I've battled stress and stress-related obnoxiousness for much of my life. Brad says that I'm simply wound a bit too tight. I think that I just take everything really, really seriously. Life. Work. Family. Even crafts. Be thankful you haven't been around to witness one of my cake-related meltdowns. Those are epic. And that's something I do because I think it's fun. Not because I have to. Most cakes I tend to seek out, rather than people asking me to do them. And yet? Even in the throws of batter and icing and creativity I find myself in tantrum mode more often than not.
Most recently, my stress has been battling my stomach. After one too many interrupted nights of sleep I went to a specialist who ran my body thought the gamut of ridiculous tests. Endoscopy. Ultrasound. Colonoscopy. Samples and such. My wallet is about $600 lighter from co-pays and yet my mind is not relieved in the least.
Well, technically, they told me nothing was wrong. Which, in the scheme of things, is great. But, that means that they have no idea why my body is fighting me.
Saturday I had a particularly obnoxious phone call with my grandmother about my youngest sister. After hanging up sobbing, I turned to Brad and said, "This. This is what the colonoscopy doesn't test for."
It's me. I take everything to heart. I don't know how to not. Even when I declare myself 'done with someone' I'm not actually done with them. I still think about them. But instead of thinking about how much that person bothers me, I'm thinking about whether or not my actions were too harsh.
My doctors parting advice was 'more fruits and vegetables.' I think a better answer is yoga and counseling. But, of course then I'll just be racked with guilt any time I don't get around to doing one or the other. And on nights when I have to work late, instead of just getting the work done, I know that I will sit there stressing about having to reschedule the therapy or wondering just how long I will have to stay up to do the yoga.
Brad says I take on too much. I like to think that I take on just the right amount. My stomach would beg to differ. And while it's not complaining too much right now, my left eye has been twitching every two to three minutes for the past week and a half – during my waking hours that is. Not sure what it's doing in my sleep, the cha-cha for all I know. Because now I am sleeping. Stress, you are an obnoxious and fickle thing.
It's like I have this underlying current of stress moving through my body. A hum that you just can't place your finger on, but you sense it, you know it's there, you just don't know where it's coming from.
Brad thinks I do too much. I think I don't do enough. I see people around me, working hard, finding success, being great. And I feel like my feet are planted in cement. Like I'm resting on my laurels of past success. And those success no longer feels good enough. College? Pshh, College is nothing. A job? Eh. Building your own house? Passe. My life feels tired and trite. Is this the frustration of the ambitious? Will anything ever be good enough? Whose standards am I trying to live up to? A collective of greatness carefully plucked from those around me, as I choose to ignore any shortcomings that may have accompanied those successes that I long for?
Life is not a game, and yet I can't seem to keep my eyes off the score board. Rather than doing, I feel like all I do is complain. It makes me tense. It makes me feel crazy. And that? Just makes me feel inadequate. So, until I figure this out. Until the answers magically align in front of me.
I will just breathe.