I was trying to come up with a name for this post that would reflect its content in the best way possible. You see, in the past, it has always been either mental health or physical health. However, after my CSS diagnosis I have been proven yet again, that health is all inclusive. Therefore, this post is all about relationship between our body and mind.
Headaches that stop you from sleeping at night. Ear ringing that never leaves you in peace. Stabbing pain in your lungs, legs, arms, head and abdomen. Sensitivity to sound and light. Neck, shoulder and back pain. Stomach aches and cramps. Bloating and pain in the abdomen. Heat flashes and excessive sweating. Dry mouth, blood shed eyes and skin sensitivity to touch. Body trembling and weakness.
The above are all of the symptoms I have and still experience constantly. Sometimes it’s a few at a time, sometimes one by one. As most of us with chronic illness, we have good and bad days, but never a perfect day. Although I still remember how it felt to feel no pain, it seems like something so distant. Up until my diagnosis in January, I never paid too much attention to the symptoms that would show up unannounced and disappear after a few days or slight change in my routines. It’s almost like my body was testing me one by one, to see how much I can handle, before it hit me with everything all at once.
Today, after living with all of this for a while, I am trying to learn to manage the symptoms by understanding the cause for each and everyone of them. I know that most of them are cause by CSS, but even then, I know that each symptom is something that my body is trying to tell me.
For example, headaches and ear problems seem to get worse when barometric pressure drastically falls. My ears get much more muffled after a long car ride. My sleep and diet quality directly influence my headache, stomach and bowel related issues.
However, even though all of these symptoms is something that manifests physically, they all have a direct link to my mental health.
I have always been a very emotional, passionate and expressive person. I have never held back when it came to saying what I think, standing my ground or saying no. I have always laughed a lot, smiled a lot and always cried when I felt I needed to. Nevertheless, as I got older, my relationships with people changed, I moved to a different culture and had to do everything on my own, my emotional world changed too (even though I did not realize it at the time).
As years went, I have abandoned things I loved the most. I have changed the way I expressed my feeling, I started to hide and be quiet, and just accept things because opinion of others started to matter more than love and respect for myself. My anxieties grew each year, they became something that started to control my life.
Saying no to meeting a friend because I was afraid to get ill and didn’t want to go out in cold. Staying in on a weekend, instead of going for a walk in the forest, just because the wind was slightly stronger than the day before. Getting upset and angry over something that I can’t control. Sweating my face off, just because I missed a train.
All of this and much more became my silent illness. My mind started focusing on everything that is bad, negative and can have a not so positive outcome. As a result, after stripping myself of everything that made Viktorija unique, I now am in a place that needs re-evaluation and a lot of work.
It’s All Related
As I start to learn more about my body and mind, I see that the relationship between what’s in our heads and in our bodies, is oh so strong! I know that in order to manage my symptoms, I need to take care of myself more. I need to change my routines to get stronger physically. Eat more fiber for my gut. Get more and better sleep. Be more outside. Drink plenty of water and do more things that make me happy. Meditate and rest when my brain needs a break. Do yoga, tai-chi and other forms of physical activity that have direct link with inner peace. I need to make sure my body and mind start working in unison and speak to each other nicely. I need to learn to learn to want to help myself first.