Friday, January 1, 2010
When Stress Breeds Discontentment
Discontentment is my weakest state of being. I am most vulnerable to all of my demons and quickly reminded of times when I let them control me. This awareness used to invoke fear, which snowballed into failure. Discontentment was the perfect excuse for continuing my addiction, taking back my abusive ex, binge eating, binge drinking, spending money I didn't have on my appearance or material possessions, having sex with a random stranger for immediate gratification, or any of the other self destructive actions I used to take over and over and over, trying to make myself happy. It was my way of life. Of course the consequences always left me more discontent, and my life remained out of control because of it.
Over time and through my emotional development, I have spent a lot of conscious time on redefining contentment. When I was homeless and beginning my recovery from meth and I did not know where my next meal would come from, or where I would sleep that night, I learned a new level of contentment was possible. I was in the fight for my life, and the slip ups of past discontentment would surely break me. I had to search for meaning and happiness, and was initially only capable of finding them in small doses. Today it is still those small doses that carry me through and give me the most contentment.
The last week has been filled with stress. Not the kind of stress that is good and causes a person to react when necessary, but the bad kind of stress. The overwhelming, hard to process, affecting my moods and my body stress. The aching neck and back, tension headache, physically exhausting stress. The kind of stress that beats down my small doses of contentment one by one and leaves me discontent and vulnerable.
I know that I should be pulling out my emotional tools and using them, but I am too tired. We have not finished moving and already my mental and physical capabilities have diminished greatly. These are the times when the urge to use is the greatest and when my decision making skills are the poorest. I do not have the option to wait it out because we have a deadline to be completely out of the old house.
I refuse to surrender to discontentment. Some things are worth the fight.
So, I must look deep within , and recall what I have learned from the past, when I have experienced this feeling. I remind myself that the consequences only add to the burden. I remind myself that I can only do what I can do and that I will know contentment again. Stress and discontentment are only a temporary experience and I have successfully dealt with them before, even when emotionally worn down and tired, and I have found strength within to accomplish what feels impossible.
Moving sucks. I think I need to work on eliminating some of the (really heavy) material things we have acquired so that it is not as burdensome. Or maybe I need to save up money for professional movers next time, God bless their souls!
Writing really helps me give myself perspective. I can recognize some of my small doses of contentment that I was missing, simply by expressing myself. I am thankful that my writing is an outlet that I am utilizing instead of exhaling from a glass pipe.