Before I had to deal with stress or anxiety etc, I really knew nothing about it. You ever notice that people don’t usually talk about it? The more I talked to people and opened up about anxiety and stress, the more I heard other people’s stories. I realised that I was in very good company.
This brings me to an interesting conversation I had this last week about the taboo of stress and why people don’t want to talk about it. As a theory, my friend suggested that perhaps people don’t talk about stress because they might lose their job. Could this really be the case? Could someone lose their job if they talk about their having stress? I, myself, feel that I function well in the work place. I get my work done and I do it well. Could my talking about my stress, for example in this blog, lose me my job or make me unemployable? That’s a horrifying thought.
Then came a crux in our conversation. My friend then suggested that people that suffer from stress think they can do everything when they can’t. To add insult to injury, they suggested that I don’t cope well with life. This made me cross. I mean come on! I’m a parent, I work a pretty crazy full time job. I make sure the kids have what they need, run them to their hobbies, cook, and try to keep house. I think every parent does the best they can. The idea that I’m not cutting it, pissed me off. Who CAN do everything? Seriously? I never thought I could do everything. I don’t think there’s anyone more painfully aware of their limits than someone that’s been diagnosed with stress. That being said…Is my house spotless? Goodness no! Are my kids fed, loved, and clothed? You betcha.
I think my friend was trying to compartmentalise stress and anxiety in a way that someone that’s never had a panic attack do. I think that’s what most people do but I don’t believe there’s a one size fits all model. I think my friend belongs to the category of people that think that we’d be cured of our anxiety if we just relaxed and chilled out. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve heard that? Anyone with stress and anxiety knows that this statement is completely ludicrous. My belief (I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV) is that the body that goes through stress for a long while, get’s rewired to respond to it. It’s not a matter of just chilling out but basically rewiring your body.
My stress started out many many many years ago before I had any inkling of what stress did to the body. Here are some of the things that have led to me where I am today:
- I went through a pretty stressful relationship that ended in divorce (that’s a whole other story right there)
- Friends that screwed me over
- Lost my job…and then after that….
- Had jobs that didn’t pay me salary (lots of promises but no cash)
- Didn’t know where my next job would come from or how long the “then” current job would last.
- Almost lost our house to the bank because of unemployment
- Babies that wouldn’t let me sleep…..EVER
That’s some of it anyway. You get the idea. Don’t get me wrong, my life has lots of awesome stuff in it too but these big things that make your life very unpredictable are no good for ones health. Now that my life is stable and happy, my body is still suffering from the effects of past stress. Stress builds up like a battery charge. In effect, I’m having to
teach my body how to deal with everyday stress again and that small changes in my day are not the end of the world. I once knew a lady that was so anxiety ridden that she couldn’t go to any other grocery store but the one she was familiar with. The change was too much for her. I remember thinking she was so flakey. I’m so sorry for ever thinking that way. You know what? She was also a fully functioning full time employee and mother! Some get help from medications, others from yoga, mediation or natural remedies. The long and the short of it, there’s no one size fits all solution.
I was a bit more adventurous this week with my practices. Just a little bit.
- Sunday, Christmas 18: Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris (was feeling Christmassy)
- Monday, Morning Meditation with Rishin Paonaskar
- Tuesday, Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris (I know…I know…more Nidra)
- Wednesday, Yoga Nidra with Craig Norris
- Thursday, Yoga Nidra with Rishin Paonaskar
- Friday, Charity Vinyasa Flow with Rosemarie St Louis
- Saturday, Pause. Breathe. Meditate with James Huxley and Yoga Nidra with Rishin Paonaskar
You see?! I didn’t do Nidra all week….almost all week but not quite. There are two sessions that stick out from the week. The first one is Morning Meditation. The session that I listened to was recorded on Friday the 27th of January. When I used to meditate, I would try to find the quietest room in the house and meditate there. I was really bothered by distractions but, if you’re a mom of children or fur babies, you know that there is no such thing as uninterrupted quiet time. They hunt you down. This meditation class brought about an ah-ha moment for me! Rishin, the instructor, said to focus on the noises around you. Concentrating on the noises around you will take keep your brain from being noisy because it’s focusing on something. This was a good thing because my kids decided to both bring their electric tooth brushes in the room while I meditated. After they brushed their teeth, they both sat down on either side of me, staring at me, until I was done. I actually found peace and calm! Try it! Seriously. With this new found knowledge, I can now meditate anywhere!
The second class that stuck out this week was Vinyasa Flow. My goodness. Where do I
begin? I had done quite a lot of vinyasa flow in months past but I’ve had a really really really long break from it. My attitude before starting, “How hard can it be? I got this!”. My attitude after the class, “I’m dying. How am I this out of shape?”. All the things that had been fairly easy several months ago were now difficult and painful. There was some falling and come cursing and a whole lot of laughing at myself. There’s nothing for it but to keep going. The next day and day after my arms have been really really sore. I now know that I am not a level 2 in yogaia. I’m a level 1 and perfect happy about it. Everyone has to start somewhere right?