I'll Be Witty Tomorrow, Vol. 4

eyeglasses, stress, and being well

I own 3 pairs of eyeglasses.

Prescription eyeglasses for seeing far away.

Prescription eyeglasses for reading.

And prescription sunglasses.

Yes, I know they make eyeglasses that do all three of those but Im just not ready to take that plunge.

Yes, they make contacts now that are like bifocals, for those lucky enough like me to be nearsighted and farsighted. I tried them for a week and felt dizzy the whole time!

Im pretty sure bifocal eyeglasses will make me feel that way too, plus, as I said, Im just not ready for that. Yet.

For now, Ill be the lady juggling three pairs of eyeglasses so I can see all the things in all kinds of conditions.

Can anyone else relate?

Im learning how to be well

I learned something last month that I never realized before: I unconsciously take on the stress of my environment.

Whether its a conversation with a friend or if Im watching a movie or tv show. Or the day before Im supposed to travel on an airplane.

I feel it in my body, sometimes for hours after. 

Im the opposite of a chameleon. They adapt to stressful situations by changing their color to protect themselves.

Whats the opposite of a chameleon? Its similar to this I think:

It takes me a while to settle down even under the smallest amount of stress. 

Im not sure when this started for me.

But I recently traveled to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for some tests and after spending some time with my doctor there, I finally have a name for it:

Central Sensitization Syndrome (CSS).

He explained it to me that its like when a bullfighter enters a bullfighting ring. The bull starts to charge and the bullfighter has a decision to make, fight or flight. The adrenaline kicks in, the bullfighter performs his task (or escapes) and essentially once the bullfighter is safe, the adrenaline starts to lower when you know you are safe.

For someone with CSS, your system doesnt calm down immediately once your safe. It takes a while, and sometimes it manifests itself in pain. (This infographic helps explain the cycle).

Im still learning all about this, but now that I know what it isnow that it has a name, I am learning how to cope. (Also, I will be going back to Mayo at the end of April to learn more).

The good news is that stress is not the problem. The problem is that the strategies that deal with stressors have almost no relationship to the strategies that deal with the physiological reactions our bodies have to those stressors. To be well is not to live in a state of perpetual safety and calm, but to move fluidly from a state of adversity, risk, adventure, or excitement, back to safety and calm, and out again. Stress is not bad for you; being stuck is bad for you. Wellness happens when your body is a place of safety for you, even when your body is not necessarily in a safe place. You can be well, even during the times when you dont feel good.

Burnout, by Emily Nagoski & Amelia Nagoski

I am learning how to be well, even when I dont feel good.

How?

There are some examples in a book Im currently reading quoted above, Burnout. Im not going to list them here because its a great book! Grab a copy and dig in.

Here are a few things that I am doing:

  • Walk - To be honest, there are some days where moving my body is the last thing I feel like doing either from pain or fatigue but Greg and I have started walking every day. Sometimes its just around the block, but if the temperature is between 20 to 85 degrees, well walk.

  • Eat whole foods - Ive been on a modified AIP for over a year now. Im slowly introducing foods back into my belly. Some have had favorable results, others not so much.

  • Get lost in a good story - Sometimes its a book. Sometimes its a series binge on Netflix or Prime. Click here for a list of what Ive been reading and watching.

  • Stop googling my symptoms - trust my health team. It is good to be an advocate for your care, but it isnt helpful to rely on the internet for my health concerns.

  • Pay attention to how I hold stress in my body - I tend to clench my teeth and tense up my shoulders, its involuntary at times. When I notice that Im doing it, I take a breath, relax, and do a few stretches.

  • Laugh - Ive said this before, but I tend to take myself too seriously. I get lost in my head, which almost always leads to anxious thoughts, which leads to stress吋o break that cycle I watch funny videos, send silly memes to my kids, watch a rerun of Frasier and laugh at Niles, laugh out loud at the antics of The Durrells in Corfu, etc.

  • Keep a list of 2020 Yays - I have a page in my bullet journal where Im writing down they Yays in our family, slices of gratitude that I want to remember as we go through the year.

What about you? Id love to hear how youre learning how to be well.


I realize this newsletter is a little different than the ones Ive sent out before. I just wanted to share with you whats been going on and hope to encourage you as well.

We all have things were going through. The stress of life surrounds us all and were all learning how to be well and cheer for each other.


p.s. there are a few affiliate links in this post, you can find them listed here.