Like many, I'm a lurker and don't come out of the woodwork too often, but I came across a statement today that helped me out of a particularly long 12-hour panic attack marathon. I'm certainly exhausted after that one.
Last night I had a great night at a friend's birthday party out at the bar. My hypochondria tends to be elevated after a long night of drinking. It certainly didn't help that I managed to get to sleep around 4:30am, and was awoken at 7:30 by a chorus of chainsaws outside my bedroom window excavating a tree. I wasn't able to get back to sleep, so I was pretty much doomed for a miserable day anyway.
Now in my mind, I've had just about every cancer under the sun over the course of about 8 years. Brain tumors, cancers of the tongue and throat (as a recovering smoker. Almost a year clean!) Esophagus, stomach, colon, testicles, gall bladder, liver disease, heart disease and that of the like. The list goes on forever. As the years roll on, however, my problems seem to be getting more ridiculous. Cancers of the fingernail, toe, and just about every other insignificant place. Today was a pimple inside one of my nostrils that has been present for just shy of a week, and has been turning hard and white. But that's now why you opened my thread...
I've spent about 12 hours on and off the internet today with accompanying shakes and a heart pounding out of my chest, with fear so strong I just want to curl up into a ball and vomit. Normally taking an hour out of my day and hopping on the motorcycle is enough to clear my mind. Not today unfortunately.
Then I came across a website at the end of the day. It was reading just like all the other websites I was looking at today, not really doing me any good. Then at the end, the bottom two paragraphs, read this:"Hypochondriacs will be hyper-aware of every ache and pain, a muscle stiffness here, a dizzy spell after standing up too quickly there. Your body is supposed to alter and have variation of feeling. It's a self-regulating system and there are going to be natural and harmless changes in the way you experience your physical self.
Your body is always sending messages to your brain and vice versa. The vast majority of these messages are innocuous. Aches, pains, dizziness, stomach gurgling, pins and needles, and headaches are the symptoms of being alive. Most of the time, these sensations signify that your body is just doing its thing the way it's supposed to. Hypochondria happens when people assume that any bodily signal is a portent to disaster when it isn't at all."
Huh? Wait- so you're telling me that these things are normal!? Pains, dizziness, pins and needles? Stomach problems, too? Woah. Now I always knew that. You've always known that too. But this section of the article really reminded me that my body IS a self-regulating, and if I WASN'T experiencing these symptoms, I'd be pretty much screwed because my body wasn't repairing itself. I guess you just have to have faith in your body, that it's doing this stuff for your own good.
But what do I know? I'm a 22 year old kid who just spent 12 hours in a sweaty, shaky, broken-down state. But be that as it may, It helped me come to a realization. I may sink back into a series of panic attacks tomorrow when I wake up, but at least it gave me enough confidence in my health to let me sleep tonight. Like I said, I don't usually post in these boards, but I know the power of this disease. If I could take the weight off of one person just long enough to have one peaceful sleep, then it was totally worth the effort to type this up. Stay strong, folks. You guys are what is keeping me sane.