Under Pressure 

It’s time to make some radical changes. I wake up every morning feeling exhausted and like crap. I know I didn’t get a good nights sleep and I’ve got the Fitbit stats to prove it. Several years ago, my endocrinologist mentioned that I’m probably dealing with some cortisol issues due to my constant stress levels. She said that I need to manage my stress better and it will all work out. 

That worked out…well. 

I’m a little ball of stress, wound pretty tightly. In fact, so tight that my C reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) is off the charts again. Basically it means if I don’t do something, I’m a heart attack or stroke waiting to happen.

You know, like death.

I’ve got 2 choices basically. One, don’t change and wait to die. Two, radical life makeover. While the first option is not the one I want, the second scares the beheezus out of me. I’m used to not doing anything other than treading water. (Obviously, because look where I am) The bottom line is if I let my fears overwhelm me, I’m going to wind up dying. 

Which scares me more.

I need to get my stress levels under control. I fell out of habit with all my great stress relieving tips & tricks (depression will do that to you). I stopped taking the supplements, using the oils, meditating & doing yoga along with all my self care rituals. Part of it comes from that lack of self respect, especially when you are being reminded by “loved ones” just how much you suck. I’ve been mired in depression for a long time, and being told by those closest to you that you’re the worst person ever and having the rug pulled out from under you…well yeah, self care goes out the window. It’s a matter of survival mode then. 

A lot of the time when I’m feeling good about myself, I begin to feel guilty that I’m happy, healthy & whole. It’s as if I don’t deserve it. In reality I do, but I get caught in the hamster wheel of other people’s opinions of me-which is actually them projecting their own unhappiness onto me. I can’t wave a magic wand and make them hate themselves less or have them stop trying to reconnect to their glory days. What I can do is tune out of their bullshit.

I don’t want to die. I have so much more that I want to do with my life and if I don’t change, that won’t be happening. I have to take care of me. I can’t let other people’s opinions or snotty comments prevent me from living. And I mean, choosing life.

My first line of stress defense is exercise. You may not be able to tell I love working out by looking at me, but I do. I love cardio, I love classes and I love lifting weights. All have multiple benefits for me, in terms of health and stress relief. I can’t let a few bitchy comments like who’s with my kid if I’m at the gym (if I go) or how’s that gym membership working out for you (if I don’t). I just have to do it, exhaustion, anxiety & assholes be damned.

The second thing that works for my self care is meditation. I used to be all into it, had an altar next to my bed, everything. Then I stopped. The altar left. I tried to not think about meditating because when I did, it was painful. I began to cry a lot because it was in those quiet moments I realized how much pain & misery was overwhelming my life. There were ugly truths I didn’t want to face. I need to work through them to heal and come out better. I need to quiet my mind and just be.

The third self care piece is yoga. Like with meditation, yoga forces me to face some ugly things that I’d rather not deal with. But again, if I want to live, I have to. My mind/body/soul is so disconnected and disjointed, it’s no wonder I’m a little ball of inflammation & stress.

I have used aromatherapy for over 30 years. It’s been a great tool and has helped me deal with a lot of things. Scent has a great power in calming my mind. There’s a lot of memories that scent can trigger. Some are really painful.  I really should use it, but again facing certain truths is hard.

I’ve also journaled for decades. I stopped when reality became too hard to bear. I struggle with seeing happy couples because I’m jealous. I struggle with seeing moms doing things with their kids, because that won’t ever be me. I can’t convince my kid doing things other than video games are fun. I struggle with hearing people talk about the relationships with their parents and how wonderful it is. I’ve never known that. It got too raw to write, and that is a scary, dark place for me. Seeing how much my life sucked on paper-in black and white-was more than I could bear. But again, if I don’t work through it, I’m not going to heal. 

It’s the same with eating healthy & taking my supplements. I need that to run my body well. When I’m bingeing, I’m just adding more junk to myself and making it harder. It’s a slow painful death, like being stabbed by sporks. It’s another way to hide from the truth. No one wants me or likes me because I’m fat, not because they are controlling Narcissts with their own issues to deal with. It’s easier to deal with the fat story than the truth. It’s also easier to be fat and unhealthy because there’s a sense of identity in it. I have built in excuses because of x issue. I can’t do things because I’m sick. I can hide from the anxiety, depression and the truth with illness and fat. 

If I don’t face my fears, I’ll be facing certain death. It’s that simple. Deal or die. 

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