Dear Amygdala

Open letter to my amygdala

Dear Amygdala:

Thank you for doing such a marvellous job of protecting me and warning me of dangers. But here’s the thing, you’ve kinda gotten overprotective. I appreciate your concern; however, you need to tone it down a little. Well, a lot, actually. You don’t need to go into hyper-alert at the mere whiff of a chemical smell. It’s only a smell, and a smell can’t hurt me. I’m capable of removing myself from dangerous chemical situations without you overreacting. These overreactions usually cause me to suffer from headaches, sinus congestion and even sore throats. In other words, your cure is often worse than the perceived danger. Is that what you want for me? I didn’t think so.

You’ve become too much of a perfectionist (Gee, I wonder where you got that from?) and it’s having a negative impact on my life. So, please, dear amygdala, chill out. Relax, take a break and let me decide what the danger is. Give me the chance to make those decisions for myself. So, what do you say? Do we have a deal?


Your human body


I’m almost four months into my brain retraining and I seem to have hit a dip. Up until last month, things were progressing excellently. Especially where my chemical sensitivities were concerned. Because I haven’t been working, I didn’t have a great deal of exposures, but the ones I did have, I handled well. No reactions. My FM seemed to be under control too. I was very active and had minimal pain, not even much fatigue.


Then as the cooler weather set in, I became more housebound, and things started sliding downhill. I’ve recently had two severe reactions, as well as some painful FM episodes. They’ve really taken the wind out of my sails, and I’ve had to ask myself why this has happened. I think I’ve come up with an answer, of sorts. I’m struggling this year with the whole Christmas thing. I’m actually wondering if I’ve developed an allergy, because whenever I think about Christmas, my eyes tend to leak. Seriously, though, as much as I try to talk myself around, I just get sad about not getting to see most of my kids, and especially my grandkids, during the holiday season. It’s heartbreaking. And I do believe this has played a major role in my setback.


I’ve gone from hiking, biking, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors to spending most of my time alone in my house, achy and depressed. A positive mental attitude is so important in any type of recovery program and I seem to have misplaced mine, along with my Christmas spirit. At the moment, I’m not even interested in looking for it. But I will. I’ll survive Christmas without my kids, because I have to. I’ll go on vacation, gratefully, and recharge my batteries. Then return home with renewed determination. I’ll plow through those retraining dvds again, refocus my energies on my recovery and hold hope in my heart once more.

I can, and will, do this. Soon.