It said that a little bit of stress might be good for you! I breathed a tight shallow sigh of relief. Like a cat coughing up a hairball. OH thank God – I thought. I’m not actually shortening my life by thinking about premature death every day. And how I may never have an acting career. Or do anything important. Ever.
I came to the end of the article thinking I’m superhumanly stressed out and it’s a great way to be! Fight or flight 24 hours a day is healthy! This is totally not what everyone says is – oh — ok what is this box over here in the margin…
A sullen little black rectangle read “You might be too stressed if…” And then perfectly described me in bullet points, followed by “See your doctor immediately.” Because you’re shortening your life, Crazy! CALM DOWN! STOP FREAKING OUT! BE LIKE A RELAXED PERSON FOR CHRISSAKES!
My heart felt inflamed and disco dance-y, as I turned the page to find the headline “Heart Disease. Secret Killer of Young Women.” At this rate, I would be dead by page 28.
I put the magazine down. Maybe I can just live with this insane amount of stress. It’s not killing me. Like, visibly…
My life in LA is tough. It’s very busy, involves a lot of jobs, research and business planning, few even vaguely uplifting moments, rush hour traffic, little money, lots of hustle, and about .05% career/life satisfaction. Exactly like a vacation in Hawaii!
I’ve tried stress-relieving remedies: books, sun salutations, teas, balms, booze, petting furry animals, mantras, affirmations, praying.
My latest thing, is an app for my iPhone called “Simply Being”. It has relaxing sounds, with a semi soothing woman’s voice guiding you through meditation. I use it like an EpiPen for stressful episodes. I get all worked up over something, then spastically root through my bag for my headphones, plug them in and fire up the sound of the ocean, “Close your eyes…. (kkkkkrrrraaaaaaashhhhhh)…There’s nothing you need to do…. (kkkkkkrrr-seagull-asssshhhhh)… All you need to do is be….”
The problem is, I listen to this at times when I need to be doing other things. With my eyes open. Like driving. Or walking on the treadmill. Or working at my desk in a busy office. People will be murdered in most of my scenarios if I “Just let go”.
I also won this Tata Harper Aromatic Irritability Treatment from Pressed Juicery, that I would never be able to afford myself. It’s like a .1 oz bottle for $65. What you’re supposed to do, is dab it on your pulse points and breathe deep breaths and let the herbs Calgon you away.
I keep this little bottle in my car, because that’s where the road rage is. And since I’m broke, and need it like ALL THE TIME, I dab it once on my face. Pretty much up my nose. I’m not sure it works. I’m usually too distracted by people going “What’s on your nose?” Shut up it’s my irritability oil! RRRRRR!
Another thing I do is work out to numb my brain functions. Last week, I was showering and getting ready in the women’s locker room, thinking “I wonder if anyone notices I’m putting on these dumb socks with this outfit” when I looked over to see some chick doing her makeup, totally naked, except for a towel on her head and black dress socks.
My brain let my socks thing go. Ha! Maybe it’s working!
But lately, I’ve been feeling more out of control of my stress, than usual. It’s starting to affect my body in ways that make me think it is doing more harm than good. I got used to a high level of it and now it’s amplified even more. Anything out of my very small frame of “ordinary”, will send me careening off the edge.
I also feel depressed. Like I just want to be home by myself all the time. If I weren’t so hell bent on curing my anxiety with cardio (and if I had no roommates), I might just be writing this to you, from the permanent indentation of my ass, planted in my bed.
I can only think the anxiety and depression have oddly worked together to kind of keep me moving forward. Like a brown haired robot, who can only feel bad things.
I think I could be living better, even before I finally achieve all my hopes and dreams in LA.
So, I’m on the hunt. For a therapist who can prescribe drugs (where will I ever find one of those in LA oh right they’re on every corner handing out prescriptions like free kittens.). I need a little head break, from this gripping sad/freaking out feeling.
Because this version of me is having a really hard time, and kinda blows. A lot. Debbie Downer and Sucky Stressy (That would be my Garbage Pail Kids name) — time to go. Make way for Harriet Happiness! (– OK, ok. I know. Cut me some slack. My brain’s not functioning at my normal level of wit and charisma…Somebody punch me in the face if I ever act that happy…)
Brittany Murphy (this is not foreshadowing. I just loved Brittany as an actress.)