Stress is a four letter word

Stress is such a terrible thing. To me, stress means fatigue inducing emotion wrecking sad inculcating negative thought provoking misery.

I take great pains to reduce stress in my life. When I was diagnosed with MS, the neurologist told me to cut out stress. Ha! It worked for awhile, not working and stuff but when I went back to work, the stress angered the MS and changed my life forever.

For the most part, the blindness has done for me what the doctors wanted. Strange as that might sound, now that I’ve adjusted to life without sight and have an amazing guide dog by my side, life is, for the most part stress free.

Except that…unless I win the lottery and buy a deserted island, there will always be stress. Unfortunately it’s not just me and my dog surviving in this terrible world. I didn’t even realize it this week that I had let stress begin to get the better of me. It’s such a sneaking foe, lurking around every corner, like a cat waiting for its prey, ready to pounce when I let my guard down.

Half the time I don’t realize that things will bring me stress until it’s too late and that’s what has happened this week, I think. I’m so tired. So incredibly tired. From the marrow of my bones to the top layers of my skin I ache with exhaustion.

Usually I can push through it. Yesterday I got the laundry ready to do today, just one lowly load but there’s no way I can push through it today.

I wish I could describe what it’s like. I know there’s no way to convey just what it feels like and I’ve had healthy people tell me they understand but it’s impossible. Unless maybe you imagine your worst ever flu. Take away the sniffles and coughing and you might get close. I feel like I’m walking in quick sand. I feel like there are tethers on my arms. I feel like when I’m sitting, like a giant hand is pushing me down so that even the softest surfaces hurt and add pressure to my bones as though no padding lives between the joints.

My eyes feel like they have sand in them and thank God I can keep them closed, because leaving them open hurts. I lay down and can’t sleep. It’s comfortable at first and then the not moving creates an ache. As soon as I move I can’t get comfortable again so I give up and move again.

I think that’s the worst part. Being so exhausted moving makes me want to pass out but sitting still is just as bad.

I sat out on my patio for a bit and if I try really hard, the sounds of traffic can almost be turned into the breaking of waves on a beach. I imagine white sands stretching for miles. The birds chirping could be sea birds. The breeze could carry the hint of salt spray. The relaxing image is almost believable until a siren goes by, or a motorcycle speeds through the intersection and suddenly I’m on the hard wooden chair again.

What I wouldn’t give for a vacation to a little cottage on a beach somewhere, just Jayden and me, where he can run and chase the gulls, where I can stand and feel the water lapping my ankles, toes sinking into the sand, turn my face towards the sun and feel the cool wet spray of the might of the ocean and breathe deep, hearing no sounds of people and cars and sirens and destruction, where no drama can touch me, where there is no human presence. Just Jayden and gulls and sand crabs and waves.

But alas, I’m not rich. That sort of heaven will never happen. I’ll never get to experience a true sense of stress relief, only what I imagine in my mind, which works briefly.

I might sound depressed. And maybe I am a little. Sometimes I try so hard to pretend everything is perfect, that no strife touches me, that nobody feels pain, that I can help…

Like Ashley Wilkes said to Melanie in his letter, life will never be that simple. Oh what it would be like to be a lady before the war, where the only worry was whether the corset could be tied to seventeen inches and which beau would court at the barbecue. Was life ever really that simple? I doubt it.

Now that I’ve written this out I’m not sure I’ll put it on the blog. I don’t want to bring anyone down. Oh wait, there I go again, thinking about others before thinking of myself. Maybe I need to post it. Maybe I need to know that others might read and maybe relate or just offer a kind word.

Sometimes I feel like my cyber life is where I find peace. I said last night that Twitter brought me comfort and I wondered what that meant. Friends said it’s because I follow the right people and have love and support there. Yes. Just like the love and support of the Blogger family. Not to say I don’t have love and support in the non cyber world, but it takes so much less energy to type than to talk. And when I type I just get to focus on my side of things. It all gets to come out. Does that make sense?

I suppose really the whole point of my wanting to write this down is to remind myself that stress will kill me. I must not let it creep around the corner and pounce.

Tomorrow I get to pick the sparks and write a story. I’ll get to dissolve into a piece of fiction. My escape.

I think the birds are outside singing merrily to lure me out again and imagine my beach scene…

11 Comments

Filed under Jayden, mental health, random stuff, spoons, twitter me this

11 Responses to Stress is a four letter word

  1. I’m glad you posted this. I can’t say I understand what you are feeling physically, but I can relate to the emotional side of things. Maybe it’s this time of year. Thanks for posting and I hope you feel a bit lighter soon. 🙂

  2. Unfortunately I can relate, that so tired it hurts is how I feel after a certain point of sensory overload or during a fibro flare. Can’t sleep, but can’t stay awake either. A rather horrid purgatory of sorts. Sorry to hear your in that sand quagmire for now. Never fun, always sucks.

  3. I wish I could kidnap you and find some stress-free place for ya. We could go there together and maybe I could steal some poutine.

    I know I don’t even remotely feel the level of exhaustion you feel, but this week I have felt sapped out from stress too. Wonder why we’re all collectively suffering in strange ways.

    If ya need an ear, I’ve got two of ’em.

  4. Ro

    Yeah, it seems like everyone is having a bad time of it, and I’m such the bleeding heart type that I internalize it right along with my own stuff. So it’s like a snowball gaining speed down a mountain and before I know it, I’m paralyzed by emotion and the snowball runs me over, leaving me flat with fatigue.

    Sometimes I wish I could just turn off an emotions chip. Ah, to be Data.

  5. Well, I certainly can’t say I totally understand, but I’m not sure I ever will completely…but I do understand I want to be on a beach far away from Drama 🙂 If you need me I’m here Twitter, facebook, or the phone….I’m pretty lifeless my self but I’ll still listen and respond the best I can if thats what you need or I’ll just listen whatever works 🙂 Take a chill pill and do what I like to do lay in bed all day read a book or watch TV…that usually makes me feel a bit better

  6. Sorry to hear you’re stressed, it does seem to be that time of year in general. But just a couple more weeks until spring training starts, and then not too much longer until we have baseball games to provide a daily escape from the stress of everyday life.

    Romero sends gentle puppy kisses to make you feel just a little better for now (I’m sure Jayden will pass them on to you for him).

  7. Ro

    Knowing that baseball is right around the corner is helping a ton. That and Jayden haha. He knows just what to do. He’s the perfect man. =D

  8. You have a dog named Romero? How cool is that?

  9. Yep, and he is named after the pitcher. I had to come up with an “R” name and it was an obvious choice.

    He is a dog guide puppy in training so I’m looking forward to taking him to some Blue Jays games this summer – hopefully he’ll get to see his namesake pitch!

    Sam and Romero

  10. Awww! I don’t know what the physical part of your post is like personaly, but I can tell it sucks and wish those dang spoons would come back and stop deserting you! It really is a stressful time of year– try college? If you need someone to talk to email me I’lll gladly listen. 🙂 O and we should all get together and go to that beach… yea blogger party! 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing. By being real you inspire others. I can’t imagine what it is like with MS. Reading your post makes me grateful for the energy that I enjoy at this point in my life. You and Jayden are such a great team.

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