February 22nd, 2014

Cat Wet 1

Coping with Stress

A dear friend asked “What sorts of things you use to help manage anxiety, stress, or panic. Your personal things, not the stuff that is always recommended everywhere?” This is a great question!  My life is nowhere as stressful as my friends, it has its moments.  I had an answer that started out snarky (but truthful) and then attempted to share the thing I really do.

As I am terminally depressed, I find myself telling myself "if it gets too bad, you can always kill yourself". Not breathing is my plan! That's one of the perks of being comfortable with the thought of suicide. I wouldn't recommend this as a solution. As you can see, I've not taken advantage of this stress reliever yet myself.

On a more practical note, I shift how I see people and events. I look at the things causing me anxiety, stress and panic. As best as I can, I subscribe probable intent to their actions. Are they doing the thing on purpose? Is it malicious? Is it just who they are? This sets up a framework that allows me to better respond. Are people causing me the stress mean spirited or just clueless? There is a big picture outside of the immediate stress. Consider the big picture. Is there nothing that can be done about a bill today or do I have something I need to jump on to address the stress?

The response is an important factor. I use my intuition to see how to respond. My contract with the intuition is that the path forward be in my best interest. Does that mean I get instant relief always? No, but I have a comfort that I am going in the right general direction. Sometimes I am asked to walk away from a brawl that could be "fun", but not beneficial to easing stress. Other times I am asked to walk towards the source of the stress in order to mediate the situation. Intuition is great for this because it is the dispassionate adviser not blinded by anger or fear.

Now... what about the stress reliever side of life. Forget about addressing the causes! Forget about fixing them! How do I relieve stress? I don't use the breathing method. Breathing in any specific way freaks me out. I instead look elsewhere. Here is the short list: listening to music, reading, listening to audio books, contra dancing, gaming on the computer and console, playing with pictures, reading online technical articles, talking to smart people, thinking about cute people and talking to smart cute people.

Dark God

Re: Suicide is not a casual conversational drop-in.

I found myself changing a blog entry on a friend's page today.  Did I do it because I was untruthful?  No, the information was frankly from my heart.  I changed it because I saw something they wrote elsewhere. 

The scoop of my life is that I am terminally depressed.  I have thought ALOT about ways out of it and I am intellectually and (mostly) emotionally comfortable with the concept of suicide.  My comfort does not mean that I can go on about it wherever.  Firstly, it is not a good idea because you can get locked up if the wrong people see it.  Secondly, as my amazing astute friend points out:

I could have a history of suicide among family and friends. Even at the best of times, being reminded of the manner of their deaths out of the blue is unpleasantly jarring. And then you wonder – were their suicidal feelings justified? Would B approve of them taking their own lives, if their feelings were justified by this unknowable system? Or are their actions unjustified even if the feelings are?

Good stuff.  My lesson learned today is to not mention this trigger topic outside of acceptable forums.  This blog is one acceptable forum because I am being myself, warts and all.  I've not written about depression and suicide thoughts in support forums.  Maybe I should, because the my reasons for still being here could be much more valuable to others.