I have read a lot about stress lately. It seems to be a world-wide pandemic. I, of course, have never had any stress in my life. (Lightning striking) As least that is my morning mantra. I figure if I say it long enough maybe, just maybe, I’ll believe it. NOT! LOL
A Doctor’s Prescription
We’ve all gone to the doctor for stress related problems: fatigue, headaches, insomnia, intestinal issues, anxiety, etc. We are usually prescribed something and then told to slow down and distress. Having Bip, Pots and the twins around has always exacerbated my stress and at one point I was really, really, really sick and totally STRESSED out. I went in to see my Psychiatrist (this is the one that prescribes drugs) because I was really struggling. We talked for a while and then he gave me a prescription that I would never be able to fill. “You need a stress free environment for the next six months.”
After I got done laughing, picked myself up off the floor and managed to catch my breath we continued the conversation. The whole time I was laughing my psychiatrist was looking at me like I had just had a complete and total breakdown right there in his office. He then, of course, looking very sympathetic and concerned, asked if I was all right.
Are You Kidding Me?!
This was the question that I then asked this poor man. When he said “No” I smiled, sadly shook my head and told him, “That is impossible.” I then proceeded to list the things that were stressing me.
- I had five children struggling with serious emotional issues
- I was very unexpectedly pregnant
- I had to go off all my meds – immediately
- I was in the middle of a very messy divorce
- My soon to be ex was being abusive and threatening
- My first ex was being a twit
- My oldest daughter had just gotten engaged
- I was absolutely exhausted because I was not getting enough sleep
- I had just moved in with my parents and Grandmother
- I was working full-time and it was our busiest time of year
- I was going through bankruptcy
After I finished sharing this list with my poor psychiatrist, I looked at him and asked him which item on that list I could eliminate immediately? He looked at me and just shook his head. After he had time to absorb everything I had just told him (it took a few minutes) we both agreed that I would just have to wait it all out.
We can never achieve a stress free environment. Life is just too busy and happens too often. The best we can do is choose our reactions and screen out unnecessary activities and people. How is this done, you ask.
Too Much on My Calendar
If you calendar looks anything like mine, there is something or multiple somethings on every day of the week. Work, doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, child activities, home responsibilities, volunteer activities . . . . The list can go on and on. I had to start asking myself which things I could give up. It can be very difficult. I went through my calendar and cancelled everything that was not essential to me or my family.
Some People Are Just _______
We all have people in our lives that use us, abuse us, annoy us, anger us, drive us absolutely nuts, etc. Any person who negatively impacts your life can be asked to please leave. There were a lot of people who I stopped talking to simply because they stressed me out. I just told them that I was required by my doctor to shrink my circle of friends and curtail many of my activities. I was very sorry that I could not hang out with them for a while. Some got offended and some seemed to care less.
Loved and Safe
The best I could do was a lower stress environment. My family closed ranks around me. My mother was the gate-keeper, guarded the door and did not let anyone in who would upset me. My brother and his wife came every Friday night to play games (they still do 10 years later). My engaged daughter and I focused on her wedding preparations. My boss let me flex my hours. I took the weekends to just rest and recover. It was an interesting time, but I felt loved and safe. That was really all I needed.
As long has we feel loved and safe there isn’t much we cannot get through. A loving family and good friends are the best medicine for difficult times. I thank God everyday for mine.