1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

A new understanding... Any advice?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by samantha, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. samantha

    samantha Peer Supporter

    In my journaling on things that stress me out currently, I had an 'aha' moment, but I don't know what to do with it: In my job, I have seasons that are extraordinarily busy. In order for that time to be productive and successful, I need to do a great deal of pre-planning, advertising, etc. I notice that I do not have chronic episodes DURING the busy season. They happen before or after! I was listing all the stuff that's coming up in the next few months. I realize that the weight of these responsibilities and the worry over the next season is one of the reasons I'm knocked off my feet (literally) by back spasms which render me helpless for at least a month. So, I now understand- but my question is: these responsibilities will not go away (I'm the manager), I know I have a good team and they are self starters and I DO delegate, I love my job. So: How can I deal with this in a way that is positive and healthy? Thanks!
     
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi Samantha,

    I think it might be important to note that, from what you say here, it seems to me that the problem is not the responsibilities that are causing problems but rather the anxiety created by the responsibilities. As you say yourself, once you get into the swing of things, you feel good. Business is brisk but manageable and as you say, you feel that you can rely on your team and get things done. It is during the anticipation and planning that you begin to run into problems. Do you find yourself obsessing over the planning phases of work and creating lots of pressure for yourself? Do you worry excessively over how things will play out when you and your team face another busy period?

    Responsibilities and tasks do not have the inherent capacity to create TMS, rather it is an individuals response to responsibility that should be examined. Pay attention to how you are treating yourself during those periods in which your symptoms spike and you can begin to get to the bottom of what is driving the symptoms up.
     
    North Star, samantha and Aurora like this.
  3. samantha

    samantha Peer Supporter

    Business is brisk but manageable and as you say, you feel that you can rely on your team and get things done. It is during the anticipation and planning that you begin to run into problems. Do you find yourself obsessing over the planning phases of work and creating lots of pressure for yourself? Do you worry excessively over how things will play out when you and your team face another busy period?

    Responsibilities and tasks do not have the inherent capacity to create TMS, rather it is an individuals response to responsibility that should be examined. Pay attention to how you are treating yourself during those periods in which your symptoms spike and you can begin to get to the bottom of what is driving the symptoms up.[/quote]

    Thank you, Alex. I haven't thought that my responses, rather than the responsibilities, are at issue. And yes, I obsess over the planning phases and create a lot of pressure for myself. I appreciate your insight. I know that these patterns will take time to correct and I'm grateful for this forum.
     
    North Star likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Maybe it would help, Samantha, if you write down a "prioritize" list. Alan Gordon writes about prioritizing in his TMS Recovery Program. I'm going to re-read that section today and write about it for a new thread Forest wants for the wiki.

    When I write it in about an hour from now, I'll copy and paste it in another reply to your post here.

    I find that projects can become overwhelming but if we organize them into steps and timetables they aren't
    so stressful to manage. I'll explain that in my thoughts. It's about "How do you wash an elephant?"
     
  5. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is what Alan Gordon writes about prioritizing, and I reply following it.


    “What’s more important, being perfectly prepared for this midterm, or feeling free of anxiety?”

    Of course, the implication isn't that you should avoid all the responsibilities that cause your stress, but that you do what you can to meet these responsibilities while simultaneously prioritizing yourself.

    For example, you still need to study for your test, but you can prioritize being in a calm state while doing so.

    Our inner child doesn’t like it when we deprioritize ourselves. It sends the message that our needs don’t matter.

    When you recognize that you’re neglecting yourself, you can use anger as a tool to take the power back. Just as you felt rage toward the inner bully, you can feel rage toward the inner neglector.

    The following session with John exemplifies this concept.

    Listen to Alan's session with John (clip #1)


    Walt's reply:

    I find it helpful and less stressful if I have a big project ahead of me, to also prioritize by organizing the project
    and making a list of what has to be done and in what order.

    I'm reminded of a business success book a friend and I were going to write together. It was about the first critical five years of a new business. He and I gathered our own thoughts together with a stack of magazine and newspaper articles and chapters of books. Bob then looked stressfully at the towering stack of articles and asked me, "Walt, how do you wash an elephant?" He hadn't a clue as how to deal with the task.

    I knew from previous experience that organizing material for my books made them easier to write. I told Bob we needed to write a list of chapters and make a manila folder for each, then put each folder in a stand-up file. Then go to the stack of articles and put those pertaining to chapter 6 in that folder, chapter 1 in that folder, etc., until there is no longer a stack of papers. Each article is in the folder chapter where it belongs. Then begin organizing the material in the first chapter so each is in its proper order, then write that chapter. After finishing chapter 1, go on to the chapter 2 folder, until the project is done.

    Bob didn't even try, he gave up, so I wrote the book myself.

    I once rented an upstairs apartment to two college boys. One night I heard them stomping around and dropping or falling over things. I went up to investigate and saw them in two different rooms. Each was at a desk as they worked on term papers. The floors of both rooms were full of books, magazine and newspaper articles and notes scattered every which way. I could see they were both completely disorganized. They couldn't find anything for any part of the paper they needed to write. I suggested the way I wash an elephant but it was too late for their project. Maybe next time.

    I think a class in organizing should be taught in schools.

    So Samantha, maybe it would relieve some stress for you if you wrote down a list of things that have to be done in a project and when they must be completed, and if it works, create manila folders to organize it all. Most projects that
    seem overwhelming just need organizing, which is another word for prioritizing.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. samantha

    samantha Peer Supporter

    Thanks, Walt, that is very helpful. Especially in that my work has multiple projects due at different times. I learned something new in this thread- not only organizing the work, but prioritizing my own needs within the work demands. That's something I usually pushed to the side with serious consequences to my own health and well being.
     

Share This Page