On Sept 27th, Calen continued with the questions from Learning to Fall: Recording the Blessings of an Imperfect Life by Philip Simmons. Here is the one she asked that day:
To be honest, not well. I don’t do stress well at all and problems create a lot of it. It all boils down to the severity of the problem.
Let’s take a huge problem, one with a near-impossible solution – My first reaction is to ignore it for as long as possible. When that doesn’t work, I go into ‘flight’ mode or ‘deer in the headlight’ mode (what I call flight or freeze) because I am not a naturally born fighter. If I cannot run from it, panic sets in and anxiety takes control. I will pace, fret, wring my hands, or bury myself under the covers. Then OCD takes control and I will start listing pros and cons for dealing with it, possible outcomes, and possible solutions. This is generally my cool-down stage because making lists soothes me. Eventually, I will come up with a suitable solution to the problem, which may or may not involve others’ help.
With smaller problems that have solvable solutions, I will still ignore it for a few days, maybe have some heightened anxiety over it and then go into the list-making stage. The process can usually come to a resolution within a manner of days, as opposed to weeks with a huge problem.
I am never a quick problem-solver. I cannot just think up a solution on the fly. My brain has to process the problem, work through solutions, and come up with a plan. As I’ve said before, I am a thinker, not a doer. Or at least, it takes a lot of thought to turn me into a doer.