Making sense of my crazy life

StressI’ve been neglecting this blog way more than I’d like recently, due to the repeated intrusion of real life. Lots of things are going on both at home and at work, with the two of them locked in a battle for supremacy and grinding my inspiration and energy into the dirt.

This week was fairly typical of what I’m trying to deal with at the moment – a sapping day-long meeting with a lot of people who are probably going to end up deciding on my future employment; a struggle to do a week’s work in three days while additional tasks are thrown my way because I made the tactical error of being competent; and finally, a sudden request for an early morning radio interview relating to the thing that’s occupying most of my home life, ahead of another potentially career-defining day.

It reminds me of having a new baby on the house – there’s constant stress, I can’t seem to escape from the things that are keeping me busy, and I can’t remember the last time I felt like I’d had enough sleep. Although in this case, that’s mostly down to my current inability to switch my brain off, rather than not having the time for it.

When you’re under pressure like this, you find out a lot about yourself, in all sorts of ways. Because I’m being stretched in so many different directions, I’m finding that I have skills I would never have imagined without being forced into certain situations. And because I’m tired and under pressure, certain character flaws (no, I’m not giving details) are being magnified to the point of embarrassment. The Stress giveth with one hand, and taketh away with the other.

Office StressI don’t recommend this to anyone – the last few months have been pretty rough, and I’d have taken action long ago if I didn’t know that these problems are going to be resolved soon, one way or another. But it’s an experience, and it can have a lot of value if I choose to use it appropriately.

Once, faced with this situation, I’d have turned it into a narrative about the intent of a higher power, and I suppose this is another way of doing the same thing. Removing any mention of deities, the question becomes what positive consequence there might be for me as a person. That may be strengthening my resolve, revealing new skills or just making me think about what’s really important to me, and what isn’t. Either way, it’s essentially me looking for possible positives.

This is a half-formed thought, because I’m not in a position to do much more than that right now, but it has a connection with something I’ve been wondering for a while anyway. I suspect the nature of religious thought is driven by the way we would approach those questions in the absence of God, with little difference aside from the theistic veneer. The agency and theology are different, but the essential ideas remain the same.

But I said this is just half-formed, and possibly the fevered ramblings of an overtired brain, so have at it – am I onto something, or am I just talking nonsense?

Images courtesy of nighthawk7 and protego, used with permission


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About Recovering Agnostic

I'm Christian by upbringing, agnostic by belief, cynical by temperament, broadly scientific in approach, and looking for answers. My main interest at the moment is in turning my current disengaged shrug into at least a working hypothesis.

10 responses to “Making sense of my crazy life”

  1. DysthymiaBree says :

    I think your basic premise has legs: look at indigenous religions around the world, and how their tenets match the prevailing conditions at their founding. It’s not quite the same situation which you’re discussing, but theology certainly does follow anthropology – so why not psychology?

  2. coastcontact says :

    Stop whining. Life is filled with stress and problems. You are no different than the rest of humanity.

    • Recovering Agnostic says :

      Whining? Really? For explaining my current situation and using it as a starting point for discussion? Wow, tough crowd.

      Yes, pressure and stress happen to everyone,although to different degrees. This seems extreme to me, which is reducing the time I can devote to this blog and causing me to look for meaning and positives. Hence this post.

  3. derb523622013 says :

    Having much the same thoughts tonight due to a different stresser; an alcoholic spouse who I am unwilling to leave (yet?) I want so much to be able to have a supportive network of other spouses of alcoholics to talk with, but the few times I’ve gone to Al-Anon meetings, I am put off by all the Higher Power stuff. I was thinking earlier tonight, before reading this, why can’t I just pretend to put it all in this Higher Power’s hands in order to find the peace of those who talk to me about joining. Seemed coincidental to me, reading your post. Or, perhaps I’m just rambling. Sometimes, I wish I could just lie to myself and start to believe again

    • Ruth says :

      Have you read Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening by Robert J. Meyers and Brenda L. Wolfe?

      It’s a good read and, unlike what the title suggests, is more about changing yourself than your alcoholic partner. There isn’t any of that Higher Power stuff either. I find that counterproductive. I also spent some time on the soberrecovery website, but all that seems so negative and there’s a lot of god talk so it’s just not a place I go very much.

      “I was thinking earlier tonight, before reading this, why can’t I just pretend to put it all in this Higher Power’s hands in order to find the peace of those who talk to me about joining”

      I can’t do the pretense either. Somehow knowing the little man is behind the curtain just crushes even the slightest notion that the Wizard is great, wise, and all-knowing. Good luck with your spouse.

  4. Ruth says :

    Sorry, I hit the enter button too soon. I don’t know where you’re from but there may be SMART meetings near you but they definitely have them online.

    SMART Recovery Website

  5. Ruth says :

    I’m sorry for hijacking your post! 🙂

  6. Andrew Pearce says :

    You’re definitely not talking nonsense. I hope you come back to this theme and develop it further once some of the other things you have going on in your life have resolved themselves

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