Is This Stress?

She was sitting down and inside she was screaming. She couldn’t sit still. She wanted out, but had no way to do that. Her nerves were shot. Blood pressure was on high. She had her coffee beside her and was gulping it like it was water. A cigarette was in the other hand, and she was chain-smoking. She had felt this coming on for days, and had tried to ignore it. Now, today, she could take no more. She had felt trapped for so long. Not living her own life. Making decisions for others instead of what was best for her. She said yes too many times when she should have said no. She had talked to her friends about her fears, and listened to what they said, but when the phone disconnected, she was too tired to make the changes. She was sick of hearing herself complain and whine over and over to anyone who would listen. She put her cup down, and blotted her cigarette out. She sat there and started chuckling. That broke into a laughter that brought tears to her eyes. What was she doing? Why was she allowing this to happen to her? Wasn’t she the one in control of her own life? She had the right to make a change. Laughing so hard exhausted her. Tension melted away. So sleepy now. She laid down on the sofa and fell off to sleep. When she awoke, darkness had crept in. She lit a cigarette and turned the TV on. She needed noise. Yes it was too quiet. She got up and went into the kitchen to find herself something to eat. Pouring herself a cup of coffee and eating her tuna sandwich, she sat down to watch TV. The night drifted on. The phone rang. It was someone from her church wanting to know if she could volunteer for a program. She was silent for a moment, and before she could say anything, she heard herself saying yes, she would love to help. After the call, she went to bed. The next morning started all over again.

Tuna Sandwich

Tuna Sandwich (Photo credit: Dave Lifson)

8 thoughts on “Is This Stress?

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