Saturday, July 04, 2009

Easier said than done

Evan wrote a very good post on dealing with stress in response to Sunny's post today.

I have to say I agree with everything he says, but saying and doing are two completely different things.

Here's the thing. I used to have the attitude that there was no point worrying over things you couldn't control and unless a problem would leave you dead, homeless or in jail, it probably wasn't worth worrying about too much anyway. I was the person who would see someone going ballistic with the veins popping out on their foreheads over a spilt drink and wonder just how someone could get worked up over something so trivial.

That was me. I was the guy they based the 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' T-Shirt on.

Unfortunately, though, the past three years have literally been one major disaster after another. A few of these we wrote about, most we didn't. A few are still ongoing…but, basically, when you're rushing to the emergency room at 3am for the fourth time in as many months, it's really, really hard to say 'Que sera sera'…especially when you know that even if it's just something minor, you can't afford the time off work and it's going to mean another massive hospital bill you can't pay.

To be completely honest, it's not a case of keeping your guard up because bad things happen when you don't… it just bracing yourself for the bad news when it inevitably comes.

Ok, we don't spend all our time worrying about what's going to happen next, but the past few years have turned both of us from optimists to pessimists, simply because it's easier to deal with the rain when you were expecting a flood.

The simplest way I can put it is once you've had multiple untimely deaths in the family, then had your two remaining children rushed to the hospital with life-threatening conditions over the following year, then being rushed to hospital yourself four times, each time when you can't afford time off work or the hospital bill itself…then the day to day stuff like being out of work and the roof starts leaking…when a car pulls into the drive after 11pm the first thing you think isn't "Hey, someone's come for a visit!"

Long story short, when you've spent a long time getting punched in the face it takes a lot to lower that guard even when you know you're not being attacked and even when you know it's totally counter-productive.


Sunny said...

Thank you sweetie.......Thank goodness I read your post before I wrote out a post to explain why I have such a pessimistic attitude now.
This explains it much better than I possibly could.
I AM going to continue to take the advice that YOU have been giving me for a the past 3 years(almost the same advice Evan just gave me as well)and TRY to give away some of the control and realize I can't be stressed all the time about things I have control over and just RELAX. I HAVE been trying to do that in recent months, but, I occasionally slip......
Just do what you've been doing and keep gently reminding me when I start slipping in my resolve... just like you've been doing and I'll try and help you do the same. It helps so much when you have a wonderful spouse who doesn't stress you out by yelling at you about you not doing what is best all the time...(as you well know since I NEVER EVER nag you about anything).
And with that comment- let's not go any further except to say I love you.

Evan 08 said...

Yes. It absolutely is easier said than done.