Am I addicted to cortisol?

So, this is the pattern I have noticed in myself.

First, I claim that I want a quieter life, less stress and to find some peace. I cut something out. Then as things start to settle and I have more time to myself, suddenly I feel that it is too peaceful, and I take on something else. 9 times out of 10 my family and friends say ‘what are you doing? why are you taking that on?’. I think to myself, because I will be good at it and it is my responsibility to do this (whatever it is).

I think somehow, I have managed to link being busy and achieving many things, with self-worth. I think that by doing lots of things it makes me important and valuable. Being the alrounder, multitasker, perfectionist…………… I have actually linked these traits to my identity. There, I have said it!

To make matters worse, all the things I am juggling and cramming into my schedule have to be done perfectly to make me happy and worthy. Worthy of what? you ask. The answer is  I DON’T KNOW!! perhaps worthy of my own approval. No one else is driving me to be like this, not my husband, not my parents, not my kids just ME.

Research is telling me, this chronic stress I am putting myself under is causing my cortisol levels to spike out of control. Cortisol is the hormone that is secreted in the natural human ‘flight or fight’ response. When running unchecked it reeks all kind of havoc on the body and explains why I don’t sleep well, when I do I wake up still tired, I catch cold after cold, I crave the bad stuff – caffeine, sugar and alcohol, I am anxious and depressed.  As we know, all of these symptoms can have dramatic long-term health effects.

This is why I have to change. But, how the heck do I change something that is related to the very definition of who I am? (or who I think I am?)

SAA (stressaholic anon)



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