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Good-bye Stress

Me: Dear Stress, thank you for being such a big part of my life for most of my life. You have helped me to know in my body what feels right and wrong, what feels safe or scary, what I want to do or not. You have single-handedly saved me many times from situations I either didn’t want to be in or shouldn’t be in. You have been such a good friend to me. I have trusted you more than anything over all these years.

Here’s the thing, Stress. You and I have grown apart. I am seeing someone else now: Calm. We are in a new relationship, but it is exciting and feels right. I don’t want to lead you on, so I must be honest with you. We need to break up.

Stress: I feel so lonely. No one ever wants to hang out with me. People spend all of their time trying to avoid me. They meditate, go to therapy, take medication, and drink. I just want a friend.

Me: I get it, Stress. Of course, you feel this way and get really stressed about it. Because well, you are Stress! But I am not stress. I seek more peace and calm in my life, so I am going to hang out there for a while.

Stress: Can I still visit you?

Me: How about maybe on occasion, if you visit, I will give you a hug, thank you for stopping by, ask how you are doing, and then send you on your way? I don’t hate you. We just aren’t compatible.

Stress: OK, but who can I hang out with? Usually, I have places to go: birthdays, holidays, weddings. Major events.

Me: I bet you could make really good friends with Anxiety. How about starting there?

Stress: I can try, but I will miss you.

Me: You know what? Part of me will miss you too. But we will still see each other on occasion, and that’s ok. Thank you, Stress. You have really helped me through some hard times. I am grateful.

Stress: You have been my home and warm, safe space for so long. I think I will go and say hi to Anxiety. She seems really cool.


Carol Ornstein is a lover of life and seeks to see the unseen through words, photos, and nature. She can be found helping the underdog and writing haiku poetry about everything and nothing.

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