Hypo distractions

I am a hypochondriac. Counselor Deb has helped me worked through a crap ton of my junk, but it is a struggle I have to learn to manage monthly, weekly, daily, HOURLY sometimes when I get stressed. Life has been a bit stressy lately and my catastrophic thinking (a Deb point) is freaking FLARING right up. Another thing Deb taught me in counseling is that my anxiety manifests itself in real physical symptoms. This means that… wait for it… I stress about something, it induces a physical symptom, I stress about that AND the initial stress, and then ultimately fixate on dying alone. True. Sucks. I had to literally write verses (the lard one!) on my arm today to help me to refocus. (And then explain to S. that big people can do that, but NOT big kids.)

Also, last week I got Swimmer’s Itch from a lake which was NOT part of my stress. Do you know what it IS caused by? I’m about to tell you:

1. Flatworm parasites live in ducks
2. Ducks poop the parasite eggs out.
3. The parasites hatch and swim until they find a host. The host is SUPPOSED to be a snail, but they can also come into contact with humans.
4. When the water starts to dry after you get out of the water the parasites burrow into your skin to try to stay alive. They can’t live in humans so they die in your skin which causes an incredibly itch water blister bump.

Do you feel like puking? Everytime I looked at my legs (the bumps are almost gone now), I felt very much like puking. I honestly tried not to look at them. The itching did, however, help me to stop focusing for a while on my other, self-sabotaging symptoms though.

FORTUNATELY (!) lots of fantastic relaxation options have recently opened up and I am about to list them for you:

1. Sola-mi is a concept band (one member being Derek Webb if you are familiar with him) who released an ambient album based on a nonexistent movie. I’m not sure really how to describe it, but it is a bit mellow-electronica which I really love. AND it is free. You can get it from the website or Amazon.

2. Josh Garrels released another free album! I have gushed about his music before and this album is just as fantastic. AND it has a Kye Kye remix of one of his songs. Obviously they would know each other, since awesomeness attracts awesomeness. You can get both of his free albums from his website. On his site he describes how he considered this year his year of jubilee- the Biblical time during which every 49 years all debts were forgiven, slaves freed, property restored to the original owner, and land given rest so people could rest as well.

3. Watch the movie Beginners. It reminded me a bit of Amelie crossed with Smart People. Ryan and I both liked it, it had a good ending which was not cheesy, and it was darkly funny which is a mood we have both been hovering around lately. You, however, will enjoy it even if you are NOT currently darkly moody. It is very good. Or v. good as C.S. Lewis always writes. (I am about to go on a C.S. Lewis and Anne Lamott bender, as an unnecessary side note. I just got Imperfect Birds from the library. They are the literary equivalents of the deceivingly comfortable orange felt armchair I once picked up from the side of the road.)

4. Hannah’s Prayer Online Forum. This is a Christian online forum for women who are struggling with infertility/fostering/adoption/etc and has been a borderline obsession for me in the last week. (“Someone GETS it!” *sigh of immense relief*) If you are wrestling through any of that, join IMMEDIATELY. But seriously. Go. If you aren’t, bookmark it so that you can hand it over to your friends who are.

And that is what I have for today. I am now going to bed because after 10:00pm is prime time for freaking out about nonsense. (Which is not fun for myself, Ryan, or my mom or sister who I will end up calling at 7AM as a result of an 11PM flip out.) ((Refer back to arm graffiti.))

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