Alco-stress

That single word that causes toes to curl, heads to hurt, and body parts to just go numb, at even the thought of the word, much less reading about it. Stress.  One of the finer mysteries of life that I have recently been forced to acknowledge.  Not because this is me taking part in the What I Learned From project over at Middle Zone Musings, but because I’ve never had to “deal” with it in the past.  I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on this word stress.  I can share a little about the subject though.

It Can’t Be Ignored

What I’ve learned most about stress is that there is no way it can be ignored.  Doesn’t matter how hard a person tries to drown it out, stress is going to be the one coming up breathing.  

It took me a while to realize this.  I only learned about stress, I mean really learned about it, recently as I have been growing/recovering.  You see, stress is most likely the biggest reason that alcohol took control of my life.  Granted, I am an alcoholic, and as stated in a previous post, looking back I knew at 16 or 17 (subconsciously I think) how I was going to deal with stress for the next 17 or 18 years.  My focus though is not on the disease for this article, but on the stresses of the disease.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that over time, ignoring stress was only going to prolong the inevitable.  Drinking to cause stress to go away only added more stress, more fuel to the fire, more alcohol to take away the fuel.  It was a vicious cycle.  And you know, stress never did “go away.”  Funny thing is, it’s still around today and I don’t have to alcohol to take it away!  What’s an alcoholic to do?!?

Learn How to Deal

Uh, yeah, OK.  I did deal. I drank right? I mean that was “Dealing.” No? 

No no my friend.  That got me no where.  The way that I deal now though is still a work in progress, and some of the dealings have only hit me over the last couple of weeks.  As of right now, I’ve only got 3 ways that I am able to deal with stress.  Remember, I am a work in progress (at 35..jeez.)

  • Awareness
  • Meditation
  • Motivation

Awareness – It is my opinion that awareness of stress, obviously, must happen first in order to be able to start “dealing” with it.  I have become so aware of it recently that I can tell you which days of the week are going to be my most stressful. I am also aware of the generic “why” these days are most stressful, but I have yet been able to say “Oh, that’s why I’m so stressed.”   Again, the blog that I posted yesterday on this site has a little more detail on my personal journey with stress.  Once I became more aware, I could then use a tool that I had used in the past, just use it in a different way.

Meditation – I’m a firm believer in the many uses of meditation.  Not the least of these is releasing some of the stresses of the day. In fact, just today, meditating on one particular item of stress in my life has generated a resolution, or should I say built me up to be able to perform the resolution.  I won’t go into the problem here.  Again, my opinion, but if you practice it enough, meditation can be one of your greatest tools that you will use on your journey through life.

Motivation – Now that I am able to be aware of stress, and have a tool to manage it, I often use these as motivation to look for more stress.  I know that just sounds weird, but the more stress I can pull out and “fix” the better my life is going to be.  It also motivates me to tell stories of my wanderings and share them here, on tecthought, with you.

Finally

I’ll say it again, this stress thing seems kinda new to me.  I’m now in the process (motivation) to find other tools to manage stress.  How do you deal with your stress?  I’m curious.  Feed me.

Let me help you help yourself!
SC

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5 Responses

  1. Very brave and thoughtful, Scott. Thanks for sharing so many things about stress here; I know it will be helpful to someone who drops by.

    Thanks, too, for joining up with our What I Learned From Stress groupwrite project! Don’t forget to drop by on Monday for the whole list of entries (it’s quite a list!). Then check out the Middle Zone on the first Monday of every month for a new What I Learned From… topic.

  2. Thanks Robert for the vote of confidence. I really hope I am able to help lots of folks.

    I also can’t wait for next months topic.
    SC

  3. […] Alco-stress, by Scott Carver at The Ever-Changing Thought […]

  4. I have a whole blog about dealing with stress. My main tools are The Traits of Stress-Hardy, Resilient People ( http://stresstopower.com/blog/traits-of-stress-hardy-resilient-people/ ) and the idea of optimizing stress ( http://stresstopower.com/blog/optimizing-stress/ ). Most people don’t realize that too little stress is as harmful to our health as too much. The third image I use is of a spiral. When we’re faced with external pressures we can either choose a healthy response and move up the spiral, becoming stronger and more capable of handling life, or we can choose unhealthy responses (such as excessive alcohol) and move down the spiral, becoming weaker and less capable. We have a choice, but it takes commitment and practice.

    Thank you for asking!

  5. Thanks Jean. I’ve printed out The Traits of Stress-Hardy , Resilient People. I’ll probably have to make copies of it and keep a copy at various locations.

    I’ve taken a gander at the graph as well. It seems at times (yes it’s Monday and I am having a very stressful day today,) the high stress anxiety part of my curve dips waayyy below the Stress/Challenge Level. I have faith that I’ll get to where I need to be, especially now that it’s on my mind, but as you said “commitment and practice.”

    Thanks Again!

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