Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Power Is My Own...

I'm a very luck guy. I have to consistently remind myself of this opinion (fact?) because I am inherently a realist (some call it a "pessimist" but to each his or her own). To quote a song title from my favorite band, "For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic." Ha. Moving on.

I've spent the better part of a month debating on whether or not I should write this post because, despite the fact that I try to keep what I write to be as "real world" as possible some things are just a little too real.

Don't go jumping to conclusions, my life is still on the mediocre side of lucrative when it comes to excitement.

My life has always been rather stressful. One time during my senior year of high school I took a "stress test" (whatever the hell that is) and the test stated that any score over 150 was considered "unhealthy."

I scored (scored is actually a rather disgustingly ironic word in this instance because it definitely didn't lead to any victories) over 450. Why I've never been found in the fetal position on my bed rambling incoherent words at some point in the last few years is beyond me.

Stress sucks. I'm assuming everyone can attest to that (granted I can't actually speak for everyone, hence the assumption). Sometimes you don't always handle your stress in the best ways.

Sometimes stress builds and builds and keeps building until it towers over you and surrounds you. It buries you and it suffocates you. It knocks you down and keeps you there with no intention of letting you get back up. Stress can be overwhelming and debilitating.

I have to admit that in my earlier years of high school I didn't cope with stress well. I was sick a lot and missed a lot of school and just really wasn't happy at all. For a time it made me sad, and then I became depressed, and then after a while I was just numb. Numb to the world and to the people around me and to all the things that I loved. How I dealt with that period of my life is now a non-issue. I've finally told the people I trust about it and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

That ended my depression and numbness for a time. I was generally pretty happy. From the summer before my senior year all the way to the end of my first semester of college I was a pretty happy dude. Nothing to complain about really (except for student loans and homework of course). After a while I thought I was pretty much invincible.

Nobody is invincible.

I'm going to quote somebody that said something really wise: "Just because someone with depression has a better day doesn't mean that person got better. The day is still grey but without any rain."

Guess who said that wise piece. Go ahead and guess.

Your answer was wrong if you didn't guess Miley Cyrus. Crazy, right? She's not just a wrecking ball riding, sledge hammer swinging, tongue sticker-outer, singer that at one point was the icon of many childhoods.

Once my second semester started I had a lot of grey days and way too many rainy days. Thankfully I got to throw a handful of blue days and sunshine in there.

I couldn't possibly tell you what the cause of this second bout of non-happiness. But it was real and it sucked. I'm still not 100% sure that I'm over it yet. There have been some days this summer where I just feel low.

In contrast there have been some days this summer where I feel like I'm standing on top of the world. I've recently been going through one of my "on top of the world" phases and while the top of that mountain has been reached I'm still up high and feeling good.

It was during this expedition that I had an epiphany: Stress comes in two types. There is the stress that you can control and there is the stress that you can't control.

They have one thing in common: Both only affect you in a way that you let them. If you let either type of stress beat the crap out of you then you're going to get the crap beat out of you. If you do something to alleviate stress in a positive way then you're going to be much happier.

The power to deal with my stress is my own. I can work to prevent the stress that I can control and deal with the things I can't prevent in a positive way. I can choose to react to stress out of my control in a positive way.

Recently I've been trying to improve my physical health and I've noticed that physical health goes a long way in bettering your mental and emotional well being. While I have no aspirations to look like The Incredible Hulk (if my skin turns green I'll most definitely be going to see a doctor) I think I'm starting to agree with the "look good feel good philosophy."

Another thing I've been doing is just trying to make every day feel like some form of progress. I want to live every day so that when I go to bed at night I can reflect on my day and be satisfied with what I've accomplished since I work up that morning.

Your view on life really can make an impact on how you live your life.

The idea that I have the power to handle my stress how I want is great. I like being in control of myself (and, admittedly, the world around me when possible). I have a lot of work to do and a long ways to go, but I'm proud of my progress so far.

Today I found on Tumblr:

Well that explains a lot.

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