I vague-tweeted this this afternoon. IÂ try not to vague/sub-tweet but hey, I’m human, too.
Since the day my mom got diagnosed, I’ve had killer headaches. I knew they were stress, but they just didn’t go away no matter what. Sunday morning, after spending most of Saturday holing up in my apartment, I went to my doctor, and she recommended a neurologist.
Thanks to the magic of ZocDoc, I was able to get into the neurologist’s office first thing Monday morning. He said I was having tension headaches, and they were exacerbated by TMJ. (Basically, he diagnosed me as a stressed-out New Yorker.) He put me on an anti-inflammatory for two weeks, told me to do TMJ exercises and to do breathing exercises. I’m going to take that breathing exercise recommendation as a push to meditate more. Lately I’m really liking Buddifhy as a meditation app. You can pick a meditation for plenty of everyday situations â€” I usually use it at bedtime, so I pick a bedtime release meditation.
But really, I took this doctor’s appointment as a sign to slow the eff down. I know how stress affects my mental health, but seeing it so clearly affect my physical health is a huge wake-up call.
There’s so much I can’t control in life, and some of that is really scary.
But there’s a whole lot IÂ can control. For example, volunteering with the Junior League has given me so much joy and fulfillment in my life. But right now, a meeting every week and the work I need to do outside of it is extra stress I don’t need right now. I called my chair this morning and told her I was taking a leave for the rest of this semester. She agreed it was the right choice, and I hung up and started crying immediately. Even taking a pause on something that’s been so important to me is kind of scary, but ultimately, it’s the right thing for me.
And that physical reminder of stress eating at me is a great reminder to slow the eff down and put things in perspective of what’sÂ really worth worrying about and who really matters to me.
And with that, I’m going to get in bed with my dog and a book.