Reading this article in the Psychology Today blog got me thinking. I’ve had several instances in my life when I was struck down by my body and usually I can figure out what is going on. I’m a very introspective person, so I tend to look inward when situations occur to try to figure what the cause may be.
When I was about 24 I started having a lot of stomach issues. I went to the doctor and he ran several tests but couldn’t find anything. I couldn’t eat anything except crackers without my stomach getting upset. I lost about 15lbs over a few months and yet the doctor couldn’t find anything. At one point he asked me if I was stressed and I told him no. I didn’t feel I had anything to be stressed out over. At some point I finally realized that I did. I was bored. I had a job where I did nothing all day, I spent my day surfing the web and getting paid for it. It was getting to me. When I finally realized this and quit my job and returned to a job I enjoyed, my stomach issues cleared up.
About 6 years ago I had someone offer to buy my business. I gave it strong consideration and it really stressed me out. I started having panic attacks and ended up on meds for anxiety and depression before I finally realized what the problem really was. Once I turned down the offer (after finding out it really wasn’t worth accepting anyway), my anxiety issues started to clear up.
Understandably, when I started having stomach issues and strange symptoms in 2008 my first thought was to look at my health and wonder what I could do differently. I started working out more and tried to eat better and work on losing weight. No matter what I did I still kept getting worse. I’d gotten braces and they were giving me headaches. The meds for the headaches had given me ulcers and somewhere in the middle of that my gallbladder went out. The reality was that my attempts to “fix” myself probably made things worse. The working out only increased the strain on my TMJ and neck issues making the headaches and pains worse.
In 2010 new symptoms appeared. Getting a good nights sleep became all but impossible, new aches and pains appeared and for two weeks straight I felt like I had the flu. From then on random fevers, aches and pains became a way of life. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and sent to Physical Therapy that I realized I’d somewhere along the way taken on too much and forgotten how to relax. I was going to school, working, trying to run a girls group and still have time for my husband and household. Since I’ve been in PT I’ve been working on learning to de-stress and relax, stretching techniques and adding daily walking back into my routine.
I haven’t gotten there yet, my anxiety level is still high and so is my stress but I’m working on identifying what the problems are and how I can resolve them to make my life easier. It may be that I haven’t yet identified what my body is trying to tell me, but I’m working on it and I will continue to listen until I figure it out. It may just be that my body was saying “slow down” and that’s just what I’m doing. I tend to take on a lot of responsibility and have a hard time saying no to something someone asks me to do. I’m learning to say no, to stay home when I don’t feel like going out and to do what’s best for me and my body and my household before worrying about anyone else. I’ll get there.
Related articles across the web