Battling the Stress Beast
Stress is a common ailment among writers, generally when nearing deadlines, starting a daunting new project, and/or beating our heads against the wall trying to overcome a block.
There’s another variety of stress which affects many writers (and creative types), however, that isn’t discussed as much. I’m referring to the stress induced not from projects, but everything else — life, family, friends, and for those of us struggling to become ‘working’ writers (as in, we get paid to write as a way of supporting our writing
addiction lifestyle), being stuck as a cog in a corporate machine to avoid homelessness and maintain some form of transport.
This post is quite timely as I’ve just returned from an urgent care facility where the official diagnosis for my sudden and extreme ailment was basically: stop stress-consuming things you are sensitive to, and get a new job. I mean, clinically, I experienced a very unpleasant allergic reaction to too much dairy and red wine coupled with an allergy/stress rash, but after several assessments and conversations with some harsh but fair practitioners, their recommendation was pretty clear. Four years as a corporate drone has built up enough stress inside my body that it’s ceasing to function properly, and I need to get out.
In an attempt to alleviate some stress, I am obviously going to need to curb my stress eating/drinking impulses to consuming things I’m not digestively sensitive to, and should really do more yoga and go for more walks. These are common sense remedies that should really be a way of life. Problem is, there’s a giant stress beast that cannot be sated by enacting these good measures alone. The only way to defeat the stress monster I’m now engaged in a full on war with is to engage in another type of battle: searching for new employment. More specifically, searching for new employment in a crap job market, trying to find something I actually want to be doing, working for a company that both pays a living wage and treats its employees like people, rather than machines or cattle.
Needless to say, while I knew this approached, I had hoped for a bit more time to prepare. Unfortunately, it’s battle it out or succumb at this point, and surrender is not in my nature. Therefore, posts about job hunting, discipline, and issues with the current corporate structures of this country may occur for a bit. I promise I’ll try to keep it useful and, when I can, somewhat amusing — because if you can’t laugh at your personal struggles, the alternative is spending an afternoon in an urgent care facility having medical professionals tell you truths you’ve known for a while and just haven’t admitted to yourself.