Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stressed OUT !

Yes, lately it's been a very stressful time.

I'm in "refugee status" at work because they're carpeting my floor and the fumes really kick my MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) into high gear.  So I asked for other accommodations, which they found me.  The first week was great. Then there were some personnel changes in my immediate vicinity which caused my sensitivities to flare up again. Briefly put, someone right next to me was using lots of mousse every morning in her hair.  Plus she used "deodorant" (a misnomer if ever there was one) and either hand lotion, fabric softener or Febreeze, or a combination of two or more of those. She wasn't the only one; there were about six or seven people in that closed office who were wearing some sort of product and they all had to pass by my desk on their way in and out of the room. The effects are cumulative, which means that they build and build in the system so that the longer I am exposed, the less it takes to trigger a reaction.  By noon I was in bad shape.  But I stuck it out because hubby was at a coffee meeting with a friend all afternoon - something I do NOT begrudge him.

Anyway, the combined effect was that it was impossible for me to take a full breath of air yesterday.  I would try to force some air into my lungs, and that last cubic cup of air just couldn't get in there, it was like trying to breathe water.  I was irritable.  I was angry.  I was exhausted from having to struggle for breath.  I felt alone and abandoned.  And those things are never a good combination for me.  So ... when my supervisor took me to task for something I had done (overstepped my authority in something) ... I freaked out.

I lambasted the guy verbally.  I'd hit my saturation point, it was near the end of my work day and I was fed up.  So I blew.  Just like the old me.  And as usually happens whenever I lose my temper, it threw my whole day off, and I didn't sleep well last night.  The extra cup of coffee and the can of Pepsi I had at work to try to open my airways, didn't help my insomnia problem either.

This morning I woke up early (why not? I couldn't sleep well anyway) and had a shower, started a pot of coffee, woke hubby and then made an omelet. A good start to the morning.  When I got to work, the girl that had been there yesterday was not in today. That improved the air quality by about 40%.  Enough for me to manage to get through the day.  I know she'll be there again tomorrow but right now it doesn't bother me as much as it would have if someone had told me that yesterday.

The difference?  Well, it's a combination of things.  I had a chance to recover from the effects of yesterday even though it was near midnight before I could breathe fully.  I could review the events of the day objectively - once removed from the toxic atmosphere.  And I suddenly realized that I had allowed my spiritual "gas tank" to get low; I had forgotten to remind myself that God loves me no matter what!  When I'm running on "Empty" I get ... how does a new friend of mine put it? ... oh yes, "cranky."

Yes, I screwed up yesterday.  Part of it wasn't my fault - and as little as 2 years ago I couldn't have seen that.  I am learning to accept God's forgiveness, let myself off the hook because He already has, and then move forward. (Sighhhh....) Lesson learned.

This time. 

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