Some things you learn over time that make Meniere's easier:
You realize the people who are good for you, and the ones who trigger anxiety.
And you make a little move toward your emotional well-being by choosing who you spend time with.
You get to decide what you walk past and what you're available for.
You learn what happens if you have a weekend where you go out to eat a lot and then you see symptoms, and you know that it's because of those dinners. And that adds clarity.
Remember to help mitigate the effects of extra sodium in dinners out with extra water.
As you walk down the path every day and get familiar with your own ability to remember and trust that you'll have the good days again, you'll get to a point where it triggers less anxiety.
Keep up the faith. No matter what you read, no matter what you see other people experiencing. No matter what anybody says or indicates by a look in the eye.
Your path is your own.
p.s. If you want to come hang out for an hour in a positive environment where we will talk about maneuvering through the world while improving your emotional well-being, I am having a FaceBook Live session this coming Saturday, December 15, at 10 a.m. CST.
Come take a break from the Holiday Rush and be with people who care about you while we join forces and talk about lowering stress and anxiety.
If you're thinking you want to be one of 5 people spending 12 weeks lowering anxiety, I can also answer questions about the 90 Days to Resiliency program starting just after the new year.
You'll need to join the Meniere's Acceptance Club FaceBook group first. To do that, just click the link below and then click join, and I will add you to the group.
Here's the link:
Lowering stress and anxiety for Meniere's people requires us having some habits the rest of the world doesn't seem to live by.
Take for example this cultural (at least in the U.S.) of overdoing, pushing through, and pushing down difficult emotions.
Many times, especially for those of us who need to work jobs, we have to survive environments that are too fast. That don't give us time to take a step back to get our footing for when it's hard to focus, or for when we're on the brink of an episode and need to move slowly to try to pull back from it.
There seems to be an unwritten rule that says if you can't over-do, you're thought of as weak or not good enough.
I don't like the fear and guilt that's created by this kind of value.
Because to get better, we need to do well at the place we're at first, and then add more work or effort as our energy and well-being allows for.
We Meniere's people need ways to get through the world that can bring success on our own terms.
I say that healing requires not just the physical side - the doctors and the nutrition improvements - but it also requires a cultivation of emotional well-being.
The way we heal stress and anxiety is in 2 parts:
1. What we do on the outside - our relationships, duties and schedules
2. what we do on the inside - healing how we feel about things and doing right by our emotions.
That's why I created the 90 Days to Resiliency program. I want to help people know what to do both in their outer environment of jobs and family and things we have to say to each other, and also know how to heal the way we feel about what has happened to us.
To move forward with resilience no matter what the rest of the world is doing.
This Saturday, December 15, at 10 a.m. CST I'm having a FaceBook live session so we can talk about how we as Meniere's warriors move through the world.
I invite you to bring any concerns or stories or questions you have about the emotional side of Meniere's. Concerns about dealing with these strong emotions we get while having to maintain a family, or hold down a job, or move forward in life.
We're going to talk about solutions, and we're going to connect and see who else feels like we do. This is different than the other groups out there that seem real scary.
You are welcome to come join us.
Just be in the Meniere's Acceptance Club FaceBook group (click join after you open the link below, and I will add you to the group) by 10 am CST Saturday the 15th and we will hold a live session.
I will also be answering any questions about the 90 Days to Resiliency program at that time.
Here's the link to join the group:
I'm going to tell you something you've probably heard before: if you're experiencing worry and stress, focus on something else.
This isn't just a padded answer from people who can't have a decent conversation, it's also true.
When we change our focus we can change our emotions, no matter how real the worry seems.
Here's the thing: if you're doing everything you can with the doctors and the nutrition, the most important thing is to remove the worry while you get through the days until you see some results. You're on a path, and life must be lived.
This worry is what makes it feel like the light has gone out of life.
You can bring it back by choosing how you do mundane things.
Let me explain.
Your goal is to restart the interest in life by making a series of little bitty sparks.
You do that by shifting the focus from the noise in your head to the activity that's happening in the moment.
The easiest way to do that is to create little tasty moments within simple tasks.
Like putting on some music or an audio book while you're doing the dishes. Tapping in to how you feel about the music, or what the audio book is saying, maybe stopping here and there to ponder a memory or a new idea.
If listening to things is difficult, you can make little games within the task. Like the guy I saw once who was refilling a snack machine, and he would lightly toss each candy bar with one hand and catch it in the other before he stacked it in the machine.
Don't laugh. A week of these little private moments and you have a series of new memories of pockets of time that were interesting, and fewer thoughts about fear of the future.
The goal is to create enjoyment with simple things, instead of being fixated on the big things. You're working on the big things already.
You'll find all kinds of ideas come to you if, before a daily task, or a day at work, or even a drive that makes you nervous, you give an intention before the task: how might you add some spice and think different thoughts, new thoughts?
Remember our minds are malleable.
You are welcome to come join us this Saturday, December 8, at 10 AM CST to talk about how to lower stress and anxiety.
I will also be answering questions about the 12-week program, the 90 Days to Resiliency program starting soon.
Here's the link to register:
When do you have tinnitus the most? Some people have it only during a Meniere's attack, like me.
When my ear unplugs I have really loud tinnitus, and that is when I know that the attack is coming soon.
Other people have tinnitus outside of an attack, but it fluctuates. Some days it's higher, some days it's lower.
If your tinnitus comes and goes, or is higher on some days than others, I want to give you a few possible causes, so that if you are having a day with a lot of tinnitus, you can do a mental check-in and address these things to see if it helps.
Sometimes a lack of water can contribute to tinnitus. You might try drinking a couple of glasses of water and see if the tinnitus lowers a little.
If you're in one of those cycles where there's a lot of activity and you're going from one activity to another, this can raise tinnitus.
Have you overdone sodium the last couple of days, or have you eaten out? If this is the case, those glasses of water could even out the sodium and lower tinnitus. Water also lowers inflammation. As simple as that sounds, I've seen it work.
Sometimes if there is emotional stress, like an argument with somebody or an expectation you don't know how to fulfill and it's bothering you, worrying can raise tinnitus.
A note on lowering stress:
Anything you do that is the opposite of stress - a distraction with an activity you like doing, or slowing down and relaxing - you can often reduce tinnitus by dialing back hyper activity or worry.
When you are: well fed, well-watered, feel like yourself without being stressed, and experiencing well-being, is the tinnitus there?
If you're having one of those moments when you have forgotten Meniere's for a minute, and you look up and realize that your symptoms are lower, that is a real cue that you are susceptible to your environment.
And then you know what to do - recreate the moment you were in when the symptoms were low.
P.S. Saturday is quickly approaching and I want to make sure you know that you're invited to come talk about how to reduce stress and anxiety.
The free training will start at 10 am CST on Saturday, December 8, and it may be an oasis from the Holiday rushing.
Here's the link to register:
Meniere's people experience a lot of fear because we've had our sense of security threatened by not knowing when attacks are going to happen, and a lot of times not knowing exactly why they happen.
You're not crazy.
Safety and security and predictability are important human needs. We need a sense of security to be able to move forward in the world. This gets tricky when you can't trust that you'll be able to stand up at any given moment.
Part of the work we do when we manage Meniere's is to recreate the sense of security stolen from us. One of the best ways to do that, when we don't get much help from Meniere's, is to make us a structure in our routines - things that we always do, no matter how crazy everything gets.
The thing about routines is that they are a structure within an unpredictable world. They are always there for you, and they are comforting.
I used to get terrible anxiety at a job I was working when I was first diagnosed. It was so bad that I couldn't get gas or anything else on the way to work because I only had enough mental bandwidth to park the car and walk to the office and get through the day. And it was only a 5 minute drive LOL.
We do so much internal hard thinking about our future, about the next episode, about what people are thinking about us, it can inhibit what we're able to accomplish in a day.
What helped me back then was a structured morning and work routine that would take me through the day.
It included what I was having for breakfast and making sure the groceries were in the house by Sunday night, which way I would drive, what I would say to neighbors if I passed them, what I would say to coworkers when I got to work, and how I would navigate the office.
Everything was planned, so I could just step through it, almost automatically, so I could focus on healing my emotions.
You're reading this right now because of how well my created routines and emotional healing worked. You don't see me hiding in the corner, shivering and scared, like I did at the beginning.
If I can do it, I know you can.
Further proof of my graduation from anxiety: this Saturday, December 8, at 10 am CST I'm having a free training about how to lower anxiety while managing the outside responsibilities.
Fear can be strong, but our will is stronger.
After the training I will answer any questions about the 90 Days to Resiliency program. You will not be guilted or pressured to buy anything. You can come just for the training and just get information about my 12-week program, or you can join, or you can leave after the training. It's totally up to you.
Here's the link to register if you feel like coming on Saturday:
If fear is so big, how come it can't create reality? I mean we walk around with it, it feels like a physical thing, but it can't bring about the thing it makes us feel will happen.
Why then does it seem so real?
Fear is what happens in between Meniere's episodes that makes you feel sick every single day, instead of just during the episode.
But even then, it does not have the power to create another episode. It just makes us believe that it can.
Fear is a lie.
Happiness is real, you can possess it and know that you possess something. It is a thing real enough to be worthy of pursuit.
It's a thing that when people are on their deathbed, and they look back on their life and say that they have had it, they pronounce to themselves that they have lived a good life.
Joy contains both fear and happiness within it. When you get up even though you were afraid, you begin the act in fear and you end it happy because you realize you have what it takes.
The memory of it afterwards is, "It was hard when I started, I was happy that I did it, but the experience made me feel alive."
Joy is when you move from the uncertainty of a tentative step to an expressed potential. It's a by-product of working toward a goal.
Fear and happiness are given, but joy has to be earned.
It doesn't need you to be healthy and whole yet. It just needs you to believe you can be.
In the 90 Days to Resiliency program starting soon, 5 people will experience some fear in learning new ways to deal with anxiety. They will experience the happiness of a shared experience with others who are also moving forward in their lives.
But bigger than that - they will experience the joy of having pursued something and won.
If I haven't spoken to you yet, and you have this little voice in your head that says you are one of these 5, you best get on my schedule for a free consultation.
Here's the link:
There comes a time when you realize that there's no pill or supplement that's going to make this Meniere's thing go away. You get to a point where you realize you're going to need to learn how to manage nutrition, and learn how to manage stress.
7 years ago I was struggling through 3-4 episodes a week. I was in a vacuum of fear. I couldn’t pay attention to people I cared about. The only thoughts I had were tense worries: was I safe to drive, could I work, would somebody be there if I couldn’t walk.
I also had a strong rebel's complex, of "hey, screw you, Meniere's!" that came through as anger, of fight against the odds. Of dissatisfaction.
Probably people saw this in me and avoided me. Probably it created a lot of stress. But it fueled me to seek out new answers.
Do you have this quality?
I remember that shift in thinking between huddling in the corner, readying myself for the next attack - a reactive response, to being proactive.
Instead of reacting to fear, I started making better choices. I started asking questions about what would help me and what else was out there for me.
"How does the present choice (in food, in how I was thinking) affect my health next week, or 3 months from now?"
This is a lot different than “what happens if I get an attack today?!”.
It transforms you from a victim into a resilient person.
Being resilient is deciding what direction you'll go instead of getting taken over by uncontrollable thoughts and symptoms.
Being resilient means you recover quickly from stress, you know what your emotions are and what to do about them, and you know what to do in your commitments and schedule and connections with other people.
If you like the idea of being resilient, and you want to spend 12 weeks with me and 4 other people deciding they are not going to take it anymore, feel free to book a strategy call to talk about it.
These calls are so that I can hear about what you're dealing with, how it's affecting your connections with people and your health, and how the 90 Days to Resiliency program can change it for the better.
Here's the link to book your call. It goes right to my personal schedule and email:
Life doesn't end after you get Meniere's, even if you sometimes wish it did.
You still have to make decisions. You still have to choose how you respond to what happens to you.
You have to decide how you're going to go through it.
You can go through it in suffering and live out your life in regret, or you can decide to choose how you go along each day.
One of the most important decisions you will make is what you allow into your psyche to influence your thinking.
Everything - every person, movie, news program, and online article carries ideas with it, ideas that quietly shift your beliefs and emotions.
Does what you bump into each day create good or evil?
Notice what happens after you watch a movie about sad characters who have bad things happen to them, they lose everything, and their life is over.
Notice how you walk around thinking about the similarities between yourself and these characters who have been beaten by life.
You might even say things like, "See, it doesn't matter what I do, life ends badly anyway."
Notice your thoughts when you watch a biography of people like Abraham Lincoln, who suffered defeat after defeat, but grew into a man who lived a life of getting up, contributing, and impacting a country that so badly needed mending.
When you refer back to this movie in your mind it will put a light on different aspects of your character that are similar to great people. It will pull up memories you thought you forgot about cool things you've done.
You see, both sides are in all of us - the sad part, and the part that has affinity with heroes.
Why else would super hero movies be so captivating?
Remember Batman, when the child Bruce Wayne develops a phobia of bats when he falls into the well? And then when he becomes the hero of Gotham, he uses his greatest fear as a symbol of his new identity?
You can do that.
Don't believe that you have lost in life because you have received a diagnosis. Don't stay in the dark side.
One very important feature of the 90 Days to Resiliency program is that there will be five people connected, repelling all negative influences, inside and out. Gathering together to become resilient with the intention of getting better physically.
You might be thinking that you can't participate in the world because you've been unlucky. But if you find yourself gazing out the window and imagining what you could do if you didn't have Meniere's, it's proof you haven't given up quite yet.
You're most welcome to book your strategy call and see if our group is a good fit for you. Here's the link:
The world's not in the habit of asking our permission or how we feel about requirements. We end up getting in a bind of too much doing, of trying to make up for a health condition and be responsible, like "other" people say we're supposed to be. A lot of us have an achievers complex, a history of doing way too much.
It's easy to find ourselves in a life created by decisions that weren't made by us, that weren't made by choosing what we want.
Next thing you know, there's the symptoms, the doctor visits, and the official, "this is how life is now" situation.
How many times have you thought back on your life before you were diagnosed, and thought, "why did I push so hard?" "Were the things I pursued things I wanted?"
It's important to know what emotion is behind the decision you're making, because the decisions you make lead you down paths. You want to be on the right path.
You can still head toward the right path now, even if you experience symptoms. You just want to make sure you are managing your health at the same time. We can always change direction.
It's ok to tell someone, "let me check my calendar and get back to you." It's ok to take a few days and decide on the right doctor and the right people you want to spend your time with.
Take a few minutes and jot down what's important to you about a decision you're making. Spend time in activities that connect you to who you really are, and choose to include things in your life that support your personality, as well as your health.
Instead of going full speed ahead in somebody else's machine.
The new year is coming soon, and your decisions next year, if they're made from your better self, will serve to create better health.
If they're made from fear and forced requirement, they will lead to more illness.
5 people will learn how to become resilient in the 90 Days to Resilience program starting in January.
Part of being resilient is knowing which decisions move you forward, and which decisions move you back. Skills like these save years on your life.
To book a strategy call to talk about what your life might look like in the future, just choose a date and time that works for you from my personal schedule:
It doesn't take too long after your diagnosis to become the kind of person who always thinks and talks about illness, or the effects of illness, or what you're eating for the illness.
It gets to where it's hard to talk to people who don't understand what you're going through, because they don't understand how you feel, and you don't have the mental space to take on any extra cares because your whole mental space is taken up with Meniere's.
In fact, even when you do things like go get the mail or take the trash out or get the groceries or take the kids to school, or have dinner with your spouse, the things you notice when you look around your environment are in line with what you've been thinking about: Meniere's.
You don't notice the smell of Fall in the air; you don't notice the beauty in the world.
It's an unconscious choice: our mind only notices what is in line with our internal attitude.
People in line to pay are not just people, they're people with an evil scheme, stopping you from getting home to rest. Getting the mail isn't just a matter of walking to the mailbox; it's another duty that takes away from that small pool of attention you have to watch over and protect; and you feel fear over it.
It can get to where you walk around with a sense of dread and disconnection, and not really know where that comes from.
Don't blame Meniere's.
Blame the tendency to see the world with a filter of sickness over it - because you can do something about this today.
I encourage you to try the "what else" game. This is a game that shows you that there are many non-Meniere's aspects to life, even if you're having a bad day.
All you do is ask, after you get home from seeing family and the first line of thoughts come out from that experience: What else was said? What else did I notice?
If you are running errands and you're feeling rushed and you just want to get home, and you notice the slow person in the isle who can't make up his mind about what type of cereal to buy: go ahead and get annoyed, and then ask yourself: what else is going on?
You probably didn't see the person also waiting beside you who suddenly has interesting things to say about the Holidays, and you walk out of the grocery store the proud owner of an experience of human connection instead of apathy.
Apathy coats the world in a sad grey, but human connection brings out the warm golden sunset colors of worthwhile experience.
The beauty of living is about witnessing what unfolds. Noticing the seasons. Noticing the times in people's lives.
Sometimes we have to tell ourselves what else to notice, instead of letting our minds function on autopilot.
P.S. In the new year 5 people are going to change the dialogue in their heads in the 90 Days to Resiliency program. We're going to recreate the spark of living while we lower stress and anxiety.
If other people can do it, why not you?
Feel free to schedule a 30-minute call with me (here's the link) so we can get you in the group before the seats fill up:
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