Baking to Cope.

My coworkers love when I am stressed out.

Wait, that didn’t sound right.

They don’t necessarily love when I am stressed out. They love the effects of my stress often, as I tend to deal with stress through baking. Baking makes sense and it is a precise task or it will more than likely fail. And sometimes I do fail at baking. But it is how I choose to cope in stressful times. Which then is a reward for my colleagues…

I also realize that ignoring the stress, or not addressing it properly, is an unhealthy coping strategy. Believe me when I say I have been there in the ugly coping times. When I chose something far worse to channel my inability to control a situation into. I welcomed the wrong people and the wrong outlets into my life. I let chaos have control and my anxiety overwhelm me.

Some of us in this world don’t know how to address stress, anxiety, and the pressures that are often piled upon us in healthy ways. I didn’t for a long time. With either an explosive reaction of anger and frustration or choosing to ignore the reality that was presented me simply because I didn’t like it, I would go about life. I would think the world was out to get me and I would craft these elaborate scenarios which would come to be my reality.

Then I realized something, thanks to some real conversations with friends who truly cared for my well-being and health…I was choosing to cope with life. I just wasn’t choosing a life I could cope with. I picked what was easy and comfortable for me, because I needed that comfort in the stress. I needed that safety blanket.

Unfortunately for many (including myself at one point) that safety blanket has been alcohol, or pills, or sexual encounters, or cutting. I have had countless conversations with people on their coping mechanisms and far too often we choose to bury it within ourselves instead of seeking help. I was one for far too long and I understand the hurt and pain that confronts you. The words and fears of others finding out you just aren’t strong enough to cope with daily life.

But you are.

You will find out that we’re all struggling with something in our life when you decide to ask for help. For some it’s loneliness, others its finances, or family pressures. Maybe it’s work expectations or a wayward child. God never guaranteed a perfect life for us, and I know I struggle with that understanding as His child. I also know my strength doesn’t come from within myself all the time. It comes from asking for help…from talking with someone who can see the destructive path ahead of me and guide me to another trail.

Today whatever it is you are attempting to cope with in your life…whatever you are choosing to do instead of face the struggle know you are not alone. Know you don’t have to go it alone anymore. Know you are being prayed for specifically by me today.

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