Thursday, January 7, 2010

Comfort Zones

Have you ever been sitting somewhere - the day is rocking along fairly well... the BAM! The kind of "bam" that literally makes your blood run cold for a bit... anyone ever experienced that?

No? Ok, it's just me then...

This has happened to me twice within the last 72 hours, and I had to make a choice on how I was going to react in both situations. Do I go with the standard reaction of letting it fester until I make myself sick, or do I face it head on and keep trying to move forward?

I chose the former in both instances... so I pushed myself outside of the typical area that I like to stay... which is to not get in anyone else's way and to let them say whatever they needed to to get it off their chest, but at the same time hold back all of my thoughts and feelings.

Before we go any further - there is something that you need to know about me: when in an emotional position... for instance a fight, argument, getting in trouble at work, or getting a really heart felt compliment... I can not physically make my brain and my mouth work together to get the words to come out. You might think I'm kidding, but this is seriously a phenomenon. If by some small window of grace - I can get the words out... I can't get enough air into my lungs to breathe in that moment... ya'll - bottom line - it's serious, and not good. (There is a lot of history and psycho babble that could probably diagnose me with something... but whatever...)

So the first one I was faced with was at work... and literally the blood ran cold... like ice. I knew it was coming based on how my vacation time went, and had some time to figure out how I wanted to handle it - but like so many of us... I had the fight in my head, and typically that is where it stays because I usually can't gain the ability to defend myself in these types of situations. More than that - when faced with the opposition that I was going to have to meet head on... it was even more unlikely.

This time, however, was very different... I sat down in front of her... remained calm, stated my case, took some of the blame... and came out on the other side. In the end, it didn't make much difference - BUT - I said my peace. In the end, it came out that I still screwed up in the eyes of this person. On the bright side though, for the first time I was off enough hormones to be able to stand there, take it, and at least tell her a few things that were wrong with her story. I feel pretty good about that at least - I didn't roll over and take it.

The second one was entirely different... it was more personal... and a deeper level of ice in my veins. This one pushed me to my limits... called all of my beliefs into question, and forced me to act. Was it scary? Yes! In the end though, it was the right thing to do. I was able to pull it all together, do what I didn't really want to do - and move forward again. I'm sure that not a lot will change as a result of my actions, but at least I know that I was the bigger person in that instant - and I did it.

It certainly would seem that God is pushing me to my limits this week - between the work stuff, personal stuff, pushing forward with the adoption so quickly, and now even some of my friends that are in need of some SERIOUS prayers... my limits have been tested. I've gone to the brink and back... or well, not quite back - but I'm fighting on for that.

Here's the peculiar thing that happens in all of this... and I don't know if I'm alone in this response or not... but once the ice in the veins feeling goes away - something else kicks in. When I am severely under stress, and I have been now for a couple of days... I literally somehow have physical reactions to the stress - unlike any that I've ever heard about from my friends. I have things like migraines, heart palpitations, dizzy spells, and even see stars - all of which have happened to me since Monday. Ok, if we get real... nausea is a big one in there too - and it started back last week - since I knew what was coming at the office!

So - I'm extremely grateful that I got a massage or two for Christmas depending on how I play it... I'm just wondering when I will use the gift cards... I could use one now, but I'd hate to not have it if I really need it later... I guess I'll make it a multi-massage deal and use one now and save one for later.

What do you do to relieve stress in a real way? Quickly... like say in the moment - how do you recognize it and stop it right there before it causes serious health risks?


  1. I have found whacking an inanimate object with a pillow (or more likely these days, a foam sword) and screaming into a pillow (or aloud if alone) to be helpful.

  2. I think about the arc of life. Is this situation really a big deal in the whole scheme of things? Is it worth dedicating time to stressing over? My natural response is to cry (when I am angry or anything), but then I think about life-- the big picture, the things important to me, and I question the situation or person I dealt with and wonder if it even matters. Usually it doesn't. Doesn't make it less frustrating, though.

  3. I read this book that was talking about the differences between the sexes. One of the differences is that instead of "fight or flight" women have a "flight or fight" response - the heart rate slows, blah blah (I have forgotten some of the details). Typically the instinct for women when hurt or upset is to want to curl up in a (self-protective) ball.

    Anyway, all that to say that you are probably more normal than you think. I don't do confrontations (if they can be avoided) with people, especially those in some (any) form of authority.

    Good for you for standing up for yourself!

  4. You know just how proud I am of you for standing up for yourself. It might not seem like a big victory to us types, but for you, it is a big step in a new direction and that's GREAT!

    Knowing you're more of a writer than a speaker, it might be therapeutic if you take to writing or typing your thoughts and feelings and working them out on paper but then keep it to yourself. As in, not sharing on the blog, for instance. Saying all the things you want to say but don't feel like you can.

    I've found that helps me to articulate my true position on something and get to the real root of the issue, instead of casting blame or becoming overly-defensive. And you might find that it will give you the courage to say what you need to say to have peace about a situation, since you've allowed yourself time to work through it apart from the conflict.

    I think if you keep taking small steps, just like you're doing, you'll find that it becomes easier as you are faced with more difficult situations.

    For not laying down and taking it, I give you much props, my sweet-spirited, tender-hearted friend!


Thank you so much for your comments. I really enjoy getting feedback on my writing!