Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Crazy and Stress

I've been thinking a lot lately about what stresses me out and about how I handle stress.

Yesterday, I got some marginally good news. Last night, I tossed and turned and had a horrible night's sleep. Racing mind. Freaked-out thoughts. It seems that I am most stressed out when good things happen to me. Unlike most people, who view good news, however marginal, as, I don't know, good, it sets me into a crazy spiral of freaking out. That's item #1.

The second thing I've been thinking quite a bit about is that I don't complain very much when I've got a lot going on. If a bunch of bad shit is happening, I go all pragmatic and calm, and really I'm good at handling things in a crisis. That said, when I'm stressed out (which of course happens when things are going well but have the potential to change and/or are in the middle of change, but because the situation would look positive from the outside people don't really understand that I will become stressed out in the given situation), I do tend to overreact to things and/or to be kind of bitchy. People don't know what to make of this because I don't really complain much, so then they think that the way I'm acting is about how I feel about them. (This goes a long way toward explaining my role in the demise of my last Super-Serious-Relationship, which, incidentally, was the last time I was on the market.) I suppose it's good not to spend one's life complaining, but I'm thinking that perhaps if I complained a little more then people wouldn't be so confused by my erratic and bitchy behavior. That's item #2.

Not sure what to say about any of this, but as I'm still feeling a little on edge this morning, I thought maybe posting about it would help.


Nik said...

I like this idea of complaining a bit more so as not to shock the folks when the complaining time gets really rolling. And, it may have the added benefit of letting some steam escape before hand so the complaining won't seem so volcanic. Yes. I'm off to complain some more.

prefer not to say said...

Two words: class background.

And maybe I'm totally wrong. But I say this based on my own experience -- if you were raised in an environment where things just kept going wrong, where the odds were stacked pretty high against you, you got where you are by being calm and pragmatic under crazy pressure. Drastically bad was "normal" so you can behave normally under those circumstances.

Good stuff, on the other hand, is almost unbearable because, according to your childhood programming it's strange territory and you probably don't deserve it, it's not normal, soon something even worse will come along to even the score.

Good stuff has the power to disintegrate your historically established sense of who you are. Bad stuff can't ever hurt you that bad. It's too familiar.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

For me, very often good stuff comes with a decision to make... 'oh no, I got an interview -- what if I get the job" or... "wow, this really smart person wants to work with me, what if I can't hold my own -- should I really do it?".

AAYOR said...

Did it?

Dr. Crazy said...

Kind of... but not really :)

I think my whole thing with this is a combination of PNTS's theory and IPF's - in part, I think it's an upbringing thing, in that I can roll with the punches if things come up that are beyond my control and that are challenging (though not necessarily bad... my background wasn't so harsh, but yes, there were things), but I also think it's a personality thing, in that positive things do often come with decisions or with more variables. If a bad thing happens, you just have to deal with it. If a sort-of good thing happens, then it means either a) there will be more disappointment down the line or b) that more good things will happen, but then a decision or series of decisions will need to be made. Since that's the case, it's a lot easier to not think about the good stuff, as it makes me do the "what if" thing a lot more than bad (or just lame) stuff does.

I also think I might be procrastinating by working myself up into a tizzy because really I should be grading. Grading's not at all what I feel like doing. :)