Stress…My Life

This week’s topic: How Do I Handle Stress

Some people would say that I don’t.

They don’t know all of the real stress that I am under.

My life has been stress-filled. I won’t pull out the violins nor subject you to my on-going, personal soap opera. Odd, hard, strange things just seem to happen to and around me quite a bit. Although other people always seem to have advice, with all due respect, they are on the outside looking in. It is always easy to give advice, especially when you don’t have all the facts or have had the same experiences. Very few things in life are black and white, yes or no. And some cannot be alleviated with a simple platitude or simplistic advice.

So if I seem to ‘lose it’, it is usually because someone is causing extra stress or not heading some off at the pass. Some people are just not as far-sighted as they could be and the ‘old ounce of prevention’ doesn’t seem to occur to them. Nor do they see the damage that is being done around them or potentially around them until it is too late.
And it seems that everything in my family is so interconnected that one situation has an impact on nearly all of the rest in the web that is my world. And if people think that I am not handling stress, well…

they have no idea.

I am.
There is just more than they know.

I have found that most of the situations are something that can be impacted by some action on my part, no matter how small. I have to help in my own way.
Most of you will read this and think, “Oh, she worries too much”, but the situations have been those to stress over; I would defy anyone not to. Once, my father-in-law asked me how I had been coping .I amused him, (but he understood), when I said, “I’m in a state of controlled panic”.

Just a little panic under the surface, holding a façade on the outside by a thread. Fortunately, things haven’t been like that for a while.( I should be quiet, though, and not tempt fate!)

Our former family doctor once told me that only one of the things happening in my life was enough to freak-out most of his patients. While in a hospital waiting room I picked up a booklet about coping. It listed the seven most stressful situations that can happen in a person’s life and how to cope with any one of them.[ Death of a loved one, major health issues, loss of job/business, financial problems, etc.] At the time, I had all seven going on in my life within the year.

They didn’t have advice for that.

What has kept me going has been the very thing that others would berate me for doing; I keep going because I have others relying on me and I don’t feel that I can take the time to break down or wallow in self-pity.

The most often heard advice is: “You have to forget others, take care of yourself and let the chips fall where they may.” That only causes me more stress. If I know I can help, I can’t enjoy myself or relax when I know there is a need I can fulfill. Turning my back on some suffering that I can help ease is not something I can do and feel good about myself. Some people will say, “Let go and let God”. If we look at our lives that way, aren’t we here to serve others? Most my friends of other religions have similar guidelines. Even my atheist friends have good hearts and are out to do good and help others.

Yet, so often, that is what I do. But I didn’t realize until I had this post written that the actual topic this week is, “How Do You Handle UNEXPECTED Stress”…

It seems whenever I have seen someone face a very stressful situation I have thought, “I could never handle that”, I pretty much feel that God will say, “Oh, yeah?” and drop the same situation right in my lap. It’s rather like I hear, “YOU won’t handle it; WE will handle it.” And when I don’t see the way, the rhyme or the reason, I look at a crucifix and simply say, “I’m trusting You.” And I will have to admit, I would never have believed early in life that I could ever say that. I tried very hard to be an atheist, but God had other ideas.

Most of you have had some stress in your life that was on-going or overwhelming at some time. The only way for me to deal with it is to do what I can, and to keep busy when I can’t. If considering how I can help the situation or head some damage off at the pass constitutes worrying, then I worry. I have found that considering the facts and scenarios makes me forewarned and forearmed.

Mind games, handiwork, reading and writing come into play sometimes, yes, along with prayer. Usually I just do what needs to be done because, well, what else is there to do?

Breaking down and being useless is not an option for me.

My life. Stress is a major player in it. And I am still going on and on, and handling it, thank you very much.

About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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10 Responses to Stress…My Life

  1. jeff7salter says:

    ** Definitely agree that breaking down and being useless is not a viable option.
    ** And I also sometimes feel I’m in a state of controlled panic. Not nearly as much in my retirement years as when I worked full time, but it still comes around and smacks me sometimes.
    ** Yes, it’s sometimes difficult to listen to well-intentioned (but ill-informed) advice from others — often from people who APPEAR to have experienced comparatively little hardship of their own. But when I’m the recipient of such comments (which tend to feel rather shallow at the time of the crisis), I try to remember that most people don’t really know what to say and are merely trying to comfort me. So I do my best to accept their comforting attempt (however clumsy or ineffectual) as graciously as I can.


    • I am actually sorry that you understand me, Jeff, but you know what I mean.
      I don;t so much mind the people who are struggling to understand,it is the ones who actually get angry that I cannot follow their advice and dismiss me as not wanting to get out of my problems, or actually CAUSING them I’ve lost a lot of so-called friends that way.
      But I don’t stress over them. Negative people are not worth having around and stopping contact is a stress-reliever.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think helping others is a great way to keep your mind off of stress. It stops a person from dwelling on what might be bothering them.
    I don’t mind advice but I agree that sometimes that advice just does not help. Even if someone has gone through something similar there are other dynamics in the situation that makes it different.


    • It’s ALWAYS different, Angie.I don’t know why people don’t accept that. I am always glad to hear form someone who is concerned, but the insistent ones only add to the stress! Thanks.


  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m so sorry you have such burdens, Tonette. I’m glad that you’re choosing to stay strong rather than lie down in defeat. In the meantime, I hope that however you choose to deal with the stress continues to work for you.


  4. pjharjo says:

    My Dear Tonette. You sound like you handle stress in much the same ways as I do. I, like you, have a life filled with stress that began with a simple decision I made on May 12, 1979. You are right about the ripple effects of decisions you make; like you, they’re still rippling through my life. I’ve also gotta agree with you about all the good-hearted people who offer their advice. They have absolutely no idea of what they’re talking about!


  5. Pingback: My Weight Gain Does Not Make Me A Failure - The Art of Better

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