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What do I choose today? Tuesday March 3, 2015

I am currently struggling to deal with overwhelming feelings of inadequacy, helplessness and sadness.

Now, the sadness is understandable as I and the family go through the various stages of bereavement; the helplessness is also understandable given the latest management decision at work to set targets which my team and I know we cannot hope to meet; but the inadequacy? Why do I always assume that I am inadequate? Why can I only see the stuff I am failing to do (oh yes, there is plenty of that) and yet not see what I am achieving? And my nearest and dearest patiently and persistently try to highlight my achievements but I dismiss their efforts since they "...really don't understand the (work) situation". It has got to such a pitch that yesterday I announced (thankfully only at home) that I am resigning. (I haven't - so far!)

So, what can I do? Well lots of things really, if I choose to...and that is the point;
I, and only I, can choose my response to my situation. I can stay put and bemoan my lot, which only serves to make me feel more wretched so I don't want to do that. I can leave, feeling a failure, and resentful; I certainly don't want to do that. I can stay, and do my best to change my response to the situation, by recognising that the targets set are ridiculous, by remembering that everyone in my team recognises how ridiculous the targets are so I am not alone; by remembering that I am grieving, so I need to cut myself some slack and by reminding myself every day of the choice I have made.

For it is in changing my response to the situation AND in reminding myself daily of my choice that will enable me to challenge my feelings of inadequacy.

It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer:
(God) Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

A Moodscope member.

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The Entertrainer Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 5:29am

Good Morning, Dear Frankie
You say, " reminding myself every day of the choice I have made. For it is in changing my response to the situation AND in reminding myself daily of my choice that will enable me to challenge my feelings of inadequacy." Great blog for a Chooseday. This is what we call "Tuesday" now in our house - because we need a weekly reminder. May the Serenity Prayer be a comfort to you and to all of us today and all days.

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 5:38am

Like looking in the mirror Frankie. Thank you for sharing. You have inspired me to blog about the harassment at work rather than using Facebook which makes me feel a bit too vulnerable at the moment. Now I just have to figure out how to start blogging! X

Hopeful One Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 6:16am

Hi Frankie- sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems at several fronts all at the same time.You seem to have a handle on the bereavement issue and that will have to run its normal course until you pass through the gate marked' acceptance ' of what has happened and complete the grieving in your own way.We were also set unattainable targets at work by either the government or the managers. At first I tried my best to meet them until it dawned on me that the targets were goal post the government or the the admin would move depending who set them.So if after kicking the ball and not scoring I realized that the goal posts would be reset and we kicked again.The managers in the NHS have three year contracts and their eyes are on the bottom line and their bonuses.So my survival strategy was to do what I could without beating myself up and if one lasted the three years we had a new manager or new government and off we went again! So I think you are trying your best BUT you are not giving yourself credit for it despite your nearest and dearest reminding you of it.You appear to be 'discounting the positive ' a thought distortion leading to extra angst which you CAN choose to avoid.

Suzy Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 8:21am

Love it! Thanks Frankie.

"Be gentle with yourself. You're doing the best you can."

Rupert Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 8:35am

I completely agree with you Frankie. In a way though isnt that just what "normal" people who dont have low esteem do. What I mean is they feel sufficiently confident in themselves not to worry about things like targets etc and focus more on their needs than those of others. So by doing what you are doing you are merely trying to be normal anyway! Rupert

Julia Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 8:50am

Hi Frankie. From previous comments of yours, I know you have been struggling with work and not being happy there, wanting to leave and wondering if you should. How long would you say your unease and unhappiness with work has been going on? 6 months, a year, two years..? My view is that if you have felt like this for a lengthy time and nothing you, as an intelligent person has done, has made it better and in fact it's getting worse, I see it as a no should resign. That is if it doesn't land you in severe financial difficulties. But I would assume that you can afford (sort of) to leave. It's not as if you haven't given it a chance and tried to find ways of coping and adapting to the demands. Don't forget, "work" is an impersonal concept. You are not letting anyone personal down, it's an organisation which can pick up the pieces and recruit another employer. Your employer however considerate to your face will not be mulling over your position every night and thinking of ways to keep you! Try to look at your work dispassionately. I could go on... ultimately you can decide yourself as you say. You have choices but I think I know which one you will make finally. I wish you all the courage in the world. You have been such a help to me and others here at Moodscope, you deserve the best Frankie.

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 9:39am

I tend to agree with Julia. Work can be the one stumbling block when you are trying to get over deep sadness. You resent the trivial and petty squabbles, when the important wider picture is what should be focussed on. It might be sensible to give yourself recovery time, a sort of self- directed sabbatical, if you can afford to. You can concentrate on restoring yourself then, and regaining your pride in yourself. Good luck, Frankie!

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 11:24am

Thanks Lex; I will definitely remember "Choosedays" from now on - love it!
I'm really interested in "The Way of Peace" you mentioned yesterday; more please!

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 11:24am

Thanks Julia; I'm looking forward to your blog!
Frankie xx

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 11:35am

Thank-you Hopeful One - this is hugely helpful;
darling hubby used to work for the NHS so I well recognise your description;
yes, guilty as charged! "Discounting the positive" - I do find it really hard not to discount the positive; this is a useful reminder - think I need to revisit my counselling notes when this was first pointed out to me ...
I find it SO hard to dislodge negative thought patterns ... I am better at doing so on good days but really struggle on bad days ...
Thank-you for sharing your wisdom, Hopeful One

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 11:36am

Thanks Suzy - have been wondering how you are doing in your new flat ...

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 11:37am

Thanks Rupert - really reassuring! Now can you do the same for yourself I wonder?!

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 11:47am

Thanks Julia;

hmm, challenging question (how long?)

My energy levels are slightly better these days, but then I was given more work (not at my request, I hasten to add). My difficulty is that I actually love the job itself, (teaching), just not all the paraphanalia (?) that goes with it. I do recognise that by leaving I am not letting anyone down so that's a step in the right direction. My current thinking is to request a reduction in hours as I would love to be able to teach once more with energy (it's now 5 years since that was the case because of my medical condition).
What I need here Julia is a crystal ball please! If I knew I could reduce hours and have more energy, I would stay (and enjoy it). If I knew that this is as good as it gets, then maybe it is time to go - but it fills me with sadness to contemplate going ...
Thank-you for your kind words - which warm my heart ...
Frankie xx

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 11:52am

Thanks Anon 9.39 - wise words indeed;
It just so happens that I am signed off with a virus at the moment (I wrote this blog about 3 weeks ago) so am trying to do this.

Julia Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 12:23pm

I hope you feel better soon Frankie. Viruses can last for ages. xx

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 12:37pm

Thanks Julia (so no crystal ball then!)

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 1:52pm


Julia Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 2:32pm

You could ask for less hours. I think that sounds a very good solution right now. Do you think the school would look at your request favourably? Are there any teaching jobs nowadays which are solely teaching? Would you consider tutoring privately? I wish I had a crystal ball for you. but you must get over the virus before you start worrying again about work. xx

Anonymous Tue, Mar 3rd 2015 @ 3:12pm

Time will tell - thanks Julia. Frankie

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