Alternate title: My therapist gave me an A
It’s not unusual to be hard on oneself, right?
I’m fairly open about the fact that I check in with a therapist every now and then. I kind of think everyone would benefit from some insight into themselves from an outside source. Today, I was struggling that I’m wasting time – not a new theme for me. Claire tells me I’m so impatient. I do live with a sense of urgency that can lead to anxiety. Awareness is the first step, right? I told the good Doctor that here we are, near the end of summer, and what did I do? I’m haven’t finished Infinite Jest, I haven’t run regularly, the basement could be more organized (I finally bought the shelves!)… I could go on.
Good Doctor tells me I’m being too hard on myself and I needed to list all the things that I did accomplish in the last 60 days. Work/professional stuff is going so well lately – OD Conference, the case study for the chapter in the OD book with Mr. Head of the Largest Change Mgmt Research Company, I was selected for as a member of the New Chapter formation committee for ACMP (Assoc of Change Mgmt Professionals) and the potential re-org at work that may lead to something bigger and better. I worked on the house, maintained Sarah’s Farm (home of the Farm Fresh vegetables), bought a new car, settled into some new social scenarios, stopped binge eating (yeah – that was becoming a problem) and have reintroduced some exercise into my life.
The thing she said that had the biggest impact on me was a simple validation that there are a lot of stressful situations I’m in right now. Still being new to Columbus, lack of social/family structure, lack of the relationship I was counting on here, buying a house, buying a car, repaying student loans, getting a new job in a new field… these things are hard. They take time to get through. She mentioned the actual stressful life factors test is the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Out of curiosity, and because who doesn’t love an assessment, I searched for the scale and took it. If you’re curious, the link has an easy graphic where you click what applies and it adds it up for you. Or, here is the scale:
Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale
Go ahead – add ‘em up.
Would you like to know my score? Of course you would! Why else have you read this far… 508. Five Hundred and Eight. And these are just listing the things that have happened in the last year!! Here’s what the scoring on that is…
Scoring The Life Change Index
The body is a finely timed instrument that does not like surprises. Any sudden change
stimuli which affects the body, or the reordering of important routines that the body
become used to, can cause needless stress, throwing your whole physical being into
The following chart will give you some idea of how to informally score yourself on Social
Readjustment Scale. Since being healthy is the optimum state you want to achieve, being
sick is the state of being you most want to avoid.
Life Change Units Likelihood Of Illness In Near Future
300+ about 80 percent
150-299 about 50 percent
less than 150 about 30 percent
Really?!?! An 80% increase in the likelihood of a stress related illness in the near future?! This explains the insomnia and general moodiness perhaps.
So. Stress. Validation.
In the spirit of immediately trying to combat the stress, I joined some co-workers at a concert tonight. One of our bosses has a brother who is the bass player in the band Walk the Moon. They are a fun, poppy, alternative band and all from Columbus and Cincinnati – so, Ohio grown. They are most known for their song, Anna Sun:
Tonight they played one of their new songs, Shut Up and Dance With Me. Loved it! Technically, it’s not released yet (on their album coming soon!!) but I did find it on You Tube. (Audio Only)
Sadly, knowing the sister of the bass player did not get us backstage or anything.
A great time with some catchy tunes and two beers – just enough to make me feel like dancing.