"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

From The Male Room

By Brian Jude

Ever feel like you've been completely overwhelmed by the stressors of life? So much so that your mind and body completely shuts down for a moment, and you can't help but wonder why you're stuck in an impossibly difficult situation? Or worse, does it lead to frustration that makes you say and do things that you regret?

This is a situation that happens to me from time to time, and I know I'm not alone. Some people handle it differently, the severity of the reaction can vary, but it happens to all of us at one time or another nonetheless.

I recently had a complete emotional explosion and subsequent meltdown. I attributed it to a combination of being overwhelmed by the intensely full plate of my daily schedule, some interpersonal struggles with friends and colleagues and evaluating my financial situation, coupled with a recent lack of sleep and exercise. It was not a pretty sight, and I really am amazed that my wife has the love, patience and understanding enough to not leave me because of it. As I mentioned - it happens to all of us, and I'm very fortunate that she understands that.

After I recovered, I began to look for the bigger picture - not only how to prevent this kind of situation, but what life lessons can be learned from it. One thing is for sure, I know I have to teach myself how to not get so frustrated and overwhelmed so that I can teach my son to do the same. Already I've seen the same tendencies in him. Granted, tantrums are commonplace for a toddler, but I know that now is the time for him to develop the skills on how to end tantrums on his own, before they become meltdowns as he grows older.

I've also learned that it's not the money problems, it's not the work overload, it's not personal & professional relationships, or any of that combined - it's my approach to it. The situations will always change, and it doesn't matter how easy or difficult they are - the challenges will always be there. The only thing I can do is figure out how to be best prepared for them. I've thought that simply anticipating them would be enough. I've learned that it takes the maintenance of mind, body and spirit as well, and that's a portion of my schedule that I cannot afford to sacrifice.

Now the real challenge is putting the lessons I've learned into practice! Once I do, I'm sure my entire life will run much more smoothly. Already this morning I took an hour out for quiet meditation, and I've already accepted the fact that my schedule will need to be adjusted as my day goes by. Somehow, this is very empowering.

Now wish me luck, and I'll do the same for you!


Speedcat Hollydale said...

It sounds just to simple ... but this is what I do.
I take na problem, think for a while on the best solution, and stick with it. That's it!
Overcoming alcoholism taught me that certain things are just out of our control. Do the best you can, and ask for help with the rest. Somehow, as males, we DO NOT like to ask for help! :-)

Brian said...

Too true! And ironically, the whole thing started with my reaction to my wife complaining about my difficulty asking for help with something!

Thanks for the comment!