Sunday, September 15, 2013

Offering seconds to the girl with the full plate

The plate of my life is full.

I don't want to admit that I am even a little bit stressed out.
I can handle this.
I'm competent.
I refuse to acknowledge that maybe I am/was biting off more than I can chew.

Lately, situations have changed, making me almost feel uncomfortable in my own skin.  
I've been struggling to find a way to process the changes, the new events in my life, the new responsibilities.

I know that everyone at some point has to deal with this. I know I'm not unique in my struggle.

Most peers in college are dealing with the exact same difficulties.
I wonder though: how do they do it? 

My classmates are in the same boat and making it through just fine. I shouldn't be complaining.
At first, I decided to push off the stress and just plow through work. I felt robotic.
I knew eventually, everything would work out and I'd adjust.

And I am only 3 weeks into the semester.  I should be patient. But complete denial wasn't the right approach.

Over the weekend, it became very evident to me that my behaviour was that of a very stressed-out person. Things I was feeling/doing were so counter to my normal self:

I wanted isolation from almost everyone.
I snapped easily; I felt an edginess that was alien.
I felt prone to mood swings.
I couldn't focus and apply my brain.
I started to feel lethargic apathy. 
I would sometimes find myself needing a deep breath, as if I had been holding mine for a while.
I felt that a small event could push me over the precipice emotionally, and that I was set to have a breakdown.

All of these things are not me.
I normally love people. I love interacting with others and making new friends.
It used to take so much to peeve me; my tolerance levels were incredibly high -- all of a sudden it was like my nerves were worn thin.
I was (for a girl, ha) relatively mood-swing free before the semester started.
I am also (usually) highly focused, positive, and energetic.

I'm just beginning to recognize my issue for what it is: stress and anxiety.

I have grown up hearing that Christ tells us not to worry, that each day has enough worries of its own. Christ says I'm worth more than many sparrows, of whom God takes care of completely.
I know these things to be true.
I know I am a child of God and that He has got this. 
But at the same time...applications are difficult.

I'm still processing everything. I still need time to adjust.
I wish I could pause time and I could get used to all of the changes and then everything could pick back up.

Instead of building a time machine, I will probably be taking more time to pray, write, and think. I've found myself the past few days just taking time to sit and be, as cheesy as that seems. Time to just appreciate the beauty of the day. (Though I thought I was having a relaxing happy moment on a park bench beneath a shade tree in a garden last week -- I realized a few dozen bites later that the bench was covered with biting ants! haha)

And I'm going to make a conscious effort to make sure that God is at the center of my life. What else would be the point of living if not for Him?

All this to say, I don't have much figured out.
But that's what growing up is about.
I don't yet have a solid conclusion for this post, because I'm still in process of dealing with change.

But I feel that the recognition of it is a solid first step.

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