This Is Your Body On Stress: Insane in the Brain

anxiety cat

I love anxiety cat.

I started writing this post before I found out I was going to be doing a long term sub job.  I decided to share it today because this is the day I start that job and, well hell I’m stressed about ridiculous stuff like having enough money in the account so my husband can get to HIS job too… Is it payday yet?

Stress Is As Stress Does

I haven’t been as productive as I would like to be these days.  This is partially because of the mysterious neck problem continues to plague me.  Instead of blogging and writing like I shoudl be I’ve spent a lot of time trying to self diagnose any fatal illness it might be.  My doctor says it’s extreme stress-and I need to RELAX. Whhaaaaaaat?  I need to relax?

I guess I would know firsthand about how stress affects the body.  Example:

Job I disliked where people would rather have a colonoscopy than listen to me=I was sick all the time

Job I loved with great coworkers=illness was rare for me.  (This is that same place that I am subbing at for the next couple of months.)

(I wanted to make a chart or a graph to illustrate this point, but I don’t know how to do that.  So I won’t.)

Being unemployed for quite some time and feeling utterly hopeless and unhirable, as well as worrying that any day now we’ll be moving into a refrigerator box, I guess it makes sense that I have a little, ok a lot of muscle tension.  My shoulders, my back, the back of my neck-it all bothers me.  But one side of my neck is particularly bothersome.  It’s tight, a little swollen, and sometimes aches.  It sucks.  Remember, the doctor says it’s stress…

stress calories

The Mole

Needless to say, every little thing bothers me these days, because I start thinking about it obsessively because my brain goes nuts.  My thought process is quite screwed up these days. To illustrate this point:  one day last week I had an itch on my back.  I scratched the itch, only in the process felt a scabbed over mole in the same instance that I SCRATCHED IT RIGHT OFF.  Then I freaked out.  Oh my god, why was it scabbed over?  Is it cancerous?  Surely it must be cancerous if it has a big scab on it!  It hurt-well of course it hurt because I just scratched an entire mole right off of my body!  I couldn’t reach it to put a band-aid on it, and everything I did that came anywhere near it irritated it and made it hurt.

When my husband walked in the door I immediately told him that I needed him to do something.  He looked at me suspiciously.  I told him I needed him to put a Band-aid on my back, and to seriously tell me if it was something that needed to be looked at by a doctor.  I raised my shirt.

He yelled “OH MY GOD YOU HAVE CANCER!  WE HAVE TO CALL THE DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY!”

I turned around and looked at him.  He was grinning from ear to ear.  “It looks fine dear.  Now let me put the band-aid on before you die of anxiety.”

I surmised and he agreed that mole was in the precise spot where I turn my bra around to put it on and take it off.  I must have caught it on my bra. Is this how normal people put bras on and take them off?  Just wondering…now I’m going to worry about that.

peanuts anxiety

A Day In the Life of a Stress-a-Holic

Last week I kind of sort of kept track of what I was obsessing about throughout the course of one day.  Read it, and then go ahead, LAUGH.  You know you want to.

Disclaimer:  Things on this little timelinemay or may not be slightly exaggerated…

8 am-Hey no pain, this is great!  Let’s eat some Cheerios, but not too many, because they have to last until payday.

9 am-We have two dollars in our checking account.  Joy.  At least we’re not overdrawn. But dammit my check from the last class I taught still hasn’t arrived.

10 am-Neck is bothering me a bit.  Let’s take a little Aleve before we get non blog stuff accomplished.

11 am-Still haven’t done a thing around the house.

12 pm-I think I have finally conquered the neck issue.  YEAH!

12:30 pm-My phone apparently died because I haven’t constantly kept it on the charger.  I have six missed calls from bill collectors.  Yay.

sallie mae

1 pm-Look at job boards.  Unless I want to be a Navy SEAL or work on an oil rig, I won’t be applying for any jobs today.  Ouch.  Tense muscles!

2 pm-Taking a walk, I think I have an alien in my carotid artery trying to break out.  WTH?  OW!

3:45 pm-It’s time for a nice relaxing shower.  (Yes I’m showering this late in the day.  I have a problem organizing my time.  Don’t judge.)

3:46 pm-Who is screaming? Open the shower door to yell at the kids to stop screaming at each other.

3:48 pm-Realize I haven’t heard anything out of the kids since I yelled at them.  I begin to worry that they are too quiet…

4 pm-Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… What’s wrong with my face?  My face feels like it is getting all hard! I must have that disease that makes your skin get all hard!

4:05 pm-It dawns on me that I don’t have scleroderma.  I just didn’t get all the hair gel off my hands before I put on facial moisturizer.  That would explain things.

5 pm-Here we go, everything is tensing up.  I’m doing dishes.  I HATE dishes.  Quit clenching your jaw!  Quit it!  Stop!

5:05 pm-The children are banned from using the purple exercise ball in the living room after it nearly knocks the tv over.

5:15 pm-Garbage disposal locks up.  I still don’t know how to fix it.  I take the tool and wiggle it around in the drain.  Husband comes back from his run and shows me that I need to put the tool in a hole UNDERNEATH the garbage disposal.  Ohhhh… no wonder that didn’t work…

5:30 pm-Quit touching your neck.  QUIT TOUCHING YOUR NECK!  Oh wait, I think I feel a bump.  More than one?  OH MY GAWD I have tumors and they are multiplying by the minute.

5:45 pm-Cry into the tuna casserole while making it.  Tears are salty, adds flavor.  Mmmmm…

6 pm-Take another Aleve.  I can’t decide if this stuff is really working.  Resist looking up any more symptoms on Google.

7 pm-The icepack is brought out.  I can’t afford physical therapy.  Dammit.

8 pm-The heating pad is turned on.  That’s better.  Maybe I don’t need physical therapy.  Thank goodness.

9 pm-The muscle massager is brought out to loosen up those muscles.  All it does is make the snot in my head vibrate, which is a really strange sensation.

10 pm-I’ve only been on the computer most of the day.  Why would my neck and shoulders be bothering me?

11 pm-Go to sleep.  Quit touching your neck.  Go to sleep…

It can’t POSSIBLY be stress, can it???  Do you have anxiety?  Do you stress out about little things?  I’d love it if you’d share with me, so that I know I’m not the only crazy one on the face of this earth.

Speaking of stress, last month I posted about being sick and how you should NEVER EVER look up your symptoms on Google.  Susan over at Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva was reading my mind, and posted this video that made me LOL and feel much better… Yes she did it just for me, I swear!  Her WebMD: Just Say ‘NO’ video is on YouTube as well as on her blog.  Please go experience her awesomeness!

Was writing this post therapeutic?  Sort of.  Will we make it until payday?  If my husband has to move in with a coworker until then so he can get to work, I’ll let you know.

big anxiety

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23 thoughts on “This Is Your Body On Stress: Insane in the Brain

  1. That Aleve may very well not be working. I can’t remember the number, but a doctor once told me that naproxen just straight-up doesn’t work on X% of people. I’m one of them.

  2. I feel you on the stress things. I went to the doctor last week thinking I must have a UTI (or kidney stones… or a cyst… or a tumor). Nope. I’m pregnant. WHAT?!?! So child #3 is on the way and I have to get off my Celexa. So I am weaning off the medicine that helps me stay calm AND battling surprise pregnancy hormones. My poor husband. Oh wait, I only have one ovary… So this surprise pregnancy and crazy fertility is his fault. We are also remodeling a house and about to move into it. I’m also a substitute teacher because a Social Work degree is pretty much useless in the bad economy. So yes… I totally get it. 😉

  3. Great post Sarah! I love that you scabbed up your mole with your bra! I was cracking up! Also, you are the ultimate money saver…tears to flavor your tuna casserole instead of salt…genius!!! I hope your first day of work went well!

  4. i had some pretty awful neck pain in the summer, that was stress related but also related to other things, like the posture i hold when driving. long story short, i’ve been seeing a chiropractor regularly and am off pain pills. pain can be very debilitating and distracting and depressing. take care of yourself! hang in there!

  5. Hi I’m visiting from Naptime Review’s Mom’s Monday Mingle. I feel ya, I had major back and neck pain recently while I stressed myself out beyond what was reasonable. Someone’s gotta be the one to worry about stuff, it might as well be us! Good luck on your new position, I bet that will ease some of the stress (especially once payday comes!)
    Nikki
    rushedmommy.com

  6. Good luck with the new gig. I hope you enjoy it and can relax a little. Aleve doesn’t work for me at all. You can take two at once though; also up to 3200 mg of ibuprofen can be taken for up to six continuous days without hurting you. …. you might wanna consider that. oh… and breathe. 🙂 love the cat.

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