Stress

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.

14 thoughts on “Stress

  1. You are in the middle of a huge transition and you have a baby! Of course you are stressed – you have very little control of what is going on – and you have to deal with social, medical, and legal aspects of transitioning. There is a huge relief in coming out as trans, but the other stuff makes all of us anxious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know I have a lot on my plate, but I can usually handle that by living in the moment. I think I do that now but for some reason I can’t let go of that nagging, diffuse and relatively low stress I have in my system. It has become a kind of baseline for me, I’m never really relaxed, and that’s what’s bothering me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope you feel better soon! I’m afraid I don’t have much advice, I think everyone generally has to find what works best for them when it comes to stress. Personally meditation is my go-to if I’ve been having a few days of stress with seemingly no cause. That generally helps me reset and get a feel for what’s going on in my head. But I realise it’s not always that simple.

    Either way, hang in there! Keep us all posted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Austin Elliot says:

    “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.”

    “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…”

    Hey–new follower of your blog. This jumped out at me–have you talked to your mental health care provider about whether something other than anxiety could be going on? My spouse has bipolar disorder, and these are very common symptoms of a manic or hypomanic episode. It might be really helpful to talk about, especially if this is a recurring thing.

    Anyway, I’m excited to find your blog. I’m in the same place as you in a lot of ways–just coming out, raising a preschooler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know my diagnosis is not the most accurate one, and I went through a decade of therapy without getting a diagnosis so I’m open to the possibility of having other issues. At the same time I doubt I’m bipolar. I’m always in stress and have performance anxiety, always trying to excel others (in my mind very high) expectations on me. The reason I do this is because performing ever better and better was the only way for me to get positive attention from my parents. Through therapy I’ve been able to let go of (my imaginary) other people’s expectations on me and concentrate on what I want, like or think. But changing 20 years of learnt behavior takes time and when I’m under pressure or if I’m not observant enough I still tend to go back to old habits.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Austin Elliot says:

        Ok, good to know. Having recently gone through the diagnosis with my spouse, I’m on the alert. I hope you get through the stressful period soon.

        I’m really enjoying reading your old posts. I relate to so many of them.

        Liked by 1 person

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