Today I want to talk about resilience, simply because I have felt pretty good the last couple of days and able to put up with most things. Now I am not saying that you need to put up with absolutely everything, because if it’s not good for you then you need to get out. I am saying this from a point of view where being able to put up with things is an amazing feeling when the smallest things used to break me.
I can’t cope!
Last week I had several days at work when things just went wrong, I became frustrated and was really not enjoying it, getting stressed and running around like a headless chicken. I had a job to do where I just could not figure the problem out, thus not being able to fix it. Luckily, I was able to get hold of one of my best colleagues on the phone. Best in the sense that he is very thorough and approachable. He was also the only person at work for a long time who knew about my depression and anxiety. He had told us all in a team meeting one day about suffering with depression and anxiety for 20 years, hence me feeling able to bring it up with him much later.
Speaking to him, he told me exactly what to do. I carried out his instructions to the letter but still no joy. He could hear me getting stressed and he kept telling me to calm down and relax. In the end I got it working although I’m still not sure why. He kept giving me words of encouragement, saying I was doing a great job and to just take my time. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I remember thinking that had that been anyone else, they had not been able to provide me with the great support he did at the time.
No job satisfaction
Although I finished the job, it did not leave me with any satisfaction. I kept thinking I should have done a better job from the beginning, to not waste so much time, to be quicker and more efficient. This train of thought I find is not beneficial. As soon as I start thinking this way, it messes everything up. I can’t concentrate and I don’t feel I am doing a good job. I forget things and every task takes twice as long. This leads to getting stressed about keeping all appointments etc that I have in a day, and the downward spiral continues.
Feeling good mentally
I find that when I am feeling good mentally, I have resilience to deal with things. It is a lot easier to keep calm and methodical. The last couple of days have been frustrating as things haven’t really gone my way, but I have had the resilience to put up with it, and it doesn’t bother me as much.
Collect the good stuff
The one great difference I can see for the last couple of days is the weather. The sun has been out, and it has been warm. In Scottish terms it’s been “taps off” weather (this means it has been so warm that you can take your top off). Being able to work in shorts, in the sun, means the world to me. Having these days makes up for the bad ones in between. I try to fill the bucket up of good stuff. As an example, I am currently sitting in my greenhouse/sunroom. It’s late and very pleasant inside here, but I know that outside it’s colder and windy. The birds are singing, and it is still light. To me this is collecting the good stuff so that when needed, I have the resilience to deal with things. I try to fill up with as much as I can.
It is very clear that feeling good about yourself has such a huge impact on pretty much everything. If you feel good then the world is your oyster, otherwise every little thing becomes a mountain. You need to do the things that make you happy. It is clear to me that, for various reasons, over the last couple of years I slowly stopped doing the things I liked, and everything became all about doing the things I had do. In a way I became a robot, just plodding along, ignoring the feelings of doubt and the lack of enjoyment. This also meant I was not able to do the things I liked, because I just didn’t like it anymore.
No resilience, lack of confidence and indecisiveness
To me, my depression and anxiety has led to no resilience, a lack of confidence and huge indecisiveness. I have felt pretty good the last couple of days as I have had that extra bit of resilience. With this comes more confidence and less indecisiveness. To me this is now a clear sign of how I am feeling, and I can see the warning signals when things get too much. When I spot the signs, I try to always tell Helen. If I don’t, she’ll get mighty annoyed as I won’t be able to tell her what the matter is and from experience we know we are on a slippery slope.
Tell a colleague
Two people at work now know about my depression and anxiety, apart from my manager. I know that if one of them are working then I always have someone to speak to. For a long time, I chose not to tell anyone at work, but I am really glad that I have. I urge you to tell someone too, find that person you know you can fully trust.