Bowery Mural

Stress, what is it?

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Stress. It's a funny old thing, or word. It conjures up an image of a crazy, eye-bulging person tearing their hair out. The only thing being that's not strictly the truth about it, is it.

I used to think I never got stressed. I mean I'd get nervous at exams and the like. Heck, I breezed my driving test, but a funny thing started happening a few years back for no particular reason. Well none that I could fathom. It's only in the past 6 months I've realised that this 'thing' was stress. For me to say that is both frightening and yet enlightening at the same time. I've been brought up in quite a traditional way and stress and depression were never really mentioned in the family. I used to think it was easy for some people to say they were stress, truthfully I still do think people jump on that label for themselves all too easily, but like I say, in the past 6 months I've realised that this stress thing had been happening to me for a couple of years without me realising it.

I thought I'd pulled a muscle in my back. I thought I had wisdom teeth problems with the most tense jaw you could ever imagine. At one point I thought I had a brain tumour as a 3 week long headache was not for subsiding no matter how much ibuprofen i fed it. Then when I went went deaf in my left ear twice over the past 2 months I thought it was because the pumping bass beats at spin class were causing it. I started to get really bad headaches (I used to never believe in migraines) but they were in actual fact migraines. so bad the I could quite easily have stuck a fork in my and took my eye ball out to massage for a few hours if it brought some relief. Then I started to take note and thought I was only getting this due to hormones at certain times every month but then it became more frequent. Every day frequent. So frequent that I wished it would relent some times.

Then came a strange feeling. I was dizzy when I got up off a chair or from a lie down. Strange. I've never felt that before. This is at the same time as the deaf ear bear in mind. Perhaps I had that thing you get with earache, you know, when you lose balance.... Also, one night after eating my dinner I sat in my chair for a good hour with my first ever nausea inducing migraine. Ouchie. I think it's safe to say there was something not quite right here.

I'm not really one for bothering a doctor, although I probably should have gone ling before now. I did go a few years back, um about 5 years ago, when i had a two week long headache then. Back then i did really think something bad was wrong. He told me there wasn't and to take ibuprofen, i'd be fine. And I was after a month. But slowly these symptoms keep recurring.

The funny thing is that I don't really know what i'm stressed about. Actually that's a lie, I do. Because, as i mentioned above, although big occasions such as tests or the like don't really phase me, it's petty things that happen at work that do. It's silly things that happen in the house that does. If i drive a long way I can tense up like a rigid rubber band. It's people being late if we're going somewhere. All these little things that add up and make me feel like my shoulders are at my ears and my jaw is about to crack. That's how stress manifests itself in me.

I've been on holiday for the past two weeks. I don't mean i've been away anywhere. No, I've just been off work and it was very much needed as there are changes going on that may or may not be a good thing. But i feel refreshed and raring to go tomorrow. For the first 5 days of my holiday i was still taking pain killers for the headache/neckache/tense jaw but for the rest of the holiday I've been fine. I think the sunshine and my daily spin bike classes at The Peak have also helped. I went to one every day last week apart from Thursday and i totally missed it. I now have set a plan in place for going back to work and am ready to fight this stressyness.

I don't know what i wanted this post to be about. Just a little chance for me to get this down on paper so to speak. If you've got any tips to stay stress free leave them below in a comment. I'm keen to know if other people get it this way.

For now, i'm off to watch Dragons Den. Have you seen that new lady?!! Scary or what!

Take care
Angela x


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