Stress Abuse!

stress-free

Attention everyone!

Here is a light exercise for your workaholic hands. Raise your right hand if you think that you’re a little ‘stressed out’ these days. Raise your left hand if you think you develop the ‘stressed-out-these-days’ mania quite often. Now with your stretched arms/arm place one tight slap on the respective cheek. And that is, in pure physical form, what we engineers identify as STRESS.

Please don’t panic as I am not intending to give a lecture on stress handling (Google baba will find you plenty on that). I am trying to dig into a rather esoteric matter. Stress, according to me, is more misused than misunderstood. And my complaint here is not with the ones who are genuinely in pain but with the ones who are in a mental state of advertising their problems and causing pain in others’ neck. You’ve got to take me seriously when I say an idiot A’s breakup tales and B’s office miseries on a weekend cocktail party are lethal. Not because they sound drastic but because they are easily relatable. And I can bet half my pocket money on the claim that these perverts only intend to ruin your evening. Tell them to shut-up right away. Or, better let your grilling hand enlighten them on what STRESS does to one’s cheeks! 😉

The latest trend is to pester others with your issues. Worry, I tell you, is contagious. I have this friend who has a hobby of finding all kinds of psycho-social disorders in him. (Yes!) His enthusiasm is worth a glance when he calls out the perfect medical terms corresponding to his versatile mental states and expects me to sympathize. (Duh!) At times, with despondency and helplessness, he would ask me to help him find what his real problem was. And before I give the stressed soul my piece he would blurt out “schizophrenia!”. His quirk amuses me, but more than that I am amused with the sincerity on his face. “Schizophrenia personality disorder!”- he would utter with two grim nods. While I’d be engaged in gathering the meaning, he would sing his break-up ballad expecting me to appreciate his sangfroid in the tempest he is going through. Had I been an easy target, he would have catapulted me to another stress zone. If he wants to say he is a perfectionist, he would say “I have OCD”. (God help him!) His perfect knowledge of his disorders intimidates me at times. But now that I am used to his idiosyncrasies, I have learnt why the noble Thomas Gray was right when he said ‘Ignorance is bliss’.

This was one peculiar case. And I am sure this beautiful world is full of idiots who wouldn’t miss a chance to categorize themselves as MANIACS. Point to take home is that what makes youths mad is their inclination towards madness. Forgive the goons, but aren’t we responsible for our susceptibility? We dig our own graves and lie down in them to succumb to stress which, unfortunately, is just a state of mind. If you don’t believe me, consider what Descartes said: ‘I think, therefore I am’.  Exactly my point- you think you are in a problem, therefore you ARE in a problem.

Now think over. Why is it that every single person, each added responsibility, every passing day is able to make us more insecure? Why are we so fallible to problems that we know we can solve, or, for that matter, we can never solve? Maybe our vulnerability is making us more vulnerable. Maybe thinking over an issue converts into over thinking earlier than we can realize. Maybe it is a specter of our imagination and nothing else!

So for all the soi-disant stressed out folks here is a thought provocation. The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work. If you own those brains that can make a trifling issue a behemoth, then you can certainly find a legitimate solution to it. Invest time in calming your senses instead of googling the theories that take you to sickness. The simplest acceptance theory is that everybody experiences their share of hell. Clicking and tweeting away your problems on gadgets or selling tragedies for sympathies only establishes you as a moron. So before you think Virat Kohli is a stud and your life is a dud, think of him as an eighteen year old boy who lost his father on the eve of his match and yet managed to score 90 the next day and saved his team a follow-on in a crucial Ranji match. His aggression on field might make people say he is a reckless boy who just got lucky, but few would know how his love and dedication for cricket grew into passion overnight.

One needs to channelize one’s pains and trauma (not on Twitter or Facebook, poor fella! ). Nurture your hobbies. Yes, I might sound preachy now but sit in silence for ten minutes every day. It helps. They say finding your true state of mind is like finding god.

Okay! We know what all they keep saying. Earnest advice of millions may be found on internet. Now that you have read some from me you owe me a nice comment. 😉

P.S –

  1. I am neither a counselor nor an admonisher. Yet I feel I can prevent many pissants from socializing their woes and help make the world a better place. 🙂
  2. Spread the new STRESS definition at your own risk. Chances are that you might end up getting two on your face. It is easier said than done!
  3. Special thanks to my anonymous friend who inspired me to write something after ages. Why I quitted writing?- “Heck! I was under the B.Tech stress!” 😛
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Man & Animal

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I felt a thirst, an everlasting thirst within me. I checked my lips; they did not have the dryness of a thirsty man. The thirst within me could not be quenched with water, for it was stirred, not by the instinct of survival but by the desire of losing control and of letting go. This need overtook me because I slowed down the car and parked it into an empty space to my right. I closed my eyes, for facing the reality with open eyes was not something I could do. I took out a circular chip from my pocket, it was supposed to help me garner the strength to stop. I desperately scratched it, trying to erase one of the words embedded on it. But the very fact of embedding something is so that it cannot be removed. So how can I fight something that has been deeply rooted within me? I unlocked the door and got out of the car in a hurry. One drink wouldn’t really hurt. I opened the door of the bar across the street and went inside. The man across the bar nodded to my presence and immediately started filling a glass. I sat down on a table; I quite enjoyed my own company. The glass arrived and as I picked it up with my left hand, the watch on my wrist caught my attention. It read 01:03:37 PM. I had to be at the hospital by 1:30, so I had to leave in 10 minutes. I remembered that – 10 minutes, one drink and then I leave. I raised the glass to my lips, but as the crystal touched my teeth, I stopped. I still hadn’t done it; I still had the option to choose. Today I was either going back to the same 10 years of my life or I was finally going to embrace the last 5 months that I’ve lived with a sober view. As I rocked the glass between my fingers, my mind oscillated between the choices every man has to make. To accept who you are or to acknowledge who you are supposed to be. I did not know what the universal right to this question is, but I knew the socially acceptable choice is the latter. People around us want us to conform to a set of ethics and morals, because the majority fits in within this structure. But the few outcasts like me do not get a chance to embrace the spirit within them. We are left to be functioned as robots, following algorithms and pre-written instructions. I raised the glass and the first few drops of alcohol flowed through my tongue. I could feel it, as each and every drop slowly sizzled through me, and just as my insides began to go numb, my brain started to feel and express more than it ever has. My glass was replaced with another, and then another, and then another. The spirit inside me, which had been weighed down by responsibilities forced upon it, welcomed the spirit that I gulped down my throat. It was the meeting of two spirits, animal and liquid, and it had been long time coming. But as the alcohol burned the chains that bound me, the animal within me started to take shape. For with every drop of alcohol I drank, it demanded two more. And so I drank, and then I drank more. The horse and the rider, the passenger and the driver, the man and the animal had finally been re-united. Together, they drowned in moments of nostalgia. The man across the table stared at me, and his eyes carried a gleam of appreciation towards me. I am where I should be, where I am accepted, respected, maybe even valued. I was home, I was among fellow alcoholics. The man continued to stare at me and then used his fingers to shape out a cell phone. I was sure he was not asking for my number, so I realized what he was pointing to- My cell phone was ringing, it had been ringing for quite some time now. I looked at the number flashing on the screen, it was the hospital. I looked at the time: 2:31:41 PM. I had missed my wife’s first pregnancy, I had missed the birth of my first child, and I had basically missed another chance of being the man people wanted me to be. But I did not care; I felt no guilt within me. Yes when she told me she was pregnant I was emotionally motivated to quit the one thing that kept me going. But she never accepted me for the man I was; however damaged, broken or drunk I was, I had always loved her. But like others who wanted to barricade me within these walls of rules and regulations, she was no different. I took out the chip from my pocket and started rubbing it in between my fingers. It was supposed to show me the right way in times of distress. The chip had embedded within it, in bold letters, the words ‘Alcoholic Anonymous’. I had to choose which letter I scraped of it, because only one of the two men survives today. I tapped on the desk and the bartender bought me another drink. My cell phone rang again; I cut the call and switched it off. Today, I choose to be the man I want to be, by accepting the animal I am. Today I break free of all emotional and moral expectations, for an animal is best left in the wild. Yes, I’m not going back to my wife. Yes, I don’t want to see the face of my own child. Yes, I don’t care what you think of me. Yes I’m an alcoholic.