Friday, 23 September 2011

Are Negative Patterns Contributing to the Manifestation of Ménière's Disease?

Hello and welcome to my blog - Ménières: An Inner (Ear) Journey.
I’ve named it thus as I have come to believe, over the past four years of being diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, that there is a strong connection between this disease and the mind. Both in how it is acquired (or manifested) and how it can be better managed, through more positive thought patterns. This is not to say that Ménière’s disease is self-inflicted or that of hypochondriacs, defiantly not, only that I believe some people are more vulnerable to manifesting the disease, due in part to the way they perceive and respond to life.

When I look back on my life prior to being diagnosed with Ménière’s disease I see a person who was being ground down. There was too much going on in my life, I was giving too much of myself to other people and investing in their struggles (work, relationship, personal, etc). I didn’t enjoy my work at the time as I felt under supported, over committed and it seemed as though I was always putting out metaphorical fires and generally being hyper vigilant. I hardly ever took holidays. I spent too long on the computer without taking breaks. Sometimes I'd go five or six hours without eating even a snack. I always went to bed after midnight. Most of all I rarely felt like I was progressing in any aspect of my life.

Although I was (and am) a genuinely optimistic person I had strong undercurrents of anxiety. The optimism allowed me to push through life’s stressors as I headed towards the light at the end of the tunnel. However, the anxiety kept me on the edge of my seat; analysing possible obstacles, ever ready to take control and fight off threats.

Ménière’s disease has in some respects been a gift, as it has forced me to slow down, take stock of my life and ask about my past attitudes and behaviour (as Dr Phil would say), “How is that working for you?” The answer to that question would be; it hasn't.

Because of Ménière’s disease I am now on a journey of untangling myself from all the stuff that has been smothering and grinding me down. A bit like Peter Parker in the Spiderman 3 movie who releases himself from the all the negative stuff that has been controlling him, though perhaps less dramatically (see pic above).

For me, Ménière’s disease has been an uncomfortable yet necessary opportunity to prioritise what is important in my life, to establish better boundaries with myself & others, and to learn to surrender to that which I cannot control… much like the illustration of the dandelion flower releasing its seeds into the wind (see top of blog).

Please post a comment below as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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