Strategy for Coping with Stress
by Richard Mansel
Worry can take our life away from us. It steals tomorrow before it ever arrives. Fibromyalgia feeds off of stress, and while there isn’t a cure for Fibro, there are strategies available to fight this dreaded illness.
Each of us must develop our own coping techniques. When Fibromyalgia came into my life in May 2010, I suddenly lost the ability to walk, some of the motor skills and strength in my hands and arms, and was left with a great deal of pain and fatigue.
During my treatment, I attended a pain clinic and received a lot of guidance about the effects of stress, worry and the pressures of life on our bodies. In order to deal with them, I began to develop a strategy that works for me. It can be adapted to fit into your life, as well.
Worry was one of the hallmarks of my existence until I realized that I must end the cycle. Learning to deal with the forces assaulting me and my family, I was better able to handle their attacks.
While studying biofeedback at the pain clinic, I began to construct a cabinet in my mind. Thi cabinet is a part of me, but it is not attached to my body. It has plenty of room to facilitate my needs and I placed all of my worries and fears there.
The contents of that cabinet are real and viable. The responsibilities still need attention and the stresses of life still exist. But their weight is no longer on my shoulders. I can look at them and attend to them whenever I need to, but they are not in me, eating at me like acid.
I keep the cabinet a safe distance from me, but close enough so that I can work with the contents as needed. On the show, “Sanford and Son,” Fred had a theory that if you put the bills back in the mailbox, then they didn’t have to deal with them. That was good for some laughs, but it doesn’t work in real life.
My strategy is not to unrealistically pretend that these problems do not exist. One the contrary, I am saying that we put them in the cabinet, so we can be more effective in dealing with them. We can put more effort into solving the worries and problems, if we are not weighed down by them.
By removing them from within me, I feel liberated. Self-preservation can push us to do things we would not normally do. I now handle stress and worry better than ever. I am calmer, more loving and gentle than before.
My fibromyalgia is still real and painful. I still stumble around and have trouble with my arms and hands. However, I am more liberated from the viciousness of worry. Nothing has changed about my Fibro, except the way I cope with the illness.
This strategy may not work for everyone. But giving it a try is worth the time.