This worked great for life-threatening situations, like a bear chasing her, or a large tree trapping a child underneath its trunk, but these hardly ever happened to Brenda. Yet, she consistently acted as though disaster was right around the corner. Brenda would feel powerful and high under the influence of adrenaline. When she came down from the adrenaline high, though, she suffered terribly from depression and weakness. She naturally wanted to feel good again and would soon be looking for another opportunity to use her secretly all natural drug of choice.She was suffering from all the typical signs of abuse:
- Increased blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest
- Blurred vision
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating and performing everyday life activities
- Increased sensitivity
- More strength
- Weight loss
I knew she needed help and fast. Sending her to a treatment center seemed to be the best hope for her. I googled "Adrenaline Treatment Centers" and found, well…. very little. I wanted to offer Brenda someplace to detox, but there was nothing available for her.
Frustrated I imagined what a treatment center would look like for Adrenaline Users. There would be lovely landscaping of lush greenery and tall palm trees. The walkway would be smooth and evenly spaced bricks. There would be fountains everywhere and benches inviting you to stop and just breathe. The reception area would have a similar feel and all colors would be earth tones. The music playing would be soothing tunes.
The treatment would consist of classes all starting after 9:00am with names such as:
- Learning To Let Go
- How Ignoring That Cell Phone Can Help
- Turn Off That Computer Screen
- Have You Had Enough Water Today
- Don’t Argue, Just Ignore
- The Lost Art of Sleep
- Healing Through Silence
- How To Just Say No
- Becoming A Stress Walker
Each day would begin with a healthy breakfast eaten slowly followed by an hour long meditation by the waterfall. Yoga would be offered 5 times a day and massages would be available anytime. The advisors would follow the clients around whispering slogans to them, " It is what it is" "Let it go and Let God" "How Important Is It?".
While this perfect place didn't exist close to her, I told Brenda she could learn to create this imaginary place in her daily life.
Learn to live a quiet life
Social media cries out for more fuel in its never-ending need to be noticed and validated. If Brenda could simply "take her ball home" and not play this thankless game of “see me” and please “validate my worth” she would find she has far less to be upset about. What was so bad about being invisible to everyone, but the people who love you? Without the steady stream of likes and comments didn't she feel just as valuable. There are people who do not like the Mona Lisa. Does that make her any less valuable?
Change what she can
Acceptance is the first step to this idea. Accepting that she has no control over people, places, and things allows Brenda to look at what she can change and do that. Instead of stirring up her energies in less productive ways, she can actually do something productive that won’t require her to produce adrenaline. She could actually change her life without abusing her body.
Let it go
Many times, Brenda felt she had to reply, respond, or react to someone else’s situation. She finally learned those were their choices, not hers. She also learned that she had time between the incident and her response. It may have only been a micro second, but it was always there for her to use to her advantage. To make a choice Brenda will need to slow way down and breathe before speaking.The mantra she might want to use is, "Easy Does It."
Adrenaline Users are everywhere and my friend Brenda is certainly not alone. Our culture constantly stimulates us and is quickly wearing our adrenal glands out.
Info sourced from the Mayo Clinic
A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Nadine Knapp