Hello! My Name is Stress.

Stress is my middle name. It is the middle names of hundreds. It is the overwhelming feeling of so many different things pulling you in different directions. There are lots of ways to overcome it. But, the most important one comes within.

Let me tell you a story. It is of a girl, who was the one everyone knew in highschool. She was a star in and out of classroom, the go to, president of the biggest organization on campus, editor of the yearbook, A honor roll student, with the good looking boyfriend and the best friends. She was someone that looked like her life was all together. She did a great job of looking that way, but it wasn’t really true.

The hardest part of her life, that was really a lie, was trying to make it believable. It was a constant pressure of trying to keep it all together because that’s what was expected. In her head, it wasn’t stress free, she definitely wasn’t, couldn’t, be the one everyone looked up to. Her problem was stress, yes it was, but maybe her biggest problem was accepting she was the one creating it.

The thing with stress is that it must come from somewhere and more often than not, it comes with our inability to understand that we are not superheros. We will never be able to fly, ever be able to be at two places at once, or carry the world on our shoulders singlehandedly. But my friend didn’t understand that. She thought help made her weak, she thought stress was the only sign of productivity, she thought no one else in the world could help because it meant she wasn’t good enough to do it alone. She was wrong. Help doesn’t make anyone weak, it makes them strong enough to know what they can and can’t handle. Stress doesn’t symbolize being productive, it symbolizes that you are being spread too thin. Help doesn’t mean you can’t do it alone, it means you’re smart enough to know two heads are better than one.

She realized it one day. We all need help. She unfortunately could not carry the world on her shoulders herself. That the best people, the most successful, are those who know when to accept help. Who know better than to drown in stress when it isn’t necessary. The day she realized it, she was the best version of her. She was stronger, healthier, wiser and someone people looked up to even more. That stress comes out every so often, sometimes even when she has to write a story on stress and stresses about how to do it. (What a coincidence) But, it stays away more often than not, because she is surrounded with helping hands, hands that can ensure that when she’s drowning, they’ll pull her back up again.

Her middle name is Ashley, not ‘Stress’ anymore. Funny enough, so is mine.