UNITED STATES—Insanity. It’s not a word that is easy to describe, but it’s when a person suspects he or she is losing their mind. Stress is a large component of insanity in my opinion. Some weeks are more stressful than others. Last week, my brain was put through a mental workout. Not only did I have to deal with the pressure of juggling two jobs, but I had to also deal with family drama, a death in the family and an unexpected gathering.

Yes, tell me, how does one deal with all those stressors without blowing a coup? Honestly, I have the slightest idea, but I truly have come to discover what doesn’t kill you does indeed make you stronger. When it comes to work, it’s about balance. You can’t allow yourself to be put in a situation where you feel like you’re working all the time or that work has no purpose. If it gets to a point where work feels purposeless it’s time to find a new trajectory.

It’s imperative that one takes breaks in between the work day to properly collect your thoughts. If you don’t, you might blow up at someone that you didn’t intend to. Work does that to many people. We take our frustrations out on those who we feel are less powerful than us.

Now how does one deal with family drama. This is something that I feel like happens week after week where a family member is ringing my eardrums with personal issues that do a number on my brain. I ask myself, why am I the resident therapist, psychiatrist, whatever you want to call it? Yeah, I majored in psychology while in college and I have a degree, but that doesn’t mean I want to listen to everyone’s problems. Not only does it boggle one, it makes your head work overtime trying to figure out a solution.

So what have I learned, not to overstress about things. Try to stay calm and think before reacting. Family has a way of pushing your buttons in ways that others can’t. They want to see you riled up, upset, lashing out, but if you don’t react they can’t get to you.

When it comes to death that is something that is never a pretty site, especially when it’s some you care about who is murdered. The thought that someone close to you has been taken because of someone else is no easy thing to grapple with. You might blame yourself, you might attempt to process the ‘why,’ but it’s no easy task.

Death scares me because I’m constantly thinking about what will happen to my family when I die. You also have that issue of not really knowing what to say to people, or what people might say to you. The goal is to empathize, but at times it can be hoovering and overwhelming to deal with death and having a load of people attempt to provide you sympathy, when at times you just want to be left alone. You don’t want to be rude, but it’s how you feel sometimes.

So imagine that you are dealing with all of these things in one week, and someone from the family wants to throw a surprise impromptu gathering. I wasn’t in the most festive mood, but I found the strength to make things happen. I’ll admit it was good to be around family in the midst of all the chaos that I had endured for the past seven days.

I’m starting to discover that when I think the walls are closing in, when things feel like they are about to shatter, if I take a moment all is well. The mind is a fascinating thing, sometimes we just have to take a moment to realize what we are capable of.