Everyone has a fight or flight response to stress. It’s what saves us from peril. Our ancestors were able to run from or take down that woolly mammoth because of extra levels of glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin. I wonder if fibromyalgia has developed due to the lack of woolly mammoths in our world. Our bodies give us a woolly mammoth reaction when we really only need a rabid chihuahua reaction. After all, pretty much all of the stress hormones are what are out of whack in fibromyalgia, whatever the cause. Fibro sufferers should at least be able to lift a Volkswagen whenever we want. Maybe that’s why we’re tired all the time. We’re always on the woolly mammoth high alert.
Of course, stress comes in all forms. Today I had to admit to my therapist (yep, I’m in therapy, learning to cope with stress and depression) that happiness was stressing me out a little bit. My fight-or-flight instincts seem to want to kick in even with happiness. Bizarre, huh? Is it a chemical reaction – these stress hormones being out of whack? Or is it my personal history rearing its ugly head?
I’m now a fiance – not a girlfriend anymore. I’m living with a wonderful person who understands me and is patient and kind, no matter what. He even understood (although was a bit concerned) when I declared that someone has switched out my microwave. It’s not my microwave. I know it’s not. But he assures me without sarcasm that indeed it’s the same microwave I’ve had since he’s known me. His presence soothes me. I’m happy – people tell me I’m happy, that they can see it in my face. I don’t doubt it because I feel happy. So what the heck are my stress hormones doing to me?
Yes, there is a lot going on – changing jobs (with a promotion), thinking about starting to plan an event in the fall, adding a second household to my tiny house. It’s all good, it all makes me happy, and I’m severely stressed. Who knew happiness could take so much out of a person?
2 thoughts on “The Stress Test”
I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel happy but I’m constantly questioning myself….”am I really happy?” And then my anxiety goes crazy. I think any kind of change can be stressful…even if it’s good. But change is growth. And growth is good 🙂
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And then there’s still that question in the back of my mind… if I’m happy why do I still hurt?