August 18th: Signs of Stress

Over the years, my husband and I had been through brief periods of separation which had lead me to believe that he would always come back.

So, when we first separated, my body didn’t really react to the situation. But as the separation turned into steps towards divorce… it did. My skin looked ruddy and would break-out. My heart would pound and my head would ache. Some mornings, I woke up so wound up that I would immediately need to throw up.

It was horrible feeling so physically distressed.

My sleeping and eating patterns became erratic. I was on a “fight or flight” alert 24 hours a day.

I knew that there wasn’t much I could do to stop these physical symptoms of stress. I would have to walk through the pain and walk through my feelings before the stress and the physical symptoms would stop.

I decided that if I had to live with it for now, I would find a way to work with it and keep my health at an optimum during this situation.

I began taking multi-vitamins.

I remembered to drink more water and cut down on caffeinated drinks.

I walked daily and lifted weights.

I worked on eating healthy foods and even if it seemed too difficult to eat a whole meal, I would take the time to eat a healthy snack.

I soothed my distressed mind by journaling, praying, keeping gratitude lists, and spending time with family and friends.

I still suffered from the physical symptoms of stress but, my efforts to care for myself kept the intensity level of the symptoms to a minimum.

Learning what we can and cannot change can help us through a trying situation.

I could not change how my body would react to the stress of my divorce, but I could change my role. I could take care of myself to the best of my ability and know, that in time, the symptoms would pass.

“Dear God, help me to put myself first today. Help me to take care of my health and my mental well-being. I will be of  no service to my family, my friends, and my community until I choose to take care of myself.”

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4 thoughts on “August 18th: Signs of Stress

  1. Thank you for your advice and dialogue re your entry yesterday… This entry strikes a note also and is related to logic & emotions so much!! — at least I’m making some progress here — vitamins, more regular exercise, getting support from friends. But you are so right — my impatience will prevent my mind and body from “quieting” more. I can’t change things and have to heal. Sometimes (maybe even different times in one day) , I’ll feel collected and less anxious, and in the next minute it’s there. I took care of everything else for so long that I have to re-learn how to care for myself, see my value, and also be healthier to take on all the new challenges of rebuilding a life.

  2. It is SO difficult Patricia…. my emotions were an up and down roller coaster from one moment to the next… I would think I was calm and then something would trigger me and off I would go again! I was married for almost 20 years and it took me about a year of extreme emotions and “feeling the loss” before I began to feel somewhat centered again… you will get there… do your best to try and take care of yourself… it is so important 🙂

  3. My husband and I have been separated for 2 months and have started divorce and he told me last night he’s met someone…it’s like the stress of the past 2 months toppled on top of me last night…so sick Tony stomach, haven’t been sleeping well for weeks, go between eating everything to not being able to eat, eyes are constantly swollen from crying….thank you for the suggestions to help work through this…now just to get the energy to start.

    • Tiffany, I am so sorry. First, let me tell you something from experience. If he met someone only two months after you two broke up it is a bandage to try to escape emotions! I was so sick to my stomach when my husband did the same thing. He moved out in August and was already running around with the new person before Christmas! It was horrible. I would wake up, open my eyes and vomit. Every day!
      I had to force myself to get up and keep going. I met with friends and walked with them (women and men who had gone through divorce) I kept myself busy, took care of my kids, and saw a counselor weekly. It was the lowest point of my life. I promise you… PROMISE you… You will get through this. My life today is better than I could have ever expected and my ex? Well, his marriage to the girl he started dating immediately is in total chaos. He cheated, he used drugs, and she is now dealing with him trying to get sober again. Trust me. Your Higher Power is getting you out of your own way so that something better can come along. I am here for you! 🙂 D.

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