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  • Writer's pictureMark Stefan Reinoso


Updated: Sep 22, 2019

With my work, I have to operate on a very high level: I am the point of contact for all my partners and employees, and we all communicate well constantly throughout the day. I am trying to say that nicely, most days it’s a ridiculous amount of talking, texting and emailing. I feel like I am dating 8 needy girlfriends, all at once. I know its mostly necessary, but it’s exhausting. My contracting business can be very reactive, which is inherently stressful. Adding to all my businesses is the fact that I have been a mortgage loan officer for 22 years. I don’t advertise it much, I only work with friends and family and some clients I’ve had a long time. This last 2 months have been particularly stressful, I am doing 3x the amount of loans I normally do….add moving out of the city I’ve called home for 25 years, and then add our traveling to the mix, and you have a stress bomb!

I don’t think I have ever had a more stressful time period like the last 5 weeks, and I know I’ve written about it. It was almost too much for me to handle…things I would normally deal with pretty easily, I had a very hard time with. Every issue was that little straw that pissed off the camel. I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night multiple times, worrying, stressing, even panicking about anything and everything…and then I don’t sleep well, and you know how that goes. My life is one big stress bubble, everywhere I turn there are problems to be solved and handled. I have no rest, no safe space, no “green room” to transition. Its like I have every stressor affecting me, and my body is starting to show the signs of it: my double chin has a little brother, my shoulders are hard as a rock and hunched in a frozen position. I wake up from naps with my jaw sore from clenching and grinding, and I have a zit on my nose, WTH?!?!?

Everyone wants compensation, and I’ve been compensating in a couple ways: wine and food. I wish I could say that it was good food, but it really isn’t. It’s the worst food you can eat, and it makes me resemble one of those cartoon M&M's.. I’m ballooning in places where there shouldn’t be balloons. Last week a typical day consisted of McDonald’s for breakfast, IN-N-OUT for lunch, Carl’s Jr for snack and pizza for dinner. I hated myself, but it was glorious. I especially liked it when I washed it all down with an Amarone or Tempier Bandol. I eat all kinds of food, but I am strictly hi-brow when it comes to my liquids. Moving houses is a lot like being pregnant, but only when it comes to food: you get to eat whatever and however much you want without judgement. As long as the food is convenient, and satisfies the deep inner needs of your psyche at that moment, it works. Ephemeral it must be…. nothing else matters, it can all be expunged!

I think my stress culminated on the trip up to Portland, it was everything built into an overwhelming tidal wave. All of my angst, worries, frustrations, trepidation, rolled into one bundle of nerves . All my emotions sitting latent in my body, with the regular stress bubble gurgling up to the surface like one of those scalding pools in Yellowstone. Nothing but me and my feelings on the open road for 25 hours, it wreaked havoc on my body…my wife thought I contracted a temporary case of Tourette’s syndrome: angry, frustrated, non coherent ramblings, and snippets of sentences blurted out, directed at nobody in particular. I was driving, so my body couldn’t move, only my mouth acted out. It was such a curious case, I wish I would have recorded it.

The thing about stress: when its finally over, that’s when the real fun begins. Your body can only handle so many psychological attacks before it starts to rebel. You can hold yourself together when you need to, when you have to…..but once the danger is over, your body collapses. It's almost as if its like: “dude, everything is ok now, but guess what? You need rest, you are going to collapse and you are probably going to get sick”.The last two nights in Portland have been just that: extreme tiredness, irritation and a general malaise. I know it’s going to get better, but right now I just don’t want to do anything. I just wish there was an IN-N-OUT nearby……

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