Friday, January 9, 2015

Women's Health, Anxiety Issues

So - if you've read here for any length of time, you'll probably know that I struggle big time with anxiety. I've done a lot of good work through the years, getting the majority of the problem under control, to the point that I can live a full and pretty life, despite the anxiety problems. I have a lot of healthy coping mechanisms (ones I had to find after I had to give up food as a fix-all!).

But, sometimes, it still gets to me.

I would say I had a decently intense anxiety attack last night (nothing compared to what they used to be, but still, jarring since it hasn't happened in a while).

I went to the gynecologist, and have to have yet another ultrasound/mammogram. I've had too many of these for being only 32. And I will speak openly about this, even though it might seem like TMI, because women's health is an important issue and should never be taboo. But I have really dense breast tissue that makes it really hard to tell if anything is wrong. At my yearly exam, the doctor became concerned about something she felt (like happened last year) and ordered more testing. I know the chances are SMALL that it is anything at all, but I just really hate the whole process (though, I will obviously do it, because I am not about to risk brushing it off and have it actually BE something). They have a hard time even seeing my results once they do they tests because of the tissue. It stresses me out.

I hate even having the thought of cancer in my mind. But, this is why I do preventative care - to take care of things (that would be wrong, even if I delayed knowing about it!) as soon as possible.

It was just one more stress on top of other life stress (mainly finances and my job that makes it hard for me to even GO to a doctor's appointment). And I just went home and panicked. It's a strange thing that happens to me - I go almost numb while my mind races. It feels really bad, kind of like nausea. Then it gets to be too much and I just cry, really full-body cry. Ugh.

So, maybe this might clue you in to why I used to use food as medicine? To soothe? Yeah, I'd try to prevent this at all costs. As I've grown, as I've gotten healthier, I no long use food to soothe and have found other methods that actually do my body and soul some good (dog walks, bubble baths, seeking out friends, etc).

Anyway, I got through it last night, but it leaves after effects - mostly fatigue, poor sleep, a general feeling of stress. No surprise my weight is still up around 125, right? I did not use food to soothe - I just ate a normal dinner of a turkey burger, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. But I am holding myself very tense lately, and I know that is not good for my overall health.

I know part of it is just my chemistry - my whole family struggles with anxiety issues. But I know part of it is environmental, too - I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop (my issues started after the death of my mother, but mere awareness of that doesn't make the problems disappear). I thought I had really gotten control of my anxiety, and not too soon after, my father passed. Money, career, school, everything seems to be a problem I can't seem to fix, no matter how long I work at it. I feel rather helpless.

But environmental stress will never go away, right? That's just life.

It might be time to do some more in depth work, to see someone or look for a larger solution. I don't really like living like this - tense and poised, expecting the worst. I also feel like I should devote more time to reading Buddhist works, like I began to do in 2013, the tenets of that philosophy really help me come to terms with things.

Alright - just wanted to update you all. To urge you to do your yearly check-ups! Even if it is scary if they find something wrong, it is better to know.

I will probably be MIA this weekend. I am going skiing with Chris and friends and staying in a cabin overnight (Christmas present from Chris' parents!). I hope to relax a little :)

Namaste <3

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