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. 


  1. Writing really does help with perspective. Much more then I thought it would. I think it really shows just how much you've learned from the past by being able to write down how you feel instead of using to block it all. I hope things improve for you soon and that you have a great 2010. (:

  2. Just today. That's all you have to get through. Just this moment.
    I'm sorry you're tired and worn out hun. Moving is exhausting. It is pretty high on the list of most stressful experiences, especially when there are deadlines involved.
    I admire your ability to look for what means the most. It IS worth the fight. Hang in there. (((hugs)))

  3. nice post. thanks.

  4. Moving is very stressful and exhausting indeed. I've been through it time and time again. Just take it one day at a time, and rest when needed. Consider also that the dreary weather tends to bring people down also. But, spring is coming! So are better days :)

    I hope you find peace and contentment even within the storms this year. Life is so hard... I've been battling depression with all my might for the past year. It's clinging to me ruthlessly!

    I have to move on... that's all I can do.

    Warm hugs to you, dear :)

    By the way, I love the songs you have here on your blog :)

  5. You are living proof that a season of drug use does not diminish one's ability to create, to think, to grow, to reason and to love forever. Your writing and your thought process is always inspirational. You go, girl!

  6. I have awarded you the Superior Scribbler Award on One True Self!

  7. ((((Midnitefyrfly))))

    Reflecting is good to see what you have learned. I am so very sorry for your struggles. But am here listening to your pain with you.

  8. There are times when I post something and I have a content label for it called "just for me". Those have been some of the most therapeutic posts I have done. It is simply for me. This post reminds me of the "just for me" posts. Although they never are just for us because they speak into the hearts of others.

    Again...I am thankful for the voice...the level of writing and examination that continues to thrive here. SO EXCELLENT!!

    I am hoping that moment by moment peace invades discontentment for you and relief comes!

  9. I like that you said "the consequences add to the burden." That is a huge step for addicts, I believe. My son said something similar. I was telling him he needed to do meetings, and he said "I only have to look at my life and see I don't have a car, a girlfriend, or a job to be reminded of where I was."

  10. I'm thinking about ya. Great post and comments. Don't have anything to add to either :)

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  12. ((hugs)) and a happy new year - may this one be a good one for you :)

  13. This is my first visit, I decided to follow your blog.
    You have accomplished so much!

    Suncerely, Secretia