Saturday, 26 March 2016
So...Stress. Stress takes people differently...I function with fairly high levels of stress, my lovely GP says so, so it must be true. A very special friend of mine explained it this way...many people have lives like a glass of water which is completely full.You know full to the point where the little dome of surface tension forms..... it might wobble a bit and quiver a little but is generally contained...until one more drop is added. One more thing happens in life. There is one more thing to think about or deal with. Suddenly the surface tension is broken and water pours over the side of the glass.....stress overflows!!!
So for Jboy who lives a life full of self imposed rules, life must be in constant tension. What if something changes??? What if we expect him to do something new? Go somewhere new? We have mostly learned over the years but this week, we had an unavoidable situation which sent Jboy into a vortex of anxiety. We had a couple of new windows put in and had scheduled the work to be done while Jboy was away at his most unexpected respite so the only difficult thing for him would be meeting the new window in the downstairs bathroom when he came home. However, as is the way, the work took longer than expected and they came again yesterday when Jboy was at home. The van pulled up outside our house and Jboy went into panic mode. He was carrying around his going out bag so we dutifully went out. This also seemed to distress him. Initially, just DG, Jboy and I set off into the grand metropolis while M finished off whatever he was doing at home BUT Jboy crossed the road, went a little way and then stopped. Clearly he was anxious that M was not among our number....what was happening to his world? First a van appears, then people come into the house, then we go out without M! He would not move. So, thanks to the marvellous invention of mobile phones, I rang M and asked him most politely to hurry up as we were going nowhere. This he did. Good old M but Jboy was very unsettled all morning. On our return home, he paced anxiously and watched and listened as well as any guard. The word hypervigilant comes to mind..It was not a happy day for Jboy, despite all our attempts to make it so. His stress levels were at breaking point. We could almost see the surface tension of his imaginary stress glass beginning to wobble and tremble. M decided that the best thing would be an afternoon of Shaun the sheep or Robbie the Reindeer so, with the froom door firmly shut, M and Jboy settled down together for a couple of hours of pleasant(or tedious depending on which one you might ask) viewing while I took DG for a spot of therapeutic leg massage which unknotted any dancery knots in her dancery legs. Living in a state of tension is exhausting...the illustration I have chosen for this meandering is the fraying rope. That's obviously another analogy for the whole living in tension thing. Thankfully both Jboy and I are managing to hang on in there with the last thread still intact. M was able to see the thing which enabled Jboy's stress glass to remain full. It isn't always easy to see this for oneself or even recognise that you are at that stage. I have come to learn over the years that even if your stress glass overflows, or the rope breaks, it isn't the end...it is not pleasant for a while. and some 'whiles' are longer than others but the glass does stabilise again and the rope is mended. So if you are in a state of tension and you are beginning to snap or overflow, hang in there, it will get better. Really and truly. If you have an M to help you watch your metaphorical Shaun the sheep, all the better. I recommend leaning into him or her. If you don't. then do whatever it is that relieves your stress...go for a run, read a book, have a bath, go for a run then read a book in the bath....
As for Jboy, he has just about coped with the new bathroom window..although we have to talk about it every time he sees it. He is probably just checking in case it changes again..after all who knows what will happen in this world of uncertainty????