RSS

Tag Archives: Stress

What To Do – Travel, College, Career?

The problem with this quitting your job business is that you have to figure out what you want to do next.

It has become  very clear I can not stay at my current job. I told my therapist yesterday about all the reasons I wanted to quit. After listening to me she told me that it sounded like my company was taking advantage of me and my codependent nature (my newest label!) by paying me to little, not recognizing how important I am, and wanting me to take on managerial responsibilities without any of the perks. She has advised me to start searching for a new job or to make another plan for my future because it will be extremely difficult for me to continue to heal mentally if I stay in my current workplace.

This has made me feel a lot better about my feelings toward my job. I feel more justified in my frustrations and desire to quit. I feel less guilty about about giving up “such a good job” and moving on with my life.

I have come to the conclusion that I have three real options if I quit my current job:  Travel/Volunteer Bum, Nontraditional Student, or getting a New Job.

Travel/Volunteer Bum

My therapist seems to like my idea of going to volunteer in Thailand teaching computer skills to middle school students (through uvolunteer.org). I want to do this for at least two months so I can feel like I really had the experience of living there. This should also give me enough time to adapt and shake off a lot of my social anxiety about being in a strange place with new people and a completely different culture.

After that I would either move on to the Nontraditional Student path or see what opportunities I can find in the volunteer/travel field. If I could become a world travelling bum I’d very happy, I think. The thing is I’ve never traveled outside of North America so there is a chance I won’t like it. Plus, while I do have some money in the bank to support myself once I quit my job, travelling plus helping pay half the bills related to my significant other and I’s apartment would probably deplete them within a year easily. I would have to find away to make money while travelling, or find a job in the travel/volunteerism field back home.

Nontraditional Student

The last two years or so I’ve also been thinking about going back to school. Really, the only major that has really stuck out to me is one in Classics. For those of you that don’t know what that is, here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or Classical Civilization) is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world (Bronze Age ca. BC 3000 – Late Antiquity ca. AD 300–600); especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity (ca. BC 600 – AD 600). Initially, the study of the Classics (the period’s literature) was the principal study in the humanities.

It just sounds like it covers so much, and I am interested in ancient history and think it would be fun to learn Latin. Not to mention it’s the type of degree that teaches you thinking  and communication skills, which I believe are really lacking in today’s society.

But university costs money.. lots of money. Plus, chances are I would have to relocate to attend a university that has this as a major. While I would love to travel around the world, for some reason moving somewhere else bothers me. I like the idea of being able to come home and be in my home town, even if I’m overseas for months at a time. Moving away for college to live doesn’t sit well though. It’s very weird.

A New Job

Of course, I could always look for another job in my current field. Right now I’m an IT person and will have 5 years of experience in June 2013. I could probably get another job somewhere else fixing computers or doing help desk work. Plus, if I don’t jump on to the next job then my current skill set will very quickly become out of date. IT people have to stay current or risk falling behind and becoming obsolete in their career track.

However, IT people are notoriously used, abused and under paid. We work nights and weekends along with our 40 hour a week day shifts.  We are expected to know everything there is to know about all things computer related, when really it takes a team of several people who specialize in specific parts of IT to run a department effectively. Plus, end users are usually horrible people who think they know more than you and know you could get things fixed quicker if you were really doing your job. Overall it’s a lot of stress, very little reward, and completely mind numbing, unimaginative work.

Decisions

I know, at the very least, I will most likely take two months to go to Thailand to volunteer as a teacher. My therapist is very on board with this and it sounds like an amazing thing to me, if a little to much like a dream that can’t possibly happen (even though it easily could). Since I was a kid and started making friends with people from different countries on the internet my goal has always been to travel the world, so this seems like a logical step to take. I’m not sure what I will do after that, it probably just depends on how things go there and if any opportunities make themselves known in the months before, during, and after it. But it is a first step, which I’ve always heard is the hardest part of change.

What are your plans for the future?

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Life, Mental Health, Travel, Work

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Never A Right Time For Change

I am going to do something crazy (for me) tomorrow that I’m hoping will be another step toward my independence from my social anxiety. I’m hoping I don’t chicken out, but I’m definitely freaking out a little bit! It’s not something so drastic as quitting my job, but it’s a major step in expressing my real self and bringing me out of hiding. If I go through with it, you will find out what it was in a post on Friday. If I don’t, the post on Friday will be something lame and you should all tell me what a chicken I am!! 🙂

Hope everyone is having a good week! Don’t forget to breathe deep!

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Building a Support Network

A healthy support network is something that everyone needs in their lives.  This network should consist of people who love you, believe in you, and who are willing to let you lean on them occasionally.  It should consist mostly of positive people who are mentally healthy, and possibly people who realize they have issues and are actively seeking help and getting better. People who rely on you as their personal therapist, who are not actively trying to get better, and who are just all around negative people should be interacted with on a minimal basis.

Part of my problem up until this point in my life is that I clustered together with people with issues in my social network. My support came from people with severe depression, social anxiety, low self esteem, etc. This was not healthy, and over the last year or two I started realizing I couldn’t pull myself up when my support network kept pulling me back down into what I was trying to escape. Amy told me that this is very true and that it makes it much easier to help yourself get healthy if you surround yourself with healthy people. I still have a lot of my friends who have issues, but I am no longer their go-to person nor do I spend a lot of time with them on a regular basis.

Right now I am working on rebuilding my support system. This is hard, as I find it difficult to seek out mentally healthy people to be friends with. I feel like I am a person most healthy people would not want to deal with due to my own issues. However, the more I get to know healthy people the more I find that this is not the case. They seem to be very supportive, positive, and want to help encourage me to get better and it’s great! Naturally, you don’t want to overwhelm these people all the time with how you are feeling (that is what your therapist is for!) but talking with them occasionally about stuff is definitely helpful!

Currently, my Healthy Support Network includes:

My Therapist – Amy is wonderful! She has an amazing sense of humor and we click really well. The first therapist I had was very serious and I just don’t mesh well with serious people on an emotional level. I think this is proof that if you don’t connect with your therapist that it might be time to find a new one!

My Yoga Instructor – Though my Yoga instructor is very new to my life, so far she is awesome!  I had a private class with her Saturday so she could show me poses that would help lessen my anxiety and help with my breathing and she was so positive and supportive! She told me I was a very bright individual for going to seek help and for considering Yoga as a way to lessen anxiety and help with my mental health. Just like when Amy says I’m bright I felt a sharp pang of disbelief, but it’s definitely helping with my self esteem issues to hear multiple people who haven’t known me for years say it 🙂

My Work Friend – This person has been really eye opening, because she’s my first local mentally healthy friend. With the few times we have hung out outside of work and the card she sent me she has blown my mind on how caring someone can be without being emotionally connected from having similar mental health issues. The only people I’ve really connected with in my life have all suffered from depression and that’s what made me feel close to them. My work friend has had issues with depression, but only in stressful situations like the near death of her father, and is otherwise a mentally healthy person. Er… well.. she is a bit OCD, but that’s completely different then any of my problems, so I don’t count it 🙂

My Significant Other – Though my SO does deal with depression and low self esteem, he admits to this being an issue and is actively working to help himself get better. He does not rely on me to fix it, it is not the main topic of conversation every time we talk, and I think it helps us both stay encouraged seeing each other making progress and feeling better about ourselves.

My Sister – My sister has a few issues similar to mine. I know she has mild social anxiety and does suffer from occasional bouts with depression, just not on the same scale as I do. She is very independent and is doing what she wants to do with her life and right now is a very happy person. She is also great at listening and knows what to say to make me feel better or diffuse my social anxiety.

My Parents – Though originally my parents were suprised that I was seeking help for my mental health, they have been very supportive of it. As time has gone by and I’ve let them in to see how truely unhappy I am, they have grown more and more supportive of me switching jobs and doing what I need to to be happy. This has taken a lot of stress off of me, as I am very much someone who has a strong desire to make my parents proud.

My Online Friends – Though I don’t talk to them as much as I used to, the online friends I have had for a decade have all been very supportive. Not all of these friends are mentally healthy, but they are all very supportive. One of them in particular has found this blog via Twitter, and has sent me very positive texts when he notices a negative post.  Another has told me he refuses to talk about his problems anymore with me while I seek help, because he knows I get very emotionally invested in other people’s problems. They are all great in their own right, but I try not to over utilize them as I need to work on building a better real life support network.

As you can see, I need to make more local friends to add to my support network. I have several friends around it’s just the ones I currently have are the ones that still hold on to depression and other issues and are not actively seeking help so I can not count them as part of a healthy support network. I am working on making more friends, and have a couple of specific people I think it would be easy to become friends with. It’s just difficult for me to find a healthy route to become friends with someone. Friendships usually spring from someone having a really bad day and me listening, and then we are friends!  So this is a new experience o.o

I am very happy that my healthy support network is growing, and I can honestly say I can see the difference having healthy people in my life has had on me. It’s harder to find negatives in life when you are surrounded by people who are positive. It’s harder to not believe in yourself when the people around you keep reminding you that they believe in you. It’s hard to fear the world when you have people willing to help you meet it head on.

I think my life is definitely heading in the right direction, now it’s just up to me to get enough courage to steer it where  I want it to go 🙂

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Profit vs Progress – A Personal Struggle

The path to progress and profit

Image taken from an article on Good.Is titled Progress vs Profit

I am at a cross roads in my life. My current job pays the bills with extra to stash away in the bank, it has good benefits, and I am basically completely independent and can prioritize my day in any way as long as it benefits the company and stuff gets done.

However, my job does not make me happy. I do not feel like I am accomplishing anything, that I am giving back in any way, or that I am being challenged at all. There is no growth here, those above me on the food chain I often think are idiots or spineless, and a lot of my comments or suggestions fall on deaf ears. I take attitude from my users, tell my boss, and am told to “bite the bullet”. I ask for a reasonable raise, and I’m told that my boss has consulted the vendors that work for me and that they say that doesn’t seem reasonable. I do not hate my coworkers, but I enjoy the company of very few and have even fewer that I have a anything in common with. There is no creativity here. There is no self expression. It is a dull and lifeless place full of squabbling hens and cocky roosters.

I have decided I want nothing more to do with this “easy” life path to Profit, I want a fulfilling one that challenges me. I still want to Profit so I can pay my bills and feel financially secure, but I also want to feel like I’m on the path to Progress and doing something with myself and the world around me.  Not only does the squiggly line look like the harder path but it looks like there are way more chances for adventure on it. And my life, thus far, has been seriously lacking in any real adventures.

Growing up I always thought that money = freedom and debt = prison. I needed a lot of money to live a fulfilling life and to have a real sense of self-worth. I believed that up until I started writing this entry.  Money is a prison for me. The more I make, the more I need, and the less secure I feel. I keep saying that once I am making a certain amount of money a year, or have a certian amount in the bank, I will feel less stressed and more secure, but the closer I get to that goal the more anxiety I feel. The more money I have in the bank the worse I feel about buying anything at all. The bigger my financial cushion the more terrified I become of falling, failing, and losing it.

I feel better being able to mull over this internally and look forward to hearing Amy’s (and anyone else’s) thoughts on it. I don’t really know how I am going to get over my unhealthy relationship with money, but I’m ready for something to derail me from the Profit Path and get me started down the line with a little more Progress in it.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mandala Madness – Reblog

This is such a neat idea that I couldn’t help but reblog it! I mean, who doesn’t like coloring? And if you don’t have any crayons at home, you can get them very cheaply at your local dollar store 🙂

Where We Step

Back in the day, the Buddhists invented the mandala as a way to visually represent the universe and the cosmos, and often used these beauties as meditation tools. Making and looking at mandalas helped them focus their attention and enter trances. And it’s pretty nifty because you don’t have to be a Buddhist to get a mandala template and you don’t have to be five to break out the crayons. Loads of people around the world love using mandalas as anxiety-relief tools.

I was a total nonbeliever at first Last Tuesday when my counselor handed me a pile of mandalas to color at home, I was like, “Seriously?” But you guys, it totally works. People even do science on this kind of thing. That link goes to a scholarly paper by Nancy A. Curry and Tim Kasser. If you don’t have time to read that, here are the spark…

View original post 177 more words

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just Another Week

This is how my therapist has to explain things to me some days. Some concepts are just so foreign they have to be broken down word by word, but once they are they make perfect sense! I swear the above comic is exactly how my therapy sessions go from start to finish, and it makes me laugh to simplify it that much.

The rest of the week so far hasn’t been to bad. I was right on Tuesday, things were a mess, but I powered through the day, handled it all really well and felt accomplished by the end. Now that it’s almost Friday I’m already feeling burnt out again though. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

I really didn’t have a chance to plan any goals for this week, and I haven’t been doing my walks in the morning like I was the last couple of weeks. The convention has really thrown off my schedule and I have been feeling blah since I got home because of the lack of physical activity. Hoping by next Monday I can get back on track!  Yoga on Saturday morning and Monday evening, and hopefully back to the gym for Mon, Wed, and Fri lunch hour. Back to the regular posting schedule of Mon, Wed, Fri too I hope.

I will leave you with the following because I’m going to print it out and put it in my journal for inspiration on the bad days, and thought it might be helpful to others as well.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good Vibes

My schedule was all sorts of fail last week, so I apologize for my absence!  This week I will be leaving on Wednesday to go to LeakyCon in Chicago, and I won’t be back until Sunday night. I really hope to make a post or two from the convention, but no guarantees!

I wanted to at least make some sort of attempt at a post today, so I thought I’d share a positive. Last weekend (not the one we just got through, but the one before) I went out with a coworker for dinner to chat. She is one of the very few people at my work place that I’d consider a friend, and she is very quickly transitioning from “friend from work” to “close friend”. While we were out, I spilled to her the fact that I was going to therapy, what had been going on at work, and that I really wasn’t happy with my life. She was very supportive and listened, and shared some of her own experiences with depression and stories of friends that dealt with anxiety.

This most recently past Friday, a week after we had dinner and gabbed until 12:30 in the morning (really late for both of us!), I received a card from her through the company mail system. Inside she had wrote me some very encouraging words, and I really wanted to share them here:

Card

I am very grateful to have stumbled into my current job if only because it has led me to meet such a wonderful and supportive person at a time in my life when I need friends who really believe in me and support me in making major life changes for my own well being.

In other news, I go to my first Yoga class tonight! Eek! My stomach is a mess already. I’ve never done any sort of organized work out class because of my anxiety, but Amy has told me Yoga will help a lot with my breathing and with my stress/anxiety levels, so I’m going to give it a shot!  She also recommend this particular Yoga instructor, as she is the instructor she had when she started doing Yoga! I’m only going once a week, on Monday nights, because that is what currently works with my schedule. I hope to bump that up at time goes on, though!

So, yes, convention this week, so I’m going to be a busy, anxious, exhausted mess most of the week! I can’t wait though, conventions always rock and are such a great way to get out of the norm of every day life!  Hoping to come home feeling recharged and ready to face life with a fresh and positive perspective ^_^

Hope everyone has a great Monday!

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,