Friday, August 29, 2014

Life, Stress, Love


(Just an interesting note, I thought I knew where this post was going, but I didn’t.  Half way through, I had an “Oh, my god…” moment.)
ying yang s
The last two weeks have been really rough for me, in case any of you hadn’t noticed.
I am not a fan of stress.  I can handle stress fine in small doses, at regular intervals, with a chance to get my equilibrium back between the intervals.  When I get constantly bombarded with stress I tend to shut down, get kind of depressed, and require some serious down time before I can get back to normal.  I know all of this about myself, so I try to manage my stress very carefully.
The last two weeks have been absolutely insane at work.  I knew it was going to be bad, I tried to be prepared for it, but it has been two weeks of constant, never ending problems.  One after the other, all day, every day.  I would be busy all day at work, then get texts, emails, and calls for half the night, get very little sleep, and repeat it all the next day.  Over and over.  Every day the stress built on the stress from the day before, accumulating, because I didn’t have any time to decompress.
Day after day after day… for the last two weeks.  I felt like I was coming apart at the seams.
I like to think of my mindset in three basic ways; up, down, and somewhere in the middle.  I’m almost never down, but I’ve definitely had more than a few down days over the past two weeks.
Today marked the end of the worst of it.  I’m well over the top of the ridge, it should be all down hill from here.  My schedule has drastically lightened up, it feels like so much pressure has been released.
I survived.  I feel insanely relieved right now.
And do you know what else I really appreciate right now?  Actually, I should say, who I really appreciate right now?  Ann.
Ann has been nothing but supportive, encouraging, and wonderful.  She’s been the shining light that’s gotten me through the rough days.  Whatever I wrote, whatever I thought, whatever I said, she was one hundred percent behind me.
A few weeks ago, I commented to Ann that she had already read most of my deep dark secrets.  She had read all my posts and I’d written about most of them.  She asked what secrets I hadn’t written about… there were a couple of stories that were pretty bad.  I told them to her and it was like water off a duck’s back.  My worst stories were nothing to her.
Last week, I was in a “down” place and decided to write out those stories.  Looking back, it was something of a masochistic exercise.  I was already down and the writing dragged up even more painful feelings.  Looking back at our own horrible actions is never easy.  Anyway, I sent the drafts to Ann.  Some dark part of my mind wanted her to know the worst things I’ve ever done.  She had already heard the stories, so I didn’t think they would bother her too much, but I figured she should know exactly who she was in a relationship with.  Detailed, hurt writings about my worst stories, water off a duck’s back.
Then, this week I was in a “down” place and had to write.  I wrote the “Old wounds breed the deepest demons“, I had all this bad energy in my head and I needed to get it out.  It’s probably one of the darkest posts I’ve ever written.  It was so rough that I had to go back and write a third part explaining it.  It had nothing to do with Ann but rather my own past hurts.
The writing was part of the healing process, the thinking, venting, and processing.
Through all of this stress and venting… Ann has been right there, unflappable.  Never a cross word, never a hesitation, always supportive.
Not only has this nightmare with work just ended, but I have fallen for Ann even harder.  She has read my worst stories, she has seen me at my most stressed out, she has seen the darkest demons of my down days.  All of my stress for the past two weeks has thoroughly tested, not only myself, but Ann as well.  And she breezed through it like it was nothing.
I find myself in a strange place, a place… My eyes are actually welling up right now.  I never realized how strong I forced myself to be before now (as in, right now, as I’m writing this).  I have never, never been in a relationship (familial or otherwise) where I wasn’t the strong one.  I’ve never had anyone else that I could rely on for emotional support.  No matter what was happening, I had to put my feelings aside and deal with others, deal with the situation.  I couldn’t be weak, because if I was weak then who would be the stoic one?  Who would be the strength that got us through?  Who would deal with the issue and take care of everyone else?  I could not let emotions out, I bottled everything up, and just pushed through it because no one else could.  That’s part of the reason I started writing a blog, it was my only safe outlet.
When I was at my darkest over the past two weeks, part of me fully expected Ann to flinch away.  At times, I wonder if part of my mind wanted her to, tempting it with my words.  I was being weak, I was being emotional, I was being difficult, pissy, erratic, etc.  She weathered it all as though it were nothing and still loved me.  Never in my life has a weakness of mine been seen and treated with kindness.
I have always had to be the stone that weathered the storm for others.  This time, Ann was my stone, my anchor.  It’s a totally foreign concept to my brain, the idea that I can be in a relationship with someone who can be strong for me when I need it.  It’s almost impossible to conceive.  Yet, it’s an overwhelmingly comforting thought.
Literally, Ann has seen me at my worst and never flinched, just looked at me with love in her eyes.  I can’t explain what that means to me.
How absolutely fantastic is she?  I ask because, probably for the first time in my life, words fail me.
20 days…

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