Burnout… again?

I have been feeling extremely bitter towards work lately which has sacked any sort of motivation and enjoyment that I use to have to when I was at work.  In my last couple sessions with my therapist I have been discussing how I have been feeling towards work and towards everything. I told her that this bitterness is getting really close to being anger/frustration. In my session about 3 weeks ago she cautioned me on this bitter feeling and telling me that if I don’t work on letting it go it can have bad side effects.

Well, that brings me up to this week. In my session on Monday, she asked how things were, and with a soft mono tone voice, I stated, Still bitter, still angry… still wish I could run away and find a new job. this is when we discussed Burnout.  She is telling me that I am on the verge of burnout and that I need to start focusing on things that bring me joy, gets me away from work and essentially find that work life balance.  I didn’t realize I was back, but according to a video she sent me its common to feel no burn out when you change a new position (1-2 years)… and guess what I am working towards year number 2 in this position.

I was burned out once before in this company as a supervisor. I use to work 48 hour weeks and not bat an eye until the politics, and plain out stupidness occurred at work. that’s when the burnout hit.

This round of burnout seems so much different though, or maybe it isn’t I just have been extremely good at covering up.  I feel so exhausted lately, and I use to chalk it up to my anxiety tiring me out, and I just do not have it in me anymore to give my 100% that I use to. The things I use to find joy in at work, I find it’s a daunting task that just has to get done. I use to love all the data analysis, all the meetings with the higher ups, the face time with the client, Now all I want to do is sit alone away from everyone and attempt to concentrate on something else.  Each day I feel as if I completed a marathon run. It’s the same routine. Wake up, get ready, get coffee, go to work, put on a fake face, pretend to enjoy your day/life until 5 pm, come up, cook supper and relax.. knowing you have to repeat it over and over again.

I don’t want to be a complete negative nancy here, I am rather thankful that this time around I have a good support system of friends, and a therapist to help get me through this.  Until my next session, I really need to focus on some life things and strive away from work. I need to focus on the joys of life so that when I do get to work, its does not feel like it’s torture.

In closing, I am just burned out! I am essentially an empty shell on auto pilot until I get out of work. I’m a different person when I’m away from work!

Regards,

The Burnt out Anxious Mind

Blue October-Not Broken Anymore

You know that Music is a form of my Therapy in trying to explain how I feel and sometimes it can express the feelings better than I can articulate.
This song, Not Broken Anymore, has been my anthem while going through this Anxiety.
My Interpretation of the song is that I am battle Anxiety, as it manifests itself into something physical, like a physical being,  And it’s the internal struggle of letting go and trying to build myself up again and not be “broken anymore”.
its the struggle of being set free, but understanding the mind game that anxiety plays. The fact that anxiety makes you think a certain way, makes you act a certain way and it all becomes scary when it’s no longer controlling you.
This song gives me hope that I will eventually not be broken anymore, as long as I try to control it

I know how to let you leave
How am I suppose to let you go?
Now you stand in front of me
And all the rain is turning into snow

Can you tell me that you’re real
So I can really know
That everything I feel I can finally show
Standing next to me oh the person I can be
Is finally here and he won’t back down at all

But I can’t stop thinking
How you just keep making
Sense of all that was broken before

And I won’t keep faking
‘Cause I’m done with taking
‘Cause with you I’m not broken anymore

I’ve seen the empty deep
I’ve damned up the water flow
You’re the touchstone my complete
You’re the ship that kept me afloat

Can you tell me that you’re real
So I can really know
That everything I feel I can finally show
Standing next to me oh the person I can be
Is finally here and he won’t back down at all

But I can’t stop thinking
How you just keep making
Sense of all that was broken before

And I won’t keep faking
‘Cause I’m done with taking
‘Cause with you I’m not broken anymore

But I can’t stop thinking
How you just keep making
Sense of all that was broken before

And I won’t keep faking
‘Cause I’m done with all the taking
‘Cause with you I’m not broken anymore

And I can’t stop thinking
How you just keep making
Sense of all that was broken before

Yeah and I won’t keep faking
‘Cause I’m done with taking
‘Cause with you I’m not broken anymore

I’m not broken anymore

Guitar and Mindfullness

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Guitar and Mindfulness:
So my Therapist a few weeks ago said that when I’m feeling anxious and on the verge of a panic attack that I should learn to use some mindfulness techniques to help calm myself down.
For those that do not know what mindfulness is here’s the good ol Google definition: mind·ful·ness(ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs)

a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

I really tried doing the textbook version of this and just felt that it wasn’t for me. I couldn’t clear my mind, just the thought of practicing my breathing and listening to soft calming music made me feel more anxious then dealing with the anxiousness on my own. Despite this feeling of uncomfortableness I was told to give it a shot, and of course, I wanted to feel better so I tried to. It just was not happening anytime soon. I relax? yeah, that doesnt happen.

The one thing I did notice, is that I have picked my guitar a lot more lately and have been mentally feeling good. In the last two weeks or so I have picked up and played my guitar every night for at least 35mins and sometimes longer. The fact that it gives me something to focus on, feel relax and essentially express myself through a creative outlet has really helped.

It wasn’t until Monday that I found out it can be used as a form of mindfulness. So the fact that I was so stressed about not being able to practice this I was, in fact, practicing mindfulness with my guitar.

I have always used music as a way to help cope with what I’m feeling. When I bought my guitar about a year and 6 months ago I was extremely motivated to learn. When I was able to try a new chord and accomplish learning a new song I felt good about myself. Sure there was some frustration when I couldn’t get a song to sound right or my fingers wouldn’t land the right position but I knew it was all a part of learning and focusing my life’s frustrations and anxieties into something other than stewing them in my head.

The last two weeks I’ve needed a lot of distraction from my life’s stresses so there has been some great guitar progress.  I think my favorite time to play guitar is when no one is around. I sing and play along to new songs I’ve learned and it just feels great to get it all out. Though…. I’d never sing or play in front of anyone.. the self-confidence isn’t quite there yet…someday… but not today.

When I can’t be around my guitar and I am anxious, I often look at chord sheets, songs that I want to learn. I am really trying to surround myself with this so I can handle my intrusive anxious thoughts when they happen.

I guess to really sum this up, I play my guitar to help with focusing, expressing and essentially dealing with my mental illness. I don’t think I can ever do the type of mindfulness where I sit cross-legged, practice breathing and listen to ocean sounds. So I am glad I found this.

Regards,

The “somewhat musically inclined” Anxious Mind

That familiar place

Here I am sitting at the therapist office. That familiar music In the background, the silence of the waiting room. It is all so familiar to me.

It’s been since last October or so since I’ve walked in this place and it feels like the first time. I’m shaking, heart is racing and I just want to get up and run away from here.

I have that small logical part of my brain that is just focusing on this blog post and keeping myself planted in this seat. I’m trying to listen to the music and trying to focus on my breathing while I’m staring at the clock.

I keep saying to myself, I need this. I need this brain check. I need to talk about all the crap that I’m subconsciously hiding I don’t want to go on meds. That Mr.Anxiety and his black dog has plagued me enough this month.

3mins left… 3 mins left of me in this familiar place…

Regards, The Anxious Mind

The Anxious Mind with Anxious Thoughts

Anxiety has been extremely high this week and that isn’t a mystery. I had a lot of work to do and little time to do it. I am flying out to San Jose on Monday, and I have never left Canada before. The more and more I’m thinking about it the more and more I feel that pit of anxiety growing.

This is going to be a great trip, it’s a Business trip; but nonetheless going to be a great time.

I don’t think that is all I’m anxious about right now though….

When I get into a mindset of anxious thoughts, I get anxious thoughts about everything. I start slipping into that “what if” mindset and it is essentially leaving me paralyzed. It is leaving me paralyzed to the point where I do not want to go out tonight, because I’m wondering if people are friends with me or just friends with K and I am the by product because we are together… It’s these stupid thoughts that consume my mind. That make me want to just give my head a shake and go WTF?

Its these thoughts that make me wonder if I was the one that started selecting who I hang out with or did they just stop including me? Its these stupid things that make sleep non-existent and my mind work against me.

Maybe I am starting to see why my Therapist wanted me to book appointments in advance…..

All I know is…….

My thoughts are what control me, and I have been working so hard for me to control my thoughts.

 

Regards,

The Anxious Mind

Day After Day

It’s the day after my therapy session and I feel a sense of relief. All of the thoughts troubling my brain have been spoken about and analyzed to pieces. I think therapy has really allowed me to see the things that are causing my issues to build and getting them before they can take over.

In my last session we really talked about my inability to sleep, we tried to narrow down some of the causes and problems that might be contributing to this sleep problem that I am not even aware of. The one thing we kept hitting on was how connected I am with work; even when I do not have to be.

Let me explain; When I became a supervisor we were all given a secondary email, this was for anything work related and communication from the bosses, the client and overall all company information. I found myself always coming into work not sure what to expect, so I use to check my work email all the time. Just before I left work, at home, just before going to bed, and then right before my shift. This way I could prepare myself for what to expect. It was a coping mechanism for my anxiety to help be in control.

For a long time this coping mechanism worked for me, although the boss didn’t like that I was looking at work stuff outside of work time. I still did it. It made me less anxious when I went into work and allowed me to feel prepared for the shift

Now that I am no longer a supervisor and I am in my current role, the same mentality is in place. I check my email all the time and I’m always thinking about work and what needs to be done.

This was one of the things my therapist believes is interfering with my ability to relax which is then affecting my ability to sleep. Inability to relax, I will touch on this more later.

Its interesting, how one small thing that I have been so connected to, and not even realizing what I am doing; could be a potential trigger to why I am not sleeping well. So you know what resulted out of that huge conversation. The fact that I need to slowly wean myself away from this work stuff and it’s going to suck. It’s going to suck not knowing what I’m walking into at work. So far I have been pretty good with the whole thing, but I also find myself with idle hands and always about to check it. I even decided to get up early and go to work instead of working late last night. #winning.

In other news, my therapist schedule is booking up quite fast; in fact she told me that she is booking right up into January. I know I don’t need to see her as frequently as I use to, and in fact I think I’m doing quite well on a 1 session every 3 weeks or so; however it kind of alarms me that it might not be until January when I can get an appointment. What if something happens if I become unmanageable with my anxiety that I fall back into the darkness I was before. Just that thought scares me. I don’t want to be who I was before. I didn’t like that person; and I struggle and fight every day not to fall back to being that person.

I don’t feel as though I need to see her as much. Though I do know when I do get to a point where everything piles up and I need help to sort it out in my brain; what do I do? Should I make appointments ahead of time, in hopes that I can cancel them if I don’t need them or wait until it comes to the point of a near panic attack mental break down before I make the appointment and have to wait.

As I’m writing this, I just see my anxiety taking over. I see it worrying about things that haven’t even happen or hell might not even happen.

I just finished a day of work and I’m beyond exhausted; however I find myself sitting here with my brain on hyper drive thinking about everything. I noticed that when work becomes unbearably busy and demanding I become scattered and on the verge of a stress related anxiety attack. Today my computer was on the fritz and people were demanding things from me. I just felt myself get to a point where it almost broke the camels back. Luckily I was able to recognize this trigger and change my focus on to something else.

That alone, being able to recognize my trigger and change my thought process, proves that I am doing better then I think and that if I don’t see my therapist in a few months. I am sure she has equipped me with all the tools I need to survive.

Earlier in the post I mentioned my Inability to relax. Its true; I have an extremely hard time relaxing. When I arrived to work today I was yawning because I was just sleepy. One of my co-workers asked me if I slept last night and of course the answer is yes I slept. The amount of sleep on the other hand is something to question. She mentioned that I needed to relax more so I can sleep. The reality is I cant. I don’t know how. My brain doesn’t like it when its relaxed. My therapist suggested some tense and release sort of relaxation exercises to do. I tried to do one last night before bed and I just found myself getting anxious and more panicky. As I was trying to focus on the voice and the instructions I found my brain wandering and just feeling the symptoms of anxiety creeping up. As soon as I stopped, I felt better.

I will give it another shot later, but for now im just going to try and hope I can relax and not have to keep my brain occupied.

Well this is quite a long post,

Regards,

The Anxious Mind

Anxious and Exhausted

Today in a long time I have felt the effects of Anxiety. Work has been beyond demanding and I am finding myself drowning in work with deadlines quickly approaching. The thought of the work is making me extremely anxious and my fear of failing/letting people down is rising.

I found myself starting to get really anxious around lunchtime. I had to get up from my desk and leave work for a bit, the anxiety was rising and I did not want it to get out of hand. As long as I kept myself busy that feeling in the pit of my stomach and the panic in my breathing would subside.

I found myself tonight at home unable to sit still, I swept the floor, fed the animals, rolled change, just to keep my mind busy so I wouldn’t feel the anxiety building. The thought of going to bed brings anxiety because I know my mind will wander and think about all the things I need to do and all the things that I have forgotten to do today.

As I’m writing this I find my heart beating faster, almost like I over did it with caffeine (for the record.. I didn’t) and could run a marathon. Unfortunately, I’m so tired from this week that once I get my mind to shut up I know I will be out like a light. It is that whole “when will my brain be quiet” thing that will be a challenge, and I am preparing for little to no sleep tonight.

Hopefully, this blogging of my current thoughts and feelings will help clear some of that overactive brain.

I have been debating whether or not I should cancel my appointment next week, I feel as though I won’t have a whole lot to talk about, this anxiety happens, it’s not like my anxiety is going to completely go away… right? Just because I have an anxious episode or feeling, I shouldn’t have to run to my therapist and talk about right??…

Oh, Anxiety… You can stop at any time… Please!

I’m going to finish watching Hockey and hope to sleep tonight.

Later Days

The Anxious Mind