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Hypochondria Blues

April 21, 2011

I’ll admit that I’m a self-described hypochondriac. Really, the idea that my body can and will turn on me eventually scares the crap out of me. Ditto to the randomness of disease. So it cripples me to the point I will not go out on some days and will go out on others. It’s a very weird way to think. I’m baffled by it as well. I’ve had hundreds of ailments–or at least that’s what I’ve told myself.

And I always come up with a time when I’ll feel better and start living again, “Oh, next time.” Or, “When it gets warmer I’ll feel better.” Or…anything. The thing about hypochondria, I’ve discovered, is that one thing will trip me up. If I feel a pain in my arm that wasn’t there in the morning it’s a heart attack. Or if my eyes hurt it’s a stroke because eye strain is giving me a headache. Or, like my recent worry: lupus. Yes, lupus. Why? Well, my cheeks kind of like a malar rash therefore it’s lupus. Insane? Maybe. But that’s how it goes. One thing you find odd or off in your body and you’re dying–or convinced of it. At least that’s how it is with me.

I’m not sure how other people are with this. I don’t even know how to overcome it. I’ve been trying to focus less on what I’m feeling, but in a moment of boredom or sitting somewhere silently, the thoughts come creeping back in. I suppose you could say that I need more to focus my mind on, but I don’t think someone who’s never experienced this kind of fear will understand–it’s really not that easy. My hypochondria paralyzes me into inaction. No amount of refocusing will fix that when I’m in this sort of state.

Compared to two years ago I’m a lot better, but whatever happened to me the old ‘me’ is not coming back any time soon. I don’t feel great about myself and it really drags me down into the muck time after time. So! Anyone currently going through this or something similar? Did you claw your way out of it? If so I could use all of the advice I can get. If anyone bothers to read this thing.

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