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The Fight Against Stress

As the chest pains increased my daughter decided to take me to the emergency room at the local hospital.

The first thing the ER nurse asked me was, “Do you have stress in your life?” If I wasn’t in so much pain I probably would have said, “Duh!”

What kind of question was that! “You tell me?” Of course I had stress in my life, we all do. “Am I right?” Now, now be honest. Speaking of being honest the difference between one person’s stresses to the other is how they handle them. The common factor for everyone is the reality we often don’t deal with our stress as we should. We like to stuff the thing that stresses us out in the back of our minds, sweep it under the rug or act upon it in a negative, loud kind of way.

Which way are you? A stuffer or an outburster? Sorry Webster and those of you in cyber-land but the word “outburster” seemed to go along well with the stuffer question. Are you the kind of person who stuffs stress away or bursts out in a loud way in your fight against stress?

I found out years ago I have a little bit of both in me. In an attempt to find a cure for my uncontrolled epileptic seizures I was told by physicians that 90% of my seizures were stress caused. After that I got a five-year learning experience on how to deal with stress in my life by turning my stressful situations over to the Lord and trusting in Him to handle them. I had no idea the lesson plan wasn’t for my soon to be cured epilepsy but for my breast and bone cancer that would follow over 20 years later.

Truly the diagnosis of cancer was 100 times more devastating than the news at the age of nineteen that I had epilepsy. Instantly I didn’t do any sweeping under the rug or acting out in a loud kind of way with my diagnosis. No, what I did instead was just wanted to quit. I saw no purpose in even trying to deal with what life had put on my plate at the time.

If there had been a dark corner somewhere for me to crawl into and stay I’d be there still today. Truly I saw no reason to go forward when all that was in my path was cancer. Cancer, cancer, cancer, the big “C” word haunted me day and night. How about you? Would I have found you in that corner too?

Shhhhhh…..I think I’m hearing a little bit of both “yes and no” answers being whispered out there. As people reached out to me during the beginning of my cancer I want to reach out to others as well in the midst of their stresses in life. It doesn’t have to be the cancer diagnosis. Trust me, any situation can create its own stress if we allow it.

“Create your own stress!” Now there is a title to a new book for us. As much as that made me chuckle there is some serious truth in it. A great deal of our stress we come across we create ourselves by mishandling the situations we find ourselves up against.

In this blog we aren’t here to hand out trophies to the person who had the best excuse to be “stressed out” but to find a balance between the two extremes of being a stuffer or an outburster as we fight against stress one situation at a time.

Read more posts by Karen Gillett, JenningsWire blogger.