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Can you rel8 to this?

A few years ago, I drove myself to the hospital due to heart palpitations.  I had felt the sensation once before in the same year and it stopped me in my tracks.  Once I arrived and was escorted to the triage area, I was hooked up to monitors, blood was drawn and doctors were in and out.  I was afraid that I had suffered a heart attack.  After being admitted to the hospital and a series of blood tests were performed, it was determined that I hadn’t experienced a heart attack but that I was under an incredible amount of stress.  That was an understatement seeing as how I had just discovered my then husband was a gay pedophile. Needless to say, my life had become the landscape for all stressors to inadvertently fertilize themselves into its soil.

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Not to get all clinical with you, but there is a lot going on in the world we live in.   According to the American Psychological Association, 2005:

  • Forty-three percent of adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Two-thirds of all office visits to family physicians are due to stress-related symptoms.
  • Sixty-four percent of Americans say they are taking steps to reduce stress in their lives.
  • Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death—heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.

You hear about it everyday.  People are losing their jobs through layoffs, demotions and firings, divorce is on the rise, finances are on a low and things are just not as stable as some may wish.  Men and women are suffering and don’t have the means to seek the help necessary to see them through it.

Below are a list of symptoms that stress brings on.  If you even remotely think that you are under stress, you should go through this list and check off those things that resonate with you.  If there are more than a few, you should get help – quick.  I managed to exude about 85% of the listed items.  Yes!  I was in bad shape.  But…I didn’t stay that way.

Cognitive Symptoms Emotional Symptoms
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness
Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Many people have asked me how I survived with the unveiling of such horrendous life changing news and to be honest with you, it is ONLY the grace of God.  In my darkest moment He was there.  If I didn’t have a “relationship” with him–I don’t care how educated I am, how well I speak or how prolific I write, I would have died.  For those who have a hard time embracing the risen Savior Jesus Christ, let  me tell you…it is more than just a religious experience with a God who tells you what to do.  As a matter of fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with that.  I would want nothing to do with that type of friend.  But the relationship with Him is about love.  He loved me through my most tumultuous moments–even when I wanted nothing to do with Him.  He has shown me what a real relationship is about.  So…no!  I’m no longer locked in the chains of those symptoms.  It wasn’t overnight, but it was definitely a time that I will always remember.  He was with me.

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