Words of Wisdom

Let’s Talk About Stress, Baby

It’s 11:29 pm on Wednesday, as I sit here, typing into my phone notepad. And I’m stressed. It feels just wrong to be stressed in summer, but hey. It happens to the best of us. I think what’s happening is an anxiety-induced shame spiral. Anxiety which was brought on by “healthy”, normal stresses. The thing about dealing with anxiety when it really flares up is that it makes coping with stress really, really challenging. I want to isolate, yet I don’t want to be alone. I can have compassion for everyone in the world, and have compassion for myself in theory. But if I’m being honest, not really. I’m not so good at self compassion when I’m bathing in the chilling bath of murky, cold, dark anxiety waters. I’m not looking for sympathy or pity points. I just… want to capture in words this feeling I sometimes experience. Feel all the feels, feel none of the feels. Feel so alone. Why am I so freaking sensitive. I can’t feel enlightened when the anxiety funnel cloud lands on my chest. I can manage detached. I can manage numb. But it’s a distant feeling tinged with sadness, not a distant feeling dusted with the sweetness of a day dream or with the unwinding of meditation. I feel the desperate need to reinforce boundaries, but I worry that is just me wanting to isolate and build walls. But it is kind of funny, how unresolved emotions swell and fester in the anxiety storm cloud. Things that make me think, “Wow, Becca, really? You’re still not over that?” Apparently, deep down, no. I’m still not over that. It really doesn’t matter what my “that” is. And “that” is most definitely plural. But I digress. The important thing is we all have those thats. The funny thing is, I actually do believe I have managed forgiveness for whoever or whatever did that to me. The world and all the people in it are complicated, beautiful messes, most of whom are just doing their best with the tools that they have. Complexities and nuances that are damn near impossible to articulate. Ugh. Maybe I just need a good cry. It’s been a hot minute since I allowed myself that indulgence. A good cry, a cup of tea, the quiet solitude of the night, and a golden retriever couch cuddle. Maybe that’ll do the trick. Update: 1:10 am. No tears, and only a little bit of doggy cuddles because he wanted to stalk and protect us from something in the backyard, I’m guessing a raccoon. But the cat was cuddly at least. We only had green tea but I made some anyways and took a few sips. The hot liquid felt calming. I feel like a spool of deep maroon red unraveled. Limp string that might as well be riddled with complicated, messy knots. Probably is tangled, but no sewer is there to pick me up and see the tangled, messy lump of useless thread that I currently am. Whoa… see what I mean about the lack of self compassion? Truth is, I’m the thread and the seamstress. I’m the novice knitter who stupidly and unknowingly tangled the yarn. Who dropped a stitch there and added a stitch there, and just kept going because I was scared to undo all my imperfect rows, fearing I’d never find the motivation to finish. It’s up to me. I can undo 6 rows, or start all over. Or I can accept that I’m a pretty shitty knitter and forge ahead anyways, banking that the recipient will be a “it’s the thought that counts” kinda person. Life, man. Life. I should really probably try and sleep. The good news, in regards to stress and anxiety: This too shall pass. It always does.

P.S. I’m posting this in the morning and I already feel much better. Sleep definitely helps.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Stress, Baby

  1. So glad I’m not alone. When I find I’m not over that ( and in some cases I’ve had 30 years, sigh) any more I apply antibiotic cream and a bandaid, take a deep breath and return to my life. Some of those mothers will never heal I guess. They are part of what makes me me. I refuse to fuss over them anymore. They will just get their bandaids and I’m moving on.

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