1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Day 31 Current stress: dilemma about job and whether or not it's healthy or destructive

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by If 6 was 9, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Hi all, I just journaled about this - it's a dilemma about what I should do for my job: should I volunteer to do the overnight reporter shift (basically going with a photographer chasing ambulances and police cars and reporting it for next day's newspaper) to get the experience I desperately crave (so I feel better about my career) or to forget this stress and just be content with what I've got - to accept where I am in life.

    The dilemma is: is this worry perpetuating the perfectionism and hence the TMS pain, or would this be a positive and daring move to make because it would be stimulating and I would have to get over the feeling of inferiority and shame to do it?

    Apologies for the length of it....I'm hoping someone will have insight that I don't.


    Ok, here's what's going on in my mind a lot. Whether at home or at work.

    I keep getting jealous of the young journos making a name for themselves. I keep thinking I should be like them. Or I should have been like them.

    What part of my personality is doing that? A part of my personality that is ashamed of what I am now. So shame. Then a step beyond that is perfectionism - the expectation that I should be in a better position of my job. That I feel a bit beneath everyone else. So I think the shame is the result of the perfectionistic expectations.

    Anyway, back to the problem. I see these youngsters learning their straps - is that a saying? Learning the ropes. And I think, I've never done that. I would feel better if I had learned that. I would feel better if I could tell people I have done that. That I'm important. That I'm doing something exciting. Something that people can be jealous of me about. And if that was truly the case, if people were jealous of my fortunate life, what would that mean? Would I feel better? I think I might. Or maybe I'd feel a bit of guilt. Or pity. It's a bit of a mixture. And as it's a hypothetical, it's impossible to verify.

    But why is that important that people look with awe at me? Because then I could look with awe at myself. If no-one else is doing that, then I'm not doing it. So does that mean what others think of me is more important than what I think of me?

    I think logically that is the case, but I'd hate to admit that to myself. No wonder I'm in pain.

    So I don't think highly of myself - wait a minute, another personality trait. Low self-esteem. I'm starting to think all these emotions are the same thing. It would be really neat if they all sprang out of rage. That that was the crux of it all. Rage. Because that would back up the TMS theory - number 4 in the daily reminders: The principal emotion is my repressed rage.

    But I haven't arrived at this belief through experience or logical deduction yet, so the jury is still out. Maybe once this happens, the pain will diminish.

    Anyway, the problem I have is this: if the basis for me wanting to do this job is to make myself look better in other people's eyes, is that such a good move? Isn't that buying in to the negative emotions and perpetuating the self-defeating propositions? Ie. Ok, so I might feel better about myself for my job, but I've just validated the whole self-esteem equation based on people liking me = me liking me.

    And not me liking me regardless. To be something that is inherently true.

    But then there's this: I think I would like to do it. I'd like to get those skills. I don't feel very rounded out as a journalist. I haven't really been trained properly, I've sort of come in on it from the back door, and almost always as a subeditor. Plus it might feel exciting for a bit. Also, maybe I'd become more confident? Start to see myself as a writer or reporter that I can then point to that if I leave or am forced to leave? So there's practical reasons why as well.

    But sitting behind these two assumptions is fear. Fear that I'm not good enough. That I'm not pushy enough. I've never thought of myself as being a pushy people, I'm not good at cold-calling or cold-meeting people. Like people like [young reporter] do. I'd hate to be harassing people for a job. So needing to be liked plays into it.

    I suppose I can talk to [my therapist] about it. But I fear she'd just say, why don't you do it. And secretly I'd prefer her to say, well that's not a good reason to do it (the one where it would help my self-esteem). Because secretly I'm afraid.

    So at least that's a plan. Or I could talk to [my boss] about it.

    The thing that's making this difficult is that I'm starting to give myself credit where I didn't ever before. I've started not bullying myself. But what I can't work out is, if you stop bullying yourself about your fears, are you then running away from your fears rather than dealing with them?

    I've stopped swimming because I was sick of the guilt about having to do this many sessions a week. I'm enjoying not having that pressure. Even if swimming was good for my mind and body.

    The interesting thing is, right now my pain while sitting here isn't that bad. Of course, as soon as I write that I'm feeling the doubt on the horizon of my thoughts and expecting the pain in my hip to come in. There it is, like clockwork. More proof that it's related to my mental state.

    So doubt is causing the pain. Have I written about doubt? I wonder if it can be broken down into something else? I think doubt is more like the weapon, but it's being wielded in the deft hands of the inner bully, the demon sent by the perfectionist deity.
  2. Lydia

    Lydia Peer Supporter

    Hi there, thanks for sharing so much of what is going on inside of you. Looks like your 'thought-machine' is quite well equipped (-:

    You are looking for a 'good' reason on which your job-decision will be based, aren't you? Which alone causes stress already, because the mind will always keep this process going by throwing up new arguments again and again. 'Good' will never be good enough, which is food for doubt. You already have noticed how doubt, rage and pain are connected to another.

    So, how about stopping thinking this much and dive into real experiences? Then you learn from reality, and real insights will be given. There are only two possibilities: you say yes or no to this job. I would suggest, just choose one of them and see what happens. Be honest to yourself, bring into your awareness what is going on inside, write/journal about it, and use everything for your healing process (-:

    Wish you good luck and enjoy the process!
    If 6 was 9 and Ellen like this.
  3. If 6 was 9

    If 6 was 9 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Lydia for your wise words and for distilling it down to something simple. My mind is very good at making things complicated.

    You're right, the real issue is making a decision and getting on with things without turning it into another elaborate mind game of what have I done/not done. Stopping that sort of thinking in its tracks is the key - and living in the moment. Easier said than done, but something to aim for.

    One more thing. After I wrote this I went to work last night and had really intense pain. Partly because of some innocuous comment that was thrown my way that I realised generated a feeling of injustice and therefore anger, but also I think partly because posting the above, with all the what-may-seem-like petty concerns that are affecting me in my life, made me feel ashamed. I had to resist the urge to take this post down before anyone could read it.

    I still feel a bit ashamed of it, like I've just aired dirty laundry. But then I think, I'm basically anonymous and if there's one place where you can endlessly talk about yourself it's here. If I never get to discover the rage that's in me, then I think shame is my special emotion. Hello shame, making yourself comfortable? (-:

    So I thought leaving it up here, despite how much it makes me cringe, and thinking that it also makes others cringe, is a good step towards healing the shame. It's part of the radical self-acceptance I'm learning about...

    Maybe it's a common thought among lots of people when they post their personal stuff in this forum? Maybe I'm normal after all!
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017

Share This Page