Tag Archives: stress

I Promise You, I’m Bored With This Mess

I’ve been pretty absent around these parts lately. Life simply has not been wanting to play fair. It seems as soon as one thing eases up, ten more plop into my lap.

We’re still trying to get a handle on some new health matters, and that’s been my primary focus lately. It’s also been the primary trigger of stress lately. I feel as though I’ve been kicked into hypochondriac mode. Every new symptom brings concern. Is this related? Should I call the doctor? What if it’s not a big deal? What if it’s a really big deal?

I’ve been reduced to spinning circles within my own mind.

And honestly? I’m pretty bored with this mess.

I want to go back to how things were a few months ago. When I was only worried about the usual things, bills and such. I want to have a break from this added pressure, and just go back to the usual amount of stress.

Which is hardly something one wishes for, right?

But it’s true. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m overwhelmed with the constant onslaught of drama, problems, and stress.

Anyhow, I promise you this:

I’m ready to get things back to normal. So I’m going to do what I can to help it get that way. And I suppose that means letting go of some of the stress, any way I can.

Anyone have some sharp ideas?

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Playing With Dogs

Life lately has been pretty complicated.

My health has been having some ups and downs and even some sideways. The holidays came, conquered, and left. Once again we find ourselves in January where money is a little more than tight, the weather is a little colder than chilly, and we’re all pretty burnt out.

I find myself stepping back to evaluate where my heart is. What projects have a I committed to, and which do I really WANT to do? How do I balance what I want to do with what I NEED to do? How do I take care of myself and others?

Yesterday, after a particularly emotional doctor’s appointment, I came home and cried. I curled up with my doggy and tried to shut out the world. Except the world didn’t want to stay shut out. There were emails to answer and phone calls coming in and…

I’m overwhelmed.

So this morning, I didn’t check my email, I didn’t answer my phone. I loaded up my doggy into my friend’s truck, and we took our dogs to the dogpark. We stood bundled up, chatting with other dog owners as our dogs all sniffed each other. I walked around with our little Toddy while he sniffed each and every fence post. I threw the squeaky ball for the dogs who would chase it. And I watched my shy little guy chase dogs three times his size.

I got a little muddy, more than a little chilled, and am definitely tired. But the dog slobber made me smile, and as I watch my Toddy nap on the couch, I realize my mind is clear for the first time in weeks.

And suddenly, things aren’t so complicated.

Christmas Is For Gratitude

I know I’ve been pretty quiet this month. My family decided that since my fiance and I couldn’t travel to them for the holidays, they would come here. Which means I’ve spent much of the last month swamped with the regular holiday stuff and then an added side of stress and anxiety. Add in a big dose of my health being wonky, and it’s been busy to say the least.

I had a little mini meltdown last week when it all became too much. After I vented, cried, and snotted all over the place, I was reminded of all the good I have in my life. So here’s a great big holiday dose of gratitude for you, just in case you’ve got a little too much yuck on your plate, too.

GratefulMondays

*I’m grateful for friends who let me send them epically long emails full of my drama. I’m equally grateful for their love and support, and all the wonderful advice they offer.

*I’m grateful for a fiance who, when I’m feeling swamped, tells me to make him a list and he’ll make sure it all gets done. And you know what? I’m grateful for my awesome fiance who made sure that list got done. Every. Single. Thing.

*I’m grateful for friends who send cookies, and for the same friends who don’t mind their cookies being a little late while I battled the crud.

*I’m grateful for Cathy and all her love. For the new sheets and heated mattress pad, which have turned my bed into a haven for my sore body. For her working through her own pain to give me a mini makeover every month so I can look good, even when I don’t always feel it. For her unwavering support and all the very best hugs.

*I’m grateful for the roof over my head, the food in my fridge, for a doggy who loves me and snuggles me, and for family who want to be with me (even if it does cause a bit of anxiety).

*I’m grateful for the blogger friends I’ve made this year, for all the help and advice they’ve given, and for the growth in my writing. I’m grateful for exciting new opportunities in the new year.

And last, but never least, I’m thankful for you, my dear readers. For sticking by me when the writing is thin, for offering support when things are rough, and for helping me celebrate the good times. I’m looking forward to all the things we’ll share together in 2015. Until then, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Stream Of Consciousness- The Holidays Are Here

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but a few of my loves from the Facebook writing group have linked up. And wouldn’t you know it, about five minutes of freewriting might be all I have in me today. Yeah, I know it’s not Saturday or Sunday, but I really don’t think anyone’s gonna mind too much.

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There is a Christmas tree in my living room. It’s not decorated yet, that will come later this week. But it’s here, with its reminder that the holidays are here as well.

Not that I needed another reminder.

My mother has been calling for weeks, trying to nail down plans for Thanksgiving. In her state, she hasn’t heard me each time I’ve told her that we won’t be joining them for the holidays this year. As much as I want to see my sisters, the stress of dealing with my parents is just too much for me. Not that Mom wants to hear that.

Stress has been really bad here, lately. I’m not sleeping well, the teeth clenching isn’t going away, and I can feel a flare coming. Can’t do much about it, though, cuz I can’t stop stressing.

Stressing about money, about Christmas gifts. About my mom and her drinking. About my health, about my fiance’s health. Whether or not we’ll both qualify for health insurance again this year. Whether my doggy has arthritis and that’s why he’s been struggling to jump onto our bed at night. Stressing about finding placement for my father-in-law. Stressing about the wedding, and how we’ll ever be able to afford anything. How we still haven’t found a venue, how we need photos so we can do save-the-dates.

The stress doesn’t go away.

But in the meantime, there’s apple butter simmering away in my crockpot. And that’s another sign, the holidays are here.

Truthful Tuesday: I’m Hurting

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some truths. Today the emotions are still running high, so I thought this would be a good way to process some of them.

*The doctor says I have TMJ, that it is related to RA, and is likely caused by my poor stress management.

*While I’ve improved in some areas in therapy, stress management is still something with which I’m struggling.

*What I really want is someone to handle these things for me.

*I not only have a hard time telling people “No,” I also have an equally difficult time saying “I can’t do this any longer” when an obligation or responsibility becomes too much for me.

*Right now, the emotional pain of this diagnosis and the surrounding issues are as painful as the TMJ.

*The pain is impacting my ability to eat the food I want, and today it hurts to talk. Or sing.

*My doggy asking to play will never not bring a smile to my face, no matter how much I hurt.

*My doggy waits until I’m in the middle of a post, and knee deep in the writing mojo before he’s ready to play. And he will not take no for an answer.

*Even while things have been rough these few weeks, I’ve been blessed. I’m lucky to have friends who do so much to enrich my life.

*I will overcome this hurdle, just as I’ve overcome everything up to this point. I may need a few days to process things, but I will prevail. And I will smile again.

Top Five Thursday: De-Stressing

I had a really hard time writing today. Which, when you’re posting every day, is something to be expected from time to time. Also, my brain has been pretty bogged down with stress.

One of the biggest battles I face as a spoonie, is reducing stress and stress management. We all know that, while stress does not cause our illnesses, it can exacerbate symptoms and cause flare ups. Stress management is key.

I’ve been working with my therapist and my doctors to learn better coping skills, and find areas in my life where I can cut out potential stressors. Still, life has a way of sneaking up on me every now and again. This week would be one of those times.

And so, I thought instead of just working on me, I would share my top five ways to de-stress, in case life was being mean to anyone else lately.

*Music. I know I say this a lot, but music really is one of my greatest tools. It soothes me while allowing me to sing along and express whatever emotions are clogged up within me. Also, music varies, so there’s always something to fit whatever your mood. Rock is my go-to, but sometimes I can be found crooning along with something soft and slow.

*Distraction. Sometimes it’s scrolling Pinterest, sometimes it’s playing silly games on my phone, sometimes it’s trashy TV. The point is to find something to pull your mind from whatever is stressing you out.

*Writing. Journaling has become a great tool since I started therapy. I used to think that my journals had to be neat and edited, like my writing here. A good friend helped open my eyes to the wonders of scribbling. Now my journaling is just about getting the thoughts that are swirling around my head out onto the paper. And to be honest, there’s a part of me that feels a little better to just doodle and scribble instead of making it all neat.

*Creativity. Coloring or crafting, as long as it involves using my brain for something fun, it counts. Spilling all my mental energy into crafting new cards, scrapbooking, or even photo editing takes all the power away from the stressful thoughts. I can’t be worried about money while I’m coloring in Winnie The Pooh, it just isn’t compatible. Try it sometime.

*Talking. Just like writing, this works to get the thoughts out of my head. Talking them out with someone- a therapist, a friend, a family member, your spouse- can also often help you see a solution where there wasn’t one a moment ago. And even if you don’t need any answers, but just to vent, talking is still a great tool.

These are not my only tools, but they’re the five which help me the most. What tools do you use to combat stress and worry?

Truthful Tuesday: Random Thoughts

There’s been a lot of stress in my household lately.

Finances are tight, work is stressful for my fiance, my health has been a little more frustrating than not, the list goes on. When I’m stressed, my thoughts become scattered and swirling, rarely slowing down long enough for me to complete anything.

Today is one of those swirling days. I have many thoughts, but they aren’t all necessarily connected. And because I can, I’m sharing them with you:

*I am blessed to have my internet friends, they have become the very best kind of family.

*There are many things I need to make happen in the next ten days and I have no idea how any of it is going to work. This is a huge part of my anxiety right now.

*After over two years battling IBS symptoms, I’m finally able to see a gastro specialist. My appointment is at the end of June, and I am both nervous and excited. This will hopefully be a big step in the right direction.

*My doggy is the best thing that could have happened in our lives. He’s been a light in my days and never fails to make me smile.

*Summer temps are here and I’m trying to be grateful. But in my perfect world, it would be mid 70s with a light breeze. These 80 degree days with humidity have me wilting by noon each day.

*The very loud and unruly upstairs neighbors have moved (FINALLY) and my home has never been more peaceful. I’m selfishly hoping the apartment doesn’t get rented anytime soon.

Let Me Help You

One of the things I’m loving about therapy is finding the roots of my anxiety. It’s all fine and dandy to find healthier coping skills for said anxiety, but to discover WHY I’m anxious, and curb those responses is an even greater thing.

Yesterday we had a little revelation.

Well, rather, I had a revelation. I’m fairly certain my therapist saw it coming a mile away. She’s good like that.

I like to help people.

I know, I know, that shouldn’t cause me anxiety. But it does. It does because not everyone is receptive to my help, and that frustrates me. Which means I stress about it, dwell on it, and work myself into a tizzy over it.

I know it seems silly. And when I type it out, it sounds ridiculous even to me, but that’s me.

I’ve lived a lot of different paths in my life, and a great many of them were not easy or pleasant. I wouldn’t change those paths because they all led me to my son and my wonderful fiance, but I’d be lying if I said some of those paths didn’t hurt. A lot. Apparently at the very core of me, I’d like nothing more than to spare anyone the same pain I’ve already lived through. Who wouldn’t want to help their friends that way, right?

The crux of it is that I try to force my hard earned knowledge on others who aren’t usually very receptive. My father-in-law who approaches his life with chronic illness differently than I do, the pregnant teenager who is in for a rude awakening, the good friend who overextends herself to the point of an imminent burnout. Just because I can see their paths are causing them pain doesn’t mean it’s my place to try to force them to change. I can offer them my help, but if they choose to continue on their path, I must allow them to live their lives.

I don’t know WHY I’m this way or why  I let it get under my skin SO MUCH. You would think it would be easy to just let it all go, especially when my peace of mind is at stake. Sadly, it’s a battle for me to walk away and let them be. I want so badly to help them, save them from harm and pain that I fret about it until I’m a mess.

Now that we’ve discovered one of my quirks, it’s time to work on finding a better outlet for my energies. Which means I spent last night contemplating starting a local support group, which I’m not sure I have the energy to take on…

What are some of your quirks?

Running Out Of Days

DaysBlog

I’ve sat down to write half a dozen times this week.

Obviously, nothing has happened until now.

It’s not that I don’t want to write, or that I don’t have words. Instead, I have too many words. My mind has been a swirling vortex of words, thoughts, and emotions. I just haven’t been able to put a voice to any of them.

Here’s the deal, I’ve been stressed to the max.

We’ve been working to get a transfer to a different apartment on the other side of our complex. It’s the best answer to an ongoing problem with harassment and vandalism from our current neighbors. In the last few weeks things have reached a fever pitch and we’re desperate to move as soon as possible. Which may or may not be this weekend.

It’s also the busiest time of year for EVERYTHING. December is my son’s birthday as well as Christmas, so we’ve been scrambling to get all our shopping done without blowing our already strained budget. And on top of all of that, we’re going home to visit my family for Christmas. Which we didn’t know we could make happen until this week. Which meant scrambling for train tickets.

Fortunately, it appears things are starting to turn in our favor. However, we still have moving, early Christmas with Pops, gift exchange with our favorite couple, and packing for our trip to cram into the next ten days. And I’m pretty sure we’re not done with the Christmas cards yet, either.

I know I need to let go of the stress so that I don’t throw my body into another flare. I am trying, really. Each day this week I’ve taken time out of panicking to curl up on the couch, watch a Disney movie, and nap. I am taking care of myself the best I am able in the midst of everything.

That doesn’t mean I’m not sitting here wishing Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother would pay me a visit and do some bibbity-bobbity-booing.

**Even though I haven’t been here, I did do a guest post for A New Kind Of Normal yesterday. Check it out!