Wednesday 10 July 2019

How can I manage my stress levels.

Before I met my husband I worried about making sure I could pay the mortgage, buy food and clothes for the kids. Holding down several jobs, not worrying about holidays and driving a car that was constantly breaking down. But it was just life, I just got on with it, like all my neighbours, family and friends.

20 years ago life became a little complicated as we started a journey blending two families together, dealing with disability and special needs, ex partners, studying for a degree. Then we upped sticks and moved to South Africa, the kids left home, then we moved to Dubai.

The first 5 years abroad were eventful. They were emotional, time consuming, difficult and isolating. I was depressed, I had to reinvent myself, gain a new identity.

The 2 years ago, I got ill. I still don't know what is wrong with me other than needing regular iron infusions, B12 injections and my chronic neck pain of 24 years flaring up more often. I'm tired, out of breath, suffering with random shooting pains, been under the care of the oncologist, had a bone marrow biopsy and numerous other side effects include a high white blood cell count.

My father died, we moved house, I started dental implant surgery this year.

But I coped with all the above, it was just part of life, I just got on with it all, until recently.

I've already analysed what stresses me out? I've started saying no, removed myself as far as possible from toxic relationships, but it all seems to have turned itself up a notch over the past few weeks.

My biggest problem when faced with an issue is that my brain automatically takes things to the nth degree. On Saturday we took the dog to the vets for his annual injections, he was frightened, he needed muzzling and 4 people to hold him down, he was extremely aggressive, barking, snapping and snarling. I was out of breath, physically shaking and close to tears. I was battered, scratched and bruised and my mind was whirling.
  • What if he bites the vet or me?
  • What happens if this behaviour becomes normal?
  • What happens if I come home one day and he's killed the cat?
  • I'm going to have to have my dog put down.
  • Shall we do it now rather than wait for one of these events to happen?
  • We'll have to have him put down if it gets ill and requires regular vet treatment or he'll bite me and the vet for sure.
Every situation goes like that. It hasn't been helped by seeing an oncologist for 2 years, blood results come back high, my mind races to 'I have cancer, I am going to die' followed by writing a list of all the things I need to do to make sure everyone else's life is made easier should that happen. 

When I'm on my own life is calm, I can do my own thing, take my time, stop what I'm doing if it's complicated and go for a swim or a coffee and when I get tired I can just lie down. 

I told the Doctor this morning I just want to take myself off to a desert island for an unspecified period of time, shut myself off from the outside world and just be alone.

I can't however do that, I'm a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt. So for now I shall carry on talking, writing, asking for timeout, take the days slowly and when a situation arises I feel is going to cause me to think the worst, I'm going to force myself to take a deep breath and think positive thoughts.                                                   


  1. I am the same when something comes up, I always think of the worst outcome. I think it's only natural sometimes. My fella is thankfully the rational one and always calms me down.
    Deep breaths and positive thoughts for the both of us x

    1. deep breathing and counting to 10 is actually helping and this morning i walked away from a stressful situation and went out for coffee

  2. I deal with anxiety too and sometimes have fantasies of living on a desert island all by myself. I don't, however, think that would actually make me happy. Have you ever tried meditation? I find that 20 minutes each morning and evening do wonders for me.

  3. I'd like a desert island i could hop onto when it got too much and the problem that was stressing me magically resolved itself while i was away

  4. I do wonder if it's part of getting older (generally I mean, not just you) - somehow I think our appetite for risk reduces, and our minds know more of what's possible analyse all situations, most of which probably won't happen, or will they? Take care and thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

    1. yes I think getting older makes a difference, less tolerance in my case

  5. Anxiety is one of those things that unfortunately never goes away. It is figuring out how to deal with it is the trick I find. I totally understand though that when you encounter a stressful situation it can become harder to manage. I have been dealing with it myself lately and like you am taking it one day at a time. It is always the best way #abitofeverything

    1. sorry to hear you've been struggling also. I find counting slowly and taking control of my breathing does help