Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I’m NOT STRESSED! Really, I’m Not!

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
Chinese Proverb

"I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once."
Jennifer Yane

Apparently I have stress. Who knew? No, really. Everyone has stress. I honestly didn’t think that my stress was so bad that my blood pressure would try to kill me because of it. Seriously, I don’t think my stress level has very much to do with my current blood pressure situation. I think that is mainly genetics and possibly something funky going on with my body that the doctors haven’t figured out yet. I’ve been WAY more stressed out in the past than I am now. I look at my life now, and it’s pretty good. Especially if you compare it to the years 1999 to 2006. Now THAT was some serious stress! Maybe my mind has evolved and adapted to the level of stress out of sheer necessity and my body is paying the price. Family and friends keep telling me that I’m stressed.

I don’t FEEL stressed out. Okay, in the mornings (5:30-7:30), getting ready for work, getting ornery kids ready for school, packing their lunches, finding their shoes, jackets, etc. (usually in the dark) – but that’s a short-lived period of stress. It is the most stressful and despised part of my day, but it’s over quickly. Once I’m on my way to work (even through rush hour traffic), I’m good. Work doesn’t stress me out. It’s just work. It’s not personal. However, STARTING new jobs stresses me out to no end. I’ve started three new jobs in the past two years. That’s never happened to me before. Also, LOSING jobs stresses me out to no end. I’ve lost three jobs in the past two years. Another strange occurrence for my life.

If you read my last post, especially as an outsider, you may see a lot of stressors in my life in the last two years. If you know me personally, then you know all the intense stress (hell) I lived through from 1999 through 2006 makes the last two years look like a day at the beach. I have grown accustomed to the PTSD, the depression, the anxiety, to the point that I barely notice it anymore. Except for the constant and unyielding fatigue. Everything feels like too much effort and too much energy for me to exert. I wonder if I’ll ever again get to a point in my life where I want to do anything besides lie down and rest. Right now, my main goal is to live as much like a hermit as possible.

I strive to live in denial. Let me repeat that… I STRIVE to live in denial. The more I think about the stressors in my life, the more stressed out I become, and that can’t be good. So I don’t think about the stressors. I pull a Scarlett O’Hara. “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Here’s the twist. I have gotten so good at not thinking about the things I can’t change, I don’t even give much thought anymore to the things I actually CAN change. Dirty dishes and laundry? Bills piling up? Dinner? Trash can overflowing? I don’t have the energy to care. I’ve even given up on wearing makeup and doing anything with my hair besides brushing the snarls out of it before work.

Work. W-O-R-K. What a glorious word. I love having a job. I am so grateful that I am employed again and that I feel comfortable and capable and appreciated where I work now. All those months of being unemployed, I knew that a JOB was not going to magically fix everything in my life, but it sure does fix a lot of things. It may add a small amount of stress to my days, but it relieves a huge amount of stress from my life.

I now have INCOME. We will be able to get our own place again and move out of the in-laws’ basement. We all have medical and dental insurance again. I will no longer feel like useless lump of parasitic flesh. I no longer feel as if I’m in some long-term limbo, never being able to plan past tomorrow. I’m getting into a daily routine, and for ME and my personality, that’s a very necessary thing. I need structure and stability in at least one part of my otherwise chaotic life. This is all good.

If I could just get my blood pressure to believe it.


Amanda said...

I understand striving to live in denial... LOL. Found you through OP, so I can relate a bit :)

Boy Mom said...

HooRay for a job! It's always a day at a time! I love the escape of work. I may not be able to control every little moment of my life and all the family members but like you said, "It's not personal it's work" I don't have to control it.

Suz said...

Who isn't stressed out!

I am so excited about your new job. I am less stressed at work than anywhere. I don't expect my patients to do their, chores, homework, etc... I just get to care for them.

I need to work on applying that at home!