Wednesday, 17 April 2013

STRESSED?!

Life sometimes gets so hectic. We become trapped between all the things that we have to do, and it seems impossible that we will be able to finish everything.

I hate feeling stressed. It is so draining, and I am not productive. I've learned some interesting things about stress during my studies...mainly, that stress has many negative impacts on our bodies and functioning.

For example, stress releases cortisol, a hormone that breaks down our muscle to make energy from the protein. Too much cortisol can also causes memory loss, as well as suppress the immune system (so, it becomes easier to get sick). And there is so much more!

I've realized that when I'm stressed, I cannot do much. I moan and compain about how crazy and difficult life is and how much I am struggling. I feel my body getting hot, my blood flowing faster, and a headache coming on (interestingly, these are the effects of epinephrine, another stress hormone).

Soon enough, I'm so stressed that I became exhausted. I feel terrible. Have you ever felt like this? What do you do to help yourself? How do you cope?

When I was really sick, ED was my 'coping' mechanism. Don't get me wrong - the anorexia did not make my stress go away. But for some reason, having ED made it 'easier' to deal with stressors - because I did not think of anything else except for losing weight and avoiding food.

Too much homeowrk? Not a problem, at least you do not have to eat. Problems with friends? It is alright - at least you are losing weight. Feeling lonely? Why should you - you are thin!

See how deceptive ED is? He made me forget all my problems and only focus on him. That I was not eating and losing weight was all that was important - if I could not eat and lose weight, somehow, everything else was 'manageable'.

Now when I'm stressed, I do not have the option of simply losing weight or not eating. Sure, this is what I used to do to avoid dealing with everything else, but I have seen that this is really not helpful. Not eating = losing weight = getting sick = feeling bad = missing out on life = possible death. Not fun. I do not want to go there. But what can I do?

It may sound 'cheesy', but I've found that going to others is really helpful. Seriously. Find someone who cares, who wants to listen to you, and who will not downplay your feelings. Tell them what is on your mind, how you are feeling, and why this moment in your life is difficult. If they are truly caring, they will understand. Sometimes all we need is a listening ear - not necessarily someone who will solve our problems. Or, take time off for YOU. Give yourself a manicure, read a book, play a game, call a friend, watch a good movie, etc. These are examples of positive coping mechanisms.

Of course, ED will always try to get me back. He will tell me that all of these coping skills are not useful. But I know better. I am able to see that ED is tricking me, that he wants me to fall again. But I'm stronger, and I know that this is not right. I have a list of coping mechanisms that I can utilize whenever I feel stressed. And now, ED is not one of them.

28 comments:

  1. I hear you.
    Same here ,my best coping with my stress is relax and have my parents give me warm hug.
    It really helps make me feel supported.
    I pray for you

    Shohanda

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  2. You know Marina ,,this time of the year a lot of students feels same.
    I learnt how to cope by not to study during my exam ,just rest ,relax,speak with my positive friend.

    Jack

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  3. When I am stressed ,"I read feeling good hand book"
    I makes me feel better even stress and work demand is still the same.I learnt this when I was alcoholic

    Carlos

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  4. My daughter Marina
    Just trust God and have confidence in him,you will feel better .
    I will pray for you

    Sunday Priest

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  5. I am very impressed to hear you using all the coping skills you acquired and ED is not one of them.
    Your awareness and self consious about ED is helping you to dismiss any move ED makes to hit back at you.ED is aware that you are not his follower any more ,he is angry and furious.
    You are stronger than ED and you teaching all of us to be strong and stand for ourselves.


    Recovered ED victim

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  6. I agree with you Marina
    ED bit us once and will be the last ,never bit us twice.
    I say that with you today and forever.
    No matter how much stress I will go through,I will not come to your lap ED,I will not even open any little window for you.ED you stink,you are awful ,get out.
    I have my support all good to me especailly Marina ,my guide and my mentor.

    Thanks Marina

    Nanraj

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  7. Same here
    No matter how much stress,I will not give in to my enemy.
    I will utilize all the coping tools that Marina mentioned.

    Kapoor

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  8. You got a question ,Marina got the answer.
    You got a problem,Marina has the solution.
    You got stress,Marina has the stress buster!!!.
    I feel sorry you have been under stress Marina.,I pray for you and I hope you feel better.

    People like you are extremely rare these days and all of us need to apprecaite them.
    I am very thankful to you now and fore good.

    A thankful Mother

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  9. My way of dealing with stress is I do not care.
    My exam is tomorrow ,but if if fail ,i will write again ,not a big deal .
    I find out that when I do not care too much and I relax and calm I do better

    Hesham

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  10. Soon life will be fair to you and sun will be shinning on you day and night!!!.
    You deserve the best treatment,care and love .
    I feel you are one of my family even though I never met you .


    Hend

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  11. Really you deserve all the care and support.Some one like you ,We all need to love,respect and honour.Ther are only few like you in our world.May God bless you

    Mary
    Mississauga

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  12. Hi Marina
    Let me add some hints on how to deal with stress that you wrote before and I keep all those tips handy on me .
    ) Anticipate and plan: be ready for events - if you have a busy week or schedule, upcoming tests or appointments, etc

    2) Restrict the influence of the stressor: become busy with making good feelings around you so that negative effects of the stressor are small in comparison; don't let the problem spoil your relationships; surround yourself with love and support so the stressor doesn't rob you of the joys of life; 'the time to be happy is NOW!'

    3) Respond calmly - don't just react: don't make things worse than they really are; deal with the facts only and know that you can cope and manage; tell all negative emotions 'NO!' and only allow the best feelings to remain; remember that stress recedes in the presence of positive and meaningful action

    4) Establish control over your body's feelings: take deep breaths, let your muscles relax, and smile!

    5) Slow down and seek your inner strength: find a source of encouragement and power (family, God, determination, courage, etc)

    6) Think optimistically about your goals: think about what you DO want to happen, not what you DON'T want to happen



    Thanks Marina
    You always give us many tips on how to problem solve ,deal with obstacles and face the challenge head on.


    Good news about me
    I am doing o k despite as you know recovery not easy but I am also learnt from you to be determind and to stya the course

    Anne

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    Replies
    1. Awesome, Anne! God bless you. I am so proud of you. You could have written this post for me! Stay strong!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Marina
      You R my motivator ,encourager and supporter.
      Without you ,I would not have come to that stage and I would not have thought of going to recovery or even admitting I have a problem.
      I am grateful to you and I owe you my life.

      Anne

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  13. See Marina
    What a difference you are making.Who can believe to hear this from a person with ED.
    I am so happy to read the good new about you and your readers as Nanraj,Angela,Anne,Kapoor ,Gerry and many others .

    Kelly W
    Therapist To

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  14. When I feel stressed,I take a break to smell the flower.It is time to pamper myself

    Hamza

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  15. Marina
    In our class We learnt about 120/80 rule ,basically if you are working 120% for 1 day ,you need second day to do only 80% .
    Because during our exam ,We may push little bit over this and so We get tired and stressed.
    To get out of stress,We need a break ,pampering as Hamza said or stop and smell the flower.I pray for you during your exam.

    With my humble respect

    Mohammed

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  16. I cope with all means you mentioned but ED has been out of my life for years.I meditate a lot

    Jasmeet

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  17. We all need to take it easy and make sure We looking after our self well,so that stressful time passes smoothly.

    Together We will mangage stress.I will pray for you.

    Mays

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  18. You all right
    Stress take away our enjoyment of life.
    I stop what I am doing and I look for what makes me feel better and usually one of those tips you mentioned Marina helps me.
    Thanks

    Lesliana

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  19. All of us ,your friends,readers all those who know you from your wonderful blog pray for you and wish you all the best in your exam ,personal life

    On behalf of all of them

    A Thankful mother

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  20. This week is my last week .I will finsih my exam on thrusday.
    I can not wait to finish.
    It has been stressful but I use some of the tools you mentioned Marina.
    I pray ,I can not meditate but I will learn.I read good books .I listen to positive people .
    Please pray for me Marina
    I am praying for you and for all those who suffer.

    Shady
    Mississauga

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And thank you to everyone else for their support,tips, prayers. and thoughts. We are indeed blessed to have one another! Best wishes to all of you!

      Delete
  21. I have a question Marina,

    When ED caused your BMI to become very low. Did you feel that you looked more attractive that way or was there more to your thinking? Honestly, I do not think from an evolutionary standpoint a very low BMI looks attractive so I am just wondering what your thought process was.

    Stephanie

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  22. Hi Stephanie! No, to be honest, I never felt that I looked more attractive. Everyone is different, but to me, ED was not about looking better. It was more about wanting to lose weight because I felt fat and was bullied for being bigger than others. What kept the ED going, however, was that everytime I lost weight, it made me feel proud. I felt 'strong' for losing the weight that others used to tease me about. I in no way felt prettier when I was very ill. In fact, I knew that I lokoed very ill; but I was trapped in the ED that I could not stop.
    Hope that helps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes very good explanation. Really people have very simplistic ideas about ED and the thought process behind ED. I think the public thinks people with ED believe they are fat. Well plenty of people with ED know perfectly well they are thin and look thin.
      For some people it comes down to thinking they are not worthy of occupying space, and really that is just so heart breaking.
      Stephanie

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    2. Good point Stephanie
      It is very heartbreaking when those who are ill feel so low and not deserving even some space to occupy.
      Howver I think people with ED untill they go into treatment ,they believe they are fat even when they got only skin and bones.It is the distorted body image and low self esteem that drive them to keep restricting despite the harm
      Please Marina correct me if I am wrong

      Recovered ED victim for 6 years now without relapse

      Delete
  23. Thanks Marina
    You are a head of me.
    I was about to reply to Tiffany and to say exactly the same as you said albeit less articulately.
    Tiff ,you know ED is like an abusive dictator that happened to be your partner.I will make you only believe in what is pleases him till you are gasping.
    Thanks fully when We recover ,it is a liberation.
    Not surprisingly when you are ill and skinny ,you may be in denial and you think(wrongly) you are pretty (ED can trick your brain 0


    Thanks Marina

    Anne in recovery ,feels more attractive now

    ReplyDelete

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