Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within

The Power of Stress

14 Comments


stressI’m back!!!  It feels like forever since I did my last post.  I’m sorry I was gone for so long but life was weighing me down a bit and I needed to focus, well I tried to focus anyway.

In a couple of past posts I mentioned my health was not that great and I’ve also talked about how stress can make you sick.  Well, I’ve been finding out lately that I totally underestimated the power stress has over the human body.  Unfortunately it looks like it has taken me three years, five neurologists, and roughly $25,ooo.oo to be told that my divorce has possibly made me sick.

This isn’t a topic I’m thrilled about and I’m even embarrassed to speak about it, but I feel it is extremely important that reader’s know how crucial it is to seek help even if you don’t think you are suffering from emotional stress.  Anyone who has been through a trauma, be it physical, emotional, or mental is at some point going to suffer some ill effects.

I don’t want to whine or bore you with the details so I’ll just give you the short version.  The last three years I’ve been dealing with constant pain, and I’ve been tested for everything including MS.  The good news (I like to pick out the positive) that we found some  minor things that I will need to follow with easy remedies like taking a baby aspirin every day.  I’ve sampled a buffet of meds along the way and we finally found one that took the pain level from a 7 down to a 4, which is awesome! but I was still looking for a concrete answer.  My final and next step was to seek out information on a chronic pain treatment program.  I was pretty upset knowing that we would never find the cause of the pain but if we could somehow treat it or eliminate it that would be the answer to my prayers. So off to the consult I went.

After telling my life story AGAIN in an exam room the doc very gently scooted his stool over and said “I’m gonna tell you some things you don’t want to hear”.   First, he said the amount of wine I was relaxing with every night is excessive for women, (why is it different for women than men??) and that it can make the nerve pain worse.  Ok, so step one ditch the red wine.  (Done!) Ok, so then he asked me if I thought he could give me an answer for the pain, I told him all I was after at this point was treatment but if he could shed some light to go right ahead.  That’s when he said that he thinks its stress and anxiety induced nerve pain, or nerve damage caused from STRESS!!

All I heard in my head was that I was causing my own pain…oh I was so mad at myself, but I needed to remain calm so I didn’t cause myself any more pain, that would be counterproductive.  I tried to think back to other times when I had stress in my life, to see if I remembered feeling any physical pain.  I couldn’t come up with an instance but I did remember feeling tired and sick.

Think about it, people who are grieving or upset generally end up feeling sick.  Some people have stress induced headaches, others stomach ulcers, some have panic attacks.  When our bodies cannot handle the anxiety it doesn’t know what to do, so it comes out in other ways.  For me it attacked my nerves.  Not feeling well, produced stress; medical bills produced more; no answers and fear of scary disorders produced even more.  I thought I had taken care of myself by seeking counseling after the divorce, and I was getting regular check ups, one of which showed high blood pressure for the first time.  If I look back now that is most likely how my body first started responding to the anxiety and stress of my situation.

Ladies, and gents I ask you to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, don’t ignore signs and symptoms of emotional stress especially if you are feeling physical symptoms.  It can be anything from a headache, stomach ache, feeling anxious, fatigue, etc.  Google emotional stress symptoms and a long list will pop up.

I am hopeful that the chronic pain program will be beneficial to my pain. We are also looking into vitamin levels and I’ve already had to begin supplementing two of them.  Between that and staying away from the red wine I am sure to be on the road to recovery, however long it may be.  I’ve begun to implement ways to decompress and teaching myself how to relax.  Things like yoga videos, and walking the dog on a nice day have been beneficial so far.  Lighting aroma therapy candles, and relaxing with chamomile tea at night have also been helpful.  There are many ideas for relaxation online, next on my list is guided imagery a few nights a week just to learn how to breathe without being stressed! relaxed frog

Ok, now that I got all that off my chest, It feels good to be back at the laptop sharing my words in the hopes to inspire or just let other’s know that you are not alone!  We are all in this together! 🙂

Has stress had a long-term effect on your health?  Please share.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

6/16/14

Related Links/Blogs:

Emotional Stress Causing What Health Problems

The Effects Of Stress Overload

How Stress Effects Your Health

Sick with Worry: How thoughts affect your health

 

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14 thoughts on “The Power of Stress

  1. Hey girl I’m sorry I haven’t respond on the blog to your recent posts. I was out of town and now my internet has been down all week. It’s hard to do the blog posts on my cell phone. I will respond as soon as I can! Love ya

  2. Kimberly,
    As my Grandson’s 2nd birthday approached – I found myself becoming very depressed.

    I finally decided I needed to see my former counselor again to help me deal with the depression.
    Upon talking – I found that the depression seemed to stem from two different events. One of them being the possibility I would again be faced with being around my X.

    After last years events – both during and after the party – where my X made unnecessary comments – even saying “You’re Crazy” (that being his only comment) when I confronted him about a comment he yelled across the yard.

    I was feeling very apprehensive about being around that man again.

    After much discussion – my counselor and I came to the conclusion that it would probably be best for me emotionally to not attend the birthday celebration if that man was going to be in attendance.

    While this will indeed be upsetting for me – it will most likely be less difficult than being around that man again.

    To celebrate Frank’s birthday – I will spend time with him either before or after the party. We will have a special celebration together.

    With all his cousins – aunts and uncles and others at the party – my absence will not be noticed by him – and I will most likely be better emotionally by not attending. Also – by not attending – there will be no chance I might make a scene at the party.

    I expect my refusal to attend will upset my Daughter – perhaps even making her angry with me – but as my counselor said – “Sometimes we need to take care of OURSELVES and not worry about others.”

    Being a caretaker personality – this is one of the most difficult things for me to do – but I now realize/accept – sometimes it is necessary to think of the needs of me over the wants of others.

    I am grateful I decided to go back to my counselor – I was being very critical of myself for not wanting to be around that man. Critical of myself for not putting others wants before my own needs. I can now accept that sometimes I need to let go of “pleasing others” and “take care of myself”. It’s OK!

    My counselor assured me that It’s OK to sometimes not be strong for others.
    Blessings,
    Phyllis

  3. Hi Phyllis, sorry I haven’t replied sooner. I’m so glad to hear you are going to talk to someone, I really think it will be very beneficial to you. Please keep me posted. I’m thinking and praying for you!

    Hugs,
    Kimberly

  4. Contacted my old therapist.
    She is willing to see me again.
    Really didn’t want to start from scratch again. Already done that three times.
    So very blessed that she is willing to see me again.
    Hoping things will resolve quickly.
    Wanted to let you know I would be getting help soon.
    Blessings,
    Phyllis

  5. Hi Phyllis, I totally understand, I didn’t think I would still be having issues with my healing as well and it is a lot harder now that I know all of my stress has affected me physicially. LIke I”ve mentioned in some of my posts, we are grieving, divorce is a death and it is going to take time and some days will be harder than others. I am working with my counselor now on learning how to change my thoughts when they wander to those negative times. I’m sure your therapist will help you to do that as well.

    Hugs.
    Kimberly

  6. Talked with a dear friend today who understood where I was coming from. She was glad I had decided to again get in with a counselor. Felt a little less crazy after talking with her.
    I really did not think it would take me this long to get past this event.
    It may be that other events are causing this to flare up again. Whatever the reason – I would like my attitude to change soon. Guess I need to accept that I need help – something I am not good at asking for or admitting to being in need of – and am having trouble getting to the place I need to be at.
    Tried to get my mind off things today by trying to get some painting done – but couldn’t seem to even concentrate on that.
    Thanks again for your wise words.
    Blessings,
    Phyllis

  7. Anytime I’m here for ya!!! Keep me posted on that new baby!! I’m sure you cannot wait to meet him. : )

  8. Kim,
    You may not be a therapist – but you are definitely a very wise woman!
    I will definitely find a therapist to talk with about this.
    Am meeting with my minister on Wed. to talk with her a little and see if she has suggestions for a therapist. The one I saw shortly after moving here no longer is working as a therapist so I cannot see her again.
    I hope my new minister can suggest someone for me. I know I need to talk with someone again. Thank you for you wise words.
    Blessings,
    Phyllis

  9. Phyllis, first let me remind you I”m not an expert, therapist, or physician…LOL but I’m here for support and to offer my opinion. First of all, don’t wait for the baby is born, see your therapist now so you can be prepared on how you will deal with the news, either way your going to have some things to process. First if its his name you don’t want to react in a negative way and second if it’s not you don’t want to show an insane amount of relief in that moment. Talk it out before hand.

    Secondly, I truly do not think your daughter is tyring to betray you. Your right in saying he will always be her father and he will always be the grandfather of her baby also. Her daddy is her first love no matter what he did in life she will always see him as that and it is a little girls dream to name a child after their father, be it first name or middle. My son has my ex’s name as his middle name and at first I never wanted to hear it spoke again. But if you think about it our kids are lucky to have both parents in their lives and all she is doing is recognizing her dad for being her dad, not for anything else he has done or will do.

    Please dont take it as a slap in the face, and I dont’ think you should push for her plan, wait for her to announce the name as she wants to. That is a big moment for a woman and you don’t want to give that moment a bad memory or make it an uncomfortable time.

    I hope this helps, like I said I’ve not been through it but I have three boys and I know at some point one of them will have a child named after their dad. If I put myself in that situation this is how I would handle it.

    Hugs, Love, Kisses
    Kimberly

  10. Need some help on how to deal with something.
    First off – I don’t know for sure it is going to happen – but I have a sick feeling in my stomach after talking with my Son-in-law tonight that it is.
    I believe my Daughter plans to name the new baby after her father.
    Last time they were very free in letting everyone know what they planned to name the baby. This time they refuse to tell people. At least they refuse to tell me.
    My Daughter had asked what my Father’s middle name was when she was first pregnant. Saying they planned to use a family name for the baby.
    Because my Father did not have a middle name – they couldn’t use that. Perhaps her plan was to lessen the sting by using my Father’s middle name as the middle name for the baby.
    I know it shouldn’t bother me – but it feels like a slap in the face if she does this.
    I was proud of myself for urging both children to remain close to their father – saying “He will always be your father.” after what he did. But I am not sure how I will handle this if it is sprung on me once the baby is born.
    How do I approach her to find out if this is indeed the plan?
    I feel that if it is – I will need to get back into counseling to not feel betrayed.
    HELP!
    Blessings,
    Phyllis

  11. I will think about this and get back to you in a few days.

  12. Are there any you recommend?

  13. So sorry to hear of your distress and stress and pain.
    Yes, I have had similar and in fact battle hypertension and TMJ (jaw) pain all the time.
    I am working on calming remedies to help alleviate.

  14. Glad to see you back posting!
    Yea! Stress has caused me a lot of discomfort over the years. After the breakup of my marriage I had some real problems Ended up with surgery after a bout with Pancreatitis. Was still having problems with spasms in the duct from the removed gallbladder and the one in the pancreas. After learning that taking Magnesium would alleviate the spasms. I started taking it and am doing much better.
    Recently had to have a procedure on a tumor that has been on my kidney for years but was causing pain. Even though all Dr’s believed that wasn’t the source of the pain. Miracle of miracles – two weeks after the procedure I have been free of pain. Guess maybe they were wrong.
    Stress does indeed do bad things to the body – not just the mind.
    Sure hope you are on the road to recovery!
    I also think that sometimes we put additional stress on ourselves – by expecting we will “let go” before we really can and when we don’t – we kick ourselves.
    I found myself remembering things again on my ride to my old town this last weekend. At first I was mentally reprimanding myself for doing that. Then – whenever I thought of something good – I then recalled something bad. It helped to have that balance. Don’t know why now I so often think of good things whereas before I used to think mostly of bad things. There are plenty of both – so I think it is important to keep that balance.
    The entire marriage wasn’t all good or all bad. But living in the here in now is what is important.
    While seeing things along the route reminded me of things – just enjoying the journey was the best!
    Life should always be about enjoying the journey!
    Blessings,
    Phyllis

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