Posted in Dating / Relationships, Mental Health

Difficulty Adjusting to a New Place

It’s not been as easy as I thought it would be. I don’t know anybody here (yet) but am taking steps to amend that – I’ve signed up for a social group for the work from home. No friends or family (yet) have come to stay – but that will change in the next couple of weeks as we accept visitors over the coming few weekends. I have had a lot of work on recently and adjusting to my new life here is proving to have its obstacles. I sometimes feel cabin fever and occasionally feel a little too isolated. I struggle to make friends at times.

My major problem has been my workload: signs of a let up as usually happens during the summer have gone the other way. This time last year, I headed into a quiet period. I was anxious and concerned about whether moving down here would be affordable. Now I have the opposite problem – too much potential work and a concern about losing my work-life balance with my girlfriend coming home from work being my only token social life. That’s not strictly true; my other half has an older friend and a husband in a similar situation to me and we have had them around for dinner and gone for days out with them. He is a stay at home father and self-employed. They are, however, largely my partner’s friends. I can’t be in that situation again.

Of course, I have felt my mood dip. I have been so focused on work that I have not been out running for three months. A combination of weather, work overload and low mood has reduced my desire to get some exercise. My other half thinks I am teetering on the edge of another depression. I am not, but I realise the danger is there if I don;t do something about this situation for myself. She is also having a tough time at work. She suffers from bad anxiety and struggles that most of us take for granted can be debilitating for her. I need to remember to fasten my own mask and I have been guilty in not doing that too.

There has been no let up in work. I have almost become a victim of my own success, I’m getting referrals left, right and centre. This is great and something I would have given my right arm for just two years ago, but I slip into habits of my tunnel vision. I am prone to mental illness and the threat is always there. I have been so excited about making a name for myself and taking advantage of the upturn in work in anticipation of losing it, that I haven’t accounted for the time I need to wind down.

I need to start thinking of myself – taking time out for myself, to go running, to chill out with the games console, to grab a book and generally stay in bed too late. I admit it’s not been easy and the expectations we put on ourselves as men (and the expectations placed on us) plays a major part of this – to always be striving for more, to earn more and prove our worth only through our achievements. Perhaps it’s ingrained, perhaps the shaming labels drives men towards this – labels like “loser” and “slacker” are to men what “slut” is to women.

Next week – I need to change things. I am going to the first session, on my own, of this social group for the work from home. I will go running. I promise…

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

4 thoughts on “Difficulty Adjusting to a New Place

  1. I think we can all relate to that period in one’s life when everything becomes overwhelming and you start to push your own personal needs/health to the wayside. We all do it, even though we shouldn’t. Even though we know it’s not good for us. Even though we know it’s important.

    I support a C-Level executive. If I don’t carve out time for her to take care of personal matters, they will not get done. We have standing “personal” blocks of time on her calendar that I know not to touch. These blocks of time enable her to take care of personal things, including exercise.

    Open up your calendar right now and enter the following: Go for a Run! Figure out the best day and time of day to run and block that time on your calendar. Are you a morning, afternoon or evening runner? Whichever you are, PUT IT IN YOUR CALENDAR NOW AND DO NOT CUT INTO IT!!!

    If I don’t make time for exercise, it will not happen and then you what does happen? Abject self-loathing and depression come knocking.

    Ever since my ballet teacher retired (1.5 years ago), I haven’t done any kind of group exercise where I can form relationship bonds with people. I hate gyms and that whole atmosphere. I feel the same about the group exercise classes offered at gyms. Since ballet I have been searching for something… something to fill the void that ballet used to fill. A co-worker told me about MMA. He said I should try it because you form close bonds with the people you train with. I had my first classes last week and I can see what he means about the close bonds. Although, admittedly MMA is like nothing I have ever done before. Talk about a contact sport! Yikes! All told, I am glad I tried it. I still don’t know how I feel about the sport in general but it’s nice to return to a class and have people say, “So glad you came back!”

    Anyway!

    As the Nike slogan says, “Just do it.”

    Trust when I say, no one has ever lay (lied?) on their death bed wishing they worked longer hours. Put yourself first because no one else will.

    1. Haha, thanks Susan. You are right. The weather is picking up here and I will definitely go for a run this week. The only thing that stopped me last week was a nasty cold.

      1. I work with a girl who is, as I refer to, a Professional Runner (she runs marathons etc…) and I know how she can get when she is unable to run (she sustained a foot injury recently). I’m glad you are over the cold. Now get your butt out there and RUN!

        🙂

        BTW, I signed up for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu last week. I had my 2nd class last night. I was sparring with men much bigger than me. It was intense, but I loved it. I felt so empowered when I left. Not to mention I was dripping with sweat. It was invigorating.

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