Stress. I have lots of it. I have a gorgeous teen daughter who looks like she’s twenty, a self proclaimed hippie twenty-two year old daughter who tends to live on people’s couches all over the world (or share a condo with 5 others she’s never met while working a seasonal job in a city she’s never visited), and a job that I am on disability leave from due to my fibro body telling me its had enough. The funny thing is, none of my stress is coming from these things.
Okay, so it’s a little stressful that adult men look at my 14 year old, but she thinks it’s creepy, and I’m grateful for that. And maybe I would be worried about my nomadic daughter if it wasn’t for the fact that I know I did my best to impart any wisdom I may have had to give her, and she’s choosing to be happy. Who am I to tell her to stop? I’m also not worried about my job. It will either be there when I am better, or it won’t. That is if I get better. And that’s where the real stress comes from.
As a divorced woman somewhere a bit over 40 (I always forget the exact number), with a child I’m still raising, one that hasn’t completed college, and no college degree of my own, learning that I have an autoimmune condition was not good news. Like many who have dealt with the long process of getting a diagnosis of why you can’t sleep, why you sleep all the time, why you can barely eat but still can’t lose weight, why you have pain for no reason and it’s never the same pain, why you can’t remember anything, can’t focus, and why your body literally changes overnight – I felt like I was going to lose it until the day came that they decided to call it Fibromyalgia. Since then a few more diagnosis have been added: Arthralgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Migraines. Not to mention difficulty absorbing Vitamin D, Iron, Potassium…the list goes on and on.
So what does that mean? It means 3 years of trying different drug therapies, trying pain diversion techniques, seeing tons of specialists, and literally crying myself to sleep sometimes. Yes, this is my stress. How do I work a “normal” job when I can barely roll myself out of the bed some days? How do I make people understand that while I look fine on the outside, my pain level is at a fairly constant 8? This is what I am referring to as what I am “about to lose.” I’m letting go of the need to live up to the expectations of others at my own expense.
This opportunity (which is how I am choosing to look at it) to be on leave and focus on repairing the damage of not listening to what my body needs and what my limitations are, and how I can heal myself without prescription medication, is what I want to share with you in this blog. That may mean ranting about pain one day, sharing a recipe for Paleo chocolate chip cookies the next day, taking a 3 day meditation break, and then telling you how my essential oil therapy is managing my allergies a few days later. Whatever it looks like, I hope that you will come along on the journey. I encourage you to connect with me and share your thoughts and challenges. It can only help us all increase our awareness.