Today I’d like to speak to those readers who are either dealing with a massive amount of pressure on a daily basis, or those readers who know someone in their lives who is. Whether you are currently employed or looking for your new job, dealing with overwhelming stress and pressure has to impact on your ability to concentrate on your job-at-hand.
Most people have events in their lives that cause some form of stress. Stress remember, is neither good nor bad, but how we react to it can make the event a positive or negative one. For example, the pressure of an upcoming wedding is usually expected by a bride or groom and because the desire to marry their partner is greater than let say a Caterer that falls through in the final week, there is enough motivation to solve the problem by getting a new Caterer.
When you have multiple events that appear to be specifically targeting you, it can be difficult if not debilitating. It is said that bad things often come in threes, and for some readers, three would be welcomed because you’re dealing with eight or thirteen. When every moment of the day your thoughts are consumed with problems that don’t appear to have solutions or involve a great deal of effort, it may seem easier to just crawl under a sheet, turn off the lights, and try to escape into a deep sleep. Worse yet, escape might mean alcohol, drugs, self-harm, or even attempts at suicide in the extreme. Other than a successful suicide, at some point you’re going to be back to reality and having to deal with both the problems you had, and maybe some additional ones because of the alcohol, the drugs, the self-harm.
A real danger too is that the, ‘weight of the world’ that was on your back has actually transformed into a chip on your shoulder. You develop a bad attitude, look for people to dump on, to beat on, to vent your anger and frustration on. The source of your problems is everybody else, the responsibility for your mess is other people’s, and you may expect to be helped and supported because somehow you feel the world that was weighing you down now owes you a living.
Okay enough of the bad. Time for a reality check. You need the help of other people, but not the people you may have been speaking to. Your family and friends might actually be huge pieces of your problems. That advice you’ve been given, those messages they’ve been drilling into you, well, they may just be the opposite of what would help. So who CAN actually help you? Well a professional Counsellor sure can ease some of the load by listening to you in a non-judgemental way. If you want advice, they may give it, and certainly can connect you with other service providers that would be best for you depending on YOUR needs.
Financial debt might be best addressed through Debt Counselling and consolidating all those bills into one payment a month that would actually be lower than paying them all separately. Other options are drying out under supervision either through Alcoholics Anonymous or getting your addictions addressed through Drug Treatment centres. Your unemployment might actually be best left until you take care of some of these personal issues. After all, even if you got a job today, would you be able to perform well at it five days a week? Maybe applying for financial assistance is actually a better plan in the short-term.
Experienced helpers in Social Services and Humanities know that most of the people we provide help to, have to deal with a number of things, which typically we call barriers. Barriers to employment could be things like; lack of affordable housing, addictions, criminal records, few social supports, having less than grade 12, poor attitude, little work experience, having no references. The number one barrier however tends to be lack of self-motivation, and it’s hard to be self-motivated when you feel under attack and overwhelmed.
While most people will sympathize and hopefully empathize with your situation, even with a solid plan in place that will eventually lift the weight off your shoulders, it has to start initially with you. Please do yourself a favour and reach out. If it turns out that you don’t connect with someone who you go to for help, try someone else. They may tell you things you need to hear, but not always what you want to hear. Think over any advice you get and be open to consider taking that advice.
Even the smallest step forward is a step in the right direction.