Thursday, October 9, 2014

how to deal with too much stress

It's been a while since I've posted a blog. We had summer and all that goes into that, and then preparing to move, now we're prepping the house we're moving into while trying to pack, and then there's homeschooling, daily chores, doctors' appointments, and the list goes on... So I've been a little stressed and not the easiest wife or mother to get along with. Sometimes when I'm stressed I revert back to bad habits I picked up as a child or I find myself yelling for no real reason. So I took the plunge, I started counseling.

This isn't my first time in counseling. I struggled a lot as a teenager and young adult with issues that were out of my control. During those very difficult times, I learned to do things that were not really healthy as a way to live day by day. Little things that make no sense to me looking back at them, but somehow it made me feel better as a kid (even though they really didn't make me feel better). I know as an adult those habits were unhealthy and should never happen again, but occasionally they still do. Even though I'm much, much healthier than I used to be, I still have a lot of work to do to become the person I want to be. 

The thirteen years of counseling I went through as a young person made a huge, positive impact on my life. Even with that, I still find myself needing someone to talk to; someone I can trust who is not part of my family. (Family is often too close to the situation or the person which skews their perspective and ability to be neutral. Plus, all this stress (even good stress) tends to cause trouble in relationships with loved ones.) I'm blessed in my church with Priesthood members who are willing to counsel during the day when I'm available and are willing to have my kids in the next room playing. The insight I receive about how to curb my bad habits and start new, good habits, the way I think about myself and my relationships,  as well as the love they show my kids, is immeasurable.

So why I am so stressed? Because life is stressful. Even good things in life can be stressful. Having a baby, having a bigger house to move into, getting a promotion, having surgery to remove cancerous tumors; all good things, yet stressful. Learning how to deal with the stress of every day life, doesn't come easy to everyone. Some kids spend so much of their childhood dealing with abuse, hunger, bullies, learning difficulites, disabilities, health issues, etc; that they can't learn how to truly deal with the stress of every day life. Their job is to survive! So when they become adults, the everyday stressors can get to be too much. And the coping mechanisms they used in childhood, blow-up in their adult life.

Why I am telling you all this? Why am I opening up the deepest, darkest, parts of me that make me feel so ashamed? Because I need to. Because October is National Mental Illness Awareness month. I may not be mentally ill, but I do understand what mental illness is and the stigma that follows it. So today, I am standing up, and telling the world that I don't have it all together, that my habits and ways of dealing with stress are affecting my relationships, and so I'm getting help.

If we are to end the stigma of receiving therapy and counseling, we must look at getting help as sign of STRENGTH and not weakness. We must embrace those that are struggling, instead of turning away because we don't want to see or want to be bothered. Let them know that we stand together to break that stigma! I challenge my readers to stand with me in strength to share if you have ever been in therapy or counseling or you are currently in therapy and counseling. It is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, but a choice of strength. It shows that you care enough about yourself and your relationships to ask for help, because you want to be a better spouse, parent, son/daughter, brother/sister, friend. Let's end the stigma, and show the world that we are not weak, but STRONG!