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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Anniversary stress and illness

                                                    This was my mum's night light.
                                                                M'reen Hunt (c) 

Anniversary illness and stress.

When my eldest daughter was 14 she went to Italy and had adventures that her life had not prepared her for. She coped exceptionally well and when she came home asked if she could visit a friend in the safe hamlet of Irwell Vale. I responded, “If you think you’re going out at this time of night lady you’ve got another think coming!” During the September of her return and the September’s for many years after I suffered extreme hair loss, this anniversary stress eventually migrated to October as it became less obvious until it expired completely. It’s a fact that alopecia can be stress induced; as losing your hair with worry or tearing your hair out is an turn of phrase that can be expressed in fact.
Also the longer your hair lies dormant the more colour it loses; as if I care.

I’ve read that someone’s hay fever was an anniversary stress response. This means that each year the anniversary of a stressful period is re-enacted.  Just think of bottled up emotions that cannot be expressed! A quick lifting of the head as you sniff and blink away your emotions, swollen red eyes that leak tears, a dribbley nose that requires lots of tissues, a tight throat that you can’t get your words of despair past and the held breath that tightens and lifts your chest.

When I did my Diploma in Counselling or maybe it was my Stress and Anxiety management course 
we were advised to ‘inoculate’ people for anniversary stress. I always did with the people I worked 
with for Victim Support and in private practice.

Speaking with a gardener he told me that for the last 15 years each October his brother went 
to the Doctor’s for an antidepressant course of medication that lasted till March as he had SAD.
SAD used to be diagnosed as depression until it was recognised as a separate issue. I asked him specifically what happened in October 15 years ago and he immediately told me of a stressful incident. I think rather than anti depressants his brother would be better served with working with 
the energy that is locking in and maintaining that stressful response that pops up each October.

For very sad reasons I did not want to travel over 200 miles during the Christmas snow conditions 
so my mind obligingly produced an infection of the soft pallet; that is the soft bit at the roof of your mouth. The circumstances were repeated the following year and the soft pallet infection provided the necessary excuse. By year 3 a practical situation had changed and I let go of the Christmas guilt trip, but I still had the infection and recognised that this was an anniversary stress and told myself that 
I simply refused to be ill and the infection lasted a few hours. In year 4 the infection only lasted minutes as I refused to succumb. This is quite easy as I’ve not had a cold for well over 10 years.
As soon as I’m aware of a cold coming on I repeatedly tell myself that I simply refuse to have a cold.
I admit there is a little gremlin whispering, ‘what if it doesn’t work this time?’ I reply with some trepidation that, ‘it would ruin my reputation.’ I continue to repeat these and a cold has always 
cleared in a few hours. Now I just need to master flu.

OK, not had flu for some years.

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