Everything looks frightening under the microscope


Some days I feel like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Nervous and unsure where to go next. This happens when I start missing the forest for the trees. There’s a saying in pathology: “everything looks scary under high magnification.” Meaning I could be looking at healthy lung tissue, but at high magnification the larger picture gets obscured and I focus too much on small details. The small details then skew my perception of reality and I start seeing disease in normal tissue.

Overreaction to details in recovery can be deadly. When I lose sight of the bigger picture, I lose confidence. I forget the peace of mind that comes with relying on my Higher Power. As soon as I get lost in those little particulars and then I’m overwhelmed.

One thing things I’ve learned at Riverbank is how to take a second and breathe. Meditation teaches you that breathing is one things you can always control in life, and it centers me. Remembering to breathe in crucial moments of stress can prevent a hectic day from becoming a downward spiral. That’s how this pathologist sees it, anyway.

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