Taming My Stress Monster

Jaylynn Akers


“You have gotta be kidding me.”I grumbled rolling off my bed.  I missed the stupid bus and it takes me at least 20 minutes to get fully dressed. Now I have to ask my mom for a ride to school which leads to a lecture about me being irresponsible and whatnot. “Hehehe, look at you now you’re gonna be late to school!”A shrill annoying little voice squeaked,  I saw the bane of my existence scurry about my room. “If you’re late that means detention and detention means punishment.” It’s stupid little singsong voice is so aggravating. I decide to ignore the little monster and start getting dressed.



“Mom? Can you take me to school please? I missed the bus.” Asking for a ride to school is always horrible, but asking for a ride to school on top of being late and hungry will be even worse.

 As I predicted a lecture about me being irresponsible and the other things I fail at. I’m tuning this out and now I’m dreading going to class even more. “Heheh you know you’re gonna be behind on work now. Don’t forget you have a quiz today you haven’t studied for.” How did this thing get in the car and was it that big at the house? I don’t know and I don’t have the time to worry about it. I’ll just ignore it for now



In a span of two hours this stupid monster has gotten twice as big as it was in the car.  First I am currently starving and haven’t eaten anything all day. Second the grade for my quiz was put in and I failed, as I expected, third I have work this weekend and I am exhausted from these past three days alone, and fourth every single person in the hallways makes me want to melt into a puddle and disappear. Everyone looks so mean like they’re judging me. Is my hair a mess? A stain of my clothes? Do they think I’m ugly? Are they laughing at me? And to make everything even more worse this stupid monster is now as big as a tire. Its voice isn’t squeaky anymore, it’s more gravelly and deeper and its eyes look angry like they want to explode. The little horns on its head I thought were cute aren’t curly anymore; they’re getting sharper, more pointy. School, on top of people, on top of this thing getting bigger by the hour is stressing me out too much.



“Today is possibly my worst day ever.” I mumbled into my sweater. It has just not been my day today. I have to give a presentation in this class and I am absolutely terrified of public speaking, and my partner isn’t here so I have to present by myself. I am starving and lunch isn’t for another 45 minutes. I was texting during class and refused to give the teacher my phone and so she gave me detention afterschool. And to make it even worse this stupid little thing has gotten even bigger. Now it’s towering over me and it looks scary now. Its voice is deep and its eyes are dark and menacing. His footsteps sound like thunderclaps as he trails behind me. He doesn’t even speak, he just stares at me with this creepy grimacing smile and he laughs at me. But it’s not a lighthearted laugh; it’s a deep grumbley taunting laugh. It gives me chills everytime I hear it. I decide to leave class to take a walk around school and he just looms over me. “Can you please go bother anyone else? You keep laughing at me and you won’t leave me alone.” I huffed. He looked at me like I was interesting then he started full blown laughing. I felt my eyes twitch. This stupid thing doesn’t take me serious, he doesn’t take my stress and aggravation serious. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I started to cry. This has been unbelievably stressing and exhausting and having someone laugh at me when I am so serious makes me feel so little. “You still don’t get it do you? I am your manifestation, I am everything you are feeling at once, everything you simply just can’t let out.  You made me, how don’t you get that?” He questioned me. I looked at him fully in bewilderment and realized he was right. He had fluffy fur like my dog, he was my favorite color red, he was tall like my father, and laughed just like me. “Why are you here? Why have you been following me and laughing at me and getting  bigger?” I was a little annoyed with myself that I didn’t realize this thing is all of  my favorite aspects of my life. “You are always in a constant state of anxiety and stress. Too much stress is harmful on the body and on your mental health. Which is how I am here. You are endlessly  stressed out by everything and you let it all buildup inside of you. But rather than it building up in you it made me instead and it makes me bigger the more you get stressed out.”  He explained. I finally understood his purpose of being here and following me. He was to show how much stress and anxiety I accumulate in a day. This is probably my wake up call to focus on my mental health and not literally have a monster sized problem of emotions weighing down on me. I ran my hands down my face at the realization that I now have this seven foot furry monster standing in the middle of the hallway and I don’t know how to get rid of him. “Okay so now that I know how you got here,  how are you supposed to go back to wherever?” I was unsure as to what I was supposed to do in order to send him home. “You don’t gotta worry about me kid, I’ll be home soon enough.  As long as you learn to get your stress out in a healthy way and stop bottling up I won’t be back.” He patted me on the back and smiled a genuine smile at me. “ Don’t worry I’ve realized how important it is to take care of such things and not have them looming over me, like seven feet above me.” I joked poking him in the stomach. “ Well you take care kid or I’ll be back and even bigger this time.” He chuckled while walking away out the gym entrance. 



Since that encounter with my little stress monster, who I later named , I have been trying to take care of myself and my mental health in the best way possible. I have been talking to a counselor every other week, my grades have been a bit better, and me and my mom have been talking together more often.  really made me realize how much I was neglecting myself and letting things fester without talking to anyone about it. Now I am much better and have found better outlets to divert my stress into. I still get stressed out just like everyone else but knowing a gigantic furry monster will come and bother me if I don’t take care of myself is enough to remind me to take care of myself.