Sunday, October 09, 2005

Holy Basil theory

Before I began my Holy Basil regimen, I think that my emotional spectrum consisted of anger. Yes, there were levels, but it was all anger, ranging from venemous rage to barely bothered. And that anger was fueled by the cortisol which coursed through my blood vessels with a vengeance.

Why? Well, my blood type is A negative; thus, according to blood type research, I suffer from elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone associated with the fight or flight response. I constantly fight or flee, living on the edge of my chair, just waiting for the next "attack" to defend myself from.

Isn't anger the perfect emotional accompaniment to such a state of being? Heaven help me, I was raised in a family of type A hotheads brimming with cortisol. Our method of communication was yelling, alternating with passive aggression. Everyone was hyper, jumpy and explosive. I actively sought negative attention, both physical and verbal, because that was all there was.

OK, so now I'm on Holy Basil. (I have no idea why I've lost my color, size and font, but I take it as a sign.) It's known to help type A blood-ers with stress by regulating cortisol. Honestly, I no longer feel that adrenaline rush of the fight or flight. In situations, often involving the Chihuahua, where I would have felt my heart pounding, face flushing, muscles tensing and voice rising, I feel like a numb observer.

As for the emotional result of Holy Basil, I am still sorting it out. Yesterday at work I was "attacked" by a co-worker. It was the perfect setting for a major fight or flight outburst, and I did manage to spit out a few of the words that would have previously been inspired by anger-r-r-r-r-r. But I felt unusual. I fought back tears for a while afterwords, and thought that maybe I was hurt. Hurt is somewhat new to an anger addict. I wasn't sure how I felt or what to do, and somehow I ended up in some sort of irrational word exchange with another co-worker who happens to be a dear friend. Whatever I said to him must have been pretty upsetting because he stormed off.

It will be hard for me to describe my reaction to that. For a moment I was sent back in time to when I had a boyfriend. It was a lovers' spat. I wanted to run after him, crying, screaming that I loved him. But this guy isn't boyfriend material, so the above reaction was baffling.

At the very least, I can say that I experienced a strong emotion directed toward my friend, and it wasn't anger.

1 comment:

garnet david said...

WB- I think I know whom you are writing about, and I know him well. I believe he was frustrated and pained that you gave so much power to someone who is not half the person you are. His intentions are good, even if he loses it once in awhile. Trust in that. We are all struggling to make sense of a senseless world. Trust among friends is all we have. It helps to build trust in ones self, which is, ultimately, the core of our existence.