At different times, it has been different triggers. When my heart has been broken, its seems that my making the decision over ending it, breaks me less than having that decision taken away from me. Obviously, having some element of control is important, but I think its more that I'm able to prepare myself - mentally and emotionally - and make the decision when the time is best for me - for when I feel strongest, or have something planned as a distraction.
Layers of stress can have their impact obviously. Anxiety, fear, insecurity, vulnerability - all these can build up to a burden that can be tipped by that proverbial straw.
I have just set up a new business and am waiting for the money and effort ploughed into it to come to fruition. Hell, to come to anything ... Fear of change looms large, fear of sticking my head above the parapet and inviting Joe Public to choose me is even more massive. I continue to invest money and time, as I must, but it is absolutely terrifying. Still, I've been pleased with how I was handling the stress ...
All the while, there's been a nagging awareness of my health not being quite right. Even adding together the extra weight, the lack of regular exercise and the sedentery lifestyle, things have become Not Good. A few tests have been done which removed one Big Issue and further tests undertaken to rule out others. The doctor and I have moved on to other more mundane issues which can be addressed. Only for my chest x-ray result to be delayed. When it finally arrives, my doctor says "well, there's possible evidence of something, maybe an infection, but we can't see what is there as you didn't inflate your lungs fully".
I breathe deeply, in an attempt to remain as calm as possible. Two things, I've been told by at least half a dozen different doctors in the past half dozen years that I positively absolutely do not have a chest infection. The second is that I wasn't told to breathe in or to hold my breath by the x-ray technician. In fact, I was given no instruction at all. I understand what delays provision of an x-ray to a doctor's surgery is that it needs to be checked by the consultant radiographer - and yet mine was still sent out, as is, rather than arranging a recall. So, I'm left with the knowledge that there's evidence of "something" and I have to go through the whole waiting rigmarole again, not knowing how long the x-ray will take to be available, not knowing how long I will have to wait for an appointment with my doctor to find out what the result is.
I came home and found myself calmly repeating the story to a colleague, only to start eating and eating. I ate rapidly, without any hunger or desire, just to fill myself up. I got a flash of an old therapist describing my eating as if I could push my feelings back down. I've not done this for years ... not even when I had my cancer diagnosis. I was rattled ...
I took a couple of days to myself - I stayed quiet, I read books - a couple of unchallenging thrillers, I had a little weep on the bloke's virtual shoulder and I've come out the other side. But I do wonder what caused me to fall off my perch this time. I am in the best emotional and mental health I've been in for a decade, so it makes no sense. Hopefully there'll be an "aaaahhhh" moment along soon ...
How do you handle stress? Do you have anything that is guaranteed to knock you sideways?