Rushing Woman's Syndrome

Rushing Woman's Syndrome, by Libby Weaver, may just change my life.  I've read it cover to cover over the last few days, and it gives me a powerful context for my thyroid problems, plus reassurance that having serious symptoms but still having bloods within the medically accepted range is quite common.  It has helped me to understand what is going on when I get stressed over only medium-sized organisational challenges, like getting everyone to their respective birthday parties, sports tournaments and kung fu gradings.  It's not that what I am organising is impossible, it is that I'm working in frequent (sometimes constant) overdrive so I don't trust that I've remembered everything.

Weaver is a big advocate of yoga, so I'll be sticking with that.  She is also passionately in favour of women giving up or cutting back on their alcohol consumption and caffeine consumption.  Caffeine is a non-issue for me most of the time, but I'm now over 11 weeks into my alcohol fast, and I feel a lot better for it.  I'm even contemplating extending it out to the rest of the year.  Turns out that when I am nice to my liver, it is nice back to me.

Weaver acknowledges that many women are very busy, and can't just give things up.  But she talks about being 'in the moment' and enjoying the wonderful things which we are right in the middle of.  I've realised that the thing which gives me the most deeply relaxing pleasure is gardening, so I'm taking a bit of time as many days as I can in the week to spend in the garden.  Even three minutes is great!

She talks about the origins of rushing woman's syndrome and a lot of it makes sense, but the part where she links it to wanting to please our fathers was the least convincing aspect of the book.  Sure, I've come to some realisations about where some of my crazy drive comes from, and started to release my assumptions around that, but the daddy thing was too big a generalisation for me.

She talks about estrogen dominance, which I've only skimmed past before, but probably is worth me finding more about.  The next recommendations she would make for me (no coffee-tick, no booze-tick) would be to trial no grains for four weeks, and/or no dairy for four weeks.  I know from past experience that both would be massively beneficial. 

I've done a bit of sewing recently.  The emerald half circle skirt is partly pretty and partly terribly made with puckering on the hem.  The skirt itself would have looked better as a full circle skirt.  Stupid half measures - I'll be going for a circle skirt next time.

Last night I managed to break my machine while sewing a birthday circle skirt for a special six year old.  So today I made her a craft bag via hand sewing and filled it with various fabric scraps, ric rac, thread and wool, all of it her favourite colour of blue.  I really hope the sewing machine repair man hasn't retired.


Deborah said…
"being in the moment" - just your brief report of it is very helpful for me. As is the concept of 3 minute gardening. I found 3 minutes today to pull a creeper out of a tree - very satisfying. And I'm hoping to find 10 minutes tomorrow to fork out some self-seeded wattles, which I don't want.
Sharonnz said…
Sounds like I do need to get hold of this. I've started up my yoga practice again - but only once a week. The challenge will be to incorporate this daily. I'd already cut down both alcohol and caffeine. I'll have to read her arguments about grains/dairy as I haven't been convinced by any of the "grains are of the devil" stuff I've read thus far. Not sure what I think about the current anti-sugar hysteria either? (Maybe it's only hysteria in my circles.)
Sandra said…
I will think of you and your wattles as I grab my minutes in my garden, Deborah. I spent about ten minutes in the garden late this afternoon, squashing white butterfly caterpillars off my cavolo nero kale, weeding around the kale and then watering with some liquid fertiliser. I loved it, and the world did not crash down upon us because I started the dinner a little later.
Sandra said…
My wonderful yoga class is only once a week in our town, Sharon, so I need to go regularly and get myself to the stage where I practise it at home. Swimming would also be good.

Interesting comments about the anti-grain and anti-sugar hysteria. They definitely are the current fall guys for any health problem. My own take on the grain issue is that it is so easy to have huge amounts of it, that the anti-grain exhortations can help in introducing better balance. It's very easy to have a wheat based cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner. I can't think of other foods which are so typical to eat at all meals ... except dairy, which is the other culprit so often singled out.

I'm thinking about that term 'hysteria'. The most convincing part of Weaver's book is where she shows how many people are so amped up all the time that their bodies are in fight or flight mode and consequently store fat. I wonder if the prevalence of intense food concerns, which do read as a kind of hysteria sometimes, is also part of this process of constant worry and self-doubt about our own bodies. I know I've spent countless hours researching my health issues online and in books. It has been valuable, and certainly more help than the medical profession has been at times, but it's also been part of a process of worrying and researching how I need to be 'better'. I've made a choice that tonight, despite being interested in knowing more about estrogen dominance and adrenal fatigue, I am going to go to bed and read my novel instead. Colm Toibin's 'Brooklyn'.

I watched myself today and was amazed at how very hard on myself I am - no wonder I've been stressed and inflamed! Feeling guilty because I started work at 9.40am this morning, after getting the children ready, the house ready for our cleaner, putting two loads of washing through, sorting out the winter coal delivery, collecting lost shoes, emailing the teachers about afternoon medical appointments for the children oh and breakfast for me plus preparing my working day in my head as I showered. On what planet is that not enough? The planet where I am always second guessing myself, thinking about what it would look like if we swapped roles, thinking about women who work three jobs because they have no choice in roder to feed their families, thinking about whether I could manage full time work and running a household. It's time to move off that planet, to the planet where I deal with my current reality, not imagined other realities. Enough of that though - I'm moving forward :) I still miss your blog, Sharon.
StephC said…
Sandra- I'm so glad I found this post. You are an excellent writer, and I think you are right about time spent worrying. Absolutely. :)

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