladies’ Conference in Oklahoma City, OK, my first time, and we had a great time. My college friend and sorority sister, Wyjuana Montgomery, did a wonderful job for her 2nd year as the leader and hostess of this empowering event. I met Bernnadette Stanis, better known as “Thelma” from Good Times, and many other wonderful, enthusiastic women who were ready to make their next move in life or in their career. We talked about a variety of topics, but most of all, we discussed fear.

Wyjuana, a speaker/preacher (yes, I’m claiming it) in her own right wrapped up the day’s event by asking us the question, “Are you a grape or are you wine?” How deep this was! What she meant was, were you content with staying where you are currently, risking being stagnant, or were you ready to be picked and possibly stomped, all in an effort to be fermented and perfected, and then made into a finer product? It made me think about the times I’m most afraid…..like now on a turbulent plane ride.

Anxiety can affect us in a variety of ways, and cause a variety of physical symptoms. Some of us feel palpitations, sweaty palms, headaches, insomnia, jumpiness in our legs, numbness/tingling, or chest pain. Sometimes, we can use deep breathing techniques and prayer to help calm ourselves. Sometimes, seeking professional help and talking to your doctor or therapist is the way to go. Medications, when necessary, are helpful, in combination with behavioral changes. Get the help when you need it.

But for me, right now, while I’m on this plane, I’m going to see the metaphor in this for life. Even though at times life may be bumpy, we have to remain positive, flexible and open to change. So, I’m going to breathe easy, sit back, say a prayer (and maybe have a cocktail) and enjoy the ride. Onward and upward, y’all!


Dr. Swiner

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