You’re undoubtedly aware that there are two major kinds of stress: positive stress and negative stress.  Positive stress encompasses things like anxiety over an important happy event–getting married, preparing for graduation, going into labor (or being there with your significant other going into labor).  Negative stress is what we all attribute to “stressing out,” things like preparing or worrying about a test, worries about your job, dread over facing the consequence for something you’ve done wrong.  At the end of the day, however–stress is stress.  Good or bad, it still causes anxiety, loss of sleep, loss of focus, nervous tics…

I’m currently feeling besieged by all kinds of stress: some good, some bad.  A couple exciting possibilities that are about to be decided in the next 24 hours, issues with my duties as the equipment manager for my hockey organization (things not being delivered when it would be most convenient for everyone involved), issues with another onset of thoughts, feelings and memories of my son…all crashing down on me at once.

This really is one of those moments where I feel like I want to either open my window and scream, “Stop the World!  I want to get off!”  Or, in a far less positive display of energy, I feel like I just want to tell a lot of people to go, to be nice,  make love to themselves.  Every person that barks at me about things that are not within my control…  Every person that tells me what I need to do for them…

This is all really not me…and that’s what scares me.  I don’t usually tell people off or bark back, I usually bite my tongue and do whatever I feel is truly for the good of others.  Maybe this is burnout.  Perhaps I’m so tired of doing that time and time again that I just don’t have the energy to keep going.

I keep wondering–is this my “new normal?”  I feel changes taking place–and taking shape for the near future.  Right now, I see uncertainty all around me, but I’m starting to be able to look ahead and see a transformation…

As I lift my head to look forward, to look for the point where the transformation really begins, my view is filled with Micah.  I’m feeling his presence everywhere.  Every picture I see transforms into Micah in that hospital bed.  Every old video I see starts to transform into Micah today–or what Micah would look like today–and then suddenly disappears.  I think about moving into our new house in a few months, but the only thing I focus on moving is his goalie bag.

Driving back from San Diego on Monday, it seemed every time I looked at a street sign, there was a 37 in it.  When the dad and son that I gave a ride home would talk or mess with each other in the car, my brain projected Micah and myself onto their interactions.  Why was this not us?  Why was I not talking to Micah about his homework for Tuesday?  Why were Micah and I not sharing a bag of fries at lunch?  Seeing this dad and his son interact was touching–and yet so revealing of my pain.  All at once, they helped fill my car so I would not feel so alone after the tournament, and yet they made the loss, the isolation, all that much more obvious.

Is there an escape?  Maybe that trip to Vegas in a couple weeks with my best friend?  Maybe the trip the following weekend for a couple Cubs games at Wrigley Field?  Maybe these are but small breaths of fresh air–but they are still no escape.