Thursday, March 8, 2012


Clif sometimes tells me he likes how I can take a complex concept and break it down in multiple ways so it's easy to digest for the masses.  I strive to offer several ways of looking at an idea so that the given audience can have the greatest chance of at least one of them making sense.  My most common habit is to use an everyday, mundane situation to explain more complicated ones.  For example, when teaching about shock in our CPR and first aid classes we discuss how signs and symptoms can include an initial flush to the skin, followed by skin pallor (pale).  A stimulus triggers shock, causes the heart to pump faster and move blood to the body core from the extremities and so to me the flushing of a toilet seems to be the perfect every day analogy to depict what happens to your body.  Imagine it: You flush the toilet, there is a rush of water in the bowl then it drains.  The skin flushes red as the heart rate increases and rushes your blood before it drains from your head.  Crude?  Yes.  A bit of a stretch?  Sure!  But it clicks at least a little bit, right?

Recently I've been pretty stressy.  Responsibilities in a variety of areas of my life have been feeling impossibly huge, heavy and I've been cracking under the weight.  A lot of it is work related, though certainly not all.  This causes Clif a bit of worry as he's not used to seeing me drag and wants the instant fix to be to remove the primary instigator completely.  The thing is, I love my job, just as I love all of the activities I participate in.  Even though they can run me ragged sometimes I care about them all too much to be willing to let any go.

In an effort to try to better understand my... let's call it "sensitivity" (i.e. an increasing number of days of pj-wearing, couch-surfing lethargy, inconsolable crying fits, mild depression and nearly 2+ solid months worth of upset stomach) I came up with a scenario for him to try to better understand:

Imagine a brand new sponge, right out of the packaging.  It's light weight, hard and can be hurled in any direction at all manner of objects without fear of pain or mess.  You hold it under the faucet and watch the water as it initially pools on the surface of the sponge before it starts to sloooowly seep in, spreading a little at a time towards the corners.  Once it's entirely wet it's heavy and absorbs liquid so much faster and easier.  The idea of throwing it around becomes highly undesirable.  But if you let it sit in the dish drainer for a while it dries out, rebuilds its initial resistance.

I'm a sponge.  A really, really wet one that hasn't had the chance to dry back out.  Things that may not have bothered me much before have been affecting me in tidal waves and I barely want to get off the couch much less throw myself anywhere or into anything. 

Knowing the cause of feeling this way is half the battle.  Knowing that in time it will get better is also a great source of hope.  In the meantime, though, it's been a bit tricky to balance the weight and keep cleaning up messes without the chance to sit a while in the dish drainer.

As I keep working through the place I am right now, using it as a time to try to find some personal growth and learn how to better deal with my stress and anxieties, I hope to be able to get back to spending more time off the couch than on.