Being overwhelmed can have a physical effect on the body. It doesn’t always need to be pressure, but an overriding omnipresent emotion or anxiety from a routinely occurring event. Triggers can be wide ranging from job promotion to routinely being around negative human beings. In the instance of myself it causes extreme stomach and back pain. I begin feeling constant pain in my abdomen that doesn’t dissipate with consuming food. Knots form under my shoulder blade or at the base of my skull as pressure becomes more consuming.
When the stress’ antecedent is removed, stamina must be regrown to fully participate and engage with life. The road to mending is a slippery slope – anxiously re-entering the hamster wheel. Life is a cyclical series of work, relax, work, relax. At any moment during the early moments of recovery there is the nagging thought that the next quick cycle would be the trigger for another physical episode.
Living from crisis to crisis doesn’t lead to stability, but creates a system of management only. Management sustains a depressing homeostasis, which is as imprisoning as the pain itself. Activities are missed; isolation ensues. Regardless of the cycle that a person endures, breaking and starting on a new path is difficult to do. The body and mind have reflexes driving actions towards knowable patterns – again the cycle repeats. Friends and inter-personal relationships assist with driving the new path, constantly grabbing the brakes by injecting day-to-day with vulnerable relatable stories. While they are not trained cognitive therapists, friends and co-workers offer opportunities to relate anxieties, failures, and successes. They provide conversations where automatic thoughts, which distort reality, can be challenged. Then the automatic thoughts can be worked through and dispelled with a professional.
It takes a village.