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Contents Under Pressure!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Many of you know I have I high stress job with long hours, and I work from a home office. I try to keep my life in balance by enjoying time with friends on the weekends, and hiking, and eating relatively healthy food. Plus I do a little yoga. This week, I had a house guest, and I saw firsthand the results of uncontrolled stress.

My friend is smart, funny, and very health conscious. But she has always been very volatile emotionally; she winds herself up into a tizzy and then has a meltdown. She stresses out so much her digestion is in turmoil, she can’t sleep, she gets sick. She wants a lot of support and hugs and I just can’t do that when I am working. Even if I am working in my home office on my computer, or on the phone with my employer/clients -- I am being paid to work. I can’t just stop work to deal with her crisis. (Mostly self created crises – this time she was agonizing over purchasing another rental property.)

She last visited about three years ago and she mostly stayed at her own place (she owns four rental properties in my city; one is a furnished condo at a resort that is for short term rentals. She stayed there). And she stressed out so much about her tenants and her properties that she ended up in the emergency room with an asthma attack, and then AGAIN in the ER with heart problems. I talked to her quietly and calmly after she returned home, and suggested she see a physician for help with anxiety and stress. That conversation actually went quite well; she said she realized that stress was destroying her health. She followed through to the extent of seeing a physician, but she did not take the prescribed medication. As is usual with her, she reads all the possible side effects and then won’t take any prescription drug.

This time she stayed with me for a week visit, because her condo was booked with paying guests. She told me she would be out while I was working. That wasn’t the case; and she steadily more and more stressed, then got very sick again. And I find her stress and anxiety and interruptions VERY difficult when I am working. I am now WAY behind on MY work projects. I love her dearly, I want her be well and healthy. But I think in the future I will just tell her that she can visit me on the weekends but that she cannot stay with me in my home when I am working. I will have to work at least 15 hours of overtime next week to get caught up on my work due to her interruptions (perceived crisis/meltdowns/tears etc.). That’s not healthy for me either.

So here's a reminder to all of us! Take time to distress. Enjoy the beauty around you. When you are walking with friends, stop to look at the flowers and talk about the glorious wildflowers. DON'T waste your life stressing over things that can't be changed. Try yoga; relaxation techniques; meditation; prayer; and seek medical assistance if you are so stressed you are becoming ill. My thoughts and prayers are with my friend, and with all who are suffering from an inability to deal with stress.


My positives for this past week:
1. I cleaned my spare bedroom
2. I cooked healthy food every night for my friend and me
3. I exercised a lot! at least 1/2 hour daily, usually more
4. I was cleaning the garage when my friend arrived -- she pitched in to help and now I have a clean garage!
5. I gave helpful advice to my friend in trying circumstances. I am trying to be a more kind and patient person.

In a half hour I am flying off to California for my mom's 94th birthday. In January we thought she never would make it to this milestone! Now she is out of hospice and doing well. Happy birthday mom!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yeah...I work at home 2 days a week and it can be a challenge! Love the break from commuting but oh, the interruptions!
    1822 days ago
    I am so sorry you had such a difficult time with your friend's visit! I admire your patience, I do know I wouldn't have been good at all in such circumstances. And I admire your ability to plan ahead for next time too, by seeing what is possible (her staying at the weekend) and what isn't (her disrupting your work again). I really do hope your friend will consider seeing a doctor again, as it does sound she really need professional help.
    Happy Birthday to your mom! It makes me so glad to read how well she is now compared to a few months ago.
    1824 days ago
    Maybe you can distress after catching up your work. It is a real shame your friend cannot find peace with herself. You have the right and positive attitude. I think you showed great compassion and love, despite the cost of you time. GOD will bless you for your love and effort. We will just have to pray for your friend. I think you are right to ask her to stay only one the weekends. Your job is you livelihood. Take care Allison.
    Tell you mom Happiest Birthday. I know she is just the sweetest thing. My granny lived to be 100. She was sweet and funny. If you take photo's of her birthday, I hope you share them. Hugs her tight and tell her how great she is. emoticon
    1825 days ago
    I have been on anti-anxiety meds for years and they do help! I have an anxiety disorder that can go into panic attacks. Which sounds like your friend, if you ask me. Sometimes the benefits of the medicine makes it worth some side effects. And sometimes you don't get them, depends on the person. Sorry she had such a bad time with here stress and stressed you out too. Hope you get caught up on your work soon.
    But, I know first you will enjoy your trip down to see your Mom. Wow-fantastic that she is doing that well now and has made it to 94! Good for her!!
    Safe trip there and back. Enjoy!!! emoticon
    1825 days ago
    Your blog is very powerful and especially where you have learned AND practiced what I call mindful living. You have a high stress job but you handle your life. It is great that you wrote this here because maybe it will help someone else with the same problems. Like you, as I get older, I am learning to balance my life out.

    I have a couple of friends who are self-employed and they have all taught their friends that just because they are home, it doesn't mean they are available. I am sorry about your disruptions and I hope you treat yourself to something wonderful after the overtime next week. emoticon

    Love, Chelsea emoticon
    1826 days ago
  • FISHER011
    Great blog! How I wish I'd had SparkPeople & your awesome advise when I had my Heart Attack 4 years ago! I don't think I stressed until I got sick- but I did get really sick & am still living with the health crisis that I caused myself by stressing! I had a job that was stressful-I used to think the more stressed I was, the more energy to get things done. What a joke I & your friend are- stress kills or disables a person.
    Thanks for sharing! Happy Birthday to your Mom! Enjoy your trip!
    1826 days ago
    Sounds like a horrendous week! I'm sorry for your friend's problems, but sorrier for you because dealing with her problems put you way behind on your work, which is already stressful enough.

    If your friend won't take prescribed medications because of concern about side-effects, perhaps your friend would agree to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. After dealing with depression for much of my adult life, I did a focused, concentrated 5-month series of meetings with a psychiatrist and she changed my life. I am so much happier, and healthier than I've ever been. I do take medication as well, and probably will for the rest of my life, but that's a small cost to pay.

    It sounds as if your friend has many great qualities, and I hope she will get some help with the stress.

    Enjoy the week-end with your mother and family; she's truly an amazing woman.

    Gail emoticon
    1826 days ago
    Thank you for a very thoughtful blog, and a wake up call for a lot of people! You are a very good friend to this gal, and you are very good at taking care of yourself by setting limits.

    emoticon emoticon Mom!

    1826 days ago
  • DR1939
    The thing about anti-anxiety drugs is that they are for the people who deal with those with anxiety. My husband takes them but I had to battle him to begin them. He was causing me massive stress but he felt just fine. Then he decided to wean himself off of them at the same time as we went on vacation with our daughters. Finally, they sat him down and told him he really did need the meds. Obviously, they also are helpful for the anxious person, they just don't realize it.

    Happy birthday to your mom.
    1827 days ago
    I hope you manage to catch up on your work easily, and your friend doesn't add too much more to YOUR stresses!
    And have a Great time celebrating your mom's birthday!! Have a great weekend!
    1827 days ago
    emoticon First HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your mom! My mom has been gone 30 years - were she still alive she'd be 106! I still miss her!!

    emoticon Next, with regard to your friend who won't take prescription drugs due to 'possible side effects' - I don't like taking drugs either! BUT I take meds for HBP - because I like the possible side effects of uncontrolled high blood pressure even less.

    emoticon I suggest she think long and hard about the possible side effects of uncontrolled stress!! Nuf said!! emoticon
    1827 days ago
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