Today I thought it would be fun to chart my moods swings over the past several months of unemployment. As you can see from the below, it’s been very up and down, but upon closer analysis I’ve actually uncovered some interesting tidbits.
- My insomnia started when I was in my “fuck-you pink-slip” high phase, which as it turns out was likely fueled by high levels of cortisol running through my body. How did I know my cortisol was crazy? Well, there was the obvious physical evidence (a flourishing muffin top), but to rule out ice cream consumption as the main cause of the muffin top growth spurt, my chiropractor suggested I take a saliva stress test to measure biochemical imbalances. As it turns out, my cortisol levels were three times higher than normal at bedtime, which explains my inability to sleep. No sleep exacerbates anxiety. Anxiety means cortisol. Cortisol and ice cream feeds the muffin top that in turn gets me all hopped up on shitty foods (and caffeine) that prevent sleep. Wee…what a fun cycle!! My naturopath, who interpreted the results of the stress test, used words like “adrenal fatigue” and “pre-diabetic conditions” so now I’m in the process of making a complete lifestyle change (diet, exercise, meditation, etc.) because the alternative doesn’t sound pleasant.
- The chart also indicates that despite efforts to reduce cortisol levels the past two months by using the natural remedies above (which are slow), maybe the best medicine came in the form of actually make a decision about my future. Could all this soul-searching over the summer have been more stressful than getting a pink-slip or having a job that I didn’t enjoy? All signs point to yes.
- And finally, did switching to decaf actually improve my ability to make a decision about the direction of my future? I don’t have any scientific evidence that this is the case, but I can’t help but think it did. Caffeine is known to feed anxiety and when you’re sleep deprived and anxious, making an informed and rational decision is close to impossible. Instead, you seek solace in ice cream.
Well, there’s the recap of the “summer of Keri.” Wasn’t that a fun ride?