Friday, July 7, 2017

Coping When Life Gets In The Way

Yeah, yeah, I know. The column is late this week. On week's like this, it isn't until I get a curious text message from Craig asking if I am writing a column this week that I remember that I forgot. Unfortunately, fate has added more layers to my life sandwich and I am choking on the thing as I try to deal with it. It is very true when people say that when it comes to the things you want to do, life gets in the way.

If I did not work for myself and make my own hours, I think I would have cracked up by now. I am not sure if I told you guys this yet, but the idea that life only gives you what you can handle is garbage. What happens is that life pins you into a corner and you have to choose between fighting your way out, or giving in. Since giving in does not present itself as my favorite option right now, I just keep pushing back.

Even the incense stick I just lit is giving up and going out. But you know what? There is a lot to say for the human desire to survive. Just because I am not looking down the barrel of a gun does not mean that I am not in survival mode. Lately, I am just trying to hang on and find the time to get things done. Obviously, the time between Monday and Wednesday was pretty tied up.

How do you react when your plate is so full that you can barely carry it, but life's buffet keeps calling you back for more? I am always curious how other people do things because I know that most of my coping methods are just terrible. I have a short fuse and am an emotional wreck. That is not a good combination and makes for some really bad coping skills. Share your coping ideas in the comments of this column or on the social media post where you clicked on the link. If we all share our coping ideas, I bet we can help each other to learn to cope better.

One good coping skill I have is the ability to stand back, list out the challenges, and then evaluate them one at a time. I know a lot of people who constantly say that they have a pile of issues a mile high, but then realize they are not that overwhelmed when I ask them to list their problems. The human reality is that when someone has two or more issues going on at the same time, they feel overwhelmed. That is normal. But seeing an actual list of your problems can help you to realize how limited your challenges are, and it also gives you a chance to prioritize issues to handle them better.

My biggest problem is that when I feel crushed by issues, the slightest little thing will set me off. I am serious when I tell you that I dropped a towel I was trying to carry to the bathroom yesterday and just freaked out. I hate when that happens, and I am trying the old "count to 10" thing to stem that tide of anger and it seems to be working. By nature, I am an angry and stressed out person. I don't need much to feel overwhelmed. But the last couple of years have definitely expanded my threshold for stress. But still, life tries its best to pile on more and find my new breaking point.

So how do you cope? Let's help each other here. Let's start discussions about how each of us copes with stress and maybe we can help each other to find some peace in a world that thrives on stress and fear.

So...let's hear your coping methods.

George N Root III is a stressed out resident of Lockport. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him a message at