Last week I got myself into a right state. At the best of times I am a stress head, worrying about things that don’t need worrying about (and certainly don’t deserve the level of attention I invariably give them); having tantrums that are neither attractive or useful; obsessed with getting things done off my to-do list (a list I have created in the first place).
But generally, the stress is fleeting: a tantrum is done and dusted in a few minutes and the rest of my day is lovely; I can feel overwhelmed, then have a re-focus and be on my way to zenness.
But last week – well last week didn’t really work out like that. I seemed to fall into a black hole of stress. I was going to bed feeling stressed, waking up feeling stressed and feeling tearful all the time. And here is the really scary (and frankly rather embarrassing part), most of the stress was over ridiculous things; things that I KNOW are not important. And the more I watched myself behaving like a crazy woman, the more annoyed I got with myself.
My life ‘should’ be a breeze now that my health has improved, but in reality – well in reality, I don’t always find life easy. And I hate myself for it. I hate myself for not being able to just float through life appreciating how lucky I am and enjoying every second in a cloud of loveliness.
And I think this is part of the trouble – because I feel that I am not entitled to feel stressed, I don’t want to talk about it; I don’t want to bother my husband with how I am feeling as he has a big and stressful job (real, proper, grown up stress) and my worries just seem small and insignificant; I don’t want to talk to my best friend about it – for similar reasons; and I don’t really want to talk about it to other people as platitudes – however well intentioned – are not what I want to hear. (I am already feeling self-conscious about how I’m feeling and hearing other people’s version of ‘pull yourself together’ isn’t overly appealing.)
Last week I had a period from hell (think severe pain not just a few emotional tears here and there), which made me feel off my game and unable to do all the things I wanted to do that week, and it spiralled from there.
I got upset about the progress – or lack of – with our refurbishment plans (I did tell you it was ridiculous); I think part of me is bored with the project now and just wants it finished (so I can get on with my new life, being sparkly and amazing); part of me is feeling frustrated with how long everything takes to get done and part of me gets a weird, irrational – but overwhelming – feeling about time running out: yes my life as grains of sand slipping through an egg timer. And if time is running out (which of course it is) then I do not want to spend it choosing kitchen tiles!
One of the ways I manage my stress usually is by doing hypnotherapy every day, so I thought this would be a sensible way out of the mess I had got myself into. I went on to my favourite hypnotherapy website and perused their offerings (not as exciting as shoe shopping admittedly, but a more literal version of retail therapy). Rapid Stress Relief seemed to clearly be the one for me. I have listened to it every day since my ‘meltdown’ and it seems to have sorted me out, or at least help me put my stress into perspective.
But really I want to find a way to not get into this mess in the first place. My biggest concern about stress is that if I want to nail this recovery lark for the long-term – really truly nail it and sustain the health improvements I have achieved – I need to find a better way to manage my stress; this is not a nice to do, this is a fundamental part of keeping me well. I am not sure what the answer is. Can you really change the way you are? I have made a lot of changes to get to this point in recovery, so maybe you can. Maybe I just need to keep working on it.
Last week was an extreme example of my stress tendencies, but that part of my personality is always there and it worries me (and embarrasses me!) Maybe if we just blame my hormones I will feel less ridiculous – yes, feel better already. *It was JUST my hormones*
Would love to hear your thoughts – please tell me I am not the only crazy woman out there. Or if you have the secret to eradicating stress, it’s time to share…x