Stressed and No Way Out

Post divorce-copalypse. That's been my experience this past year. It's been over ten years since my divorce and I thought I was coping. There were times a year and a half ago when I was feeling strong within my self and on top of my finances. Then the economy hit bottom and my pay check was frozen. Prices started to rise. I needed a new car. The roof, which had just been replaced, was leaking. That is when I discovered that the roofers had chiseled me, for they used substandard materials and failed to follow code. So I coughed up my savings for a second new roof in four years, which also leaked. I then borrowed money to fix this problem.

Now I am living from paycheck to paycheck. But, wait! I have a job. Yes, I am grateful that I am one of the working stiffs. But for how long? I am no longer the fast, multi-tasker I once was. With no new staff and many jumping ship because of the pressure, we are still required to provide as many services as before, if not more. The work keeps piling up.

I've never worked so hard for so little personal satisfaction. This is the 4th weekend in 7 that I've worked just to keep up. I was supposed to take time off - but I spent the half day on Friday working instead. I also worked on Saturday. Today is Easter and my new car wouldn't start. So instead of visiting family, I am all dressed up and home alone.

Given the terrible situation in Japan and the deaths in Syria, my troubles are paltry. But the truth is that I feel a constant tightness in my chest, I am eating for comfort and have gained weight, and I see no pleasure in my days off, since I spend them recovering my energy for the next week's onslaught. I am also deathly afraid of losing my job, for I know the chances of finding another one at my age with a good salary are slim to none.

How did I lose control of my life so quickly? Sometimes I think wistfully back on the days when I had a mate who would shoulder half the house and yard tasks, when I had someone to play and laugh with in bed, when life was hard work, yes, but also offered moments of leisure with friends, trips to the lake, and vacations to exotic places.

I've tried working just from 9 - 5:30. But that tactic put me farther and farther behind, to the point where I can catch up only if I work nights and weekends. I called a good friend this morning after my car wouldn't start and burst into tears. He didn't know what to say. I knew then that I had reached the end of my rope.

I'm going to try doing something I haven't done in a long time - and that is to chill out, read a book, and sit and do nothing but listen to the birds. Their spring voices are so lovely.

Besides, this is the only vacation I can grab. Does anyone else out there feeling stressed? What are some of your solutions?

Hint: If you are a single woman of a certain age, the best yearly investment is an AAA membership. This investment has reaped more benefits than I can count and has given me peace of mind. From flat tires, locked in keys, towing, and battery problems, Triple A has come to my rescue at least twice a year.

Image: The Scream @Wikimedia Commons


Anonymous said...

It is so good to "hear" from you. I've checked in several times over the past year and was happily surprised to see your new post. HoweveR I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time.

I too was divorced 10 years ago and thought I was coping perfectly fine. Until I went through a bit of a crisis by quiting my job, turning down another well paying one and instead decide to "figure your life out" by living off savings and credit cards. Holy Hannah! But those days that it creeps back in and you realize your doubt and self worth are taking over just flat out stink.

Hang in there - one foot in front of the other and things will turn around!


Vic said...

Thank you, Kate. I think it is fear that stresses me out. Fear of aging. Fear of losing my independence. Fear of losing my economic stability.

Thank you for stopping by frequently. I only write when I have something to say. Interestingly, the more years that pass by since the divorce, the better I feel. (Except for these hiccups.)

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with your divorce (which by the way I'm getting ready to go through), but your image, "The Scream." That is tattooed on my 23 year old daughter's side -- from her bra line down to her hip bone. It's in black. She has a print of it in her room. I don't know why she is so fascinated by it.

Good luck in your life. :)

Women Panties said...

Loved your post and I truly hope things are better by now.

David Edward Linus said...

I just found your blog, and I am glad I did, this is good writing, and fun reading, before dawn.