Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle. ~Bill Phillips
I broke out in hives yesterday evening. I still have them. Why? I haven’t broken out in hives like this in 2 months or so. I used to live in hives all the time. Hands, feet, torso, upper thighs, hives would pop up off and on. That lasted about a year or so. They slowly dissipated as I took control of my body and decided to handle my stress through diet, exercise, meditation, and letting go of things in my head. And it seems I’ve slid off the wagon and have fallen back to the hives.
I’ve spent the last 3 weeks house/dog sitting and I have almost another week to go before I’m home for awhile. The last gig the other week was stressful due to nosy neighbors butting almost daily. Add the other things that have been going on and it creates the perfect little storm for hives to start. Not to mention that my diet went out the window (sometimes it’s hard to keep it up when living in another’s house for a week and a half) and I haven’t been doing yoga, meditation, or any exercise due to having a different schedule from my norm.
My stress level has made me a bit apathetic at work, which is detrimental for me. When you have little feeling or intention for each massage, clients can feel it and do not return. This apathy wasn’t intentional. I think it was more from my mind and body being tired from it’s own struggles. I’d like to apologize to each client, but how do you put that into words? Sorry I sucked today because I don’t care? Not possible. Just breathe and get through the next one until the end of the day. Hope for better then next day. This apathy has a snowball effect on my stress levels. As clients do not re-book due to half-hearted massages, my confidence gets shaken and that adds to my stress. I have to get control of it before it destroys me again. It’s happened many times, and I always have to pick myself up from the dirt to rebuild. It’s a constant lesson builder for me. At least by this time in my career, I am aware of it happening and can act on it. In my youth I wasn’t aware and it has burned me to cinders, leaving nothing but ash and grief.
Speaking of awareness, that is one thing the previous weeks of running this gauntlet has brought me. I’m aware of my stress. I’m aware of mindful speech. I’m aware that my previous actions of diet, meditation, and exercise were working for my stress levels to be down. It’s nice to have this realization. The events of the last few weeks have brought me into my own body a bit more, whereas for the longest time I felt like I could never get my feet on the ground long enough, like I was running on the moon. And even though I’m not sitting sweetly on the grass and cloud watching, I’m at least on the ground feeling everything inside me. On second thought, ouch, feeling all of this isn’t fun at all. It hurts and tears at me, makes me chafed and raw inside. However, I am aware of it and it allows me to make decisions on what to do about it.
And so my hives are probably just an outpouring of my stress into a physical shape. I wish they could just be an allergy that I could take a pill for and they would disappear, but no. Well I could ask the doctor for Prednisone, but I hate what it does to me, so I won’t. Instead I count them as a lesson to make an actual effort to decrease my stress. Until they go away, just call me Queen Bee in my hive.