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OT but need support: stress, crying like a baby and down to new low of 121

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Old 12-10-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default OT but need support: stress, crying like a baby and down to new low of 121

Sort of off topic, but I could really use support and Im sure Im not the only one hanging on by a thread this time of year

Some of us are predisposed to certain type of ailments, I tend to think my body is predisposed to handling stress especially poorly. This post is half rant and half asking for help!

My body gets a host of physical symptoms including acid overproduction (which eats away at my stomach lining and feels like one gigantic ulcer with nausea, acute pain, lack of appetite, etc), muscle cramping/insane golf ball size lumps in my shoulders, backwards breathing and general tightness in my diaphragm, sleeping problems and night sweats, crying, and a general feeling of being entirely overwhelmed.

My job isnt THAT stressful, its just software no one is going to die! But I do direct and coordinate the work of about 60 people and they can be a real pain in my butt. Lately its been more a pain than usual. I swear sometimes they try to drive me insane.

This time last year I also had my heart cruelly broken by a bf and my sociopath of a mother stopped talking to m again for absolutely no reason other than the fact she is a sociopath. I feel a little like Im reliving those moments and given they were wrapped up in the holidays it just hurts/sucks/makes me cry like a freaking baby.

Im single, have no real family to speak of and my few good friends live hundreds to thousands of miles away. Which means there is simply never anyone to help, I just have to suck it up and do it all on my own.

Mostly I just want a hug. I dont want someone to fix my problems, just give me a hug at the end of the day.

What do you do when you are at the end of your rope and hanging on by a thread? I would love to hear everyone else's coping mechanisms to see if I can find a new strategy.

I have some go to things I try to do:
- acupuncture (only thing that remotely helps the stomach pain, went this am for the first time in 6+ months and going back next Friday)
- massage
- breathing and/or meditating
- working out (this can make my stomach acid issue feel much worse, but overall it does def help destress)
- finding people to hang out with, especially if it involves physical touch (getting my nails done, flying out to see friends and asking for hugs from those I know well enough to ask for one from!)
- sleeping
- eating decently (enough protein and not too many carbs but def some)

My acupuncturist had some interesting suggestions/thoughts today...he said 1) even though Im craving salt, eat less. he said its a kidney/adrenal deficiency that is causing the craving but that I should just rest more and I dont really need the salt, its just making me swell a bit and that isnt helping anything 2) breathe!! he said not getting enough oxygen actually helps those nasty golf ball size lumps in my shoulders form because of something about the blood oxygen levels and lactic acid build up 3) eat more alkaline foods to reduce the acidity of my tummy. 4) eat more good carbs since they are easy to digest.

I woke up at a weight all time low of 121. Not thinking I should lose anymore weight, but when Im crying and wanting to puke all the time, eating isnt really my top priority.

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Old 12-10-2010, 02:15 PM   #2
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I think you are very self aware and that is so important for you to help yourself. I wish I were there to give you a big hug!!! I know you travel, so this might not work, but have you thought about getting a pet? That might help satisfy some of the touch issues and needs that we all have.

Also, tis a cliche but tried and true for a reason, sometimes the best way to help ourselves is to help someone else. Maybe contact your local school nurse and ask if there is a family that you could put together a holiday basket for. Set up a new tradition this year so you will start to make new memories.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
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Just a quick note - when I'm super stressed, I walk through my art museum. No matter if I just have an hour to go/meander a bit/return home. I go to a few favorites for different seasons and soak in the serenity (hopefully) and do the age-old "will what I'm worrying about matter in a week/month/year" ... some things will and some things won't, but it helps me relax my mind a bit.

Sounds like you've had to handle a myriad of issues and this time of year will always hold those memories. Any interests you have that you'd like to share with others? Any type of volunteering interest you if you're not already active in that area?

Hope you are feeling better VERY soon!
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:31 PM   #4
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I definitely wish I could just teleport to you and give you a big hug for real. Have you ever been to an oxygen bar? I know it might sound weird, but I've been to a couple, and it really helps you to calm down. Plus, you kind of have to stop for a moment and take a breath when you've got a little extra, scented oxygen coming in through your nose
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:57 PM   #5
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*BIG HUG* I'm sorry for what you are dealing with. I have a terrible father I don't speak to if it makes you feel better. It's better that I do NOT speak to him honestly.

I wish I knew what to say to you but all I can say is hang in there, think positive, and things will get better.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:57 PM   #6
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The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the LORD
Forever.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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I was going to suggest everything that you listed, and I second the art museum. Something about seeing amazing works from long ago shifts my perspective.

Also, what about volunteering somewhere? Buy food for a food pantry, or bagging food there. Helping out at a shelter doing whatever needs doing. Knitting or sewing for charity?

There have been studies that prove that helping others makes us feel better.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:45 PM   #8
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^^ I second that suggestion. If you volunteer at something that involves animals or children, you might just get the hugs and cuddles you need from there, too.

In the meantime:
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:49 PM   #9
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I do a lot of what you listed.

I had acid problems for a while but I fixed it by changing my diet. Is the acid related to the types of food you're eating or purely stress?

I second the pet idea if you aren't allergic and you can have one. I got a cat at various points in my life because I needed that companionship, which is nothing like a friend or a lover. It's just pure love. Just thinking about those cats makes me relax.

I hope things calm down for you... Maybe you need those days off to visit a friend?
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:21 PM   #10
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give yourself some tlc. It's hard to be alone over the holidays. And you have every right to mourn the loss of the relationship with your mother. Even if she's a sociopath she's still your mother and your heart doesn't necessarily know she's a sociopath the way your brain does.

And in the new year make it your resolution to make some friends close by.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:40 PM   #11
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Thanks for the love and support everyone, virtual hugs do count

I have been a little too swamped to get out and actually volunteer, but Ill see what I can MAKE time for.

Before reading the updates, I did donate to provide for 3 cambodian kids to have xmas via a friend's program this morning

Ill be in nyc for xmas with friends, so that should help too.

Someone asked what caused the stomach acid issues - it is exclusively stress, though once the issue starts up specific eating can make it worse for sure.

re: pet, I travel a good amount and in the past even cats have become a bit too needy and I felt more stressed by being such a bad pet parent. I wish you could be a PT pet owner, hehe.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:57 PM   #12
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I'm at my breaking point just now and I like to envision the life I'd fight for if I could. I'm a fixer. I go after the life I want and I usually get it. I TRY to change the things I can and accept the things I can not change.

Also soothing music (I love Enya) and relaxation techniques such as thinking about relaxing each part of the body from the toes up to my forehead.

Finally, I am like a light switch. Most of the time I have total control over whether or not I am happy or sad. I honestly just make the choice to be. I know I'm weird. I'm really good at putting stressful things out of my mind. I think it can be done through practice, I really do. If a stressful thought enters my head I replace it with another, more pleasant thought.
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:53 AM   #13
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I also cannot eat when going through a breakup or when my job becomes too stressful. I know the feeling - its like my body shuts down.

I know you exercise frequently - but a lot of people take up jogging for this issue. It mimics the "flight" response to problems, quite literally. So, it brings down stress levels more than other types of exercise. I can attest to this.

Second, everyone is saying volunteer - and yes, that would make you feel better. However, you don't have very much time. Something that I like to do is to take out my creative side in the evening - and make someone a card.... I look at pictures on the internet, I contemplate that person and what they mean to me... then I design and paste together a heartfelt card. When they receive it, they are always SO shocked, but so moved that you thought about them. So, both people win.

In general, I think creating art - be it in whatever form - is soothing for the soul.

And I further your doctors advice to eat more carbs - maybe make some fresh baked whole grain bread. You have to keep in mind that your calorie counts are WAY down right now. And bread is not SO calorie heavy... it is not like eating a french fries or so.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:24 PM   #14
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Just thought you could use some more. Hope you are doing better.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xty View Post

re: pet, I travel a good amount and in the past even cats have become a bit too needy and I felt more stressed by being such a bad pet parent. I wish you could be a PT pet owner, hehe.
How often are you home? There are tons of animal rescues that need temporary homes for dogs and cats. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes longer. Just something to think about if you love animals.
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