As I came out as trans (first to myself, my spouse and then the rest of the world) people around me noticed that my stress levels and my anxiety dropped remarkably, and that I seemed to be happier than ever. Unfortunately I’ve felt the stress creeping back at me over the last six or so weeks. For me it’s like watching a car crash in slow motion. I can see what’s happening, but I can’t stop it. I’ve noticed that I talk more and faster, I have trouble going to sleep and I don’t sleep as good as I use to, I can’t sit down without having anything to do and my dogs signal that they feel my stress levels are high.
The thing is that I need to roughly know why I’m stressed in order to de-stress. Normally I have a general idea of why, but this time around I don’t know. First I thought it was because we were sick a couple of weeks before Christmas, leaving a lot of planned activities undone. In my twisted mind I didn’t think “oh, well, we were sick so it won’t be done this year. We’ll just have to do without a gingerbread house, that special handmade toffee and our own meatballs.” No, I think “let’s do all the things we couldn’t do for the last three weeks this last week leading up to Christmas, on top of all the other things we have planned…” Not healthy thinking, I know, and fortunately I stopped myself in time – a lot of things were left undone this year.
But taking things off of the to-do-list and slowing things down didn’t help. And I was just as stressed when Christmas, my mental deadline, was over and done with. Then I thought that it might be the visits to the gender clinic. They are stressful indeed, but after working through them and dealing with them mentally in a different way I’m still just as stressed. So maybe it’s that my kid is starting preschool and that I’m due back at work soon.
Maybe. I do feel anxious about her starting preschool. I’m very observant of her progress, as it will determine if I need a few days extra with her before I start working again and of cause that’s a stress-moment for me. I’ve already set a starting date, so possibly having to postpone that feels like having to break a promise. I know no one at work will care, but it still makes me very uncomfortable. At the same time I’ve been through this (having to change plans about starting work) so many times already so I don’t think it should be such a big stress-factor for me.
This leaves… Nothing. I don’t have anything else to blame it on which means that I can’t work with it. Until I find out why I’m stressed, I can just watch my destructive stress-behavior unfold and become worse and worse. I do try to at least slow the process down by doing all the calming techniques I know, but it’s frustrating when I’m just deteriorating.