I think you already know what this is- it is stress, of course. Ann and I have written about this often, but it bears another reminder for all of us.
Recently, an elderly relative died. She was a writer and she owned hundreds and hundreds of books, kept most of her correspondence from her long life, had both published and unfinished manuscripts and poems of her own and of her many colleagues, as well as all of the usual possessions we tend to accumulate over a lifetime. It was a major task to lovingly and respectfully distribute and sift through her belongings. It was also another reminder of my own mortality as she was the last link to the elders of my family.
It took weeks to empty her apartment and weeks more to set up the interment and memorial services in order to accommodate those who live near her two separate dwellings. Although I tried my best to watch my energy levels while tending to this event, the rest of my life also conspired to be complicated for unrelated reasons. When it rains, it does tend to pour.
The result was a noticeable increase of MS symptoms, despite my best efforts to take care of myself. Since the resulting decline was so incremental, at first I did not recognize what was happening. Then I could name the cause: my old friend, Stress.
What to do? Acknowledging what is going on is the hardest part. Once I named what was taking place, I could gracefully clear my schedule, rest up, drink a lot of water, increase my intake of good supplements and tidy up my diet. While preparing food for everyone else involved, I had become a bit lax, eating what was made for others rather than eating in my own way on my own schedule. Getting back into a routine of self-first care has already set me back on track, and I am reversing the decline slowly but surely. We cannot control what life serves up, but we can control how we serve ourselves once we catch on to taking care of what we need.
Stress: The Invisble Exacerbator.