Ever have so much stress you think you're having a heart attack? Ever live in such stress that you don't realize it really is stress???
Early on when GP was a little boy and he was diagnosed with Autism I lived in such a state. It was a time of terrible, terrible stress. It was living and breathing autism, coping with the tantrums, staying up late finding out what the heck this Autism was doing and would do to him. It was the way my life and my son's future had been snatched from right under us and I refused to just "take it". It was a HARD fight for many years of "silence" and fighting to change opinions from "He'll never do XXXX" to "Wow, that's great progress".
The thing is, when you live in that state of stress, your brain shuts it off. You just move from one task to the next and you literally forget you are stressed out. You're cranky, you're tired, you're sad...but you have more important things to worry about than yourself, so you move on.
Then, one day, you have this pain. This pain that won't quit, and you self medicate, and it goes away...but then it comes back; with a vengeance. The more you ignore it, the more severe it becomes until one day your mind CLICKS and tells you, "Oh, sh**! I think I'm having a heart attack!" And you're not even forty! How the hell does that happen??? Easy, it's called STRESS!
I went to the emergency room a few times (better safe than dead is what I say), and each time was told "You have to take it easy. You have too much stress" I swear, when a stranger who knew nothing, nothing about me or my life other than I was a "female presenting with chest and back pain who has difficulty moving her right arm" told me I had too much stress I KNEW it was bad.... the last guy sent me home without even a prescription. He said take tylenol, aspirin and REST. He obviously did not know I had a five year old autistic child who could not speak, was not potty trained and was screeching all the time. Easy for him to say!
Anyway, I started to pay attention to my body and what it was saying because the only thing worse than a stressed out mom is a dead one so I bought Tylenol in the Family size and when my body said stop, I would pretend I did not notice my house was falling apart, my son was screeching and would take to the road. GP would nap, and I would "breathe"... and so I survived. It wasn't the day at the spa the MD suggested but it was the best I could do with what I had. =)
Last night my body told me again that I needed to breathe. With craziness at home, homeschooling now in progress and a day of nothing but stress, my right arm started hurting early in the morning, I ignored it and by midnight my chest and back were in a vice. It had been so long since my body reminded me that stress is no joke. I found myself climbing up to bed and reminding myself that rest is not "optional", and praying that I would sleep and recover.
Today my body aches and I am recovering, but well aware that "I have been warned".
I hope that if your body is telling you to BREATHE, you heed the signs and quit while you're ahead. Trying to keep up with your life is important but of you're dead, does it really matter??? Probably not. Today I will ignore the laundry, and will not dress the bed. I will homeschool my son, fill some orders, go to the PO and.... oh yeah, that's my stress free list. You should see the other one. LOL! Take it easy today.