Hypochondriac with Time on Her Hands

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately. I have lots of spare time on my hands, but I’m not sure what to do with it. I mean, I have my lovely to-do lists, right? But when it’s time to relax and enjoy myself, I feel antsy. It’s like I don’t know how to play anymore.

It’s easy to get sucked into this slump, especially when American society is telling you to always keep working lest the other rat win the race. But I don’t even know what the prize is at the end of the race. To me, it seems to be a glorified trophy rather than something that’s worth all the stress involved in this race.

If this is how I feel, why do I always get duped by it? I fall back into the race at the same time I deny its power over me. It just doesn’t make sense. Maybe this is human nature. Sometimes when you try so hard not to let something happen, you actually enable it to have power over you. A hypochondriac can start out with near-perfect health and by worrying so much about disease, they inevitably make themselves sick. And that seems to feed the fury. Now they know that they were right about having that sickness all along. So the cycle continues. It only stops when the self-destruction is stopped.

Mind over matter is a difficult thing. I have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s Syndrome. Basically, when I’m cold, the nerves in my fingers shut off circulation to my fingertips and my touch is unnaturally cold. My fingers turn white in a freakish way and don’t go back to red until I’ve warmed up. It happens in my feet, too. And trust me, it is painful to walk on numb feet. I am fortunate that I don’t have it as bad as some people.

This winter, I’ve decided that I am going to try to control my mind. When the weather makes a drastic change to low temperatures, I tense up. This tension certainly doesn’t improve my circulation and I think it’s part of the problem. So I wiggle my shoulders and try to shake off the tension. I visualize hot showers or sandy beaches with warm sand. I’m Rocky about to run up that flight of steps. Believe it or not, this has worked for me. But when you feel like an ice cube, it’s really hard to convince your body that you’re still warm. I’m still working on mastering this technique.

If I can actually convince my nerves not to overreact to cold, perhaps I have more control over my health and my life than I think. Now that is something to ponder on. I think I’ll go take a hot shower.


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