Stress is a sneaky little bastard. It sits and sits, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. It gets you at your most vulnerable. Yesterday, I was on a phone interview and suddenly – out of freaking nowhere – I felt the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life. When I say intense, I mean INTENSE. Like someone was stabbing me in the side with an electric poker. Super sharp pain, so bad that I couldn’t breathe. The lady on the other end of the phone was still talking and I was thinking to myself, “Please keep talking so I dont have to.” Even if I tried, I could not form a simple sentence to save my life.
Fortunately, the episode ended right as it was my turn to speak, but the pain was so intense that it was still lingering long after. I thought I just had a heart attack, but my heart is not located on the left side of my body. I also thought it could possibly be a blood clot in my lungs or a burst capillary. I’m not a doctor but it would have been a great time to be one. When I woke up this morning, the side where I felt the pain was sore. I have felt this sensation before, but it was so minor I never gave it a second thought.
To alleviate any other side effects – AKA a panic attack – I began breathing deeply and slowly, because I tend to freak out after a potential health issue where I feel like I’m dying (totally normal). After my interview was over, I walked inside and told my friend what happened. He guessed it could have been in my lungs since that is the closest organ to the location I pointed out, but unfortunately, he has no Ph.D either. I tried to figure out the trigger, (smoking? drinking? running?), but I was doing nothing except talking on the phone when this happened.
Lately, I have been super stressed, depressed, and anxious because of my personal life, work, and school. Let’s not beat around the bush here, school has contributed to most of my stress for the simple fact that summer classes suck ass. Trying to condense a semester’s worth of material into two months is just plain ludicrous and getting nothing but D’s and C’s on exams makes for a very upset Jennifer.
I have heard that stress can kill you, but so can almost everything else in this world. But I would rather die from something that is tangible as opposed to something I can’t see… said everyone ever. I don’t see an end in sight either because right before I graduate, I will have to begin paying off my private student loan from Chase… you know, that bank everyone hates. Fantastic, now on top of the stress monster, I will have to deal with another one…
You think it’s cute, right? Like a bigger version of Mike from Pixar’s “Monster’s Inc.” I wish it was… this thing will swallow you whole if you don’t feed it your money on a regular basis.
As I am writing this, my hands are shaking just thinking about everything. I feel like I have Multiple Sclerosis, I am hitting the backspace button repeatedly until my fingers can cooperate once again. I am pretty sure that yesterday was a mixture of stress multiplied by the sheer amount of depression I have been dealing with this week. I am so on edge that whenever someone walks by my office, my heart stops for a minute… like a cat who jumps at the slightest sound. What the fuck is going on?! I wouldn’t be opposed to popping a few Xanax right now.
It feels like everything is overwhelming and nothing is real at the same time. Like I’m going to college to be nothing but a slave to money the rest of my life, like I am staring out at the world from a fishbowl, hopeless. More things are weighing me down than lifting me up. So many things are on my mind at once that I can’t keep up and when I try to think about all that needs to be done and categorize things, I just go blank and start panicking. Often, I feel lost, like I am in the world and moving with it, but not really a part of it. No one sees me. It’s like I’m screaming but everything remains bottled up inside and no one hears; like I’m in the dark trying to find any way out but every attempt is futile.
Image: Hyperbole and a Half
I often turn to wine to alleviate pretty much all of this because they say red wine is good for your heart and circulation, but I think after what happened yesterday, they are all full of crap. It simply tastes good and gets you faded just enough to de-stress and decompress, at least for the night. If wine really does help with your health, then my heart should be at its A-game because I can down a bottle of that shit pretty darn quick, and I do it at least once a week. That’s good enough for me. I just have to try and remember one thing: