Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Even Keel?

I picked up a bad habit back in my "going through my divorce" days. Which was seven and half years ago or so. I began to grind my teeth and clench my jaw. I didn't even realize I was doing it. Had a regular visit to the dentist in which he saw some damage from grinding and told me I needed to get a handle on it before it got serious. I was clueless as to how to stop it though, especially since I wasn't even aware it was going on. Time passed and I started getting the worst headaches I've ever experienced. I'm not a migraine sufferer so I haven't a clue as to how they compare. But what I was experiencing I could find no relief for. Pain killers did nothing. Sleep did nothing.

Finally went to the doctor and he discovered I had high blood pressure and thought that was probably the cause of the headaches (another new thing I acquired during my divorce).  The meds for that did wonders for my blood pressure but again did nothing for the headaches. Next visit to the dentist and he knew right away I needed help. He fitted me for a mouth guard and I finally got relief. For quite awhile I depended on that to stay pain free. Eventually though I was able to quit using it and for the most part not have any problems. I began to see though that as soon as I got stressed by something I would almost instantaneously get the same headache. I've never seen such a quick reaction. It amazes me. Stress situation appears and BAM! instant pain. And yet I do not feel the physical action of clamping down. The worst part is that once the pain sets in it is extremely difficult to make go away. It usually just takes time, a lot of time. Sometimes days worth of time. And I damn well better watch out what I chew during that time because I just add to the pain by chewing anything not soft.

The biggest help I've found is simply learning to NOT get stressed out by things in the first place. That has been a long time coming to figure out how to do. And I've had to go through a hell of a lot of stress to be able to learn to put it into practice. It has kind of been a "do or die" thing where I have been forced to face this part of me that wants to freak out at what life throws my way. For awhile it was so bad that just hearing Karin get mad at oh say, her computer, would set me off. Stupid stuff like that. A learned physical reaction to the smallest of stressors. So when I am able to truly not feel that stress in the first place I avoid a lot of needless agony. And life is just better all around. I am much happier!

But....last week I experienced something entirely new. I was going through a process of self-discovery that left me feeling elated. Like being on a natural high. VERY high I should add. Think the guy in the "what does it mean?/double rainbow videos. Enjoy that vision for awhile and laugh if you must.  :)   Anyway, guess what happened? Yup. I got a TMJ headache! Been dealing with it ever since. I've been left to conclude that not only do bad stressors do this to me but also really freaking good stuff.  Basically anything that takes me away from an even keel state of being. So now I am perplexed. How do I handle that? Is it not a good thing to be overjoyed? Back to the drawing board I guess. The best possible solution would be to find a way to unlearn the jaw clenching habit. But I just don't know how.

1 comment:

  1. To not get stressed in the first place is always the best solution! Could it be just a coinsidence though that you got the headache due to your too good of a mood? Maybe it wasn't the good mood that triggered it, like it just happened to happen at the same time? It's kifn of upsetting if feeling elated can make you feel less than stellar. Kind of controversial too :S

    P.S. I'm glad you like purple color and it happened to represent your age group in my pie chart :) A lovely coincidence! As for you not remembering if you've taken the survey or not, I believe if you go the survey and try taking it again it will just not let you do so if you've done it before - so that's how you can find out!