Stress is tricky. I got the smell of a particular perfume in my nose this past week and I couldn’t get it to go away. I went for a couple of days thinking that I could “think” my way out of it. That didn’t work. I returned to a complete retraining process and it went away without me thinking about it.
There are times now where I still think that I can think my way out of chemical sensitivity. It is pretty rare these days to have reactions, but I still don’t like certain smells. A quick retraining is very helpful in those situations. And, it is entirely okay to still not like certain smells. It is all about balance.
I do think that stress is a factor. It may mostly be a factor in reverting to the belief that you can think your way out of the situation.
The retraining involves very concrete steps to use. You are changing the way your brain responds to stimuli. But, you are not thinking your way out.
I am still here. This is not a simple statement. I will celebrate two years in October of working the Gupta Program. Sometimes I start to notice smells and I get discouraged thinking that I have not made much progress. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I was reading a success story which Ashok circulated the other day. I was reminded of all the things I did for almost twenty years to accommodate my MCS. I have to remind myself how far I have come. Smells are really just irritations. I still do the seven step process and the irritation disappears.
Two years ago I was actually considering lining my living space with foil. I was spending most of my time in my car. I was using public facilities according to the safety of their bathrooms.
I went shopping today. I walked into a department store right through the perfume section. I thought about the perfume, but I knew that it would not hurt me. Yes, it was strong, I still don’t care for perfume. But the big difference is that I knew that it would not hurt me. The amygdala cycle did not kick into high gear and start running like a hamster wheel.
Yes, I am oh so grateful.
Things cleared up by the afternoon. However, another exposure to perfume or something at the taco place. We were eating outside and someone drove up and went into the restaurant. It was more foul than perfume. Most likely it was air freshener that they were using in their truck. You see, most of the time, these fragrances just smell like chemicals to us – the chemically injured. Then we get the head pressure, mental fog, loss of coordination, and the list goes on.