So I’ve made some interesting discoveries about myself recently. How I handle stress is one of those discoveries.
The last time I was this stressed out was during my pregnancy with Genna, and I think at that time, I was just too involved in the situation do to much self-reflection. This time, the situation isn’t as intensely personal, so I’ve been able to talk about it (obsess about it, some might say), as well as think about it, in a slightly more detached manner.
When I’m feeling super stressed out, there’s just this barely sub-panic feeling nearly all the time. The fight or flight thing. As soon as I’m not distracted by something else, it’s right there. It’s like a giant purple monster standing in the corner – as long as I’m purposely not looking at it, I can’t see it, but as soon as I forget to not look, there it is, jumping up and down and hooting.
It’s so intense that anything else stressful, even mildly so, nearly sends me over the brink. This is why, during Genna’s pregnancy, I couldn’t deal with basic things like “should we go in for XYZ test.” It was just too much to cope with.
What bothers me about stress is that I apparently have no coping mechanisms. Any actual attempt to cope seems to just make it worse. Exercise only gives me time to think about it. Relaxing like in a bath, again, just time to think about it. And the thoughts are generally unhealthy ones – either obsessing over whatever is causing me stress, or berating myself for having such poor coping skills. Hardly productive.
Since I’m comfortable admitting that any future pregnancies are likely to be stressful, as well, I’m realizing that I need to develop some coping skills – or at least a more positive internal script – before the next one. I’m wondering if I ought to see a mental health professional, to be honest.