My Stress is Not Your Stress

Stress....For as long as I can recall I have always heard how bad stress is for you. I have heard when people have high blood pressure or ulcers they should try to limit their stress levels. Maybe, I'm crazy (the jury is still out on that one) but it makes me think if stress affects so many health issues maybe it affects all of them. Apparently one of the doctors I had during my IVF procedures did not seem to agree.

During a meeting to discuss my most recent failed attempt at producing embryos that wanted to stick around, I asked him "Do you think I might be having troubles because of all the stress?" His answer was an immediate "No!" I was a little surprised and explained some of what I was going through. You see, as if waking up at the crack of dawn to get to the doctor by 6am to get your blood drawn, get poked and proded by the nurse in places you didn't know could be poked and proded, rush off to work your full time job fueled on all the hormones you just injected yourself with and pretending like nothing crazy is happening in your life to your clients and coworkers, explaining to all your friends that your not pregnant even though your starting to look like you are from the weight gain, to the disappointing news over and over that you failed at getting pregnant once again wasn't already stressful enough! Well let me tell you the universe didn't seem to think so, 3 of my 6 pets were extremely ill and I would lose 4 of them within a year. In the midst of all that I would also lose my beloved brand new father in law to a very unexpected infection. Well, I couldn't imagine anybody who wouldn't feel stressed after all that.

But my not so wonderful doctor looked at me and proclaimed this... "Women in third world countries surrounded by war get pregnant all the time."

This is where my jaw hits the floor. I have no comment for that and I leave a little stunned. I call my husband and my sister and I cry and cry. Then it hits me and suddenly I am angry. Wait a minute. How can he compare how I feel to some random person who got pregnant in a country surrounded by war? I am sure there are also plenty of woman in that country who didn't get pregnant. I am then thinking maybe a person who has lived around war their whole lives might not really feel the stress every day. Maybe they have learned to deal with it. Maybe for that woman living in a quiet country cabin would freak her out. Who are we to say what causes one person stress? Some people find taking a ride on a ferris wheel to be relaxing, some find it thrilling or like me some find it terrifying. I am so stressed on what is meant to be a joyful ride that I physically can't move. No, there are no guns going off, people aren't dying, bombs aren't being dropped but I am paralyzed regardless.

Needless to say, I did change doctors and tell him a thing or two about how I felt. My new doctor agreed completely. Everyone is wired differently and what creates stress in one person may never create it in another. Let's say there are three people who have to give a public speech at school. One is thrilled and excited to talk. They love the being the center of attention and having people listen to them. Another is bored and doesn't feel much more then getting this done because they have to. The third one is sweating and ends up stumbling all over their words, running out of the class room in tears thinking this is the most stressful thing he has ever done.

I believe only we can determine our own stress level and what causes it. I believe that stress does affect our health in crazy ways. I think stress is something caused internally and not externally. I believe we can say this or that caused me stress but the truth is we ourselves created the stress inside. I believe the power of the mind can make the most peaceful of things be stressful if we let it.

I think stress usually comes when we don't allow ourselves to feel what we want to or express things in the way we need to. It also comes when we are fearful.

So allow yourself to feel the feelings you need to feel and let go of that stress whenever you can. Finding ways to remove the stress from inside ourselves really is important to our health.....our mental health.....and our mental health is key to our physical health.

Be you, be well.