Stress Stress Stress Stress Illusion Stress Stress Stress Stress

For the last week, stress has been slowly building, and in many instances, I’ve had to pull myself away from productivity, and deal with it. Dealing with it is rather annoying, because I pull myself away, and often talk to myself. Sometimes in a mirror, sometimes in the open room, sometimes just right at my desk. I imagine the computer is the source of my stress, or my work, then my lack of actual real-world friends around me. Then it comes full circle, and I return to work knowing that the stress isn’t real… only to fall for the illusion once again later when something else comes up, like a major event potentially being canceled after our wedding due to other issues with people who are essential to it going smoothly, or even happening at all.

Money is usually the source of this stress, and today is no exception. Although I have a minor medical condition that causes me physical pain and stuff daily (which will hopefully be totally gone in 2 weeks), money always finds a way to trump it. It’s like an annoying brat of a child that craves my attention. This is especially true as it’s right before my wedding. You see, weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions filled with happiness, celebration, and love. They are a time when you surround yourself with the people in your life that mean a great deal to you, or that you believe would be fun to have around for your big event. You gather as many of these people as can make it, provided your budget can handle it, and then have a good time.

But that’s not really what my wedding is shaping up like for me. At least, not in my mind. In my mind, the experience of this wedding, or at least the planning of it, makes the appearance of a wedding look very different than what I thought of before. There’s far more weight put into the costs of things than originally anticipated, from simple things like chair covers, to what to offer people for the freakin rehearsal dinner, which at this point I don’t even care about anymore. When that happens, many of the things I do care about, start to become affected, which just brings my level of mental stability down even more.

The problem with me (and I say this acknowledging that it’s a problem) is that when I get frustrated about things like this to a certain extent, I stop caring about them completely. It’s no longer worth my effort, I don’t care, whatever. That’s how I feel about things right this moment, and that sucks because it’s very important still to many other people (and my wife). I have several minor issues happening at the same time, several parts of my plans starting to go astray from the goal, several people simultaneously telling me things and asking me questions that now I no longer want to deal with as a result.


and now you know what tunnel vision looks like

There is a way to solve this problem, but like many problems, it’s much easier to talk about them and say how to do things to solve it than it is to act. What I’ve been doing, is pulling myself away from the struggle, and just relaxing for a bit. Keeping calm, taking deep breaths, and really trying to calm my mind. I don’t know if that’s meditation or not, but that’s what I’d like to say it feels like. It takes care of a lot of the feelings that plague my life, in the short term. Feelings of stress, anxiety, low-self esteem, inadequacy, worry, anger, and sadness. It also allows me to push everything away, and focus on what really matters to me most.

The problem I saw most from myself, Hang, and many other college students while in school, was that our most stressful times were caused by looking at the entire bucket of problems, and saying to ourselves that fixing that entire bucket was hopeless. “There’s just no way I can do it.” What needs to happen, and I’m guilty of this more than I’d like to admit, is not look at the entire picture. Rather than seeing this huge list of stuff that has to be dealt with, I need to realize that each of these matters must be addressed individually, one at a time. You can’t maintain the tunnel vision of looking at everything going wrong in your life and expect to not lose mental stability. You need balance. Some people can control themselves better than others, and I’ve been fairly good at keeping my emotions in check, but there are certainly times when you feel you simply cannot accomplish what you’d like to. Two choices arise then: Quit, or modify your actions to better deal with the challenge.

I’m not perfect, and it’s showing. That doesn’t mean my logic is flawed though. Hang and I have two entirely different levels of.. well… everything when it comes to buying things, planning events, and having fun. We’re opposites. Honestly, how we get along so well is beyond my comprehension at this point. For the most part, it works because we care about different things… things that generally tend to compliment each other (like how something looks vs. how well it actually functions). Finding a balance between our goals and desires is what generates what many would call “good teamwork,” and I believe we have that.

But the challenges we face in life, whether individually or as a couple, are going to constantly test our ability to maintain good teamwork, and I get the most pissy when I’m feeling inadequate in my ability to pull my own weight for the team, in any sense. Yes, I can carry big boxes. No, I don’t carry a big wallet.

Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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