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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Managing Emotions

When I was working, managing emotions was close to impossible. I spent almost every day at my desk, in a cubicle no less, crying from pain, from depression, from anxiety, and, sometimes, crying just for the sake of crying. I cried all the way to work, then I cried all the way home. I cried myself to sleep. I did not know HOW to manage all of the emotions that would hit me all at once. I would have anxiety attacks at work that were not only scary, but horribly painful. While once I thrived through a very stressful life, I could no longer handle the slightest provocation.

When I stopped working and spent more time at home resting, I still had a hard time managing my emotions. I would blow up at people in public if they did the slightest thing wrong to cause me discomfort, I blew up at my son without a good reason for such an outburst; I was, literally, a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

It goes without saying that my emotions affected my mental well-being, and over time I realized how my emotions were affecting my physical well-being. I have taught myself to calm down drastically through meditation, inner reflection, and spending time alone.

However, there was a very recent emotional outburst. I was in Wal-Mart with my son to get a few things. We learned they didn't have any electric carts available and I was in way too much pain to walk through the store, so I decided to wait in the car. We hadn't brought in my walker, to I used an empty cart for stability to get to my car. Somebody behind me started yelling, "Move it! Come on!" I turned and said, "Excuse me? I'm disabled." And he CONTINUED to yell at me for holding him up! Needless to say, I lost it. I started screaming obscenities at him, and followed him out the door, continuing to yell at him. He slunk down and started walking faster. I held my head up high until I got into my car, then I broke down into the ugly-faced, hyperventilating cry. I was angry and hurt by his insensitivity and ignorance. But I only allowed myself to cry for 10 minutes. Then I compartmentalized just like I do with everything else.

  1. What do you do to help yourself feel better when you’re feeling blue?

    When I am depressed, I call my mom. Without fail. She always has a way of putting things into perspective for me, then we end up talking about other things that make me joke and laugh. It's almost impossible for me to be depressed around my mom!

    Another thing I do is turn to my Twitter support group. I have never found a group of women more supportive than theses ladies! Whenever anybody is having a bad day due to pain, depression, anxiety, whatever, these women "flock" around them like mother hens. Even though I only know these ladies from online, I consider them my dearest friends because they have helped me so much. The best part is that we all understand what each other is going through.

  2. What strategies help you work through the losses brought by your illness?

    Loss is still something I try to cope with on a daily basis. I lost my job, lost my Master's degree, lost my social life, and my quality of life is questionable. Every day I run through things that, maybe, I would be able to do despite these afflictions. But I have yet to come up with anything. Lately I have rediscovered my creative side when I started playing with a scrapbooking program on my computer. I've started playing with graphics and making things for my blog and online support group. But it's helped me to know that I haven't lost every part of myself through illness. I am still loved, I can still love, I can still think (sometimes) and read and write, I can still be creative, I am still needed, and I can still help people. I'm still me, but in a different light and on a different path.


Love and hugs,

Jessica

P.S. The support group can be found at http://groups.google.com/group/FibroVoices

6 comments:

  1. What a timely post. I am sitting here writing a blog post of my own about a recent meltdown I had. Xanax was involved afterwards, needless to say.

    FM'ers suffer emotionally. It's hard.

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  2. My feelings of frustration and helplessness sometimes result in total meltdowns, but I work very hard at maintaining a positive outlook. Fibro seems to feed on negativity and stress. When I refuse to stress over things, and I manage to maintain a positive outlook, my flares are less severe. It isn't easy though...

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  3. Yesterday and today were complete meltdown days. I was just diagnosed last week by my chiro, but am waiting on a specialist's appointment as well. I'm planning my first post about fibro this week.

    I haven't connected too much yet with people in the group, but look forward to getting to know people who can actually understand how I feel. Thank you.

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  4. I totally understand the emotional meltdowns and how difficult it can be to keep yourself together. That is a definite struggle for me as well. Good topic to discuss, thanks for doing so!

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  5. chocolate and really loud music ;)

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  6. This was beautiful. I have lost farrrr too much of my life to fibromyalgia as well and coping is much harder than it sounds.

    I hope you are feeling okay.

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