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I need tips from you seasoned pros. How do you all deal with life's serious challenges?

Relatively recent convert here ( 6 months ago) and I am still in the post- break-up somewhat- disoriented phase. My life has a few very trying situations, which in the past would have turned me toward asking for divine assistance.

I abandoned my belief in God because I just could not justify the problems of suffering with a loving, caring and omnipotent God.

My most current version of God was formed by 12 step group think ( 18 and a half years of it) ie, the everything happens for a reason, let go and let god variety...

I realized that that is basically bullshit in the face of certain life events that are clearly not for my benefit...and I refuse to believe that "character development" was the purpose for the loss.

In any case, please share with me how yo cope with prolonged stress, and other "threatening" feelings and events. I'm afraid I am floundering at times.

Thanks in advance!

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I have never been comforted at the thoguth of an after life. the only part I miss was the sort of woo-woo god I had modified form my childhood, kind of a unversal energy that I thought I could tune into when I had run out of my own answers. Somone not 'me" I could talk to when no one else was there to listen. The biggest concept I had to surrender was the one that everythign in my life happens for good...even the bad stuff. As long as things were only moderatley challenging and my hous epayment was being made I didn't have trouble with that belief. But int his economy, amoong big stressors and my financial insecurity, my mind finally realized that that was just bullshit and god gave up the ghost immediately.

what has seemed to work the best, is radical acceptance if you will...that thinsg just are, that none of this is personal , that life just is, and that, in the big picture, its all very insignificant. It's not liek I thought it woudl be at my age...didn't expect to behaving to start over form scratch from ground zero...but so what? whether I wanted to be here or not is irrelevant--I am here...and I am determined to make the best of it.

Thank you!
I cope with prolonged stress by working out with the ipod cranked. I get my hair done. I watch/listen to/read things that will make me laugh. I spend time with non-toxic people. And I try to keep in mind that everything passes and that I just need to keep pushing through and eventually I will ride it out. And if you are feeling really bad about life, watch that show about the Duggar could always be worse lol.
it could always be worse... so true.
Poetry, literature, music, writing, writing songs, pets, quiet time, thinking, fishing, woods, thinking, wildlife, friends, working, walking, etc...
all of that sounds lovely Chad! I am under some severe stress right now, the kind that makes you think, if this doens' shift soon, suicide seems like a viable ( pun intended?) option. I'm not depressed...just realy really stressed...panicked at times. Lots of sh-t hitting the fan at once. ( forclosure fears, income decrease , no job, etc)

I eat right and exercise and dance, but have not had the best of energy lately. Makes me miss my old beliefs that God had my back. It's scary to be responsible for everything myself. But that's the way it is. I hope to feel better about that eventually! Sort of like I lost my teddy bear or blanket, you know? ( of course it was a filthy raggedy arse old thing--lol)
Not that it's a great help but when getting really frustrated I remember (more or less) a line from Eric Overmyer's "On the Verge"

Alex says she has the answer to why bad things happen to good people "To thicken the plot"
LOL...On a better day that might just help! I appreciate the comment!
My trite response is "sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll".

My serious answer is that everyone deals with stress differently. Many people find the strength to cope from understanding friends. A lifestyle change may be in order for other people. Your solutions will be dependent on your particular issues so it's impossible to give a blanket solution.

Personally, I try to avoid stress and people which cause it. When that isn't possible I find it useful to simply take some quiet time to allow the feelings caused by stress to dissipate. I dislike all the mystical mumbo-jumbo surrounding eastern philosophy but I think it's obvious that we are biological creatures whose emotions are driven by chemicals introduced under specific circumstances and that it is more difficult to think rationally when these chemicals are present.
all true...sharing my feelings seems to help me relieve them the most. but due to the unmitigated nature of some of these things underway, I fear I will wear out the patience of my freinds--lol...and I notice feelings of shame, when I don't "feel better"...sigh...oh well! onward and well, onward right?
Ok, I know I'm probably going to get crap for this....and it even sounds stupid when I say it out loud, but I pray. Yeah, I know there is nobody listening. But...I was catholic for 40 years of my life. It is a habit that's hard to break. Its like smoking a cigarette (which I also gave up, lol.) It doesn't do you any good, but, nevertheless, it helps fool the brain to stop obsessing about the occasional worries and stresses. I don't know if it will help you any, but that's what I do. Maybe its just the act of voicing your worries out loud to an imaginary person that just puts them to rest. Its cheaper than a therapist.
I think there is virtue in that, and you know "no one" is listening...I have tried to continue that 'dialogue' but it doesn't comfort me anymore. It used to though, when I felt like someone was there.

I think I am just plain old scared when I realize that I am all on my own. It seems to be a throwback to childhood too, when I had to fend for myself in certain ways.

I am just not sure how to change the scary feelings I have in the face of my potential eviction from my house, and lack of employment. I am trying to find organization to help me negotiate the process, and have an appointment tomorrow, but not knowing where I am going to live and how I will support myself, and my husband ( who , in this economy, has proved to be unemployable) On the bright side, we don't have children to worry about. Just our menagerie of pets, which, are our kids.

I think that I am , although happy to be "free", still sad to wake up from that long dream. It was a comfort. So, there is a grief there, although I would never go back, even if I could.


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