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As some of you know, I've been trying to deal with my wife who has become very domineering, yet at the same time acts incredibly needy. She's always wanting me to validate her all time and claims that even the tiniest thing she doesn't like causes her "anxiety", like a few dirty dishes. Annoyance, I buy.. But not "anxiety". That's a mental health problem.

In any case, I've been wondering about my responses to things and my 'avoidance' prone behavior. Well, I have a short story about a very bad incident that, well, actually taught me a lot.

First, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure about a year and a half ago, and was put on 4 medications to control it. I'm now down to two, and am wanting to get off of them. The two I got off of had very, very bad side effects. How bad? I am now considered a diabetic... a possible side effect of two of them, one I'm not off yet.

Now, here's where this tale brought me some insight, even if I don't know what to make of it yet. A few days ago, I was quite occupied with some things, and I missed two doses of one of my BP meds, one being known as a "Beta Blocker". It works by attaching itself to your cells to prevent adrenaline (and related hormones) from getting into them and causing them to act on it.

At first, I was just uncomfortable. Kind of like you put a dent in some nice furniture and your wife is going to be seriously upset, it's a keepsake or something. A nagging, vaguely dreading feeling that just would not go away. I could find no reason for it. And worse, my blood sugar was shooting up and my blood pressure wasn't good, either.

I was so occupied with those (and other) things that I missed the time for dose 3, as well. But, before this happened, I was in full fledged "near panic" state. Imagine your phone rings and the person at the other end says "Hi, please come to the Emergency department, your family has been in an accident and you need to come right now". That kind of gut wrenching, fear-induced state of mind and body. Yes... that bad. I endured it for 3 hours. Blood pressure in stroke territory, and me struggling desperately to get my emotions and mind under control. I figured out the cause part way into it and the rest was waiting for the med to assimilate and circulate.

But something else stood out. Conflict. Confrontation. Emotionally charged conversations. Arguing things.

All these and more, over my adult lifetime have elicited these same, gut wrenching reactions. I recognized the abject misery, physical discomfort, and mental state induced by the adrenaline and other hormones finally reaching the cells in my brain and body... and realized why I have been so profoundly working to avoid the situations that caused them.

I don't avoid just because I'm lazy... I've been avoiding because the gut wrenching physical and the emotional trauma has been so bad. I've been on these things for more than 16 months. I never really realized what was NOT happening. Yes, there's still frustration and I still have some reaction... but nothing like I used to.

I never really realized I should not be shaking, having gut wrenching abdominal pain, feel desperately fearful.. And that's what I've been avoiding. I go to the doctor in a couple days to start tests and figure out if I have hyperactive adrenal glands.. if so, it's the cause of my hypertension ( my bp is very good right now, compared to what it was)... and much of the reason I have been so tired and so desperately emotionally stressed by any and everything for all these years.

Maybe it's all mental and my body's fine. Or not. Either way... I now have some small answers to my own dilemmas in life.
 

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I’m not with those who subscribe to the belief that our emotions are unaffected by those around us. Indeed not only do I hold the opposite to be true but I also believe that at times we are profoundly affected by those around us, most especially those we love, are bonded to and have invested a lot in.

But for me there is a “spectrum” on which people are affected by others, in that what would deeply affect one person has little affect on another.

You may actually fear your wife and be going through your daily life with your body full of anxiety, anxious fearful emotions. This anxiety may well be of your own creation (and probably is) for a variety of reasons but it may also be compounded by your wife’s actions.

But your way out of your anxiety is drug based rather than changing the way you see and think about things and taking actions to be rid of the things that you fear.

In some ways “life” is screaming at you to wake up! Life has taken a long while to get through to you such that you hear it but it seems now that you are finally doing so.

These moments in our lives can precipitate great changes in ourselves and therefore our world. Have a read of Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality: Anthony De Mello, J. Francis Stroud: 9780385249379: Amazon.com: Books the author will give you a totally different perspective on yourself and the world around you and he’ll wake you up even further.
 

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.............

elicited these same, gut wrenching reactions. I recognized the abject misery, physical discomfort, and mental state induced by the adrenaline and other hormones finally reaching the cells in my brain and body...
...........
I never really realized I should not be shaking, having gut wrenching abdominal pain, feel desperately fearful..
...........
Maybe it's all mental and my body's fine. Or not. Either way... I now have some small answers to my own dilemmas in life.
OG, that's a good thing that you realize the feelings. You describe them very accurately. I believe these feelings can be controlled through exercise. I.e. feel it more often and try/train to exert control a little by little. Heck, I am saying this because I am still in "training" and would like to "train" more.

That's why in many discussions of 'manning up', the prescribed 'try to do things you're uncomfortable with' is one of the key ingredients listed.
 

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OG, that's a good thing that you realize the feelings. You describe them very accurately. I believe these feelings can be controlled through exercise. I.e. feel it more often and try/train to exert control a little by little. Heck, I am saying this because I am still in "training" and would like to "train" more.

That's why in many discussions of 'manning up', the prescribed 'try to do things you're uncomfortable with' is one of the key ingredients listed.
I have to emphasize here, that the "cold turkey" aspect of the medication stop (missing 2 doses) dramatically exaggerates things, and in fact, is possibly bad enough to kill you, make you have a heart attack, or stroke.

In any case, after my lab results are back, the doctor and I have agreed to either get off of the one responsible, or at least try another, since I appear to be suffering one of the side effects of sleep interruption. I'm down to about 6.5 hr max, and just a year ago, I could easily sleep 8 if I wasn't interrupted.


Anyway, the withdrawal was kind of a "this is your body on adrenaline" education and I sure wasn't a happy camper. Almost a dead camper, for that matter.

So, for fun and profit (?) I'm probably going to be trying the "taper off slowly" method. Honestly, it scares me, but it scares me more to be on it. If I can, that is. Or, I may find out that I overproduce the stress and "fight or flight" hormones, which would have caused my blood pressure problems in the first place, and very well may have caused at least some of my bad learned behavior.

The things you learn by accident. Ugh. :scratchhead:
 

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Bob,
You make some great points. Some of your marital experiences are similar to mine. It is very difficult to be intensely emotionally enmeshed - in love - with someone who is highly skilled at button pushing.

The best button pushers have great poker faces. They don't express anger as anger. Instead they calmly sucker punch you in some vulnerable spot. This is way beyond vanilla fitness testing.
 

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Bob,
You make some great points. Some of your marital experiences are similar to mine. It is very difficult to be intensely emotionally enmeshed - in love - with someone who is highly skilled at button pushing.

The best button pushers have great poker faces. They don't express anger as anger. Instead they calmly sucker punch you in some vulnerable spot. This is way beyond vanilla fitness testing.
MEM, yes, passive aggression is never pretty and at times really quite evil.
 
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