According to Twitter it’s National Stress Awareness Day. Does anyone else feel like having a Day of Awareness for every condition, emotion and event is counterproductive to the purpose of spreading awareness? October is AVM Awareness month but it’s overshadowed by breast cancer, domestic violence, down syndrome and like 20 other things that people already know about. How many people know of AVM’s? Not many. People I know still don’t know about them even though one caused my stroke at the age of 27. It’s buried information. People are stupid when it comes to anything remotely important anyway. Take politics, for instance. People vote on the emotion of a meme, not taking into account its relevance [to anything, really], context, and fact:exaggeration ratio. Yes; I’m purposely ignoring the fact that people are stupid enough to think a meme has any value to add to their vote…
It’s ironic today is National Stress Awareness Day– I wanted to write about the amount of stress I was under the last week and a half of October. I call this time of year my “Seizure Season” because I am usually experiencing so much stress that I have at least one seizure. August is back to school and JJ’s birthday month. September is when the assistance for utilities ends so it’s extra on the bills. October is Halloween and Skas’ birthday month and it’s also when I start counting dollars to days. Presents aren’t everything, they aren’t what holidays are about but I do want my kids to feel that joy that comes with being a materialistic American on Christmas morning and there’s a few wrapped presents under the tree for them.
This year is also different from the last few since my stroke. We live in housing. We pay rent now but we weren’t the first two months. When my disability finally came through we started to pay. Kasper was my caregiver and he provided care for our newborn instead of working. By the time JJ was in Head Start 3 years later I was physically and emotionally strong enough to be alone during the day so Kasper started to work again. When you live in housing you have work requirements or you can become exempt by providing care to a child or disabled person, going to school full-time or committing to community service. Depending on your reason for exemption, if you start work after so many years (I believe it’s 3) your first year of new income is not factored into your rent. For the second year they only factor 50%, by the third year it’s all factored in. Our year of “free income” ended this month [November] and I’m kind of freaking out about it. Oh! I also had to reapply for Food stamps and my Medicare! You can read about the stress that causes if you’d like.
This month rent goes up, we had to buy a new car (in September) because our other one broke on the freeway so we have a way higher insurance payment and a car note that we’ve never had before and Kasper has to sign up for health insurance for the first time. So I’m a little stressed about money. And this is what I was going to blog about along with how freaked out my anxiety had me for Skas’ birthday because of the socializing with his friends parents and my in-laws (I hate socializing; I’m so awkward and awful at it) but now I’m going in a different direction with this post.
I was on Twitter and saw the #NationalStressAwarenessDay tag is trending. I click it because I’m human and have no life. I see really stupid tweets about how stressed people are about their hard restaurant choices
And then there’s those that totally get it
It irritates me that people are so simple-minded that they have no trouble compressing everything into a tight, meaningless definition that allows them to feel as if they finally belong to something…just so they can participate in a trending hashtag? Everyone experiences stress differently. Some of us handle it well, others not so much. Some of us have no choice but to monitor our stress levels because once a certain level is reached, that stress becomes a health hazard. And that’s what happened to me. Over the last two weeks or so I have been so stressed physically, mentally and emotionally that I had forgotten to mind my stress levels. Everything is piling up in my head and I’m trying to keep it all from tumbling atop me while also keeping it organized as best I can.
It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise when I felt the pain of an outbreak starting after my last week of stress. I let my guard down…and that’s what happens. I’m reminded that when I was 19 I was really stupid and I’ll pay that consequence the rest of my life. The thought of not being able to afford our “new” bills, giving our kids a decent holiday season, dealing with other adults and Seizure Season completely blotted out the other thing I need to be wary of: Having herpes. I forget sometimes that I even have this horrible virus. I’m usually pretty good about maintaining my stress, eating a (semi-) proper diet, getting enough sleep and doing whatever I can to avoid a painful outbreak. I have to follow these same guidelines to avoid seizure too but unlike Herpes, I have anti-seizure meds.
So, you can probably see why it frustrates me to see someone “stressing” about three different diets going to one restaurant and thinking that is what Stress Awareness is about.