Have you ever wondered why life is so frustrating? It is oft-times oxymoronic. We park on a driveway. We drive on a parkway. We child proof our homes after the children have already gotten in. When we are so stressed out by our full schedules we add things to do for rest and relaxation. We go through complicated processes to simplify our lives. There is a plethora of smart people who do stupid things (I am occasionally one of them).
I have struggled with serious depression, drastic mood swings, anger issues and a sense of being broken since I was a preteen. I was pregnant and married at 16. I graduated high school with honors one semester early one week before my first child was born. I had 5 children in 9.5 years. I taught piano, religious classes and tutored elementary students. My husband was in the Army when we first married and went into law enforcement after he got out. We were the best of friends and he was a very involved and loving father. Unfortunately working for the sheriff’s department changed him from a kind and caring husband to a selfish and abusive man. After 15 years together he walked out without any warning when I needed him most. I had reached my emotional limits and had been seeking help. My parents came and took the children and I home with them.
The Wakeup Call
Over the years I’d been told several reasons why I was have such difficulty coping with my life. You’re pregnant and it’s the changing hormones. You just had a baby and are too tired. You have five small children. My favorite: “It’s all in your head.” Whatever it was it was literally killing me. I ended up in the hospital for three weeks after 28 hours of sleep in 28 days, 2 days of constant crying and pleading with my parents to do something, ANYTHING, to make it go away.
It was here that the doctor finally validated what I had known most of my life. I was really broken. I had a chemical imbalance, a stress disorder and an anxiety disorder. I was given education, medication and three weeks of rest. I was also told that I HAD to have a stress free environment if I wanted to get better. HMMmmmmmm . . . . Five (eventually six) children. Moving to a new state. Getting a divorce. Yeah, right.
Beginning a 15 Year Journey
As I began my journey to find wellness and balance I came across a couple of obstacles. The first was finding a good therapist to work with my Psychiatrist. I talked to several in my search. The first one was too young and did not have enough experience. The second one just wasn’t a good fit. The third one actually told me that my life was to stressful for him to deal with. (My response to that: “Are you kidding me!!!”) It took me three years to find a good therapist. The second hurdle was managing the stress levels in my life and in my home. Some of the serious stress in my life I was so used to that I forgot it was stressful. It just was.
Oxymoron Becomes My OX Ys a MORON
I began to notice the number of people who should be given the Darwin Award. I mentioned it to my psychiatrist and he laughed. I also had to admit that I had qualified for the Darwin Award a time or three myself. I still do occasionally I am embarrassed to say. I have learned over the years to laugh at the outrageous and blatant stupidity that runs rampant in today’s world. I’ve even learned to laugh at my own “moments”.
As I stand in the light on the other side of the darkness that had been my life I look back and see many others wandering those same dark trails of depression, extreme stress and anxiety. This is why I have started this blog. I want to share what I have learned in my journey. I would love to hear about your journey. Maybe by sharing our experiences and what we do to cope we can make each others’ journeys lighter and brighter.
I have absolutely NO stress in my life.
At least this is what I keep telling myself. The incongruity of this statement makes me smile. I know that stress is an intimate part of our lives. We cannot be free from it but it can be managed. My New Year’s resolution for the last 20 years: To eliminate as much stress out of my life as I possibly can . . . . Before the new stuff comes in. I have kept it every year but the stress still tends to pile up faster than I can deal with it. Oh well. Laugh and laugh again.
Don’t take life too seriously. It often won’t take you seriously. Just ask Murphy, he has his own law now.