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Monday, November 8, 2010

Why Should I Waste Even an Hour of My LIfe in Self-Torture

Dear AB,

I'm really struggling to do my projects, deadline pressure is just escalating, I'm mentally and physically exhausted of and I'm finding myself at a loss what to do.  I know it's not the type of work I enjoy at all.  The thought of doing this work even if I wasnt depressed just does not interest me.   I don't want to run away but i feel I need to make a decision.

You ve mentioned before that decisions should be made not out of fear... and going back to work was out of fear that my depression would worsen with too much time on hand.  On one hand, it was good that it gave me structure but the stress and the long hours have been all consuming, I find it difficult to invest in life after work.  And at my current work, there aren't other position options.   I'm wondering if it's wise to take sick leave again or just resign.  My colleagues that I can trust say - I shouldn't rush to a decision of resigning and should  take sick leave - because its true Im not well and decide to resign when Im in a better state. 

I just don't know what's best for me anymore.  I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thank you always, Y___________

Dear Yuri,

I would say that your colleagues sound like they are advising you well. But do think about this--as far as decision making, it is very frustrating and depressing  if all our effort is spent on what we want to avoid rather than what are are "going for;" when we concentrate on what we don't like rather  than putting a lot of effort into investigating what options might be open in the future. You say there aren't any other positions open. Have you spoken to those who might be able to advise you what new things might open up.

Have youapproached the right people and told them what else might interest you and how you would like to serve the company in another capacity? Have you thought what you might do to prepare yourself for another position What courses you might take or what small projects you might want to help out on.How about sending resumes to another company?

Also, in the meantime, how about finding something about your work that you do enjoy? Surely it can't all be terrible. Viktor Frankl even found something to like in a German concentration camp. I know we all can't be saints. But we can learn from them to apply in some small way to our own lives what they have been able to do in a huge way. If you are stuck in a job until there are better options, perhaps you could find some small ways to accommodate yourself to it. Start very small, some small thing that could bring up a "goody goody" or two.

And please do try to remember that negative thinking of any kind moves your brain in that direction. Positive thinking of any kind moves the brain in that direction.Here's an example of that from my own life:

I woke up the other morning with a terrible depression. My first  thought was Oh no, why does it always come back. Haven't I done this enough. What's the use.

I felt terrible and totally blasted and hollowed out. My energy was zero.  I did not want to do any stupid exercises. I did however, make my bed and continue with my morning chores in the most churlish way and I didn't care about anything or anybody. I even thought about how life wasn't worth it anyway so maybe it's a good thing I'm old and I don't have to do it much longer.

I did the stupid exercises out of pure hatred. Or maybe it wasn't hatred, maybe the habit is so deep to do them that I do them "despite" hatred. I can't say which is which.

I can only tell you that one hour later I suddenly realized I was perfectly okay.

I made a mental note to remember to tell myself the next time "You dolt! Don't you remember that it's just a chemical thing and not realilty? Can't you ever remember that? Can't you be as smart as your sister-in-law and remember, when you are deep into it,  that depression always goes away? I didn't remember it this time.

So I'll let you know if I remember, next time when depression hits me in the  morning, that it is not reality, it will go away if I redirect my mind with brainswitching.

And every time I think about it these past few days, I tell myself. Remember now, when it hits you next time that it isn't the end of the world, it will go away, it's just chemistry, you just have to do the dumb exercises.

I'm hoping to make the neural link even longer so I remember faster. Why should I waste even an hour of my life in self-torture.

A.B. Curtiss

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