She cannae take any more, Captain. She’s gonna blow!


People handle stress in very different ways and each of us have varying extremes when it comes to our breaking point.  Some are lucky and are able to desensitize themselves to the perils that compound normal levels of stress, while others become weighed down and feel like they are shouldering the burdens of the world.  I am perched precariously in the middle.

I have a pretty high tolerance for stress.  I can quell the volcano of emotion that begins to rise by merely separating the things I can control from the things I cannot and putting out those smaller fires, one by one.   I don’t always win that battle but I do make a concerted effort to not let things bother me that are out of the grasp of my command.

But stress has a funny way of being able to continue a slow burn without any alarms going off.  It smolders behind walls and can ignite spontaneously when it recognizes the slightest bit of exhaustion or defeat.  Exhaled oxygen will spark the embers and the fire of stress breathes new life.  I didn’t feel the heat emanating but the flames got the best of me and, when the inferno had died down slightly, the fiery beast had etched its charcoal marks deep under my skin.


(photo credit:

My tension is now stored neatly in large charred knots under my shoulder blades.  The volcano of stress is no longer spewing lava and lighting fires as it goes, but it is laying dormant under my muscles, reminding me that it has the power to erupt with the slightest sign of newly induced tension.  Any rupture in my otherwise calm facade will bring bubbling magma to the surface and give new life to that slow burn.  Time for some deep breathing and a calming glass of wine!

How does your stress affect you?  Is it an easily controlled burn, or does it rage out of control?

29 thoughts on “She cannae take any more, Captain. She’s gonna blow!

  1. Stress plops itself on the comfy bean bag that is my brain. Either making myself relax /meditate, or at times with a drink or two, I can get it sleepy/lazy enough to kick out for a while 😉

    Stress at my last job gave me sciactica – I didn’t realize that until I left and suddenly my back was fine!

  2. Stress gets all bottles up and when the right button gets pressed, it blows, usually all out of proportion. I try to relieve it with writing now, and the volcano hasn’t erupted in quite a while! The villagers are relieved!

  3. It depends ~ sometimes I’m rolling with the punches and sometimes I just explode out of nowhere.. recently I completely LOST it about something that was not quite as out of wack as my response. It surprised me…must be those Yoga hip openers…they release a lot of emotion 🙂

  4. Writing is definitely my stress reliever. Write, write, write – and if that doesn’t work, mow the lawn, build a wall, hammer a few nails or have a good session on a punching bag 😀

  5. I’ve been working on reducing stress (and the anger that comes with, at least for me) for well over a year now. If my progress was drawn like a graph it would look akin to an earthquake or perhaps a lie detector test. But, overall, I think the trend line is up. Lots of breathing, counting to 10, walking away, and, most recently, meditating. I’m now a student of the Buddha. Whatever you do, I think two things are true. You have to work at it and practice makes perfect.

    I wish I could tackle the source of your stress for you. I’d take it on if I could. It’s my way. 🙂

  6. Don’t know why I’ve never noticed this post before -clearly it found me because I need to hear that other people feel this too, and importantly, get through it. My stress weighs me down until I become inert – it’s my way of not giving in to the emotional side where I get the shakes and burst into tears. It’s also because my working environment has changed, I now spend too much time in an office by myself – the worst thing for the procrastinator and her brutal internal monologue. Still, at least it means I can read blogs, and thwart the guilt by calling it peer support 😉

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