Thursday, August 1, 2013

Seeking the balance.

Stress. It's a word that has been floating around all of my adult life. I remember when it started being blamed for physical symptoms somewhere in my young adulthood, and hearing people who were my age now at the time, poo-pooing it as a wimpy excuse to get out of working.

I've had stressful times in my life; a divorce, a move to a new state, jobs that went belly-up, financial hardships and usually if I suffered physical symptoms-sleeplesssness, weight loss, etc.- I could assign them to what was going on in my life. A certain amount of stress goes with any successful career and life. It is part of living  and most of the time the symptoms can be directly managed through lifestyle changes. Mind over matter. Usually.

I've had a terrible week this week with some  family upheaval, exacerbated by being in a chronic state of grief. But this is what is weird. Outwardly I do not feel anxious or stressful, and I'm not aware that I appear to look as if I am. 

And yet over the last week or so, I developed all these scaly,  itchy  little rashes on my legs and neck. Convinced I had skin cancer, (truly), I begged for an appointment with the nurse at the dermatologist's office yesterday. She examined them and then proceeded to ask me if I had been under any stress lately. Um....why yes I have. My husband died in front of my eyes six weeks ago, suddenly and unexpectedly. (I feel like I'm pulling out an assault rifle, when all they are expecting is a BB gun).  Apparently I have something called Lichens, which is basically eczema on crack; it is brought on by stress. She injected the spots with steroids. Skin issues totally unrelated to anything environmental.

Today I was CERTAIN I had a urinary infection. Unmistakeable signs. Went to Urgent Care-nope....again...the doctor asked me if I had been under stress lately. Apparently the frequent urge to urinate is a sign of stress. 

What this proves to me is the absolute power of our minds and emotions over our physical being. Even though I don't feel consciously anxious or stressed, my body is responding to the violent assault it has been under emotionally. And although I KNOW :) it is not the late night snacking that has caused me to GAIN weight when I'm supposed to be losing it, I really do think there is a piece of my metabolism that has shut down in protection. That's my 10 pound excuse anyway, and I'm sticking to it. 

The VERY good news is this. Our brains and our minds and our emotions are ALWAYS seeking balance.  My inner-self and my emotions, being inherently healthy, will find that balance and acceptance and well-being, in time. I will be okay. It is like having a really deep cut..it will heal from the inside out, and eventually, although there will be a scar, it will be healthy skin again.

What an amazing thing it is to be human. Such a gift this life is. Even when it is out of balance.