You should read your last post again. The answer lies in the question. And it is this sort of writing down things that helps one analyse that there really is not much wrong to be so worried and being high strung about. Am happy you are making progress realising that it is difficult to actually pin point the specific problem, which may as well indicate that its all made up in your head. There are few bottlenecks which can be sorted out with some small steps. Listen Liss, do understand that people are not out there to gang up against you. If anything, they are in as bad a shape as you. Its only that they manage to keep their problems to themselves or have a adequate support mechanism outside of their workplace or have made really good friends at work (which requires one to invest time in). Unfortunately, the workplace as such is not a place to show ppl. how vulnerable one is and seek help. But deep down, everybody - each one of us has issues to deal with. Some do it in a manner that makes it appear to others that they have ability to sort out their own issues and not bring them to the workplace, not lean on colleagues too much too often. Which is why, it is very imp. to make close friends at the workplace whereby eventually ppl. start enjoying your company and sharing and listening. And when you give a patient ear to them, they will be willing to do the same. Usually, best workplace buddies are the ones who sit right next to your desk or with whom you can travel back home. I understand your problem is more about getting respect at work and the feeling that time is going by without you making much progress careerwise (and jealousy about why other ppl. with lesser subject matter expertise are being promoted). If you are serious about making progress and taking on leadership roles, logically, you need to demonstrate stability and predictability in your behaviour and clarity in thoughts. We judge ourselves by our potential, others judge us by what we have actually done. And rightly so. You need to contain your inner turmoil, do the work in the best possible manner so that there is time for some socialisation and when you are in the company of others during those visit to the canteen for lunch/snacks, appear relaxed. One of the best ways to gain acceptance is to ask ppl. about themselves. Everyone likes to talk about themself. For them to be comfortable talking to you, u must demostrate that you are yourself sorted out. Its not difficult. Take baby steps. Show up on time, take care of appearance, be prepared for meetings, stay ahead of your to do list. If I can do it, so can you. I used to be high strung and stressed out with work realted stress and issues of respect at workplace (usually surfaced around appraisal times), ppl. used to call me a scientist and not in a good way (eccentric). I used to arrive late and leave early, not socialise much and generally be grumpy. But I ensured that all work is done timely. Unfortunately, actual work is like 40% of the job. Management wants ppl. who are sorted out so that they can then be entrusted with the responsibility of handling other ppl. Quite often, ppl. with high emotional intelligence but low technical work skills get promoter to team leader roles. Relax, Liss. Liss doesnt mean trouble. Think of it this way, what would u prefer - setting high standards for yourself and falling slightly short and being disappointed or not having the energy to try at all. The way I see it, you are doing a great job of being accountable to yourself and commited to making progress. Dont be too harsh on yourself. Just iron out your thinking pattern, lean less on others and realise that others are probably as deep in problems as you are. Also, its ok to be miserbale occassionally. Really. Am sure at a later stage in life, you will look back at all this and feel that things werent as difficult as your mind made you believe. Relax, keep a journal and tell yourself that everything is gonna be ok. All the Best.View Thread
You seem to be going through a lot. It seems like a bad phase and it will pass. Since, have been through this myself in the past and read quite a lot on this, I have realised that usually the biggest problem during a depressive episode is our own brain which seems to make a pattern of dwelling on our most negative instances and replays it over and over again and I end up feeling tired without making any real progress towards a solution. While, am not trying to suggest that your problems are not real, it seems that during such phases our brain likes to worry - its like it derives its identity from having sumthing to worry about. Am sure there are positive things happening in your life (your supportive family and finace) as well but we unintentionally are more aware of and count our problems more than our blessings. That is just the way we humans are wired (some studies about evolution theory suggest that we respond faster to threats and bad news than to happiness and opportunities). I dont think I kno enuff abt your precise situation at office but have come accross many cases where the supervisory role usually goes to average performers with high emotional intelligence rather than to high performers who seem to be struggling with themselves. Put urself in your boss's shoes and imagine - would you want to give a position of managing a team to somebody who cant seem to get his/her act together. Its not easy accepting this (hv been there). I dont kno whats the best thing to do is but I continue doing my job to the best of my ability and am projecting an image of being a more dependable, stable, consistently logical and predictable person. Am also now more aware and sensitive to other peoples problems (everyone has them). In short, get over yourself. Have noticed that the single most quality of most leaders is empathy. Ppl. will choose that person as their leader who actually understands them (even if he cant do anything to solve it). What would also help is to discuss with colleagues and others in the organisation about their views about your boss. Before u take any drastic step, just try and ensure that the problem is with that person (and not with you). Most ppl. have reasons for their actions and I wld like to believe that nobody intentionally is evil towards others. Maybe your boss feels threatened and is actually jealous of you (ego clashes with high performers are very common) since you work so well. If it is so, its imp. to be polite with her and gain her trust. Help her achieve her organisational goals, support her reasonable views and she will in turn reciprocate.
I find writing everything down on a notepad to assist me greatly in arriving at solutions. You are the best person to read ur actual situation. You just need to reduce the surrounding noise, feel less threatened and have a more positive outlook. You are smart and analytical. As I mentioned earlier, just put pen to paper and move beyond denial and depression to acceptance and problem solving). Just think calmly and you will arrive at a calculated decision yourself. All the Best.View Thread
Hey Marie, Wow, i really like this train of thought. Training oneself to not care so as not to get hurt. Hmmm. Interesting. Probably many of us do that unconsciously. This indicates a Schizoid personality (am not a doctor - i just know it bcos. i am that type). And I have been using that very often and it really seems like a useful tool. But, it can also make us appear less sensitive to others feelings and rude. Sometimes, its our duty and in everyone's interest to acknowledge the other persons feelings. In case of kids, not acknowledging or responding can harm them. Dont u think there is a possibility that your numbness (consciously or unconsciously and justified for self protection) could have contributed in your son going through a tough time. Its only human to care. Anyways, it has its own advantages esp. as a protection mechanism. I figured out that the best way to do that is to care about intangible things like work, deadline, some urgent but unnecessary task, building up a long to do list and running through completing it. Activity is a necessity and the mind needs to be attached to sumthing. Attching the mind to some task is better than to let it wander and end up worrying. Have had great success with avoiding feelings and confrontations. But the downside is that while the conscious mind can be trained and controlled, the sub conscious cant be. The fact that we are training sumthing to follow a certain pattern is proof enuff that its not the actual thing. And while this may be a short term solution, it will eventually explode and grow to become sumthing unmanageable. The smart thing appears to be to engage oneself in urgent and intangible things like work AND at one's own pace confront the unpleasant feelings / acknowledge and address others peoples emotional needs at convenient times on a regular basis (usually by maintaining a journal or talking to a close trusted patient person). I dont think it is possible to not feel anything at all since that is eqivalent to being dead. What is possible is to train oneself to create a conscious time gap between an event and our reaction to it so as to react more appropriately (the Vipassanna meditation technique is about this - look up on google). All the best and I hope you use this power of numbness judiciously. With great power comes great responsibility.
Hey Gwen, Welcome to the Club. You are certainly not alone in this though it seems you have been thinking a lot about your thinking. I have been there and can completely relate to what you are going thru. Somedays, it appears that i dont have to do anything, my mind just picks up topics on its own, analyses its, looks at all sides of the situation and tires itself out without geting anywhere - like its on a treadmill. And the worse thing is all this happens during my waking life and without any active effort on my part - its like I have no free will. My theory is that this may be happening bcos. of suppressed thoughts or overwork which causes some sort of chemical imbalance which causes all the pent up emotions to explode. Its like - what I think about a lot during my daytime but am not able to do in real life, I end up doing in my dreams. Its like the mind has a mechanism to fulfill things in the dream world so as to relieve the built up pressure. When this starts happening during waking hours, it is worse bcos. you feel out of control. However, it is just the mind doing its job to relieve itself - in a way, its vomiting all the unpleasant thoughts that have been building up but we have been avoiding and pushing it under the burden of other things (including distractions like movies). The advisable (and courageous) thing to do is to face the disturbing thoughts head on so that it blows up for sometime and then looses steam. I found that the best ways to do this is to either keep a journal to pour out everything that is going on in the head (which after sometime stops bcos. the cyclical nature gets halted when you commit it to paper where u can see it and acknowledge the problems presence) or to talk it out with an understanding, patient and trusted close person. Both things have the power to help us see things as they are rather than imagining them to be sumthing insurmountable. I have particularly noted this problem is more with intelligent people having a great analytical mind. The mind can either be a servant or can become the master. Its upto you to let go of the control. The good part about having an intelligent mind is that when you do see things clearly getting out of the problem is much quicker. All the Best and am sure the next time you watch a disney movie, it will not be to escape from disturbing thoughts and trust me, it will be more enjoyable!View Thread
Hi Lujan, Its alright to have a continuous streak of bad days. It happens. First thing to do is accept things are bad. I think the problem here is your mind keeps going back to the incident (of your dog going away and loosing possessions) and cant seem to come to terms with it. Its fine to be in denial stage and eventually I think u have moved to depression stage. Which means you have made progress. The key challenge now is to not get stuck between denial and depression but to graduate to acceptance. It is quite evident that the dog meant a lot to you and the loss is probably irreplacable. But dear, no one can ever go back in time and change things that have already happened. Take it easy. The thing that helped me was keeping a journal - just plain writing down everything that is going on in my mind provides it so much relief. Do that. It will put things in perspective. It wont reverse anything but will help you to eventually accept what has already happened and move you towards the options avlbl. ahead of you. I think the dog represents all the other problems. So, learn to let go. And work with what you have already got. It is great that you have got a job. Now build on that. Within the work hours, be at your professional best. Progress maybe slow but persevere and things will become better. Use the job as an anchor. Just the passing of time and uneventful days has the power to heal. Remember, you are at the bottom of the trough and the only way to go is up. Ride out this passing phase and prepare for the continuous streak of good days that awaits you in the not so distant future. All the Best.View Thread
Hi Liss, I can relate to this. It is really a tough period. I completely understand the sick morning feeling and it appears at such times that the single most important thing is do just lie in bed and do nothing so that one can make up for lost sleep or the mind can repair itself and will make up for lost time when it is well rested. If it makes you feel any better, I did a much worse job of being on time (mine was quite sometime back and thankfully has not recurred). I also used to rationalise it saying it isnt affecting my core work and deliverables and projects. But the truth is really that it is less about whether the work gets done or not but whether the boss thinks it is being done or not. There are days when I didnt feel like going at all but when I did gather enuff energy and went, I realised it wasnt that bad and glad that I did go to office.
Things that helped me get back to normalcy (which is basically going through the cycle of denial - depression - acceptance - action) were: - Keeping a journal : Just pouring out everything I am feeling at that moment takes off so much pressure. Am sure you would be feeling much better after posting the question bcos. when u write the problem, its intensity reduces as the mind gets freed and starts working on the nekst step of finding a solution. - Talking to trusted close relatives and friends : There is no shame in admitting that at this moment you are not feeling well. During such phases, just communicating the nature of the problem makes us look at it in a different perspective and our own thinking mechanism starts suggesting solutions. Ofcourse, select a trusted and sensible person since just a patient ear and a small push in the right direction is all that is needed. Also, stop overanalysing stuff - its tiring to run around in circles. - Stop having high ekspectations from your boss (who also seems to be the aggravating factor for your depression). Ppl. dont change much and we shld not ekspect them to or even try to change them. Just accept that behaviour of the other person and since she is your boss, do your best to accommodate their reasonable demand (of attending work on time). If you do make an effort and she notices that effort, there is a greater chance that she will be more accommodating.
I know all this appears very difficult to do as of now but hey, remember that nothing ever is permanent and all you need to do is ride out this internal storm - 1 day at a time.
P.s: Few months later or when some new bigger problem comes up, whichever is earlier, you yourself will be able to see that this was such a simple issue with a simple solution. All the Best.View Thread
Is life worth living? That is an interesting question. There are days when I dont bother thinking about it and then there are times I cant think about anything else. What precisely am I supposed to do here. Read somewhere - The greatest illusion is that there is actually a purpose of life. That it is all supposed to mean sumthing, anything. So, if life really has a purpose, who really decides it. And if there is one how am I supposed to know about it. Most times, most ppl. find a purpose themselves - usually based on what has been going on in their head at some particularly vulnerable/calm moment. Some call it the voice of the subconscious which is said to become louder when we reduce noise around us - our to do lists and sensory overloads (books, music, movies, sports, etc that keep us temporarily amused). And when that voice does speak up, we either lack courage or questioning if it is really worth the effort of getting out of the comfort zone (which however uncomfortable is familiar and what is not familiar is scary). I believe most ppl. if they set their mind on sumthing, can really achieve that (human will has great power but human mind is also very fickle) and I dont mean idiotic goals like wanting a million dollars. I mean the freedom to spend time as I like doing something productive. It may sound like work but hey, there are also things many ppl. pass off as work (filmmaking/acting/reviewing). Now, the issue is whether we have the freedom and resources. If yes, gr8 - take the 1st step and the rest will follow. If not, get in touch with your subconscious as often as practically possible to stay motivated (a journal helps), take baby steps to create resources. The drive to get there will make you create possibilities to quicken resource creation. Once, you reach there, there is a possibility that others may not appreciate what u do as much as u think they shld. (we judge ourselves by our potential, others judge us by what we have actually done). In which case, not only do I need to figure out what I like to do, but can I realistically speaking do it better than most others (can i be in the top 5%). Which is where self belief kicks in (I doubt if Schumacher always knew he would be Schumacher - he was just focussing on outdoing himself each time and ended up being where he is). Followed finally by hardwork. What I lack in talent, I can make up by hardwork.
So, I need calmness (to figure out my goal), patience, perseverance and self motivation during resource creation, great self belief, passion and hardwork. And finally some bit of madness/stupidity to actually believe that I can pull all this off while still being healthy (physically and mentally) to savour success for a reasonable period of time. The trick is to start listening to the subconscious (which really is the mood of a calm mind that is around for a longer period) early in life. Since, all above are positive sounding qualities, thinking negative gets me nowhere. Catching the negative thought as soon as it starts is an art and requires practice.
Again, the goal may turn out to be a temporary one since nothing really lasts forever. But hey, I would rather tick sumthing off my list and figure out there is sumthing more intrsting to pursue than forever be caught up in the daily noise and regret at the end of my life that I shld. have done things I liked.
If I believe in all of the above, I know what to do. If I dont, it just puts off so much pressure and frees up time to do things that I really like. So, either ways I end up doing things I like. Which in my humble opinion is what life really about. And how can what i like be not worth it. If you have a feeling that you dont like anything, its a temporary phase (meditate, keep a journal and get help to ride out the internal storm) since activity is one of our basic needs and we will eventually feel the need to do sumthing. And if that is sumthing we like doing, it makes life easier.View Thread