Assignment #22: Writing to Relieve Stress

Writing to relieve stress is a method that I rarely use ( I know it is lame) but regardless, is still a effective way to help cope with stress. I have only wrote a few times when stressed, but it definately helps me clear my thoughts and get them down on paper. This works almost as if my thoughts are being plucked from my brain and discarded on a white canvas that I can later revisit. Back in the fall is the last time I became so overwhelmed with stress that I wrote out my feelings. My stress began to overtake me during exam week before winter break back in December, and I could not sit and focus on my work without my mind racing at a hundred miles per hour, focusing on what I had found out a few days before. My mom had dropped the news to me the friday before finals week that she was diagnosed with cancer and they did not know how bad it was.

 The news did not sit well with me at all; I just remember breaking down outside of a party, being taken back to my room, and lashing out at a few friends around me. I eventually talked to a few close friends, who gave me some encouraging words and reassured me that everything would be alright, but I still couldn’t shake it. I kept thinking, “What if it is worse than they think it is, or what if they caught it too late? What am I going to do if my Mom gets really sick and eventually passes away?” I eventually called up my football coach and asked to meet with him, knowing I could talk to him about anything, and maybe he would be able to help me overcome this.  The talk with him helped, but it still was not enough; I was still scared of what could happen. I don’t remember exactly when, but I think it was the sunday before exams, I just opened up Microsoft Word and started typing. I still have what I wrote saved on my desktop. I have found out over the past few years, that the less people know about what is going on in your life, the better but I don’t mind sharing what I wrote because everyhitng has worked itself out.

My mom was diagnosed with Melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer, but treatable and rarely results in death. She has undergone 4 surgeries and has started chemo injections that should kill the cancer; she is doing much better now. I hope that she continues to recover and eventually all of the cancer is gone. What I wrote expresses whow I was feeling, I tended to outlash at people because I was supressing my feelings, I was beginning to take my anger out on others and during weightlifting. When I look back on what I wrote, I laugh a little at what I had written that day because it is a kinda deep. This is what I wrote:

“Is it wrong to channel pain into anger, lashing out at those around me, or should I consider the opposite; allow pain to overcome me, force me to my knees and allow it to render me helpless? Maybe I should put up a false bravado, while I repress the anger until it boils into inner rage and torment, or maybe I should ignore the pain until it slips into sadness. What if I take this point in time and use it to my advantage. I can use the pain and anger to fuel my mind and body to accomplish my goals, use this as an inner drive. I can get up and stop feeling sorry for myself and the situation that has been placed in front of me. I will make the best of my time; finally accomplish what I set out to do two years ago, but not for myself anymore. I will do this for my family, for her. But what is fueling these feelings, holding me back, and destroying my mind as you read this? Is it Fear? Maybe it is the fear of the unknown? Can I move forward after I come to terms with this demon that is staring me in the face?

The feeling that hits you like a train steaming full speed through a cardboard box, and you are the box. It is the pit in your stomach that cripples you, making it impossible to do what you set out to. You feel the pressure crush your lungs, as you gasp for air. The feeling is Fear. Adrenalin and cortisol is released into the blood stream, resulting in: rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, tightening of muscles, sharpened senses, dilatation of pupils, and increased sweating. Fear is necessary for survival, but too much fear in the wrong situation can be detrimental, it can cripple you, and be the source of your downfall. Or you can use Fear as a way to push yourself. I may Fear the unknown and what may happen in the future, but I fear failing and letting those around me down more, so I will use this as motivation, as inspiration to push myself, to turn this situation into a positive. I won’t let this slow my momentum, but rather fuel it.”

I am doing  a lotbetter today than the past me that wrote what you read above, and all the built up anger actually did fuel me over the past few months to do a lot of good things: I had the best grades in the fall that I have ever had in school and I got significantly stronger in the weightroom. I had a lot help and support from my friends and coach, which helped significantly. There is a cool video about Fear that I want to share, it is different than what I was talking about, but it can easily be related.


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