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Posted on Dec 4, 2012 in Dear Diary | 21 comments

Stress with a Capital S

So beyond being happy and in a constant good mood lately, I am another thing. Stressed. Because, as it turns out, writing and publishing your first novel is an incredible mood lifter. But it’s also, like, kind of a big deal. With lots of things to consider. And lots of things to do. And lots of things to stress you out.

Now, I’ve never really been all that great at handling stress. Ask anybody who knows me in real life, and they will confirm this. Heck, I will gladly confirm this. I mean, a couple Christmases ago my brother glued the side of the gingerbread house onto the mold before it was decorated and I burst into tears and actually said the words, “YOU RUINED CHRISTMAS!”

Brickwork

Yeah, my family doesn’t really let me live that one down.

Gingerbread House

I’ve written about stress and anxiety before, and I’ve tried taking up some of your suggestions on how to deal with it, but I still haven’t gotten a very good handle on my ability to… handle… it. Last night, I laid (lied? lay?) awake in bed for an hour, my heart racing and mind whirring, just because I could not STOP THINKING ABOUT BOOK STUFF. Pitch emails, formatting, final copyedits and typos. Timelines and deadlines and proofs, oh my!

Okay, I just stressed myself out again just writing that list. Let’s backtrack.

ANYWAY. I was in bed, trying my darnest to count sheep and take deep breaths and not obsessively continue to check my phone, and eventually, I did fall asleep. And then I had one of those harrowingly realistic dreams where you are SO SUPER POSITIVE that it’s real life. You know, the kind of dream where you feel legitimately pissed in real life at real people, even though it’s only their dream-versions who wronged you. Needless to say, I woke up crying.

So, stress. I has it. And, in a hilarious-in-retrospect-but-awful-at-the-time kind of way, my worst anxiety always seems to manifest itself in my unconscious mind. Once, I dreams that my ex-boyfriend shot me in the leg. This was while we were still dating, mind you. So, you know, bad, uber-realistic dreams tend to lead to loss of sleep, and loss of sleep leads to more stress/being more easily stressed, and it’s a bit of a vicious cycle.

I’m kind of hoping that maybe there’s just something in the air, because Aileen’s post today was coincidentally in much of the same vein. (Even though she has much more to be stressed about than me, what with a deployed fiance and all. Perspective. I needs it.) But let’s be honest, I think what it really boils down to is just that I’m kind of high-strung in general. And I’m okay with it. (Self-acceptance is this week’s theme on the blog, right? Hahaha.)

I’m just going to focus on the positives here. Like, I’m not stress eating. That’s a big step for me! In fact, if I continue to be stress-nauseous like I was last night, maybe this will even lead to a loss, hahahaha. And in the meantime, I’ve booked a massage. Positive steps!

I know I’ve asked this before, but feel free to weigh-in with your best/favorite stress-relievers. And only one of you gets to say “exercise,” since that’s pretty much a gimme. 🙂

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