For the past few days, I have been heffalumping around, convinced that my body has turned on me – at the moment, it feels likes an untamed beast – and that I am the human equivalent of, quite frankly, a cesspit. Steady on, Drama Queen, you may be thinking, and although I’d say the same to anyone else comparing themselves to a sewage and refuse dump, when it comes to me and my body and my current feeling in it, I say wallow away, m’dear.
But here’s the catch: wallowing is only allowed when directed toward the act of wallowing. Wait, what? Well, soulful friends, the thing is, it’s not really my figure that’s getting me down, and it’s not my hair, my athletic ability, or my brain, it’s that I am not being proactive, and the resulting fear – ding ding ding, red light, red light – of not succeeding post-graduation is attacking my vulnerable mind. See where I’m going with this? It’s not my thighs that I should be moaning and groaning about, it’s the actual moaning and groaning that I should be moaning and groaning about: soulfully, I am going through a marked growth spurt that takes great strength to endure, so Self-Hatred and Insecurities, you can see yourself out now, thank you; Kindness and Compassion, you may enter.
For me – heads up, I give you permission to giggle at the following confession – the symptom that signals something emotionally taxing is going on, and that I’m not just physically full because I’ve been pigging out like a prize-winning hog, is bloated armpits. Bloated armpits. And that’s what’s going on right now: you can bet your bottom dollar it feels as though my armpits are about to pop.
Historically, traveling and social events have triggered my phantom armpit bloating, but this time around, my you’ve-eaten-so-much-even-your-‘pits-are-feelin’-it is occurring because of my impending total lifestyle change. Moving to San Francisco after spending the last five years in Eugene finding my footing in life after years of suffering from anorexia is daunting, but I have the power to lessen the stress, and the problem is that I am dragging my feet on the matter. Funny, isn’t it: I hate this bloated feeling, but I’m the one controlling it.
Acknowledging that I have the power to debloat my armpits is music to my ears, but while He-Man’s I have the power (see above clip) proudly stampedes through my mind, little snippets of the Jaws theme song rudely cut in. To keep the preferred song running – the one that encourages empowerment – I have stuck Post-its listing the bits and bobs I need to do onto the whiteboard above my desk, and every time I complete one of those to-dos, I peel the corresponding Post-It off and satisfyingly throw it away. Job done.
Day 1 and I have already thrown two away, and my armpits already feel 2% less bloated.
The sensation of ones armpits deflating must be up there on the list of best feelings ever, but I still do not wish the experience upon anyone. In other words, if you, like me, carry your feelings in your body – be it in your stomach, your head, your chest, anywhere – I urge exploring ways that remedy the somatization. Feeling bloated, for example, may be beneficial because it signals that you need to tap into your emotional status, but feeling bloated and getting down in the dumps about it is not okay.
One last tip: buy stocks in the Post-it market; my consumption alone will guarantee you profit.
Do your emotions manifest in your body? If so, where, and what do you do to help ease the discomfort?