Skills for Coping with Meniere's Disease by Stephanie - part two

Discussion in 'Meniere's Disease "Database"' started by gardenfish, Sep 27, 2006.

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  1. gardenfish

    gardenfish New Member

    I also have to add that I have a very strong faith in God. I truly believe that God has put people in my path when I need help the most. When I get lost, and remember to ask for guidance, He directs me. I also try to remember that God wants us to be happy. Have you taken a good look at babies lately? Have you ever noticed that they seem to be born happy and with a good self-esteem? At one of my lowest points, God put a young child in my life who taught me that God truly does want His children to be happy. Why else would they be born that way? Yes bad things happen, but through Him we can find peace and happiness again.

    I use to get angry at myself a lot. Like if I ate salt (Meniere's trigger) and got sick. I even got angry that I GOT sick (even when I didn’t cheat), and couldn’t go out & do what I wanted (or needed) to do. Every time I called in sick to work due to vertigo, I felt guilty. That same friend taught me that I was spending lots of time on useless emotion that was only making me worse. He reminded me, repeatedly, that with menieres we’re going to get sick even if we live a perfect life. Sure avoiding our triggers help & may lessen the occurrences or severity at times, but we also know we’re going to get sick sometimes no matter what we do or don’t do. He made me see that it’s really unproductive to get angry at ourselves. Yes, we can learn from our mistakes, but even then we don’t need to dwell on our errors, but acknowledge them & learn from them, and then move on. By getting angry at myself I was making myself sick. Self-recrimination is a useless emotion that has no useful purpose. Guilt is good to help us learn, but becomes useless & actually harmful when we dwell on it. Why waste time doing this? I don’t know how to explain this one better.. it took me awhile to learn it. When I did, it was life-changing. Now, I acknowledge I made a mistake, or that I’m ill, and then move forward. I no longer waste more than a few minutes on the thought. I may write something down if I need to remember, but then move forward. I learned to realize that not only is every sunrise a new beginning, but every moment of every day is a new beginning too. We don’t have to wait till tomorrow to start fresh.

    DON’T LOOK BACK except as a learning tool. I heard a quote once that went something like “History is a place to visit, not to dwell”. We all have things in our past that are painful or hard. Sometimes it’s good to look back to remember or learn something from those times, but never to dwell on the past. Dwelling there brings the pain forward into the present. Nothing useful in that, and can be very harmful.

    I heard a psychologist once say that women are the worst about doing this. I know I’m guilty. I can look back at the last few years & add all the hardships up & think.. wow I’ve had a rough few years. This is not a healthy thing to do. It’s better to let go of each hardship as it ends & dwell in the present.. not the past. Again, it’s OK to visit those times to learn from them.. or to help others from them, but they’re not a good place to dwell. Live in the present.. TODAY.

    This is a great tool for confidence & just to feel good about yourself the rest of the day. I use it often. If you can do something small, such as make the bed, clean a small corner of clutter in a room, vacuum, wash a load of clothes, exercise.. something/anything (even if it only takes 5 minutes) before ever leaving the house each day.. you will be amazed at how you feel. It’s good if it’s something easily noticeable when you look at the house, but anything will do. This gives you a sense of accomplishment that lasts all day. You will know that you’ve already done something worthwhile that day so that even if the rest of the day is shot.. you’ve accomplished something already. It also gives you a sense of pride & confidence when you start your workday, as you’ve already accomplished something. A side benefit is that it helps you get things done, because if you do a small portion at a time, things eventually gets done. Doing just a little at a time also works when you feel sick/tired & can’t do much at any one time. It helps keep the depression at bay.

    Most of us know why we’re anxious or have fears. I think.. what’s the worst that can happen to me. Then I look at steps I can take to prevent what I’m afraid of. I also look at what happens if my fears are realized.. what damage control could I do then to make the results turn out to be tolerable.. anything??? Most of the time there is something. Sometimes it’s about perception. Talking about things with others can be a great outlet. You can vent and often find out what you really feel by talking it out (or writing it down). And sometimes a person comes along that can give new ideas and perceptions to help you understand something in a different way. Sometimes perceptions change and healing occurs.

    I mentioned this before, but when working I used to tell myself I’m here to work and blocked all other thoughts from my mind. I allowed myself time later to deal with the rest. (I still have a hard time remembering this one).

    When I was at my lowest, a friend helped me write out things I needed to do each day/week to help me keep going in the right direction. A routine also helps quiet the mind because as you get use to it you don’t have to think about what’s next. My husband’s way of living is the opposite of routine, so I found things I could do within my life, on a regular basis, to keep me centered. I wrote these things out & still look at them from time to time, especially if I feel like I’m falling again.

    This is my list:
    Take care of myself. (This is number one. If I don’t do this, how can I take care of my son/family). And when taking care of family (especially elderly or injured), as one friend told me: "All you can do is enough".

    Eat healthy. Most importantly -- stay away from salt & all other food triggers (for menieres).

    Exercise EVERY day.

    Get out of the house at least 3 times a week & interact with other people. (This one I started after I quit working. I didn’t want to ever feel trapped at home, and didn’t want to loose my people skills so that I’d be afraid to get out in the world again).

    Be positive & not self-destructive (I use to have a lot of self-anger & until I learned to stop that had to remember not to punish myself with overeating or self-recrimination).

    Be happy. (Happiness is a choice / a matter of perception. I don’t feel I have to be giddy with happiness, but at least try not to go around thinking about how hard my life is, or how sad or scared things make me. I once read a quote.. “The time to be happy is now”. If not now, then when? This is where coping skills really help. If I deal with my emotions, I can move on & feel happy, or at least peace, even when things are very hard).

    Remember the Serenity prayer.. mainly to accept the things I cannot change & to change the things I can. (Ex. I can’t change the fact that I have menieres, but I can change the way I deal with it. Another ex. I can’t change the fact that my hubby had a bad auto accident & that the local doc injured him further. I can & did complain to different agencies about the doc in the hope he doesn’t do it to anyone else). I can try to make the best of what happens to me or to us, and maybe use our experiences to educate/help others. Mainly I can accept things as they are (not what they should be, or could be) and in accepting find inner peace and happiness again. (Remember that acceptance does not mean giving up. It simply means changing one’s perception and the way we deal with life internally, into a more healthy and productive way. It means and end to butting one’s head against a figurative brick wall in the hopes of changing something that will never change. It means using the emotions to move forward instead of fighting oneself over what can never be).

    Along those lines, something else I learned from a friend at my lowest point. I can’t change what comes out of peoples’ mouths when they speak (or type), but I can change my reaction to them & only take those words that mean something to me to heart. The other words are just words.. nothing to get upset or angry about. We all have different perceptions & views of life. If someone’s thoughts or views don’t help me to grow as a person, or help me in any way, then I don’t take them into my heart. The words cannot hurt me if I don’t accept them. However if the words are helpful, then by taking them into my heart they are powerful & can be life-changing. By looking at words this way, I don’t feel the need to defend myself if verbally attacked, as the words don’t hurt me. I know who I am & what I believe. Their words aren’t going to change me unless I accept their words & let them.

    When starting at the bottom / feeling very low, I start by making a routing & accomplishing something early each day. Exercise helps tremendously so I make it a part of my routine. I try to live in the moment & don’t dwell in the past or on the future. I write things down so I don’t have to constantly think about them. I think only of today, and of each moment as it happens. If I need to make a doctor appt, or plan for something in the future.. I do it, write it down, and then go back to living in the present. I take each moment, and each day as it comes. If I'm waiting on something like test results, I put them from my mind until I hear. Until I do they are not part of my reality as I don’t know what they’ll be. I don’t know if the results will be bad or good & there’s nothing I can do to change them, so I live in the present & don’t worry about the future. Today I can feel at peace as I haven’t heard any news. When the news comes, that will be my reality then, and I’ll have facts that I can work with. Only then will I know if I need to make changes or plans.

    My belief is that by taking life moment by moment, one can handle anything.

    Ok, that's my list of coping skills and perceptions. How do you look at life, and what do you do to survive it?

    Be sure to read part one,57.0.html

    HEATHER New Member

    That was very positive reading for me Stephanie and will help me as im new to this meniere's disease can you tell me what food and drink to avoid please thankyou.

  3. Linda1002

    Linda1002 New Member

    Hi Heather -

    Stephanie no longer posts here, but we use her coping skills because they are so helpful.
  4. Gina05

    Gina05 Guest

    Bump! Trying to bring new life to this forum with wonderful threads.
  5. Gina05

    Gina05 Guest

    I really needed to read this again today. I bumped it for anyone who may have missed this. This is...special.
  6. Aggiehunter34

    Aggiehunter34 New Member

    Needed this today.

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