Being stressed seems to creep up on me sometimes. I feel fine and then I don’t. I feel like I coping with everything going on but then I hit a brick wall which seems to come crashing down around me.
Recently several members of my family have been unwell in different ways and this has caused me a lot of stress. At no fault of their own but because I care. Also because I am a fixer. I am a solution finder.
It was always my job growing up to help everyone else in the family before myself. If someone else in the family is ill then I need to help, need to try to solve the problem. However this is an impossible situation to be in. I am not a doctor or a health care professional. I think it is one of the reasons I volunteered with St John Ambulance for so long in my youth and young adult years. Maybe I could learn enough to help.
Health is a lottery too and no one seems to be winning. At the moment these are worries people are having around me just about health. My mother’s cancer might have gone into her bladder and she has a lodged kidney stone. My brother has two cysts in his testicles. My sister-in-law had abnormal cells on her most recent smear. My one year old nephew might have early onset epilepsy, has had a series of nasty viruses, infections and an overactive immune system rash. My best friend has MS and BPD. Another friend has repeated fluid build up on her brain. I could go on.
I am trying not to worry about them all but I do. I wonder what I can do to help. I worry about how they are coping. Even without realising it they play on my mind. I tell myself not to worry, the doctors are doing all they can, they are in the right place, seeing the right people, there is nothing I can do. Yet I feel so helpless and feel guilt for not helping.
I have noticed that I then find it harder to take time for me. Each time I do I feel guilt that I should be elsewhere, helping and being useful. At home on my own I feel stuck. But I am not and I need to look after me too. Self-care is something I have had to learn and I keep having to relearn to be able to accept and then do it.
My therapist said it is no wonder my migraines have been so frequent with all this in my head. I laughed it off, but is she right? If she is then what is the solution? Not to care? Not to worry? Or to find the right coping strategies? Is there a way to process this all and not have it stress me out?
I am meditating each day, walking my dog somewhere nice, listening to nature, reading, taking time for me and yet it is never enough to quell the storm of stress.
Stress is normal and we all need to learn to cope with it. Stress tells us when we need to look at things and maybe make changes. Yet with health this is that much harder as often there is nothing more to do.
I have no answers and just more questions about stress in my life in this mental world.