Decided to change the name of this blog from “Stress- A Silent Killer” to just “Stress”. Reason being, the affects of stress aren’t always silent, but if not dealt with, can kill you.
Stress: a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. ~ dictionary.com
I inherited several traits from my mother. My ability to stress like a professional is one of them.
As humans, I don’t care how much you pray, meditate, burn sage, or keep clear quartz in your pockets, experiencing some kind of stress will occur. How you choose to deal with it, is another story.
I discovered very young that my coping mechanism for dealing with stress was nonexistent. As a young teen I coped by drinking and smoking copious amounts of weed, most often alone. Yes, I the Pastor’s daughter was a smoker.
I stressed about everything…
Not fitting in
Not being black enough
Being too smart
And that was a short list. I learned how to stress, but never how to properly deal.
My inability to properly manage the stress in my life continued into adulthood and began to manifest as physical illness. I began with anxiety. Then panic attacks. Chest pain. Depression. Boils. Stomach issues. Then, in December of 2012, Diabetes. All of these, a result of stress with a side of genetics.
How does stress manifest in your life?
How do you cope with stress when it shows up?
Do you internalize?
Do you binge eat?
Now that I’m an adult and I’ve learned how to better manage, it still doesn’t make me exempt.
Moment of transparency.
I’m everyone’s go to. I make sure everyone is okay. I’m also a sounding board and my body doesn’t always respond well.
“Stress is often self inflicted” ~ Jaz Recognizing this is the first step.
For several years I’ve had issues with my stomach and because I now recognize, I know that this is how stress shows in in my body.
I’ve made several trips to the Emergency Room only to be told that it’s acid reflux or something they just can’t pinpoint. They pump you full of Tagamet and pain killers then send you on your way. Lately, my stomach issues and flair ups have been more frequent so my doctor suggested an Endoscopy. In addition to learning how to stress like a professional, I also learned how to mask it and wear it like an extravagant accessory.
A few weeks ago I went in for the procedure, where they took tissue samples to be tested for everything from Helicobacter pylori to cancer. Can’t lie, I was terrified. As a parent, what’s the first thing you think about when faced with a possible serious illness? Your children! Well let me put it this way, I do.
I left that appointment groggy and concerned. The doctor called me a few days later to go over everything. Now check this, all of the test were clear. Great news right? No H Pylori and no cancer, but there was a diagnosis. “Huh?” I thought. I was given a diagnosis NOT associated with a disease. Root cause? Stress. My stress was causing symptoms that mimicked a disease that did not exist. You ever had a moment of clarity that brought you back to reality? This was that moment for me. I said to myself, “Girl, get your life together!”
Fact: I am one of the biggest advocates of self care. Positivity. Prayer. Therapy. Meditation. But even with all of that, I am still triggered and still human.
How I’m Coping Today:
• Paying attention to, and recognizing my triggers
• Making modifications to my diet
• Finding outlets that require physical activity
• Saying no to things I don’t want to do
• Not answering my phone when I don’t feel like talking
• Walking away from arguments
That, is my short list. How do you deal with stress? Please share in the comments.
Until next time…💛