Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Feeling Anxiety

Have you seen that commercial? "Where does depression hurt? Everywhere." I have thought of this commercial many times in the last several weeks. Not because I am depressed but because the anxiety and grief and I am experiencing hurts!

Historically, my anxiety has resulted in tension across my shoulders and neck resulting with a cluster of migraine headaches. Not this time. Yes, I have had two or three worse-than-normal headaches in the last couple of weeks, but this is a whole new thing. Chest pain. I have had weight, pressure, hot and cold sensations, pinching, pain, etc. I had an EKG, a chest x-ray and even saw a cardiologist. All is well with the heart! (Thank God.) Anxiety. My PCP explained that it is similar to muscle twitches, except this time I'm feeling them more deeply because of the level of my anxiety. Gotta love it.

I am reminded of my massage therapist in Pittsburgh commenting on how women tend to have a lot of tension in the pectoral muscles because they're constantly closing in their shoulders to hide their breasts. I have always thought of it as a protective instinct. As I feel tightness and tension there myself now, I imagine that subconsciously my body is curling in and down to protect my uterus. Even the insides of my shoulders often ache and feel tired as if I'm constantly pulling them inward.

The body is strange. I am amazed at what can happen in complete conflict with our intellectual mind. I have learned over many years that the body tells us when to stop. There is always a reason. For the last several weeks I have looked forward to this month in part because I would have the space and time to stop. I've done a lot more truck hunting that I would have hoped, but that's for another post. With only three days to go, I am excited to be finished with the anticipation.

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