Feeling Ganged Up On
So, we went to a couples counselling appointment the other day.
Usually these are pretty good for us. In fact, we often have fun at them. (I know, who says that?!) Seriously though, usually we just talk about stuff together and with our counsellor. Sometimes it’s family related, sometimes its work related, and other times its about our adoption or our dead babies. You know, the big stuff in life and sometimes just the day-to-day things. A little bit of this and a little bit of that.
And usually our counsellor tends to agree with me. Which of course I like. (Seriously, who doesn’t like having someone agree with them?!)
But this week was different. Evidently, her and Mr. MPB were speaking the same language and I was left scratching my head and even defending myself at times*.
Evidently, they have noticed my old workaholic self re-appearing now that I’m working. The conversation included statements like:
- 14 hour days
- all or nothing
- stress and anxiety
- taking time to eat properly
But in my defense, when you work in a fast paced, high stress profession there will be anxiety from time-to-time. So long as I’m working in my profession I cannot completely avoid the anxiety, it’s impossible! And, there will days that are down right miserable and horrible bad days. But there will also be good days and sometimes even dreadfully boring days when nothing happens. In fact, because I’m now self-employed there will even be days where I don’t do any work because I don’t have to or just don’t want to.
No, it’s not going to be perfect. And, I’m not going to pretend it will be. But, I kind of felt unfairly targeted for not avoiding stress all together. And I honestly don’t think that’s achievable so long as I’m living. Life includes anxiety, sometimes due to work.
I think it’s about achieving a balance. And I adamantly believe I’m working to achieve said balance.
It’s easy for others to sit back and say I’m not doing enough or maybe in this case, I’m doing too much. But, the reality is, one of my clients is in crises mode and it’s my job to get them through it. There will be moments of stress and anxiety, and some long days, but I will get through it and it will be fine. I have not signed up for 2 years of hell instead, the reality is that I’m just in the midst of a few weeks that are less then ideal that require a few long days and result in high levels of stress.
When I was really stressed in the past it took over my life. I stopped sleeping, eating and breathing. Instead, right now I realized it pretty quickly and took a break to calm down and recenter myself – this is substantial progress for me. I say it’s a good sign that I’m identifying problems before they take over and trying to find a healthy live-work balance while managing anxiety.
And, I see a bonus to working a lot right now. First, it keeps my mind active and therefore minimizes my ability to obsess over the adoption wait. And second, the more hours I work, the more money I make, so the adoption bills don’t seem quite as daunting.
I’m trying to find a healthy balance. It’s not always going to be perfect. But at least I’m trying!
*to their credit on Monday I left the house for work at 9:30am and got home at about 1am. On Wednesday I left the house at 4:55am and got home at 7:55pm. Yes, I worked 15.5 hours straight on Monday with a working supper and 15 hours straight on Wednesday without a break.
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