Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?”~ Chevy Chase as ‘Clark Griswold’ in “Christmas Vacation” [1989]

I can totally relate at the moment.

In as much as this is a favorite movie during the Christmas holidays, and the fact that me and my siblings have tried and tried and tried and tried to memorize this rant from the film, we never could seem to get it all. We’ve had better opportunity memorizing lines from “A Christmas Story”.

But this scene in the film (and a few others as well) has become something of a must-do in my family every year.

Still though, I’m wishing it was 2012 already. As we enjoy (or suffer) the last few hours of the Thanksgiving weekend and not to mention most of us with a four-day weekend, can we skip December??? I didn’t think so. Oh well, it was worth a shot! You don’t get anything if you don’t ask!!

As frustrating and depressing as 2011 has been, there’s still just under five weeks of it left and I’m so terribly looking forward to the new year. Plain and simple. I am full of the hope and wonder that it will be a far better year than this year has been. Even though it’s not completely over.

But I won’t give up! Hope that is. That’s just not within me at the moment. Even though it would be SO easy for me to surrender and say, “This year has been crap.” And just allow myself to slowly wither away.

Well: This year HAS been crap…. so what??

I got scammed out of $1500. I got bulldozed by a Mercedes-Benz. I’ve dealt with and some how survived one of the worst summers and droughts in history with terribly hot temperatures. I’ve had to play judge and jury in between arguments and disputes amongst the elderly. And of course, having to have to defend myself and my own life just two days before my birthday.

Clearly, there’s a lot more that I could add. But that’s just going to break down the spirit of those who read this blog post.

So yeah. I’ve definitely had a difficult time this year. And my temperament has been “below average”. I will leave it at that.

However, there is a flip side to all of this. And I am so appreciative that I have the cognitive skills to realize it.

I just played sledge hockey in front of a crowd of over 9,000 people. And there’s the promise in 2012 of doing it all over again in front of many, many more. The team is actually getting to travel. Something that I have never experienced before.

I’ve learned how to do a slap shot and make the puck go into the air. I’ve even scored some backhand shots.

I am excelling in the sport this season so much more at this point in the hockey season that I have nowhere else to go but up. According to personal stats.

I’ve been to Houston for the first time in my life this year and have been there a few more times.

I’ve got to meet SIX MINUTE CENTURY in person and each time that I have, I’ve received the VIP treatment.

I’ve met my literary hero, Jessica Trapp, in person. And I’ve been able to establish quite the wonderful friendship with her. How awesome is that?

I’ve developed social interactions and turned them into wonderful lifetime relationships. And one of them even turned into my best friend.

So do I have anything worth complaining about? Some may say “yes”- others would say “no”. It all depends on whether or not I am going to let those things that have greatly curved my life, and let it go into a tail spin. Or I could learn the lessons that were given to me and move on.

Last night my best friend told me, “You need rest. Not stress.” And even though I cracked a joke back at her with my response, she’s right. And I probably shouldn’t have been such a smart ass about it. But I do admit, she was totally correct.

There’s a lot of things that cause stress in our lives. But we need to figure out a way to manage that stress. I’ve certainly had a lot of stressful situations overwhelm me this year. Or at least it seems to have been overwhelming. And I’ve dealt with them the best and only ways that I know how. I probably could learn a little more to deal with it better. But that is the great thing about our lives is that it is an ever-growing, always evolving opportunity to learn.

Stress will be something that will NEVER go away. We all will have it in our lives. But we must do the best that we can under those circumstances to not let us end up like the movie character of Clark Griswold, and snapping every five minutes because we cannot get a grip on our own reality and life.

Certain things that happen, shape us for who we are. We have our joyous moments and we have our depressive times. I believe that whatever comes our way, builds our character and helps to mold us into the person that we become.

We gain strength through our struggles, and share in celebration of our accomplishments.

This post however, deals with personal traumatic experiences. Most of us have gone through them. Many of us who have survived them are able to carry on. But some have difficulty with their previous experiences. In other words, some do well… some do not.

Yesterday evening, I went to the store to pick up some bread and other items. It was not far from my home so I was able to get out and go and come right back. When I was exiting the store, life has we know it was carrying on. Until a man showed up around the corner. He was approaching from the opposite direction. And then a moment later, he brought a pistol and fired it until it was empty. I had enough sense and probably the best of instincts to abort from my wheelchair and kiss the concrete before anything had happened and stayed there until the loud popping had stopped. (I was not injured or hurt. Neither was anyone else.)

The only casuality, was the bread. Instead of hamburger buns, it had turned into thinly sliced bread. Still, I can use it though!

Certain situations like these, are what I believe to cause people to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Other situations such as assault, rape, and war also are known to cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

What I am finding rather odd, is that my mind is not filled with re-living last night’s events. But my mind is focused more on the assault from last January where it had become a situation of life and death and doing what I had to do in order to protect myself.

There are no feelings of being afraid or scared. Only feelings of just being really pissed off. Frustration, anger, and the continuous attempts of trying to make sense of everything that happened so long ago.

For many people who deal with this kind of thing, it is possible that a little extra help might do them some good. A friend, a caring person, a smile, and a listening ear.

Some survivors actually would benefit from going a step further and seeking therapy to allow themselves to think and feel without judgement and release their fears and feelings about what had happened to them. Thus I believe that it does help with the healing process from their mental anguish.

Therapy is not the devil. Going to therapy also does not automatically imply that you are crazy, or you are the weakest person on the planet. In fact, therapy is a sign of courage and strength, and it shows you have the desire to make things better in your life instead of just allowing the problems to eat you up inside.

I would actually applaud those who actively seek therapy as a tool for mental health. The strength and empowerment one can receive by going to therapy can be limitless. When I hear someone tell me that they are considering or have started to go to therapy, my response is always the same, “GOOD FOR YOU!”.

Personally, I am no stranger to it. How else would I know so much about cognitive distortions??

To say or believe that you are weak, because you need a little extra help, is a lie!! Don’t be influenced by society and peers to control you in what you should do with your life. Find the help and allow yourself the opportunity to live your life by your own choices and not the choices of others because they are ignorant. Even the world’s strongest man has days of weakness.

Find out for yourself whether or not it is right for you. And if you do decide to seek help– GOOD FOR YOU!! Just stick with it. Results are not going to happen overnight. Allow yourself the time your body and mind will need to adjust and heal.

And for those reading who have a personal relationship with me: I am doing okay. I’m angry of course. But also know that I slept very well last night and I’m not sitting on the couch, staring at the ceiling re-living it over and over again. Physically, I’m uninjured. The guy’s aim pretty much SUCKED. Nobody else was hurt. And its rumored he had his ass kicked while in a holding cell after he was hauled to jail. Whether or not that is true does not matter to me. I am alive!!




Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”~ Samuel L. Jackson as “Nevelle” in ‘Snakes On A Plane’ [2006]

Yeah buddy! That’s about right. Although I’m not currently dealing with a problem of infestation of snakes or any other poisonous animals. But the sentiment has been all the same the entire weekend from start to finish.

Ever since I was a teenage I would say whenever things would get out of hand, “All I need now is someone to fire a damned bazooka through the window and my day will be complete.”

This past weekend, I was actively looking for a bazooka so I could fire it myself!!

There was a ton of things on my plate that were just suddenly dumped on me. Things that were mainly out of my control. I was lost in a whirlwind of absolute frustration, anger, and pain. Without any chance of guard or rescue to come to my aid.

The summer heat. The fact that I thought my computer was dying. The long, drawn out days and days of trying to put travel arrangements together that was not seeming to work out in anybody’s favor. And the fact that those whom I would run for shelter were not around. All factors made for a piss poor time. All in all, things were really not all that bad, and I do think and believe that the heat was only making things worse.

There were many more factors, but I will refrain from listing everything. And honestly, it was too much! I had reached that boiling point because I never really had that much control over what was going on the entire weekend. It just left me with such negative emotions. And I knew that I could not necessarily show myself towards other friends & colleagues because I knew that my poor attitude would come through and quite frightfully, spill into them and cause them to be dragged down with me.

I needed a life raft, not an anchor.

But it really taught me something about myself when the smoke cleared. Much of the frustration was vanquished when the heat subsided, travel plans were made better to be set in stone, and I was able to talk with those whom I put my trust in.

I think that there has to come a point for me in life, where I need to better recognize the signs that things just aren’t going to be peaches & cream. And I also need to find a better way to deal with it all, before it becomes overwhelming. If I would be able to do this then I will not have to worry so much about having a repeated performance like this past weekend.

I literally thought that I was in hell. And that there was to be no letting up, no salvation. I had no other choice but to let things go and hope and pray that maybe there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. It was my only hope for me, to keep me from going postal and ending up on your local news and Internet about all the evil that I had done because I gave in to the pressure.

All weekend long, I knew that everything that was going on was too much on my plate. I kept looking for the proverbial family dog to slip under the table so I could secretly brush away some of it to the dog so it wouldn’t be so much for me to handle. But there was no dog to be found.

How does one deal with overwhelming stress and frustration? How do you deal with it?? What do you find helpful in times like these???

If life were boring, then I think that it would not be worth living. At least that is my own feeling. It has definitely not been boring at all these past few days.

So let me catch you up to speed on what’s been going on with me.

A friend of mine has moved into town from the other side of the country. I’ve been trying to play catch up with him from missing so many opportunities when he was in town the last time. But this time, he’s staying. So I think that there will be plenty of more opportunities to be had just hanging out, chewing the fat and shooting the bull in the near future.

I hung out with him a lot over last weekend. Just glad that he’s in a place where he is more comfortable, happier, and in my opinion, better off. From last Friday night through Sunday afternoon it was GO, GO, GO!! Incredibly fun, but also incredibly exhausting. It all caught up with me though on Saturday. I don’t think that I got but about an hour and a half worth of sleep that night and early Sunday morning. And then it was up and at it again for much of the day. I think that by the time it was all said and done, I was toast! I literally crawled back home and had debated with myself on whether or not to slither under the covers and catch some sleep. I knew that if I had crashed out, chances were that I would not be able to sleep during the night if I had woke up again a few hours later.

My body would fight no more and I simply came unglued from my wheelchair and floated on to my bed and it was “LIGHTS OUT!”. But for only another hour and a half.

Everything from that point from Sunday evening when I awoke again until yesterday has been a complete blur. I don’t even remember what I dreamt about during those few hours of sleep that I got all weekend.

So it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise that yesterday I was a total zombie. My head spinning for much of the day, my back sore, and my mental state nearly a complete blank.

I could feel deep down that I was missing something. Something was not right, something undone. It finally came to me that I hadn’t been in communication with my new friend that I have made mention in a previous blog post. So I sent a message to them and re-established contact.

So many more factors of life that just make this world worth living in are circling around in its usual patterns. I’ve been having a hard time just jumping back into it again.

Then today was a lunch meeting. It was nothing to write home about, but I was thankful for the opportunity to go. Food always makes it better, doesn’t it?

I took a few hours off this afternoon to try and gain back my sanity before jumping back into it again tonight. Now the work of the day is all finished.

But wait, it gets “better”…

Tomorrow, I have a 9:00 AM appointment. How I wish it was an appointment with the spa! That would be nice. I think that by noon, the day will be void of appointments, meetings, and personal obligations. Then on Thursday afternoon, we do it all over again. Needless to say that work has been lacking. And will continue to lack for the next few weeks.

This weekend, my sled hockey team is supposed to travel to Houston for a weekend tournament. But it doesn’t seem likely as details are sketchy at best and nobody can decide on which would be better to go, either Saturday or Sunday? I realize that its not any fault of the team, but it sure is frustrating as this kind of tournament is exactly what the team has been craving for ever since the beginning of the hockey program. And even at this hour, nobody knows anything. Frustrating for sure.

Besides, I’ve not been able to go to practices in the past few weeks because I was trying to get over pneumonia. I am out of practice and most likely out of shape. And I expect to play in a tournament? That’s laughable.

Then four or five days after that is supposed to happen, I return to the road again for a four day trip all by myself. It promises to be a good time.  I hope to meet some really nice people that I have made contact with by e-mail in the past year or so. Its not a vacation by a long shot, but its not going to be pure stress either. I actually am looking forward to going. The sled hockey tournament this weekend in Houston though, I’m at the point that I could care less of whether or not we go. Even though the team has cried long and strong about doing something like this. If the team doesn’t go, I know that they will be disappointed. And since I have found myself in a position to hear the cries of my fellow team mates, it will be difficult for them. Difficult on me because they will be knocking on my door about how disappointed they will be.

On a more positive note, I am understanding that a cell phone will be coming my way! I’m excited about it. I’ll be able to join the ranks of the people of the 21st Century and be “mobile” with the capability of text messaging and phone calls. I surely hope that the phone comes before I take my four days of travel. It will be nice to have that option to communicate with others while I am gone. And when I am back, so that the communication lines can go a lot faster and smoother as needed. For those of you who have been complaining that I need text messaging? Neener, neener, and more neener!

I’ve made the decision to re-arrange things in my life. After seeing that my “Cognitive Distortions” post received so many views to it. To those of you who have read it and gave it so many views, I thank you.

Its time to take a break and try to cause a change for myself so that I can reach a better state of mental health. I believe that we all need to do that from time to time. There’s a lot of garbage that I need to cut out from my life.

From those of you who know me on Facebook and how I have described myself as the “online psychologist wearing the tie”, I need to bring that to a close. Not to say that I won’t be there for my friends and colleagues when they TRULY need me, but taking on more would not be a good idea at this point. At least not until all of these things that are causing higher levels of stress and exhaustion start to fade away.

I just simply refuse to neglect those who I feel are important in my life. So there are no worries for those who take such an important and vital role in my life. But as they say, “Where does a doctor go when HE gets sick?”. I aim to find those answers out for myself.

So for the time being- Where’s the Calgon???