I have gone back to counseling. Recently, I realized I was sinking into a hole of depression and I wanted to head it off before I was buried in it. The counselor gave me one of those stress-scales. If you’ve ever been in therapy or studied psychology you will be familiar with this (curious? click here http://www.actsweb.org/stress_test.php). You check off the events you’ve experienced in the past year and then score your stress. I believe 300+ meant high stress and I scored close to 400. I think I would have scored that high for the past three years running.
Reasons for my stress from the past two months alone:
- Surgery: I slipped on my garage floor and broke my knee-cap in half, had surgery, have no insurance, don’t get paid time off from work, and can’t drive myself to work due to my inability to bend my knee to get in the car. I’m almost healed from that, but you get the idea: in the house and fairly immobile for six weeks.
- I’m a GRANDMA! The same day I broke my knee, my first grand-baby was born. It’s a GIRL! She’s healthy and beautiful. But you know what? Significant life changes produce stress whether you experience them as positive or negative. Also, due to my injury, I have not been able to travel to see her yet. So a little stress has accompanied this blessing.
- My own grandmother passed away. Yes, within a month of my becoming a grandma, my own grandmother – my last surviving grandparent who was/is one of my heroes, joined the heavenly choir. I’m happy for her. She lived a good, long life and was ready to join her friends and family on the other side. Still, I grieve the loss. (And no, I was not able to travel to be with my family at her memorial service … see above).
- My son re-entered rehab. This is Al, the new dad. Apparently, after his surgery some months ago, they gave him Vicodin for pain and despite his telling us otherwise, he just revealed that he’s never been off them since. He’s doing a two-week stint in rehab and heading back. He and his girlfriend are having troubles. They both love their baby, but they are both unsure about their future as a couple. And so it goes.
In the middle of all of this, and through these few counseling sessions, I have found life lessons:
- Appreciate the little things (like taking a shower or being able to get into your car).
- Reach out to the home-bound (I know it’s obvious, but I’ve never had a physical injury before and so I just didn’t fully understand how isolating that can be and what that isolation does to a person)
- Always be willing to start again
- Learn to ask for help even when you aren’t sure you need it – it blesses you and the other person as well.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength – because when you are not able, God’s strong hand will lift you up for another day.
I’m learning stress management over and over and over again. And that’s okay. I woke up this morning – another chance to get it right. God bless you all.