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Is everything OK?"

An article by: Asa Floyd
Published: January 30th, 2022

“Is Everything Okay?”

Today, like every other day, my morning ritual is to get out of bed immediately after I hear my alarm go off. It is something I have learned to do over the past few months. The reason for this is because if I do not do this simple task, my day will be negatively impacted. Staying in bed with my early morning thoughts. “I am tired.” What’s going to happen bad today?” Is everything okay?”

The reason I have highlighted “Is everything okay?”, is because that has been a question I have been asking myself since December 12, 2013. That day I came home from the gym and learned my aunt was hospitalized. My heart sank to my knees. I learned that she had been having headaches, memory loss and had been confused for the last few weeks. I was very worried but was optimistic that she would be okay. She was the strong, beautiful aunt that I had always been extremely close to. Spending time with her, my Uncle Manny and Lola many times a week, vacationing with them, and sharing many laughs and smiles along the way. She was diagnosed with brain cancer, Glioblastoma, which has a 22% survival rate.

The strength I saw her have during her yearlong fight, even though she was nowhere near her normal self, gives me the strength to do any task today. When she passed on November 3, 2014 I was numb. I was terrified of the future -which has been extremely hard to

overcome. I would say I struggle with this at times, as I still ask my parents almost every day, ”Is everything okay?” This was an extremely hard time in my life where I spent most of my time in my room worrying.

Just as I was starting to overcome my worries, I was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. My anxiety was only getting worse, asking myself and worrying myself every day, thinking it will come back, and even worse this time. The one moment during my fight with cancer that struck me and brought me the worst pain was when being told by the doctor that I had a cancerous tumor and needed surgery immediately. But that was not the reason it caused me so much heartache. I was In the appointment with my Dad, I immediately saw the stress in his eyes as a parent. Almost immediately after my mom rushed through the door having left work because one appointment had turned into 4 that day, it was extremely nerve wracking. As soon as she ran through the door, my parents locked eyes and my dad said - “It’s not what we thought it was.” My mother began to express extreme worry after being told the news. Tears flooded her face, which put the biggest hole possible in my heart. I honestly didn’t spend every day during my recovery worrying about if I would be okay, I spent everyday worrying about if my family and friends would be okay. This has been and still is often a worry of mine.

Starting this organization with Brady has been something I have been extremely passionate about, as helping others has always been my first priority, often even before myself. When I am down, I strictly tell only my parents, however, I found myself even keeping it from them sometimes. This organization for me is driven by the last 8 years of my life. Many moments have been a mental struggle with fear of death - loved ones dying and being diagnosed with cancer. Last spring was also extremely hard for me. I would stay to myself in my room in my bed whenever I could at school, doing the bare minimum and being a ball (no pun intended) of worry for weeks on end. Knowing I could not live like this, I saw a psychologist and it began to get better, slowly, however it still felt like too much for me to

handle. With a few weeks left in the semester, I took a break from baseball and school to attack this problem. My parents and family supported me , I got more help and began to slowly feel better. Taking a break from all the stressors was necessary and absolutely what started my recovery.

The past few months have been the best of my life because I learned about my strong voice and a perspective that I will never let go. I learned in the spring to let myself feel. I learned there is nothing wrong with this, but do not let it dictate you, feel how you feel for a bit, then get up and go attack your goals-and get yourself and your mind busy (after attacking the problem head on). I have found motivation with believing in myself in all aspects of my life. I truly do believe in myself, and if a moment of doubt enters my mind - I let out some energy and…..listen to a voice inside of me telling me I am ok. A voice that I strongly believe is my guardian angel.

I want to close by saying this part of my life isn’t something that I ever thought I would be sharing to anyone but my parents and family/close friends, however mental health is a topic that just does not get enough attention. Brady Johnson and I want to change this and it’s stigma. To make people realize it is okay to not be okay. It is actually very common. By leaning on others, we can grow and learn from each other ways to find strength and to find help if we need it. Please know - You are not alone, there are 7.753 billion people in the world and everyone deals with something at some point in their life. And whether it is occasional or extreme, we want people to know you are not alone.

Asa R Floyd

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