Sunday, June 8, 2014

Stress at 45

So I'm now 45 years old.  I'm not usually one to be concerned about my age, and I'm not going to start now.  I'm so thankful for my life, and for God's many blessings.  What can I possibly complain or worry about?

Ironically, all I did for much of the last several years was worry, to the point that it actually paralyzed me at times.  Stress is such an awful thing.  I found stress in my job, stress in my home life, stress in my health, and even stress in my church life.  I know better than to allow stress and worry to bother me.  I'm supposed to give it all to God, and trust in Him to take the burden off of me.  But I wasn't doing that.  I internalized it, and it started to eat away at me.  I didn't have anyone in my life that I could share my concerns and issues with, and since I wasn't giving it to Him, either, it began to affect my health.  I was already battling type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure and hypertension on top of that.  To add stress and worry to the mix began to have a disastrous affect on me.  My job stress was at the forefront of my problems, and one aspect of that was new job responsibilities that were well outside my comfort zone.  I struggled, more than at any other time of my career.  When things got bad, I just wanted to escape at home, and I shut down completely at the end of each workday.

Since I wasn't doing anything when I arrived home due to the stresses of my job, I wasn't exercising at all.  I was sleeping terribly at night due to severe sleep apnea, and I found myself snoozing every afternoon, taking unplanned naps that were attributed to exhaustion.  I felt awful, and I was tired all the time.  I still had to prepare dinner since my daughter is still too young to do any cooking.  Once it was time to go to bed, and I was certainly tired enough, I couldn't get to sleep.  It was so frustrating.  I knew something was wrong, and I needed to get checked for sleep apnea.

In the meantime, I found that I wasn't reading my Bible regularly.  I've never gotten involved in a small group, other than when I went to the Men's ministry meetings each Monday at my church, Grace Community.  For much of the past decade, I was involved in the drama ministry, but the drama ministry fell apart and was no longer active at all.  That was my thing, something I had been doing since my teen years, and now it was gone.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  Without the stability that activity provided me at church, along with my introverted personality, I wasn't providing much food to my spiritual appetite. I was still attending church, but it was more out of habit than with any kind of growth.

Things were bad. Stress in the job, stress at home, stress impacting my health, and a mess of any kind of personal life.  What now?

I'll continue this tomorrow. I hope you all have a great week!

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