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Are You Pushing Yourself?


This is a general question, and it has no right answer, simply unique, individual answers. From my experience, we become lazy and settled with ourselves. This is a question I ask myself when I feel like shit / something is kicking my arse. Am I being complacent? Or am I working hard, effectively, to work an issue?

I have met a lot of people who thought they were working hard, pushing themselves... and then when I started asking them tough questions, they got a whole new meaning of difficult self effort. I upped my own momentum on return from a holiday, as I usually fall over for a couple of days after even a holiday (too much stimulation), but instead I have been busy and active because I know it helps my recovery, instead of falling over. I keep busy and then slowly ease things back to normal, not busy or just idle. Keeps depression in check primarily for myself.

So, if you're suffering a symptom, are you pushing yourself hard to work through it?
I suppose it depends what you mean! Usually when I am symptomatic, it is because I've pushed myself too much. If I don't stay on top of my meds, engage with therapy, reduce my day-to-day stress, engage in hobbies and activities outside my own mind, look after my relationships - etc, then I usually wind up having a bad time. But I would estimate that anyone who observed me would definitely not describe it as "working hard," haha. I don't think I physically look like I am doing much, but there is a lot of effort that I put into being stable on multiple fronts.
as a recovering work-aholic, i push myself hard at the culturally respected work to AVOID working hard at the culturally questioned parts of myself. when i push myself equally hard at working out my mental health issues, my life begins to look like an afternoon talk show. oh, for the love of balance.

insert suzanna clark (come from the heart) here. "there's such a thing as trying too hard."
I feel like I have done nothing except push myself through life, just to survive this long, and to obtain the necessary things like food, clothing, shelter, etc. I am tired of pushing. It feels like living in a form of functional freeze, acting whole while not being whole, doing to do because that’s what’s there and what’s expected. Instead, now, I am learning what it‘s like not to live under constant struggle and stress.
Interesting question.

On a tangent, I work/train/hang out with people that make a career out of pushing themselves. The elite, high performance, unimaginable levels of hard work. The kind of pushing yourself the average human can’t even comprehend.

Do I push myself mentally to that level, all day every - no. Because I would go snap. Do I pick my moments to push like that, yep.
Most days my ‘mental’ pushing (bc obv physically I have a programme blah blah blah) is just not letting myself take the easy option out. Making the food instead of getting a takeaway, doing my therapy homework instead of leaving it in the corner, drinking water instead of reaching for the booze, making myself do the triggery thing instead of skirting round it.

Through, not around, always. But, am I absolutely maxxing myself out on effort 100% of the time, nope.
I push as much as I feel I can. Weird concept the feeling part.
But that's a skill, learning to listen and feel. You can't do like you have done in the past and stuff what you feel away. You need to learn to listen and examine that stuff to know why.
Why you feel that way, why you think that way. Then you know what to do.
Know you pushed enough, know you have done enough, know you are surprising stuff, know when to lock it away until you see your T next.

So yup it's pushing but not for pushing sake, it's pushing to find the border, the edge, how far you can push.
I have to motivate myself alot to keep up with my responsibilities and self care but am I actually "pushing" myself at the moment....the answer is no.

That said, the actual presence of this thread has inspired me to do more so thanks @anthony 😊!!!

Going back to the gym regularly before it turns to winter is one goal and practicing my sax more often, although I have increased that. Cooking more home made food also!!!

I mean even "pushing the boundaries" every other day is a vast improvement.
Well, my T has said, on occasion when feeling something big, that I work hard at remaining stuck. 😬😱

So perhaps it's working smarter and not harder?

And remembering that you can work through it rather than being a rabbit in headlights when it's overwhelming.
I think these phrases ("push harder," "work harder" or even "work smarter") are perhaps not the right fit for the mental health issues we're discussing. For me, at least.

They're general enough that they can mean very different things to each of us, and for me, they feed into thoughts & behaviors that aren't real helpful. But I appreciate that they may work for others.
In the past yes, I will say I was trying to push myself harder on the symptoms that I was going through and try to push the process to heal. Now though, I'm focusing more on self-care and trying to take it easy. The more I tried to push myself, the more exhausted I felt inside. That's what I noticed so I decided to focus on something different instead which was a good thing for me.