Stress handling is NOT about trying to gain immunity from stress - that is silly and counterproductive.
It's about as quickly as possible regaining balance and calm when problems bring you out of balance - make you angry, confused, overwhelmed, etc.
I spend at least 2-3 hours per day cleaning, washing, shopping, cooking and doing dishes, and I can spend those hours better. Like trying to make more money than we pay the cleaning lady.
So I just have to do that.
And be patient until I can do that, because cleaning lady or not, I still have to get up at night and carry Jay to Char so he can get his food - and many times during day, changing diapers, everything. We can't hire us out of that as long as Char's hand is damaged.
We can only wait and remain calm and have faith that we have enough money - and help from our families - to do this, without too much cost.
So that is what we do.
What if a major reason I am stuck is that I - despite my experience - have allowed other insidious thoughts to reign for too long? Those thoughts that berate?
For truly, this morning as I ate breakfast at a nearby cafe, getting ready for work, I felt ... lighter. More joyful, if only ever-so-slightly. In fact, I felt a little ... younger.
Just like when I was actually ... that young.
I felt things were possible.
I think that has a lot to do with my resolution to do away with that inner critic on autopilot.
Maybe I can't ever do away with it entirely and that is okay. I don't attempt to be Jesus or Buddha here.
But I can certainly - certainly - make it better than now. I can make things different.
And that is the definition of hope.
Just getting up, getting out the door, going to the Royal Library, doing the best I could with my time there, but still taking care of urgent tasks that I felt could not be ignored for all sorts of reasons. Some of the good, some less good.
That's a bit muddled, but it's life I guess.
Not perfect, but keeping the right course.
I wish I could explain it better than a mere decision, but there it is.
It is, however, a decision matured. It has matured for a long time and it has to do with a realization of the futility of trying to sell out your present to insure your happiness in the future, so to speak.
Just as profound as the realization I had in 2006 which cured me of the deep and devastating anxiety that had gotten me into hospital: If I could never get better there was no point in hating and berating myself for certain thought and other matters, only in trying to make as much good time as possible to enjoy - during the minutes and hours I was not suffering.
Deep realizations followed up by definitive, all-encompassing action.
So I guess I have explained it better now, right?
Perhaps. But have I explained it enough for someone else to realize what they have to do to copy it?
Probably not in most cases. Besides, it is a state of mind that comes about not as a result of reading but as a result of experiencing, for a long time. Then a desire for change is cultivated in the soul.
But if I can aid that change, however little, I shall be satisfied.
It is not so trite as to say that all things can be made better by only focusing on 'giving me the wisdom to accept the things I cannot change'.
It is about focusing more on what can be changed, and realizing this is actually a lot - inside.