Feeling Disconnected From My Body
For 3 years straight, my body and my emotions were constantly on high alert, waiting for when my eyes would become irritated from thyroid eye disease (TED). I was left mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted by the state in which I lived. My body felt disconnected from my eyes because of their inconsistent reactions to the smallest things.
Lights were too bright. The sun was my enemy. White lights in stores and waiting rooms were invented by people who did not have eye problems. My depth perception caused bruises all over my legs. I would see a desk or a door frame but somehow still manage to run into it because my brain did not get to memo.
Lack of control: feeling disconnected from my body because of thyroid eye disease
As someone who has dealt with anxiety for all of my life, feeling out of control is my worst nightmare. Because I was in this hyper-awareness state of waiting, I had to learn how to calm my body when I felt useless to my eyes. It was as though I woke up one morning and my body, emotions, thoughts, and eyes had suddenly split. I was dealing with three different parts of my reality being discombobulated by my eyes.
The first year was the hardest. I felt frustrated every day. I had dealt with a lot of different medical things throughout my life but this was a different thing. Those past journeys with my health only allowed me to put my head down and figure out how to deal with it. They couldn’t have prepared me for the emotional and mental roller coaster I was forced upon with this disease. A lot of tears were shed, many of which were because my eyes were watering and I could not figure out a reason.
Understanding my eyes
The second year was much of the same. A lot of stillness and hesitancy to go make moves in my life because my eyes were still going through it. The only difference between the first year and the second year of TED was a global pandemic. I had time. When everything stopped, I began to control my body, emotions, and thoughts by recognizing patterns in my eyes.
I recognized when my eyes got irritated, I did not have to tense my shoulders. This was not a forever thing. I did not have to be on high alert. I could relax in knowing this would pass. I could not control my eyes but I could have a little more say in how I reacted to them.
Things were not as random as they seemed in the beginning. Each flare-up of my eyes had a similar pattern of events. I learned what worked and what did not when it came to helping my eyes. I had knowledge I could not have accessed prior to going through it.
Ups and downs
Through the ups and downs of this disease, I learned how to live in my body. I feel more grounded. I have more of an awareness now of when my thoughts, emotions, and body do not align. That does not mean I have it under control, but I have a perspective I would not have if I did not have TED.
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