The Mother of All New Year’s Resolutions

Stress sneaks into your life. It’s insidious, and silent. At least in my case it was. I didn’t even know I was suffering from stress and thought I had some weirdo illness. My digestion was going crazy, I felt naseous and horrible. It went on for years without me even knowing what I was suffering from. That, in itself, made it even worse. Can you imagine feeling horrible all of the time and always thinking you must be sick?

Eventually, it got worse. It went from nausea to running to the bathroom all the time. Then I broke out in hives. My hair began to fall out and then the near end of the world arrived. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and I struggled for air. I went to the emergency room thinking I was dying. The doctors didn’t find anything wrong with me and sent me home without any kind of diagnosis. I felt like I was being held hostage by my body and I felt let down by the doctors that basically looked at me like I was nuts. “You’re healthy. We can’t find anything wrong with you.”  It turns out, I had had my first massive panic attack.

Finally, a friend of mine, seeing and understanding what I was going through (she’d been through it too), recommended I see both a doctor and psychologist. Needless to say, I took her advice. Both the doctor and psychologist said that I wasn’t in need of medication but was suffering from acute stress and was basically just overloaded. That’s basically the really short version of whats gone on over the last 8 years and the beginning of a quest for balance. A little stress is ok but when it’s falling on you like bricks, it affects your ability to function and enjoy life. I dunno about you, but dang it, I love my life and I want to enjoy it without having to worry about how my body reacts to every little thing.

The funny thing is that my attitude is great. I laugh all the time and am annoyingly optimistic. Just ask anyone I know what I’m like on a Monday morning. They’ll tell you. Girl….she cray cray. Strangely though, my body reacts to things that happen during the day. I like to think of my ability to deal with stress like a glass. The glass can only hold so much. Once the glass is too full, I can no longer function. The body basically screams, NO MORE INPUT! and shuts down. I’ll bet there are TONS of people like me out there, too ashamed or afraid to talk about it. There’s this weird stigma surrounding stress. Having panic attacks does not make you crazy or less of a person. It just means you’ve had to deal with far too much for far too long.

Finally, I knew what I was dealing with. My evil foe had a name and, by George, I was going to look it in the face defeat it! I did lots of research. I found guided meditation with a professional the helped me to train and hopefully rewire my brain. That helped a lot by the way. There are lots of nice meditations in YouTube but you won’t find the meditations I learned there. Maybe I’ll share the things I’ve learned in later posts if anyones interested. Anyway..that brought me to yoga. I’m too cheap to buy a yoga studio membership,  but I wanted to try it. I’d heard so many good things about it. It’s good for the body, good for the mind, yada yada yada. I figured there might be something to it. Enter http://www.yogaia.com.

I signed up for Yogaia about a year ago. I found that when I used Yogaia, I felt better but I was really inconsistent about it. That got me thinking. If doing yoga or mediation every now and again reduced my stress response, what would happen to me if I did a Yogaia class every single day for a year? Would my stress dissapear? Would my body look better? So here begins this crazy adventure and this beautiful blog. Tomorrow is the 1st of January. Let the craziness being.

For the record, Yogaia hasn’t paid me for any of this. I’m doing this for myself, for my health because, dang it, I love life and I want to get on living!