Pauvre De Moi

I’m not so good with handling The Stress.

Seriously, is anyone good at absorbing 50 things that are happening all at once with increasing degrees of involvement required from them?  Without pharmaceutical assistance?  And I’m not talking about catastrophic Oklahoma Tornado kind of stuff.  I’m talking about normal life stuff, that ebbs and flows and usually you can just handle it because not all of it flows in at the same time.

In the past month, I’ve felt like the tide’s coming in, and it’s just kept coming.  And coming.  And holy crap still coming.  And usually it’s just “Eh, lots going on, it will slow down” but this time I couldn’t get a grip (HA!) on the “it will slow down” part.  I didn’t really let on that I was on edge about everything.  I figured that the old adage of “fake it till you make it” would apply and shit would just work itself out as it so often does.

So what did I do?  Well, I drank all the wine and ate all the carbs.  And that has helped me feel IMMENSELY more in control, because now everything that was freaking me out has paled in comparison to the fact that now I can’t fit into my pants.

This weekend, this Wine and Carbs Method of Handling It finally expired, and my stress manifested in a glorious eruption of hives and acne.  I saw my dermatologist today, because all things can be fixed with ointment.  He looked at me and said “Tell me about this stress…”

I’m so unusual, I know, with my Many Major Obligations.  I work full time!  I have a child!  My husband is also busy!  My relatives drive me nuts!  Yeah, I’m the only one sitting at that table, I know. I do have pharmaceutical assistance, and I’ll be the first to laud the merits of getting a little help in that manner.   I’m explaining this to my dermatologist and I just feel like an idiot, because you’d think by now at my age, I could handle my Suburban White Lady problems.

I now have some prescriptions (ointment! yay!) and a confirmation of something that I already knew, that perhaps Talking To Someone About It might help.  Oh lord.  Really?  Ugh.  I’m not a big believer in therapy, because I have a BA in Psychology so obviously I already know all about what they’re going to tell me.

Also?  I’m going to pay someone to listen to me talk about stuff that I’ve been talking to people about for the past 25 years?  The same stuff?  Has that stuff not been talked about ubi omnes recessit vinum?  Why is talking to someone who isn’t part of the problem going to help?  I can’t imagine.

And also again?  Have I discussed how Very Busy I am?  Because I am.  I have responsibilities and obligations, and I spend my days talking to people and then at the end of the day I’m tired of talking.  Why on earth do I want to actively seek out more opportunities to talk?  I’m an introvert.  Talking, especially about myself, is just an effort.  Pauvre de moi.

There are a ton of reasons why Talking To Someone About It just seems like a bad bad bad idea.  These reasons are overshadowed by the good reasons, though.  I’m setting a horrible example for Boo.  Do I want her to go on Oprah when she’s 30 (there will always be Oprah, I believe) to talk about how the coping skills she learned as a child include wine, carbs, and just letting the laundry simmer in the dryer for a week (true story…).  Well that’s just embarrassing.  I can’t have her telling Oprah that.

I also cannot have my husband telling whoever’s hosting Divorce Court (maybe someone fabulously flawed, like Lindsay Lohan) that he cannot take another day of my sad yoga pants and overall indifference that is only interrupted by the aforementioned hives and acne.

My house is organized, and I am a total mess.  This is my deepest darkest secret, and I’m putting it on the internets, and intentionally sharing the link with people who know me.

Get A Grip is going to go through some changes, because I’ve got to get my shit handled before I can say another word about how anyone else should handle theirs.


One comment on “Pauvre De Moi

  1. I loved this piece. I’m bipolar ii and I experience a lot of the same stress you do. I agree that talking about it with someone is better, but you don’t get better on one hour a week. Write it out. You’ll see so much more to work with in your own words than you ever will in someone else’s. Hang in there. You’ve got the funny, and it will carry you through. Like it carries all of us. I’m going to include a piece that I wrote about mental health a few months ago- thought it might be a good companion piece to yours.

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