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  • Writer's pictureDINA HAWTHORNE

Slamming Doors

It is January 21, 2019, and the weather is 4 degrees cold in New York City. The cold creates stress on and in my body. It hurts, and it is uncomfortable. At one point in my life, I was willing to do unhealthy acts to release stress from my body. Like many people who try to stay in and get warm during the cold season, I also withdrew from the cold. I even would drink a warm beverage, alcohol and I too would wrap up under a warm blanket...with a warm body. When the cold is over, so are all the unhealthy vices, until the cold returns. Usually, it is adorned and appropriated differently. I am once again, uncomfortable and feel like I am suffocating. 

Like the cold for many people, an invisible killer and an allergen for me!

I am allergic to stress. I am not joking. It feels like hands gripping my neck, but not hard enough to suffocate me, but enough to create discomfort. I have a raspy voice, and as a singer, stress causes my singing to be very inconsistent.  This early in the year, I am well informed of the existence of Stress. I am aware of its signs and symptoms in my body, well informed of its cause and effect. I ignored its presence before because I would lie to myself, and tell myself I am not stressed. I didn't like that word, and therefore the reality of such an expression, couldn't render itself a home in my mind, let alone parting my lips and exposing itself as an entity that lives and abides within me! Nope. I was NEVER stressed. 

The lies we tell ourselves are worst than the lies we tell others. 

The past three years have been unkind and cruel, and the hits keep coming. How do I combat my stress levels?  -I go back to the drawing board, and I create lists that I need to strike out and check off? -I sit and pay attention to the uncontrollable stressors and the ones I can control?  I am in my 30's, and it is now I am recognizing, the way in which I managed my stress in the past, wasn't healthy.  Now, that I am no longer managing my stress in an unhealthy manner, I must resort to behaviors that don't include self-harm, drinking or yelling. 

I have chosen...slamming doors!


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