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Overworking to not feel

Thread starter #1
I'm finally, after almost two years, realizing this is a problem. Running yourself ragged runs in my family. I work on something for at least 12-14 hours every day, be it school, my business, a project, etc. until I am in so much physical pain I can't function for a week or so. Through A LOT of outside help I realized I'm running away from feeling the "sucky" emotions, and therefore myself. When I do sit and feel them, I get really depressed and can't let them go. I've been doing so much better mental health wise but now I'm wondering if it was just because I was so overworked I didn't feel anything. I think this is why I feel so bored and numb--I have no idea what's going on in my internal world. I'm terrified that if I let the feelings come, they'll ruin me and I won't be able to do the work I HAVE to do, let alone the projects I want to do. I can't let go of the work. I don't want to quit school again especially considering it'd mean I don't get financial aid (and if I can't handle school at this level? no way I can handle a "normal person" job), but when I let myself feel stuff it's like it ruins my whole day and I can't do any work again, I just cry and sleep.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
#2
Oh man, I've been there. And it's a hard loop to break. You run yourself until your exhausted, which means the feelings are that much harder to handle than if you were giving yourself self-care.

There is also some distorted feeling going on. You are handling school while running yourself ragged. So saying if you quit school at this level you can't handle a normal person job isn't a fair comparison. Your working, doing projects and doing school.
 
#3
I'm terrified that if I let the feelings come, they'll ruin me and I won't be able to do the work I HAVE to do, let alone the projects I want to do.
I. Fear let’s me know something is possible.

Which means it’s a GREAT tool to use, if I actually use it, rather than just sit in fear or make fear based decisions (Doing A because I’m afraid of B, rather than doing XYZ to neutralize B : Like getting married out of fear of being alone, rather than 1. Learn how to dig being alone 2. Build my relationships so I’m not alone. & 3 Continue looking for love & partnership).

II. Possible & Probable are 2 different things.

Emotions don’t logic so hot, which means I need to think with my head, and feel with my heart, not shove all the work onto my heart and coast like a moron <<< A BIT biased, here, because I was damn near feral for several years. Living almost purely on instinct & emotion, and not training myself to think & reason, much less marry the 2; heart feels + head thinks = synergy.

III. How I use that / break it down

1. What am I afraid of?
2. How likely is it?
3. Brainstorming as many options as I can think of (both serious AND silly, really, lay it all out)
4. Group my options (best case, nuclear, ideal, advantageous, icky, etc.)
5. Probability > Action Plan = I’m not going to enact my worst case scenario grouping if it’s extremely unlikely. Nor am I going to sit around doing nothing, wringing my hands, bitter, or furious that I can’t have my ideal grouping (yet!). Instead I have a green/yellow/red sort of priority for how likely it is / how much energy & time I really need to put into it (probability)l as use my groupings as I can, as they make sense to.

So, just to start you brainstorming?

I’d say this is orange/red on the probability scale (because it’s already happening, it’s a very reasonable & highly likely fear), which means I’m not QUITE to immediate & drastic action required (like quitting school/work) but I’m nosing that line. Which means that it’s very solid that I start making changes in my life to neutralize the fear by changing the reality. So what are, say, 2 dozen ways to start doing that? Really. 24. From big things like working on emotional monitoring and regulation in therapy, to “little” things like spending 5 minutes a day drinking a cup of tea staring at the horizon? Serious things, like rearranging your schedule to balance hard/easy, necessary/fun, etc. so that you’re recharging between activities, to nevergonnahappen but HOT DAMN! wouldn’t that be fun! Like a month sailing the Caribbean.

(hint: you may well find your nevergonnahappen ideas, once given form, actually become quite achievable in the long term. To use my off the cuff example? A semester at sea. Or a study abroad year, plus a job at a dive shop, sailing on the weekends. Or, or, or.... Up to and including saving for and booking a holiday. Very few things are actually impossible, they just take a bit of time to make happen. So they may be impossible NOW, but become line items in your life in 5 years.)

Once you’ve got your brainstorming and prioritizing down and start acting on it? It’s amazing tip/trick/tool = Action kills fear.
 
Thread starter #4
Thank you @Muttly that's very true!! Even when I go to doctors they're like you're doing all of that? I don't have barely any free time, and I'm really hard on myself in this regard.

heart feels + head thinks = synergy.
I think I saw this mentioned in "wise brain" in DBT, I'm going to dive into my workbook and see what I can figure out. I feel like I'm either logical or completely emotional, the synergy is hard. I feel like I have more "fun" when I'm emotional, but I get more done "logically" and right now I'm placing almost my entire worth on things I can get done. I feel like I'm already so far behind my peers for not graduating on time, even though I've already started a business and written a novel (ah see there I go, making comparisons!!).

1. What am I afraid of?
2. How likely is it?
3. Brainstorming as many options as I can think of (both serious AND silly, really, lay it all out)
4. Group my options (best case, nuclear, ideal, advantageous, icky, etc.)
5. Probability > Action Plan = I’m not going to enact my worst case scenario grouping if it’s extremely unlikely. Nor am I going to sit around doing nothing, wringing my hands, bitter, or furious that I can’t have my ideal grouping (yet!). Instead I have a green/yellow/red sort of priority for how likely it is / how much energy & time I really need to put into it (probability)l as use my groupings as I can, as they make sense to.
I'm going to do this right now, thank you that's an awesome idea! Just thinking about it now, honestly even. if I quit school I feel like almost sometimes I would prefer that, which is another reason it scares me. I have so many other things I would rather do, and what I'm getting my degree in is practical and logical, not following my passion (although I am pretty good at it! which feels good. and it uses creativity).

Once you’ve got your brainstorming and prioritizing down and start acting on it? It’s amazing tip/trick/tool = Action kills fear.
Thank you for this quote "action kills fear". It's powerful!

Very few things are actually impossible, they just take a bit of time to make happen. So they may be impossible NOW, but become line items in your life in 5 years
This is what I'm hoping for above all else. Thank you Friday!!
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
#6
Sheesh. I have to work all the time. Sometimes I watch a movie after work. I have to rely on my meds. ( I know not everyone takes them) but I don't get into why am I even here, thinking. Stuff like that makes you sit/lay down and not do anything, or depression. I can't even move when I get into that.
 
#7
I'm finally, after almost two years, realizing this is a problem. Running yourself ragged runs in my family. I work on something for at least 12-14 hours every day, be it school, my business, a project, etc. until I am in so much physical pain I can't function for a week or so. Through A LOT of outside help I realized I'm running away from feeling the "sucky" emotions, and therefore myself. When I do sit and feel them, I get really depressed and can't let them go. I've been doing so much better mental health wise but now I'm wondering if it was just because I was so overworked I didn't feel anything. I think this is why I feel so bored and numb--I have no idea what's going on in my internal world. I'm terrified that if I let the feelings come, they'll ruin me and I won't be able to do the work I HAVE to do, let alone the projects I want to do. I can't let go of the work. I don't want to quit school again especially considering it'd mean I don't get financial aid (and if I can't handle school at this level? no way I can handle a "normal person" job), but when I let myself feel stuff it's like it ruins my whole day and I can't do any work again, I just cry and sleep.
yup! It took me years to realize that my constant work kept everything at bay. As I stabilized my life: dumped lousy boyfriend, dumped lousy friends, got a job where my boss doesn’t scream at me, etc I was able to dim down the never ending lists of things to do!! And once I got to a complete stop the flashbacks started coming up!
 
Thread starter #8
Hi and welcome @Widow_of_one !! yeah it's like when I slow down I actually have to heal and work on it, it's so much easier to avoid myself. Recently I've been doing better about it though!! Or maybe it's that we're all in survival mode right now so I don't have to think about it haha
 
#9
Hi and welcome @Widow_of_one !! yeah it's like when I slow down I actually have to heal and work on it, it's so much easier to avoid myself. Recently I've been doing better about it though!! Or maybe it's that we're all in survival mode right now so I don't have to think about it haha
Yes I think you hit the nail on the head Staying in surgical mode keeps the world and the past at bay which is good. There is no way I could have dealt with this at 30 or even 40!!
 
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