Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adrenaline

Funny thing, adrenaline. As a chemical, it's pretty neutral. It's whole purpose is to prepare your body to do something - run or fight. It shuts down your brain, your stomach, everything but the muscles you'll need to accomplish one of those two goals.

Some people enjoy the rush of adrenaline. Thanks to roller coasters, bungee jumping, para-sailing, whatever, they've learned to associate that flood with pleasure.

I never learned that. I don't ride roller coasters. I don't drive fast or enter houses with possible burglaries in process (OK, once, but I vowed never to do it again). For me, two sips into a caffeinated drink have me wondering if I need a doctor and some Valium.

Part of my journey away from phobias is dealing with adrenaline. No person can pump adrenaline all the time. It burns out your body and your brain, like pressing "turbo" and holding it down.

I think I've been pumping adrenaline too long. At least three weeks, near as I can figure. I'm getting rushes at weird times, when literally nothing is happening, and no storm is forecast for a solid 48 hours.

I don't like it. Hard to type with shaking hands. Hard to eat lunch when your stomach clamps up and says "no admittance."

What to do?

Well, the exercise thing seems the best solution. If my body says "run or fight," I suppose I should run or fight. That will use up the adrenaline, I hope. The bonus is it gets me in better shape to run or fight if I have to do those things for real at some point.

I'm trying to look at this as a "win-win."

One side-effect is a new sympathy for those in real harm's way. Firefighters. Police officers. Our deployed military men and women. I'm getting a little, tiny glimpse of what it's like to live daily with an impending sense of doom. God be with them all. And their families. We're not designed to endure that kind of stress constantly.

Yesterday on Family Talk, Dr. Dobson interviewed the Monetti's, a military family who wrote the book Called to Serve for military families. The wife, Penny, talked about her obsessive behaviors when her husband first deployed. I heard my story and some tips to help. The biggest tip is to give it ("it" being my problem of the moment) to God daily. It has to be daily.

And that's what I'm trying to do. The AA "I am powerless against..." is my new mantra, followed by "It's yours, Lord. I can't do it. You'll have to."

He is. Thank you for your faithfulness, God. It is my shield and rampart.

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