This Job is Killing Me
I thought I would share this story about my current struggles managing my IBS symptoms and my very stressful job. American author Jim Rohn has been quoted as saying, 'Work harder on yourself than you do on your job'. This seems appropriate in my case and I'm sure for many of you. I am no good to anyone, family, friends, or colleagues, if I do not look out for my mental and physical health. I have gotten myself into a job situation that has taken more from me than I am able to healthfully give. It is important to be mindful of what your job is doing to you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you feel as though you are less healthy in any way because of conditions in your workplace, then it is time to make a change.
A new world
I am a social services case worker. I work with people who have mental illness and substance abuse problems. When I first started this job, several of my co-workers and people I knew in the field, kept saying, 'If you start taking this work home with you, it will burn you out very, very quickly'. Intellectually, I understood what they meant, but I went full speed ahead into my new world. I say 'new world' because I had worked in corporate environments for most of my working life. At first, I was thinking, ‘I got this, I can keep personal feelings out of this and handle this in a healthy manner.’ Well, after several months, I started realizing that I was thinking about the people I was working with when I was driving home, at night watching TV, and in the morning before I got to work. There are so many people with crippling disabilities out there, of all shapes and sizes. I started to take on their pain and hold it. I wanted to fix everything. Soon, I was the one that needed fixing. My IBS starts kicking in hard when I have too much stress in my life and I know this is very common amongst those of us living with this disorder. When my stress and IBS work together, they take me out of the ball game completely. Something had to change.
I’ve talked about ‘managing’ your IBS in a lot of my other articles. I ‘managed’ in this case by seeing my doctors; my GI doc, my therapist, and my psychiatrist. I also spoke with my boss. I was able to move into a lower stress job, still working with people in need, but in a more goal oriented, structured way. I need structure in my life to keep things in order; my appointments, my diet, my exercise, my meditation…my life. The point of this little story is that sometimes you need to take a side road in order to live in the way you deserve to; comfortably. So, don’t be afraid to make the changes that you need to make in your life and at work. It might be difficult, your pride and ego may suffer, but in the end this is all inconsequential. YOU…are the most important thing RIGHT NOW.
Have you checked out our free IBS food journal?