Not Thriving, Just Surviving

Not Thriving, Just Surviving

Not Thriving, Just Surviving

Dear Stress,

Thanks for your company, but I’d like to tell you right now that you’re not helping. I understand that you were created with the intent of saving our lives with the fight or flight response, but you have become too prominent in situations that are none of your business.

School? Although it makes me want to jump off a cliff sometimes when I get overwhelmed, please understand that I actually have no intention of jumping off a cliff simply from how much work I have to do. So please take it easy, relax. Relationship problems? They certainly aren’t anyone’s cup of tea but hey, they happen. And guess what? Problems always have solutions; I can figure it out without your help.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re not all bad. Sometimes you can help me out. When I have something due at midnight that I only started a few hours prior to that deadline, maybe I could use some of your company as motivation (and a reminder to start earlier next time). But I can only handle your company in moderation. When I’m spending time with you, there’s such a thin line between you helping me and you hurting me — and I end up hurting most of the time. You don’t understand your own strength.

There was a point in time when I thought your constant company might actually benefit me; I thought maybe you were a necessary part to getting things done. You encouraged me to tear my hair out and scream into my pillow and laugh hysterically against a wall, definitely scaring some of my friends a bit. Sometimes I still let you convince me that that’s the way to do it. But eventually I remember it isn’t, and I’m getting better and better at distancing myself from you. Because you leave a bigger mess behind and I’m tired of cleaning up.

I’ve been learning to say no to you, as I’ve learned to say no to anyone else in my life when I need to. When my assignments pile up, ready to drown me, I might fit you into my schedule for short visitation hours before I rationally prioritize what needs to get done and then dive in, leaving you at the door with a “no more, no thanks” note in hand.

I’m aware that you still visit my friends and family sometimes. I guess some of them still think they need you or just don’t know how to tell you no. But I promise you, they will get there. We’re making your job easy: go take a vacation and enjoy your free time away from us. I wish I could tell you that you’d be dearly missed, but unlike most break-ups, it’s not me, it’s you.

Sincerely,

Me

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