Yesterday I attended the second in a six week course of Stress Control Classes. Last weeks class was all about understanding what stress is and how every ones stress is different and this week was focused on 'Controlling your Body'.
We were told about how exercise can help to overcome, or at least ease, anxious feelings, depression and stress as a whole.
We were given a relaxation cd, which was played towards the end of the session, and I'm really looking forward to listening to this as I think it helps me, if not in the long term, certainly for an hour or a few at least.
We talked about Fight or Flight which is something I've always been interested in.
I studied Psychology in Sixth Form and loved learning about behaviours and how our body and mind works.
I find it all so interesting, and now I'm going through what I'm going through I actually quite enjoying having an excuse to learn about it all again, and to understand why this is happening to me.
The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
I feel as though, through hearing about and being reminded of Fight or Flight, my body seems to be constantly in this build up mode. Feeling threat all the time, over things that can happen, will happen and are also very unlikely to happen.
I feel like my body is constantly at war with itself, wondering what to do. Fight or Flight. Which is incredibly hard to cope with when really there is nothing to flee from or to fight. But then that can make it worse. I can get this reaction, this fight or flight feeling, and I look around and see no threat, no attack, and then I panic because I think something must be about to happen.
I have constant worries, constant feelings of threat or attack. A lot of things I haven't said openly before.
Despite accepting that it is just how I am, and it's not things I choose to think, I can never bring myself to actually type those words.
Why? Because I'm worried about reading those words "unreasonable thoughts" "irrational thoughts". To me, these thoughts are not unreasonable, or irrational.
They are real. Reasonable.
I'm worried about people thinking I am crazy. Or attention seeking. Or trying to create drama.
But it's all very real. As much as I try to convince myself that particular things won't happen I can't. As my doctor once said, my filter doesn't work.
I can't filter things into "will happen, could happen, very unlikely to happen, or will never happen". To me, everything is possible, no matter what the odds are.
The reminder that my reactions are not about being crazy, and are just down to my body protecting me, or at least preparing to protect me, makes me feel a lot more at ease and more accepting of being this way.
I'm hoping that just the understanding of what is going on will help me to not get over the anxiety and depression I am stuck with, but at least to cope with it, and to not panic when my body decides to react for whatever reason.
I can only control so much.