Saturday, October 15, 2011

Health & Happiness

I've been going through yet another period of health challenges. The biggest challenge is really that whatever is happening to my body and health right now is pretty low-level. Upon reflection I've been suffering the same symptoms for at least 1.5 years, but only in the last 4 months have I sought medical support as it wasn't that bad. Several years ago I had a severe flare-up of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndromes, and pretty much checked out of life for a couple of years. I have gradually resumed normal life, but when I don't feel well, I just assume I've overdone it. And maybe I have. But maybe there is something else going on. And by feeling unwell I mean anything from having almost no energy for weeks at a time, or experiencing pain and discomfort in my body, or feeling stressed out, anxious and angry. I can't pinpoint whether the discomfort in my body is affecting my perceptions, or vice versa. I just feel horrible - emotionally and physically.

Recently I have experienced a few weeks of particularly low energy, dizziness, and a lack of control over my emotions, serious enough to pay a visit to the doctor. He's concerned there may be issues with my digestive system, and gave me some medicine to take for two weeks. Although it appears the medicine worked positively on my digestive tract, it had a side effect that was pretty rough. I got really bloated. As in, 2kg (or 5lb). My clothes didn't fit. That was pretty tough, as I'd recently lost some weight and bought new clothes. I'd gotten rid of the old ones, so I just wore sweatpants and avoided making appointments! Interesting, as one of the digestive tract issues it was supposed to resolve was bloating... but other than that, it seemed to work.

At the same time, my familiar demon Insomnia was haunting me. I wasn't sleeping, and when I was asleep I wasn't sleeping very soundly. I woke up tired, often angry or upset, and the day would go downhill from there. I couldn't make appointments in the morning because I couldn't reliably wake up in time, and even if I was up, sometimes to get from awake to alert would take several hours.

So I was frustrated. I was angry, impatient, had little control over my emotions, felt isolated and incompetent. Which, you guessed it, made me feel angry, impatient... rinse and repeat.

I struggle to see myself clearly. I see all my faults and imperfections, and gloss over my many wonderful qualities. And I struggle to see others clearly too sometimes. So I got angry at everyone. All the people that don't love me back. I saw how hard I work to be a good friend, how much I try to create and maintain relationships, how much I value others and appreciate them... and how nobody appreciates me. Other people like me for what I do for them, and if I don't do for them, I don't hear from them. I felt so alone, and angry about it... but unwilling to reach out because I don't want to accept the role I saw myself being forced into.

But a wonderful thing about how I've grown in my lifetime, and particularly in the last year, is I've become much more balanced, much more willing to experience options and shades of gray, and to see my thoughts and beliefs as choices rather than truths. (Although I can be pretty stubborn too!!)

I prefer a deeper intimacy than a lot of people, so sometimes that need for a deeper connection, for more intense conversation both on a personal and philosphical level, doesn't get met. And of course, when my needs aren't met, I feel lonely. And if I try to get those needs met from friends who just aren't that sort of person, sometimes I take it personally. I think that the friend is choosing not to connect with me in the way I like. But more likely, the friend just can't. Me feeling lonely and not getting what I need has nothing to do with whether the friend is offering me a great friendship. It just means that what they are offering isn't meeting my needs right now.

So I need to get out there, reconnect with friends I know go waaaaaay down deep, see if other friends are available for that kind of connection, and build that a bit more into my life.

Feeling isolated, alone, and angry is not the path for me, but I'm kinda glad I walked it a while, it really helped me to see that I can trust myself to take the action I need to continue to develop as a person, and to help myself love myself and be happy with who I am - even on those days that I feel no one else is!

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