Stresstember

There’s an epidemic and it is taking its toll on most families here in Australia.

It’s not a virus. It’s much worse.

This is a specific type of unpleasantness. The type that you don’t realise you have until you are in the middle of it.

The type that renders you a useless screaming wreck of a human, barely clinging to a semblance of normality.

Slumping down into bed each night, wondering where it all went wrong and why you feel like crying.

Well don’t worry. It didn’t go wrong. It’s the end of term 3. It’s Stresstember.

This happens every year at this time. We are 9 months into the year (I know I’ve just sobered up from New Year too). Nerves are frayed. Kids are feral. Buttons are pushed. Lines are crossed. Relationships are strained. Sex is now a number between 5 and 7

It’s the end of 3rd term-itis.

Everyone is exhausted. Parents, kids, grandparents. My dog even has the shits with me. Hormones are running at an all year high. Tolerance levels have gone. Pressures of work are extreme. Xmas deadlines loom. Holidays need to be booked. Bills keep piling up. Cashflow sucks. It’s Groundhog day.

Thoughts of throwing work colleagues from buildings, and screaming children from cars does not a bad person make. Yelling at your partner is a side effect of this condition. Consider it the norm. For it is. Stresstember.

There is no cure. No group to seek advice in. No therapist to pay. No counsellor to talk to.

You can, and should, seek solace only in the company of friends or at the bottom of a glass of red. Stay away from your family. Stay at work. Wait it out. The rain will stop. The sun will shine. November is coming.

November is a good month. It’s the wind down month. When you allow yourself to think of summer holidays. The beach, the sun, the sand, the sea. As November nudges December you can taste the mulled wine. The sun beats down. Moods lift. And we know that we have at least a few months to relax and unwind. Beach time, party time, family time, friends time, down time. My time.

So take comfort knowing that you are not alone. We all feel this way. We are broken, but we can be fixed. Batten down the hatches. There’s only 2 months to go. You will get there. You did it last year. And you will do it again. We will be out that dog house once again.

And as the illness takes ahold of me I tell my wife the only thing I should not say.

“Don’t stress. Relax. Remember it’s Stresstember.“

And I get a glare like no other as she turns her back and says;

“and your month is next month”

“Cocktober”.

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