Okay, I know that title is a little ironic. After all, stress can come from not understanding or not being prepared for a situation.
In one of the groups I am in, someone asked how to deal with stress when you have fibromyalgia. People were giving tips on diet, sleep, exercise, etc. I mentioned deep breathing techniques.
But the truth is, the best way to deal with stress is to understand where it comes from and see if you can change that situation.
For me, stress comes from many sources. Trying to manage chronic pain from several different sources is certainly one way. I can handle the all-over pain of osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia. But add in a migraine, toothache, sinus infection, backache and/or my hernia and I get stressed. My mind can only manage so many things at once and then it starts complaining in the way of stress.
Another source of stress is my insomnia. As I write this post it is 5:36 am and I haven’t been to sleep yet. Why? Well pain, an upset stomach, IBS, and stress.
Okay, did you catch that? My insomnia is stressful and it can be caused by stress. Just like horrific pain can make me stressed and can be caused by stress. Let’s just say that stress in the life of someone with a chronic illness is inevitable – a vicious circle for sure.
So, on top of the pain, stress, and insomnia I normally deal with, we have sold our house and technically have no place to live as of Thursday of this week. We were able to rent back from the new owner to the end of May. The process of finding a place, packing up this one and keeping up with daily life is incredibly stressful for a “normal” person. Add in chronic pain and illness and it is excruciating.
We went out one day and looked at 3 places and then went to a coffee shop to put together an offer with our realtor. We did it right away because there was a chance we would be up against other bids. Our realtor told us to think about it and when we did we realized it was much too small for our needs and too fancy.
The other two units were not totally accessible for me. One thing I need is a walk-in shower. Most of the new builds have fancy high walled soaker tubs. Even if I just shower, it is difficult for me to get in and out alone. Also, because we have our 12-year-old arthritic border collie/boxer, we need to have even a small yard and no steps (elevator is okay). And that is if the pet restrictions allow for her at all.
We have gone out a few more times, put out other offers and even wanted to make a blind offer from a listing to try and get ahead of the game but by the time our realtor checked on it is was gone. Another place that we saw that was perfect, we thought we were the only offer but we weren’t and we lost it.
Each time this happens, my stress meter hits maximum and my heart sinks. I am both worried we won’t find something and heartbroken that we don’t get places I fall in love with.
But I am learning to understand my stress. At least in the case of “the move”. So, I talked to hubby the other night and said that I trust him completely and want him to take the lead on the purchase of a new place. I will sign, even look at pictures, but all this travel, getting excited and then having the bubble burst is just too much for me.
We are still talking about it and I sometimes feel myself wanting to look at the real estate sites or give Hubby advice. But for the most part, I just try and “Let Go, Let God”. My faith knows he has the perfect place for us and it may not be where we were expecting.
So, I have turned my attention to the job of getting this place ready to move. This does not mean I will be packing everything up and cleaning everything. It means that I will arrange all of this and pace myself. I am great at making lists and even lists of lists so that helps to break things down. We will be getting rid of a lot of stuff and while that is a lot of work (cleaning, taking pictures and posting them online), it is also very freeing.
While this is all still very stressful, I am learning how to best channel my stress. Like my chronic pain, I will never be stress-free. It is good to know that I can take control of it.