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The Great Killer of Busy CFers: Stress

OverwhelmedSome days I feel like I’m dying. Other days I feel great.

It is the great killer of busy CFers. Stress!

I’ve never handled stress well, physically, although I have found myself to mentally thrive on massive amounts of stress. In fact, Beautiful has told me (on a number of occasions) that she knows I’m stressing out about something – often something I’m not able to put my finger on for a number of days – when I begin to take on more and more things while she’s fully aware that I’m overworked. I guess for me, it’s not really the stress itself, but how I cope with stress: exertion.

Maybe I was called “lazy” too many times as a kid or teen, I don’t know, but I do know you won’t find anyone who knows me now that could say that with a grain of truth. I’ve come to realize that enough is enough and too much really does have a physical effect on me. My greatest example: the last few months before we got married almost killed me.

I really couldn’t have been any happier, but anyone who’s gone through the whole wedding process knows it’s stressful, even for the groom because he’s got a stressed out bride, parents, and in-laws. Make it a 4-month engagement, and you’re asking Fatboy to get sick, and sick I did. In 2006, I was on IVs 4 times before the end of October, on home O2 for a month, and had my port placed 3 weeks before our wedding. I was working 40-60 hours per week with some hair-brained idea of trying to be “worthy” to marry Beautiful, as if I still had anything to prove after she said, “yes.” More on this later.

Our next example is when we moved to our new house. I was on IVs within a couple of weeks after we were “settled.” The packing, moving, unpacking, and adjusting to life in a new space didn’t sit well with my immune system. IVs again when I got unjustly let go and spiraled into a good 3-month depression and drawn out sickness. Again when I was in full swing with college and running my business. I didn’t have a spare moment as I was up by 5:30 and often working or doing homework past midnight. I narrowly escaped IVs last Spring for graduation – an incident that we are convinced was because I was fully compliant and on such a high-calorie diet that I was able to cushion myself enough.

So, here I am again. Stressed.

We’ve had plans to meet with our marriage mentors for weeks, but someone or another keeps getting too busy or sick, so we finally get to meet with them tomorrow night after dinner. Maybe they’ll have some creative ideas since they also both work from home in a situation similar to ours, except she also home-schools their 3 daughters while he works at the computer like I do.

We do our best to take off quality time to do things that we enjoy, but with the ups and downs of business, it’s easy when it’s a great month but time off during a scarce month just adds to my stress rather than relieving it.

We have 2 weeks until we fly to SoCal for my first trip to Cali, and I am very much looking forward to R&R at the resort and very much dreading the anxiety of not working.

I need to relax.

One day I’ll figure out how. I just want it to be on my terms…


  1. Anonymous says

    John hates to go on vacation. He’s always anticipating what will be waiting for him at work when he gets back. It is really hard for him to take time off and actually relax. It is frustrating for me because I want him to be in the moment. I hope that you can find some peace and really enjoy Cali. If you just can’t break away for the entire vacation, set some time aside each (or every other) day to check how things are going. You can make a list of things that need your immediate attention when you get back, but you know where you stand before walking in “Monday morning”.

  2. ¬†It’s interesting that you posted this right when my doctor’s told me it’s the stress that has made me sick this time around! I hope you are actually able to relax because I can’t imagine how stressful your work situation can be at times! ENJOY your vacation! ūüôā

    • It’s the ups and downs more than anything. Some months are 1/3 of what I used to make by myself (now supporting both of us) and other months are twice what we ever made together. Once we string a few of those latter together without the former sneaking in I believe my stress will return to normal and maybe hit an all-time low.

      I’ll do my best to relax, but I am sure to enjoy it one way or another. I never have a problem enjoying the poolside service at a beach resort. Never.

  3. Oh yes stress, anxiety, fear.  These are constant battles for all of us.   My wife and I try to make each trip a little bit of a spiritual pilgrimage.   We make sure we bring our daily devotionals and say our prayers for a good and safe trip.   We often stop at lovely churches or places and just enjoy rather than trying to do all of the touristy things.   My wife Stephanie  is a great planner but often we stray from the plans if we just want to relax or get tired.  This is especially true when we go to Europe.   I always start 10-20mg of prednisone before a trip (especially long haul European flights) so I breath better.  I taper it off when I get back.    Try to keep on your treatment schedule.   I have done my colistin and/or Cayston in the airplane bathrooms, at the airports and if at night in my seat on the plane.   I always pack extra meds if there is a flight delay which has happened to me several times.     There is added stress when we get out of our normal routine so make sure you can get good sleep if at all possible. 
    All the best wishes and prayers for the two of you to have a wonderful and safe trip!!   Airport Security can be a fun thing with compressors, nebulizers, and our meds but once through you can relax!