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.