How To Stress Out Ineffectively

Stress. Silent killer my ass. It’s killing me with a high pitched whine. Work has hit new lows. The lack of leadership in my company weighs heavily on me. The lack of opportunity for women weighs heavier on me. The corporate culture repulses me. It's outmoded and oppressive. It's set me back in more ways than one.

I stopped working on film sets because I wanted balance and I wanted to move forward in my life and my career. Uh not happening. I wanted to have time and energy in the evenings to go out, be a part of society, to take up a hobby. SOOOO not happening. My hobby is blind stress. I knit all of my thoughts together with balls of stress. Then I wrap myself up and I sleep with it. Sleeping with stress is worse than sleeping with someone you hate.

I foolishly thought that if I got a job with “normal” hours, I could maybe meet someone and have something work out. Not forever but for a while at least. Just long enough to take the edge off of life. My other relationships failed for many reasons but mainly because of me. I didn’t put the time into them that was needed. My boyfriends would invariably cheat and then be onto 'replacement me' in record time. Who could blame them? I was never around and when I was, I was exhausted. I was perpetually tired and never wanted to do anything. I was a pain in the ass. I was easily replaced. I'm the fast food of girlfriends.

In hindsight, THAT was nothing compared to how I feel now. I am at a breaking point and I see no way of effectively managing the stress. My life is an endless loop. No end. No beginning. I rinse and repeat every day. I used to suffer from sporadic, situational stress that quickly and easily resolved itself. Now my stress is chronic. Chronic stress affects the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system, the nervous system, the reproductive system and the endocrine system. Physically I’m worse off than I've ever been. I truly get the mind-body connection. Stiffness, joint pain, back pain, neck pain, headaches, upset stomach and insomnia.

My most ineffective stressing has been psychogenic vomiting. I had it really bad for the first six months of my job and then it let up. Lately it has come back but it’s not as severe as it was, and it's not every day. so I’m thankful for that. My hair also started thinning…noticeably. I started pounding hair vitamins and it seems to have abated. I work in a state of perpetual heartbreak because I can’t seem to get over him. The cold-hearted jerk who broke my heart over a year and a half ago. The stress acts like a magnifying glass for that old hurt. I’m everything I hate right now. I don’t know why I can’t get him out of my head. He cannot possibly be worthy of all this angst I'm feeling. Maybe it’s my job that has turned me into this hideous craven. Maybe I’ve devolved. Or maybe he really was special? That's the least appealing scenario I play out in my mind.

So I decided I needed a vacation. I thought I might break if I continued on the path I was on. As I write this I am in a beachfront condo in Cape Cod. It’s the week before the tourist season begins so Dennis Port Massachusetts is like a ghost town. I love it. I can walk for miles and not see another living soul. The sunsets and sandstorms are majestic. It’s cold here but I find the cold soothing. Wrapped in a blanket sitting on my deck is heaven. The only sound is the sound of the waves crashing and the sounds of my cogitations crashing in my head. I sleep like the dead here and that is a relief. The thoughts that cause me to toss and turn at home are also on vacation it seems. But for how long?

I don’t know if I could say I’m less stressed. I’m binge eating like crazy which has always been a symptom of intense stress for me. Actually periods of either starving or bingeing. I kind of wish it was the former. Less shameful. My back and neck pain is worse than normal and I'm living on back pain meds and numbing cream but I can barely move. Pretty sure I've popped out one of my ribs. I’m halfway through my vacation and all I can do is worry about going back to my real life. Back to all of the things I’m running away from. I want to stay here forever in perpetual hiatus. I want to outrun my life but the strings attached to me are pulling me back. I wish they were pulling me back to the person I was before. Pulling me back to happy go lucky. Steering me toward relaxed. Wrapping me in calm. Making me a rock for all of my friends. No secrets.

I feel like my entire persona is a thin cloak that barely hides my secrets. I keep so much to myself because I don’t want anyone to know how much the events of the past few years have broken me. I don't want to be judged for dealing with things so ineffectively. I don’t outright aim to deceive people but what I do is just as bad: I lie by omission. It's the things I don't say. I don’t respond directly to questions. I divert the conversation away from what I don’t want to answer. I’m a verbal chameleon. I hate this about myself because I hate liars. I hope no one notices that I am one. I don’t want to be called on my bullshit. I don’t want my guilt to be exposed. I don’t want my friends to see who I’ve become: