Monday, September 21, 2009

Stress, Psychosomatic Illness & Banana Bread

I've mentally outlined a written blog (maybe a book chapter) about my experiences recognizing how my body communicates stress. When I say "communicate," I don't mean externally, for I think it's terribly noticeable to those I interact with daily, making my external awareness - "Joy is stressed, people!" - easy to determine. The kind of communication I'm referring to occurs internally - between my physical body and the cognizant part of me that's most responsible for shaping my identity.

So tonight I've vlogged (is that a term?) thoughts I have mulled today related to a conversation with a student in my office. Talking about that and the banana bread I'm baking reminded me of my first nearly immobilizing anxiety attacks. They manifested about ten years ago in my kitchen, and I had to discover why that was. Until I identified what my kitchen had to do with my physical pain, I couldn't quiet what I'd been denying in my mind. That's what I hope to write more about someday.

Sorry about saying the words "so" and "anyway" a lot in this vlog. I'll get better. I promise. And check out my wording: "part of my plan." Ah, will I ever learn?


Anonymous said...

Wow!! Almost 20 years since I heard your voice. And now it brings tears to my eyes. I think partly because you and Mark were such a special help to me, being so far away from home, and then partly the topic, stress. When you say "I do" you never realize the "better or worse", the "sickness or health" that you will go through, nor how you will handle that. Excellent vlog!
~ Belynda

Joy said...

How kind of you to say, Belynda! It's good to have reconnected with someone who new us as newlyweds (well, newlyweds with three years of experience).

Peace to you, Joy

Pamela said...

I can relate to this vlog. I am a single mom with Leukemia and I am convinced that it was created by stress. The path of that stress started like a locamotive out of control back in 2003 with the onset of my mother having cancer and I being her primary caregiver. While caring for my mother, living life as a single mom and trying to maintain my career as a flight attendant the stress rolled through my life and peaked at the beside of my mother in hospice. Despite a healthy lifestyle of yoga, meditation, exercise and a vegetarian diet the stress was still there like an unwanted stranger just waiting to attack. A short six months following my mother's death I was diagnosed with Leukemia. For this particular Leukemia (CML) they have not found a cause; but I in the core of my being feel it was manifested by stress.

Thank you for caring enough to share this vlog with your listeners. Perhaps through you they will take a moment to relook at how they "do life" and as a result they will make choices that can be life saving.