When the Stress of Life Weighs You Down

By Jeanette Selfridge

Life can be downright hard sometimes. The stress of everyday life can often lead to depression and sleepless nights while the rest of the world sleeps.

This used to be me.

I was depressed because of the past. I had severe anxiety because I was dreading the future. I often cried alone and at times, I went to bed hoping I would never wake up.

I was stuck in an abusive marriage and, to all my friends and family, I seemed happy. In reality, I was actually not being true to myself or those around me. I was stuck in the marriage because I was pretending everything was great. How could anyone have helped me if I wasn’t accepting things myself? If my words trigger something and you relate to how I used to be, how can you get help if you refuse to acknowledge what you need help with?

It could be a workload that is crippling you emotionally, a relationship that is more than you can cope with, financial debts … the list can go on. The stress of my marriage prevented me from sleep, causing depression, anxiety and panic attacks that ruled my life.

My turning point.

I knew I no longer had any energy left for life. It was a pivotal time in my life. I either was giving up on life or get help and fight back. I was fed up pretending everything was okay, yes I was depressed, and at times I felt like giving up, but as my little girl walked in on me crying as I was sorting out the laundry, I knew things had to change.

I hugged my little girl, and I cried a bit more. I was exhausted with my life and I picked up my little girl and I made a phone call that changed my life for ever.

I decided to fight back.

One call was to my mum and I recall crying nonstop into the phone. Another call was to Women’s Aid a domestic violence group who helped me pack my bags and those of my children.

The pressure was over.

I continued to cry, not tears of sorrow, but tears of relief. The pressure of pretending I was in a happy marriage was over. I remember being told tears only come when your heart and soul haven’t the energy to provide words on how you are feeling. At times when I was in the marriage, I felt like a failure. In time I realized life has many bad times and should not be seen as failures but just hard times most of us go through. These hard times can often shape us but it is up to us if we let our emotions rule us and define our future, or you can fight back and get control of your emotions.

I have become the ruler of my emotions.

I have finally realized that, throughout my life, I will continue to face experience various negative emotions. I might get sad, anxious or angry or even depressed but as long as I am in control of my emotions. I will be okay as long as I don’t let my emotions rule me.

It is okay not to be okay.

Being not okay at times is not a failure, it just means I am alive and human. Various times in my life I led my life according to others and constantly seemed to need their approval. I felt a huge release the day I stopped seeking approval from others. I took the reins of my life back the day I took charge of my emotions.

Are you letting your emotions rule your life?


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Amanda Tirado
Amanda Tirado

Very proud of you, it’s a huge step. 😇

Maria Vandenburg

Love this Jeanette! And very exciting to see you writing again <3



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