Pressure is a funny thing. Some people thrive under pressure, others crumble. Pressure can concentrate minds to get a task done – hands up who used to do their homework on the eve of going back to school – yep, me too! I needed that pressure of a deadline to finally knuckle down and get the work done. Friends of mine planned their time and got all their homework done on the first couple of days of the holiday. No sick feeling in the pits of their stomachs as the end of the school holidays approached but they also did not get to enjoy the first few days of the holiday like I did.
Diamonds are formed under pressure but too much pressure can crush the life out of anything.
Stress is a different beast to pressure. However much we may want to limit the stress in our lives it will always be there. How we handle it is the key. Overreaction to anything is never good. Trying to keep things in perspective is the best approach but also the hardest.
We are more interconnected thanks to the internet and social media than we have ever been before and yet loneliness is on the rise. Thousands of likes and followers is a nice thing to have but when the walls are closing in at three in the morning your social media status can be of cold comfort.
When the pressure of modern life gets too much we all need someone to talk to: a spouse, a friend, a relative. A go to person. Oftentimes, it can, however, be hard to talk to the people closest to us. Sometimes a friend or acquaintance will be better able to assist because they have the advantage of distance. Someone closer may be invested in the situation and whether consciously or unconsciously their bias may end up colouring their advice.
Chances are you will go to different people at different times of your life. Most of us probably will. Most of us.
It’s the people who suffer in silence that are more at risk. It’s the people who are copers. The people other people turn to. The people who think that to admit they need help is somehow a sign of weakness and so they soldier on until the burden becomes intolerable and the only way out is to do the unthinkable.
A friend of a colleague committed suicide this week. He was in his thirties, a family man, in good health with his own business. Those around him are crushed by grief and weighed down by questions that can never now be answered.
Shaking their heads in bewilderment they say ‘But he had so much to live for’. ‘How could this have happened?’ ‘He didn’t seem the type.’
High achieving, perfectionist, type A personalities cannot do everything by themselves. No one can. And it’s to life’s copers this post is aimed. Gold star for being a coper most of the time but no one expects you to cope ALL of the time. Reaching out to someone else for support when the going gets tough is natural, its HUMAN. I am quite happy to champion individualism but we are pack animals at the end of the day. We need each other.
There is an old adage: ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’.
Don’t suffer in silence.