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  1. #1
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    May. 22, 2003
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    Default Coping with intense frustration

    The title really sums up the question - how do you cope with intense frustration (and stress and anger arising from the stress and frustration).

    I'll preface the rest of this by saying that the following will probably be very disjointed and perhaps random. I haven't been sleeping well, so writing coherently is not so easy right now.

    I thought about creating an alter and going into details, but the details are really unimportant. Quick synopsis is that I have had the most stressful, horrible, frustrating year so far. Despite many exciting things happening (like a new farm and leaving my old career that I hated behind for a great new adventure), this year has been disaster after disaster for me. This weekend, with the Hurricane heading directly for a home we own (that is under contract, should have closed literally months ago, and is located hundreds of miles away from where we live now) is just absolutely doing me in... But that is only because of the months of stress and frustration that have lead up to this point.

    Let's be clear - I'm functioning. I'm not at all, nor have I ever been violent. I'm not at all, nor have I ever been suicidal. I do not self-medicate, though my eating habits leave a lot to be desired right now. This isn't the end of the world... but I'm just having a horrible, craptastic few months.

    I am very happily married to a wonderful spouse, so there aren't relationship troubles compounding the sources of stress. Truly. He's fantastic. I have a small group of close friends, but they all live hundreds of miles away. My BFF has been an amazing source of support and has just been listening, which helps tremendously. She doesn't judge, doesn't tell me what to do, doesn't tell me how to feel, she just lets me get it out and offers her sympathy and understanding. I have learned over the past few months that this is a rare trait in people.

    I am just at a point now where I feel about to boil over. I'm really not one who keeps much inside and have previously always found healthy outlets for stress. I am no stranger to crazy stress, having spent years in a high-stress career environment... but the events of the last few months are really taking a toll on me. I'm at a metaphorical breaking point.

    I haven't slept more than a couple hours a night in weeks. Mind you, I've suffered with insomnia on and off since I was a child, so that isn't exactly something new. It certainly tends to pop up when I'm stressed, so it is to be expected. I don't maintain a prescription for sleeping pills as they don't really do much for me.

    The only way to describe it is that I am so frustrated I just want to scream and cry, while at the same time I just feel completely paralyzed. I cannot turn my brain off to relax for more than a few moments at a time. For the first time in my life, I feel so frustrated and angry that I think throwing dishes at a brick wall would be a great (though obviously unrealistic and dumb) stress reliever.

    I'm normally a hugely positive person. I believe in the power of positive thinking and am normally an optimist. I am almost always in the "suck it up and put on your big girl panties" club. I just feel defeated right now. Even though I KNOW it not to be true, it's hard not to just FEEL like the whole world is against me. (I'm not paranoid or delusional. I know the world is not out to get me.)

    So what do you do to de-stress. I'm sure 100 people will say "riding" - and while I truly love it, it isn't an outlet for frustration for me. I've never loved working out intensely. I DO it, I just don't enjoy it or really get any release out of it. I used to meditate frequently, but I'm actually at the point where it is difficult to focus on that for very long. I absolutely love to swim, but many of the things frustrating me right now are also preventing me from maintaining a pool membership. I used to write a lot... but haven't in quite some time. That's an option.

    The main source of my stress should (hopefully) be resolved by the end of next week, but the next few days - maybe longer - are going to be really difficult. I'll be stuck in that spot where I am freaking out over something I can't control and there's just nothing I can do about it.

    Thoughts? Hugs? Sympathy? Kicks in the pants? Jokes? Distractions? Flames? Funny web site links? Donations to my dish collection?



  2. #2
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    Jan. 12, 2010
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    Hugs...

    I seem to live like this much of the time, that scream or be paralyzed stage.

    You can set a time frame, for the next 15 minutes I am only going to think about all this, cry, scream, etc... most people find it hard to keep focusing after 13 minutes, or get bored.

    Then hop on cakewrecks or hyperboleandahalf for awhile. Sure, it's self medicating with the internet and doesn't solve the root of the problem, but if you only need to get through the end of next week....
    sleeptalkinman

    or my blog, of course!
    I'm not really at the top of my game today. I'm not even exactly sure what game I'm supposed to be playing, in fact... or where it's being held...

    My horse's antics iamboyfriend.com



  3. #3
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    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    Hugs!

    I mow the pasture - with a vengance! For me, there is something strangely soothing about mowing (unless a gnat flies up my nose, or a grasshopper jumps down my shirt - hahaha), it is mindless, and I like the symetry of the mowing patterns.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  4. #4
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    Aug. 14, 2010
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    http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/ Nothing like a good laugh to relieve frustration.
    Punch a pillow. Make up a random email, like 12345@nowhere.com and type out EVERYTHING you're upset about. It could be 2 sentences or 20 paragraphs. Then send it. Yeah, you'll get the FATAL ERROR message but sometimes it feels good to just type something out and send it, even if it goes nowhere.
    Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!



  5. #5
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    May. 22, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
    Hugs!

    I mow the pasture - with a vengance! For me, there is something strangely soothing about mowing (unless a gnat flies up my nose, or a grasshopper jumps down my shirt - hahaha), it is mindless, and I like the symetry of the mowing patterns.
    OMG, me too! Mowing the lawn (it's a big one!) was the highlight of my week. Granted, I also had my headphones blaring. Hmm, this makes me feel better about tomorrow, when the agenda is bush hogging all the pastures. There really is something oddly cathartic about it, especially with the music up loud.



  6. #6
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    May. 22, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bif View Post
    Sure, it's self medicating with the internet and doesn't solve the root of the problem, but if you only need to get through the end of next week....
    sleeptalkinman
    Oh I should have also mentioned... None of these are likely permanent problems. Hopefully most are short-term... They are all things that will be resolved (one way or another) in time, though they have potentially serious effects. They just all came at once and I am, in a word, overwhelmed.



  7. #7
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    May. 22, 2011
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    I'm very sorry about the situation you are going through and I hope that you will be able to overcome this soon. {hugs} I feel for you. I just came out of what was probably the most miserable, confusing, frustrating 2 months of my life. But things-although not perfect by any means-are coming around. Hang in there!

    We have more coffee mugs than we really need so if you wouldn't mind giving me your address....

    Jokes: Lets see: He who has a brick wall and no dishes is a happy man?

    Maybe see a church counselor and see if that helps? You never know until you try.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuteArabHunter View Post
    Jokes: Lets see: He who has a brick wall and no dishes is a happy man?
    This may be my new signature.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PonyPeep View Post
    http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/ Nothing like a good laugh to relieve frustration.
    Punch a pillow. Make up a random email, like 12345@nowhere.com and type out EVERYTHING you're upset about. It could be 2 sentences or 20 paragraphs. Then send it. Yeah, you'll get the FATAL ERROR message but sometimes it feels good to just type something out and send it, even if it goes nowhere.


    The way my luck has been going, I'd "make up" an actual email address. But I get where you're going with that - and I like it.



  10. #10
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    Jan. 2, 2010
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    I know exactly how you feel! I've been incredibly ANGRY recently...my roommate and my sister have both commented on it. Overly frustrated with the dogs, at my job, at craigslist, the sky, who the hell knows. I really felt like I was boiling over at every moment which is SO unusual for me as I've been a 'go with the flow' type my entire life.

    I'm not really sure what my long term goal for fixing it is but more recently I've MADE myself walk 2x a day. No excuses. What I think really helped me though was what Ponypeep suggested.

    I wrote myself the LONGEST, RANTING email about why I was angry...then I justified why it made me mad, explained to myself why it wasn't a big deal and then just chatted about how I could fix it. Definitely stream of consciousness but after writing it down I felt much better.



  11. #11
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    Crap! I'm sorry!

    Things to help you out:
    * Copius wine
    * Massage by a quality message therapist, preferable one who does horses as well because they have strong hands, I'm not kidding here. NOT kidding.
    * Sense of humor - it can always be worse. Just post on CoTH, you'llfind out it can always be worse.
    * Know that you will get through it as time goes on. It might suck right now but time will go on and you will get through it. You might not be getting any sleep. Sucks, I know. Trust me, I know. But it'll pass in the future. And you'll function well enough to "deal" in the mean time. Ask me how I know. This is not meant as a platitude or some soft explanation...strong people get beaten down but you will find that strength that keeps you going at the end of the day despite the odds. Determined people bitch but what is the alternative? Lay down and die? No, not so when it comes to it. You'll get up and fight. And bitch. And it'll give you the moxie at the end of the day to say "I don't accept this crap". And then you'll just get sick of it affecting you.

    It sounds like you have a good support system already. Good for you! You'll get through this crap and eventually will have good stories about this crap to tell to your friends.




  12. #12
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    Mar. 13, 2006
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    A good book to lose yourself in and forget about the world, a big glass of wine, and a candlelit bubble bath are my best stress relievers! Also, treat yourself to a massage or pedicure for the day! Those help too! I hope things start to look up for you soon, we have all been there at some point and it is....well, frustrating!!



  13. #13
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    Aug. 10, 2009
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    I can relate. For some people, their "go-to" emotion is anger, or sadness, or whatever. Mine is frustration. I will say one thing that has helped is the book (and practice of it) "Wired for Joy". It helps you identify the emotion, the reason for it, the patterns, and helps to bump you up to a better place. Then again, sometimes you just need to vent the frustration in order to move past it.

    I hope things even out for you. I really hate feeling that way. Wired for Joy might be worth a read.



  14. #14
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    May. 22, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedsAdvil View Post
    I can relate. For some people, their "go-to" emotion is anger, or sadness, or whatever. Mine is frustration. I will say one thing that has helped is the book (and practice of it) "Wired for Joy". It helps you identify the emotion, the reason for it, the patterns, and helps to bump you up to a better place. Then again, sometimes you just need to vent the frustration in order to move past it.

    I hope things even out for you. I really hate feeling that way. Wired for Joy might be worth a read.
    Sounds like a book I would enjoy. I'll check it out!

    And PS - Thanks for not coming over here to tell me I need more condoms in my life. (Um, those of you not following another thread here may not get that joke.)



  15. #15
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    if you think throwing dishes at a brickwall will help, why don't you just go throw dishes at a brick wall? I'm being serious. I remember when my mom was going through her divorce to my dad she used to go out into the backyard to throw eggs at the trees. Made her feel happy.

    Buy a pinata and a bat, and whack that thing to kingdom come

    Or, climb up to the top of a hilltop and just scream. Scream as loud and long as you want. Or watch a really sappy movie that will make you cry. I think sometimes something that forces that emotional release (in whatever form) is beneficial, especially if you internalize things.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HorseLuvr View Post
    A good book to lose yourself in and forget about the world,
    I hadn't thought of this. I love to read and will be off to the bookstore tomorrow I think. After my day of mad bush hogging that is.



  17. #17
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    Aug. 10, 2009
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    eggs, dishes, good books, and more condoms. You are cured!

    For the person who said to go on a hill and scream.... a friend of mine suggested that for me the other day and I said "I would,but I would probably start crying and never stop". haha. So I just vented to someone who would let me rant and rave for 10 minutes, then I refocused myself and got back to work, better than before.

    Not to beat the holistic drum too much (I know it's not for everyone) but honestly, acupuncture has done a lot for my anxiety/frustration too. Before I started using Wired for Joy, it was the most effective tool I had.



  18. #18
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    Ooh, I hadn't thought about accupuncture. It's definitely something I would try if it can be helpful for anxiety. I hadn't thought about it for anxiety before, but I am really open to it. I really want to go for a massage, but shouldn't be dropping that kind of cash right now. I may do it for my own sanity anyway. I have a bad back and carry all of my stress in my back as well.

    This thread has actually given me quite a few VERY good ideas I hadn't thought of. I'm very glad I posted. Almost didn't...



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaxxton View Post
    I have a bad back and carry all of my stress in my back as well.
    I can totally relate to that. When I get really stressed, my back muscles will spasm, and I can barely get out of my desk chair. So I try my best not to let things bother me to that point any more (easier said than done).
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
    I can totally relate to that. When I get really stressed, my back muscles will spasm, and I can barely get out of my desk chair. So I try my best not to let things bother me to that point any more (easier said than done).
    I went to a spa once, while visiting my in-laws, when I was in the midst of an extremely stressful time at work. The therapist asked me if I just wanted to enjoy myself or if I really wanted to release all of the tension in my muscles. I went with the latter.

    It wasn't the most comfortable or relaxing massage - and part of it was actually very uncomfortable. But when I got up, it felt like every vertebra in my back cracked, one right after the other. I was able to stand straight, and I remember saying to my husband "OMG, this is what my body is SUPPOSED to feel like." I was actually sore for a day or two afterwards (as the therapist said I would be), but I also never felt better.

    I need to find someone like that down here because I can even feel my range of motion being restricted from all the tension in my back.



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