Saturday, August 20, 2011

When things fall apart

This week a major problem developed for me at work. I am not responsible for what happened, but the fallout could affect our business significantly. I first learned of the issue through an e-mail, and my symptoms exploded: confusion, sweaty palms, shakes, anger, fear, and despair. My mind raced as I envisioned everything I worked for crumbling as the result of something for which I had no involvement. (I’ll spare you the details; in the end, they don’t really matter.)

For the past few days it has been difficult to spot my symptoms. In fact, I don’t think I really wanted to. I allowed my mind to play out scenarios; I coddled my feelings; and I permitted my imagination to be on fire. I know how to maintain my mental health, but the situation was so overwhelming that I didn’t want to make the effort to change my thoughts.

The days ahead will reveal the final outcome/fallout of what happened, and I’m now beginning to spot that symptoms are distressing but not dangerous, that to know is to know that I DON’T know what will happen (Read that a couple times to get it). I’m making an effort to not let these symptoms overwhelm my years of hard work toward improving my mental health. I’m trying to be a realist and not let my imagination get carried away.

It’s so easy to fall into my old patterns during a crisis. Ultimately, this is a triviality in my life, but it seems so pressing and important right now. I don’t feel like endorsing but I will, because before Recovery I would not have made the effort to put my mental health first. I would have wallowed in my misery, talked about the situation to anyone who would listen (and even those who didn’t want to), and worked myself up so much that my recovery would be threatened. No matter what happens, my mental health must come first, and that realization is worth a hearty endorsement.


Anonymous said...

You sound like you are really handling the situation well, especially since I know how scary something like this can be. I hope things turn out well. I'm pulling for you!


Syzygy said...

Just keep practicing Recovery - make a business of your mental health and keep endorsing for all your efforts

Jane said...

well done, i endorse your efforts, feelings are not facts , its my mantra for the bad days

Doug said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments. I have had some rougher moments since I wrote this post but I am taking comfort in the fact that my mental health is strong. It's my inner environment that truly matters.

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Kevin Meloche said...

For a long time, my mind decided to feed me depression with a side order of anxiety. I know all too well how easy it can be to slide back into old patterns. After years of living with depression and anxiety, I've come to know how to manage my mental health but sometimes I do need a bit of assistance. Sometimes I don't want to control my depression and anxiety. Sometimes, depending on the situation and stress, I too feel overwhelmed and can't manage my anxiety and stress. I become paralyzed and my depression kicks into full swing.
So I know how you feel, and I'm glad to see that you're able to manage yourself so well when the shit hits the fan. I admire it almost.

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Battling with depression and anxiety seems hopeless to most people. But, I now know that people who are battling their way to overcome are stronger than I am.