Monday, July 21, 2008

Anxiety

How do you handle stress? Lately, I have been feeling a bit anxious. It seems my husband and I have been at a bit of an impasse, and it is causing me some unrest. We just haven't been clicking. Do you know what I am talking about?

We have been together for 11 years, and we are headed for our third wedding anniversary. Seems odd, I know. There's a bit of history there that I may share at a later date. Irregardless, we have seven children and four grandchildren with another in the "oven".

Being a combined family adds it's own spin on things. Then you factor in stresses like another daughter pregnant, a kid stranded in Georgia, a dad in the hospital, an unstable economic situation, business uncertainty, unwarranted debt, unexpected college costs, being home educators, and personal baggage. All things considered it's a wonder we're not in matching padded cells at the local loony bin. I would say relational woes would really be expected in such a life.

The thing of it is my current inability to process and react effectively. Yes, I am still praying constantly. If I didn't do that I'd surely at least have my own padded cell. I can't imagine functioning without a personal relationship with God. In my mind that would be certain death. Life is challenging enough with Him. I don't even want to try it on my own. Yes, I am still working through Healing is a Choice. I know it's beneficial, but putting one foot in front of the other is more and more difficult. It feels like walking through wet cement.

I keep trying to stay calm and not react flippantly to my husband when he lashes out verbally. I understand that he is under a tremendous amount of pressure. I know that all everyone really wants is love and respect. It is my goal to be loving and respectful in the face of confrontation. Could there be anything more challenging?

I use my husband as an example because it seems to be most challenging to engage in these practices with those we are supposed to be closest to, although I find this almost as challenging with my children. It does seem to be a little easier with them. The relationship dynamics are different, and kids seem to be more forgiving. However, my goal is to maintain emotional stability in the face of whatever is presented before me.

Do any of you have insight to share on this topic? I would love to hear how you deal with stress and maintaining a kind and loving attitude even when someone lashes out at you unexpectedly. It's like trying to stand upright after being punched in the gut. How do you do it?

8 comments:

melissa said...

For me, personally, stress is something I try to deal with quickly and effectively. For me the best way is honest and open communication, even if it is negative in nature. I can be rather blunt, so that isnt very hard for me. What is hard is cooling down first, and doing it in a quiet and respectful manner. If I do it when I am angry, then I just sound like a raving lunatic. As a fellow homeschooler, I certainly can understand that stress, as well as marriage, kids, finances, and everything else you stated. Sometimes you just have to speak your mind. Some people find it helpful to write a journal if they cant communicate effectively. Definately dont ignore it, stress is horribly unhealthy. Maybe you could speak with your pastor, or a religious leader. Best wishes, and take care.

Tina said...

Melissa

Thank you for your response to my post. Yesterday I was out with the pastor's wife, and we got to talk a bit. Then, I went to my group study for Healing is a Choice. Pat had to work late. I then got another opportunity to talk with the group leader who is becoming a wonderful friend.

You definitely hit on a key point. Cooling down is probably the most important step after prayer.

Carol said...

honestly, it's hard for me to just grin and bear it when, as you've put it succintly, you're trying to stand up after being hit in the gut.
but writing about it certainly helps. it gives you an opportunity to vent out.
i hope all is well with you. i'm sure you'll get through this 'funk' with flying colors.

Jenera said...

Found you through Entrecard...

Anyway, my husband is a truck driver and is gone for about 5 days a week-sometimes more. We have a toddler and a baby on the way. Add on to that the money issues, family issues, and just general life stuff, we've got stress.

He tends to lash out more because he's gone so much and has to deal with a ton of stuff in the one day he's home before heading back out on the road. For awhile I just ignored it knowing it was just stress and not ME.

However it became too frequent. I finally confronted him, telling him I am not the source of his stress and that I'm wrapped up in this life just as much as he is. I took a stand. It helps and I have to do it about once a month or so.

We really focus on EACH OTHER and try not to let the little things take us over. It doesn't always work but we remind each other that as long as we stick together, we can handle whatever comes to us.

joy ball said...

hi thanks for your comment in my post. I really appreciate it.Hope to see u again.

Tina said...

Carol

Thanks for your encouraging words. Writing, talking (thank God for girlfriends), and praying have helped a lot. I was SO proud of myself. Yesterday, I stopped at my husbands work to bring him some food. He's been working over 14 hours per day sometimes, and I just wanted to be nice. He started at me about some stuff he was stressing about. I didn't comment and said it was time for me to go. He said he was sorry if I didn't want to hear "it". I calmly told him that I didn't deserve to be spoken to like that. I didn't "bite" back, and it felt so good. He backed off, and the conversation didn't escalate. Gotta love it!

Tina said...

Jenera

I cannot imagine how tough it must be to make the most of the little time you have together. Life is SO demanding. I find myself overwhelmed a bit more over the past year. (Lord knows what I did when all SEVEN of them were home.) I cannot imagine trying to incorporate romance, connection, bills and babies in a day or two. That must be tough on everyone. I really appreciate your comment and agree that focusing on each other is key. It has just gotten so tough to do that. The good thing is that we BOTH care about the quality of our relationship, so eventually it has to work out, right?

Kathy said...

The only thing I know is my friend has it, she tried not to take anti anxiety pills. We(her DH, her mom and me) told her she just couldn't function without the pill, she truly tried several times. But she does not function, she can't go to the store, anything where people are. She would get frozen, having kids in school is just not okay with not being around people. Hopefully you can go without drugs, she did for a long time. But I would encourage you if you are truly not functioning outside your home to get help. I did not know it could be that bad, but it can be.

Obviously, I was as uninformed as your husband when this first began. Let him see the literature, it is hard to grasp it if you don't feel what you feel.

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