Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What to do when you stub your pinky toe.

Have you ever had a migraine? Or better yet- have you ever given birth? If you have experienced excruciating pain of any kind, you know that pain is relative.

Pain is relative to the person who is experiencing the pain. I didn't say your relatives are a pain. Maybe they are, but let's get back to the point and I do have one although it will take me several run-on sentences, a few metaphors and a dash of sarcasm to get to it.

I have a fairly high threshold for pain. It takes a lot of pain medicine to eliminate my pain and it really takes a lot of pain for me to even request pain medication. I'm tough like that.

But don't make me change my routine. It's like I'm on this treadmill, the little rat in the wheel, just huffing and puffing and trying to reach the proverbial cheese; I'm doing the best I can. Don't stop the wheel. I just might trip over my own little rat toes and fall flat on my pudgy rat belly.

I don't handle stress very well. What is stressful for me may not be stressful for you. What is stress for someone else, may not be stress for me. Stress, just like pain, is relative. I didn't say your relatives are stressful. Maybe they are...

Imagine a steel cable and a long piece of fishing line. If you hang a 20 pound weight on a steel cable, the cable is strong enough to handle the weight. Hang that same weight on the fishing line and chances are, the fishing line will snap. (I'm not talking about the deep sea big game fishing line that could pull in a prize winning swordfish. I'm talking about the average, my Daddy just retired and he's getting a boat so he can fish for catfish and brim fishing line.)

The weight is the same, but the tool holding the weight is very different. The 20 pound weight isn't stressful to the steel cable, but the poor brim fishing line just might need some Prozac.

So, why am I sharing this? Well, I haven't been fishing, but Mama, she needs some Prozac. We have been going through a lot of changes and decision making in our family and my little Brim Buster is just about ready to break.

But, I know what to do. Certainly, I always turn to God in prayer and listen to Him through His Word. I talk to my husband, family and my very dear friends. (Can I just say that those friends are worth more than their weight in Prozac?!)

And I do one more thing- I talk to my doctor. I am not making light of the situation.

OK. I am. My sarcasm is a pathetic coping mechanism. I tell people these things so that maybe someone reading this will seek help for herself. I realized years ago that I need medication. Some people are able to manage their lives with therapy alone, but I cannot. It's OK. It doesn't make me a weak person. In fact, it takes a lot of strength to admit you need any kind of outside help when life just gets to be too heavy.

What I really want to share with you is that when your little fishing line just can't hold the weight, get help. Talk to someone. Talk to your doctor. Talk to a therapist. Just don't try to pull in that big catch all by yourself.

If you know someone who seems to be under some sort of weight herself, be a friend. Don't try to understand why her "fishing line" can't pull in a minnow. Just know that it doesn't. She may or may not want advice. One thing for sure- She needs you to just "be there." Assure her that she doesn't have to carry the weight alone. Encourage her to get some help, whatever type of help is right for her.

No matter what weight you are trying to carry, just realize that we are all very different. We all need different methods of coping and we all need to recognize those differences in ourselves and in others. Be encouraged and know God loves you and He cares for you, whether your stress is a new job, a new baby, or a new hairdo.

It's all relative.

Sometimes we have a baby and we need to "breathe." Sometimes we have a headache and we need an aspirin. And, sometimes we may just stub our pinky toe and we need an epidural and the entire Pain Management Team.

Hey, doc! My epidural wore off...


Rocks In My Dryer said...

Hello...medication girl here, too.

Susanne said...

What an excellent post, Melanie! Too many times we are too afraid to admit or ask for help when that is what would really get us through!

Tammy said...

This is so good, Melanie. I am a high-stress mama and sometimes my industrial strength fishing line is tugging at what to others may seem invisible.
Such great advice!
I once heard it said that a person with high blood pressure wouldn't be thought of as weak for taking medication, so why should a person with higher levels of anxiety?

Blessings to you, Melanie, as God helps you through this more stressful decision making time.

Roxanne said...

I am not one to panic over. . .well. . .anything. . .ever. Little did I know, that even if I do not allow myself to outwardly, emotionally panic, then my subconscious will make my body do things like, oh, make my heart race and feel like it's being shoved out of my throat and double beat. . .in a panic attack to beat all panic attacks. Happened to me in 2004 shortly after my Daddy had open heart surgery, my MIL had a massive stroke, my daughter contracted bacterial pneumonia, and my husband and I KNEW I HAD to go back work which meant "daycare" for my three year old son.

My doctor calmly told me, after I cried a lot and he read the results of the stress test, that some Zoloft would do wonders for my outlook--and the whole heart racing out of the throat thing.

And so it has. We are not weak. We are smart.

Linda said...

Hey thanks for the ref! I wondered why I made some new friends! I have to tell you, I do a med, too, and I am NOT ashamed to talk about it. Someday I'd like to post in depth about it, but I'll have to put a lot of time and thought into that. I also appreciate that you write how stress is relative. I have a low threshold for stres sonce I get5--6 tasks built up, I'm getting anxious. Sorry for the long comment!

Grafted Branch said...

I'm probably a good candidate for meds...but only for about 3 days a month -- like clockwork. Not worth the extra work for my liver, so I just try to not take in any additional stress on those days. I make supplication to the Lord that I would glorify Him even through my clear hormonal imbalance.

But I certainly don't discount a person's need for help...I'm not a doctor that way. And I try not to be a judgmental, hyper-pious, know-it-all Christian that way.

Whew! That felt good. ;)

Aunt Boo said...

I have just started reading your post, I came here through others that I have been following. This post is very good. There are days when I feel like my fishing line is going to break and when it finally does I get smacked in the face with the fishing pole too.

Thanks for this post. It was great!

Amanda D.

Tonja said...

It is sad that at times others can be so judgemental about using medication. It has made a big difference in my life. As my doctor explained it to me...this med will help you to be the person you really are...not turn you into someone else. It's the stress that does that. I also take meds for blood pressure and I see it as no different. Good post!

Betty said...

Great posting......
Hope everything works out the way God knows is best....

Kelli said...

So ..... YOU Took my sarcasm. I was wondering why I coudln't cope lately. I mean, really. Now I get it!

I am not quite to medication. I HAVE the medication- don't get me wrong. It's sits here and looks at me. I just cannot yet quote, well , you know, pop the blister pack and TAKE the darn thing. Not quite yet.

Baby steps.

B.a.b.y s.t.e.p.s

Edith said...

Oh wow! I just checked in here on a whim. I can so relate! I'm on meds - and do ok on them. However if I am not on them then I am clearly a mess. And even on meds, I need regular down time at home. Sometimes that's easy to get - sometimes not. Today (Sunday morning when normally I'd be in church) I'm rejoicing in having a dead car so that I have to stay home - I wrote about it on my blog.
edith www.photogal938.blogspot.com

Mommy Dearest said...

You lost me there for a moment, then I found you again.

I'm here when your fishing line is fraying, girl!