After having been accused of and later diagnosed with PPOS, I wonder if highly sensitive people are predisposed to this affliction. You haven’t heard of it? It’s called Perpetually Pissed Off Syndrome. It can strike anyone at any time. It’s not fatal, but it can shorten your lifespan. The primary symptoms are unrelenting cynicism and little patience for anyone or anything. PPOS will make your life miserable!
I’ve often pondered why life isn’t easier. Wouldn’t you think that, as you get older, life would get simpler? Your wisdom, experience, and sense of perspective would inoculate you from the problems of your youth. Not necessarily! With each passing year, there are new challenges and all kinds of changes that come your way. Just when I think I have myself together, and things are going well, something seems to upset my apple cart! The last several weeks are a perfect example of what I am talking about.
About a month ago, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking while entering my doctor’s office. I missed one of the steps and came crashing down with a thud, landing sharply on my right arm. The pain was immediate and intense! I rushed over to Urgent Care to get it checked out. As it turned out, I didn’t break any bones (thank goodness), but I did break blood vessel in my arm. My arm, from the palm of my hand to my shoulder, was swollen and black and blue. It looked truly awful!
Not only was I in pain, but I was also mad at myself for making such a “stupid” mistake. Right on cue, that nagging, little voice in my head showed up to “should shame” me. It told me that I should have known better and that I should have watched where I was going. Can you relate to this negative thinking?
Fast forward several weeks, my arm was still swollen and difficult to deal with, but at least it was getting better. I was hopeful that my PPOS would start to subside, but another few “arrows” were headed my way…and in short succession. The first one came in the form of a really bad cold. Like many men (so I’ve been told), I handle “feeling sick” with about as much grace and poise as a cranky five-year old. So, of course, the cold did NOT improve my disposition!
The next arrow to hit came in the form of car problems. When I had trouble starting my car, I took it to my mechanic. He informed me that I need a new ignition starter. This is an expensive repair, but the worst news is that he can’t get the part for at least four months! I now have to fight with the manufacturer to see if I can get the part sooner. Otherwise, I may have to get a new car! My car is a bit older, but it still has plenty of life left in it. It seems crazy to me that I would have to invest in a new vehicle just because of the unavailability of a $400.00 automotive part! Ugh!
After all that, you would think that my PPOS would be here to stay, but fortunately, I’ve finally realized the toll it is taking on me. I have been feeling off kilter for weeks, and my attitude is increasing my stress level, lowering my immune response, and driving everyone crazy! In the long run, PPOS wreaks havoc on your relationships and does nothing to promote your mood and well-being.
The cure for PPOS is the awareness that you’re sabotaging yourself and the realization that NOW is the time to surrender the fantasy that “life should be easy.” As much as it would be nice if it were true, it’s just not a realistic belief to have. Life is a series of highs and lows. The trick is to keep yourself on an even keel, whether you’re at high or low point in your life.
The best way to maintain your equilibrium is to have a strong support system, and then having the strength and confidence to believe that you can handle anything that comes your way. You develop that strength by overcoming obstacles and learning lessons from them. The more “victories” you have, the more you’re able to withstand the “slings and arrows” of life that we all face.
I’m getting better at accepting the ups and downs, but I get off track sometimes, which results in a relapse of my PPOS. What about you? How do you maintain your equilibrium? Do you ever get PPOS? If so, what are your triggers? Do you find yourself constantly wishing that life was easier? Do you accept the hard times and try to learn as much as you can from them. I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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