Saturday, 5 March 2016

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”

by Lisa Sterle

This year has been a bag of dicks.

I have been living in perpetual stress for the last 360 odd days. One thing feeding off another, dipping into a denouement before cresting back up to climax. Not a break, not a rest. Mind always going, going, going. Trying to keep going, like a pack mule up the side of a mountain. Or like a goddamn Alpine Ibex, pushing myself because I crave that mineral. That mineral being sanity.

Cravin' that mineral.

It's tiring, you know. You get to a point that just feels like you can't move any further. You hit a wall, but you know you gotta get going, keep moving, because being still means death. It means the bigger, meaner cat finds you and eats you. It means you give in, and let it swallow you whole. It's fight or flight, and I'm a goddamn fighter. Stubborn old goat.

It also means I am human. A human animal.

I bleed, I cry, I yell and scream. I react like any other cornered and caged animal does when it is on it's wounded and exhausted. I conserve my energy. I strike when needed. I take care of my own, with my own demise if necessary to keep them safe.

I keep much of this beneath the skin.

I bottle this stress and worry and anger, as if to save it for later. I strain the stress off, and bathe in it until I reek. I wear it like a perfume, like a bottle of Sex Panther.

The effect it has on those around me is immediate.

"smells like bigfoot's dick"

And then later, when I am at the point of exhaustion, I take a sip of that bitter, bitter cordial I've been brewin' for months. Because my brain tells me that it's a magic tonic of truthtelling. Spoilers: it's not. It's every shadowy thing you've ever thought about yourself. It's every fear you've had about being abandoned. It's every nasty thing said in a way that makes it believable.

Stress does hilarious and terrible things to you. It makes you eat too much, or too little. It makes you sleep too much or too little. It makes your hair fall out, or gives you headaches, or ulcers. Which, of course, causes more stress.

And forget communication. Trying to tell people what is wrong is a tightrope walk of trying not to worry them, and trying to be truthful.

It ends up pushing those you love away from you because you either don't reach out enough, or you reach out too much. It leaves you alone. It makes every thing you thought about yourself correct, irrefutable.

Stress will kill you. It will inflame all other issues you have and turn them into acute problems.

It has not killed me yet. I am still alive. I feel like it would take a lot - this world has chewed me up and spit me out so many times, I'm essentially molded to deal with it.

The thing I know on top of all else, even in this state - this is temporary. I will get through this. I know from the outside it must look like an angry bee trying to escape a sealed jar, but that is not the case. As much as I want to give up, as much as I'm trying to hang on to some semblance of normalcy - 90% of the time I am a fine, functional adult.

So the lesson we have learned:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder + Depression + Stress =