Anxious. Overwhelmed. Insecure. Exhausted. Feeling like I am letting people down on all sides, professionally and personally.
There is just so much going on at the moment and it feels like I’m about to start dropping balls.
I’m spending long hours at work learning new stuff and trying to keep things going without dropping the standards that the business expects.
I’m also trying to prove myself worthy of this new role – that the business made the right decision to appoint me – so I drive myself relentlessly.
Result? Feeling overwhelmed and anxious. And this has manifested as illness. I’m constantly sick. I sleep badly and have nightmares about missed deadlines and unhappy clients.
This all eats away at me, making a mockery of any sense of enjoyment or achievement that I have in my new role. I keep expecting the worst.
My sister picked up on this in one of my voice notes to her and this morning she sent me a valuable reminder of a simple way to fight this rising tide of fear: make a gratitude list.
This was something she inspired me to do in 2013, when my old employer had yet another of its wobblies, and I sank into a well of depression.
Back then, I started listing 5 things I was grateful for, in a Facebook status update every morning.
It felt silly, at first, and was hard to do – amazingly hard to do – I couldn’t think of more than 2 or 3…astounding, really, when you consider the myriad blessings that filled my life at that point.
But like the proverbial snowball that spawns an avalanche, those first few posts lead to a daily celebration of all the people, situations, feelings, epiphanies… things I had to be grateful for. And it inspired a few friends to make their own daily gratitude lists.
Well, it’s time to do that again. I’m building these lists on my blog to create a rising tide of gratitude that will overwhelm the black dog of depression that is gnawing at my heart.
Let’s start with 5 things I am grateful for, right now:
- My sister Lynn, for her daily inspirational and nurturing messages.
- Whatsapp voice notes. I get 15 minutes of my sister’s beautiful voice every day on my drive to work.
- The patience of friends. Friends like Koreshini, Ryan and the two Sarahs, and Dorothy, Maru, and Phil and Grethe, Anita and Werner, Steve, Allison, Natalie, Steffi, Daisy and Eugene and so many more, who know that I’m constantly working and that I haven’t forgotten them. Friends who miss me and every now and then do a gentle reminder that they are still there, patiently waiting.
- My whole family – siblings, nephews and nieces, cousins and all, who tag me relentlessly on Facebook, reminding me that I am part of a family, despite the vast distances that separate us.
- A job that I love, and am good at. That I am passionate about.
There. That’s a start. Tomorrow I will add 5 more. Slowly, slowly – this will change the spaces inside me, filling them with love and gratitude and chasing away the dark fears.
© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.