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Worry Journal - help please

Jun 15, 2016 10:30 PM

Hi all.
Something that was suggested to me by the nurse at work and in my chronic pain self management class was to start a worry journal and refer back to it when I'm starting to worry about something so that I can function better and hopefully reduce stress and as a result pain.
So I'm trying it but I am stuck and need help. Im not very good at finding solutions or this positive thinking thing. Im a classic catastrophic thinker.
The worry thought I'm working on first is What if the deicing fluid runoff and breakdown gasses come into my work building and make me sick again?
The format is supposed to follow worry thought, more evidence on the subject (aka ask the expert), would most others agree with your worry and if not what would they think, what would you tell a friend, what will happen if the thought continues and then more encouraging and useful thinking. Then there is the problem solving portion which is actions you can take towards fixing the problem and the pros and cons.
Im stuck on what would most people think (I've heard from others that is both a legitimate concern and that I'm just crazy) and better ways of thinking. I haven't tried problem solving yet because it's all out of my control (i can't think past my own nose apparently). The only evidence I have is a tenative plan by the airport to work on the processing system over the summer. And I'd tell a friend that stress makes everything worse and to take their mask everywhere and if it does show up again to call the manager and leave even if there is no one else to cover shift. (Which makes me worry that if I do that I'll be fired for abandoning my post in a safety sensitive environment, see i am crazy). If i continue to worry I'll stress myself out so bad that I'll be fighting anxiety attacks before my shift again and probably calling in sick from the stress as well as making both the fibro and mcs worse.
Any ideas?
Sorry this is so long

Jun 15, 2016 11:33 PM

Gotobef,
I have done this before. I ran into problems with this concept because I started with a big issue that had many variables, some of which I can or do not have control over. It backfired, I got more frustrated and more anxious. Then one of my workers said start small, something that is easier to change over to be positive. Grow from there. An example: I feel I am house bound because of my anxiety. Positive I took a shower today so when going out I was not stinky and more presentable. Just getting into the shower 1st thing in the morning was a positive. I brushed my teeth today. Brushed my hair. Had a noontime nap. Then in a couple days I added. Then eventually it was becoming a habit that I didn't have to worry about also. I hope this makes sense.
Gotobef I think the topic you picked is real and you need to find answers and relief. I just think it is too big as a starter. I think it could be a useful tool. It does help that you get help with it such as asking here. I think I took this in a CBT cognitive behavioural therapy course.
Beets. One step at a time.

Jun 15, 2016 11:52 PM

Thanks Beets.
I'll make some smaller, easily solved ones too so that I have a sense of accomplishment and don't give up.
I really need to have the bigger ones written down for when i forget what possible solutions the are and start to freak out.

Jun 15, 2016 11:53 PM

This is what i have so far
Deicing runoff exposure at work... again
What if I get exposed to the deicing fluid breakdown runoff from the airport again?
More evidence:
Airport is changing how they do things this summer which should reduce the amount of toxins being released into the air in the spring and fall.
Exposure is based on wind direction.
There is a 5 year plan to look at upgrading the hvac system at work.
What would most people think:
Most people understand the fear as I got really sick but feel it is unlikely to happen at that level again. Some say im a drama queen.
What would I say to a friend:
It might or might not come back into the building but you can't live in fear. Make sure you have protection with you and if you smell it notify the manager immediately and then go home and get right into the shower.
What will happen if I continue to think this way:
I'll have major anxiety going to work in the spring and fall and might not be able to go to work because of it. I'll make my fibro worse.
What is a more encouraging way of thinking:
I need to keep reminding myself that there are items work has given me to help limit my exposure in an exposure event and hopefully that'll keep me from getting really sick again.
I need to keep reminding myself that my health is more important than work and that I can leave sick even if no one else is here

Jun 16, 2016 1:41 AM

As an anxious person, I find it helpful to kind of...switch focus. When I try to "be positive" I suddenly spun into all my future thoughts.
Like when I'm terrified by a noise, telling myself "you are safe" doesn't do a thing. But then I go to, my neighbors know me, I have a huge dog who can bark like a beast, even though once you're inside she'll cuddle and want to meet you. The doors are locked. The lights outside are on, and I need to breathe. In, out. Stare at my dog until I start to chill.
I'm not saying this will work for sure, just in my experience it's more helpful in the moment (if you have control, I know panic just takes over at times)
I know it's hard not to know if you'll be blamed for taking care of your body. I've had some break down moments, and it's always hard to get back to work.
First, make sure you vent. Keep in touch with people who think your concern is reasonable, they can be future allies. Tell us, too.
Yes, stress makes things worse. But if you're anything like me, stressing about not stressing just makes a horrible loop. So try to think about right now. Right now, you do/not have a mask ready. Right now you are in a safe/not place, work or home. If you can trust to your manager, ask them about options in case of emergency. It might be comforting to have a back up plan.
Then remember, you are alive. You have survived today. You are doing your job, and helping someone, whether or not you realize it.
I know it's hard not knowing what will happen. I hope the stress isn't too much right now!💪❤👣

Jun 16, 2016 6:10 AM

Gotobef it looks very much like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which helps turn warpy thoughts around 😀 it can be a bit tricky and takes practice which is why a worry journal has been suggested. Homework you see 😉 my hubby learnt CBT to manage anxiety when he hurt his back years ago and he manages anxiety really well these days.

Jun 16, 2016 10:34 AM

I spent most of the night drafting an email in my head asking for an update on the hvac project (last i heard the request was submitted to head office). This is not productive in any way and totally not ok. The second i have a second to think i start to panic about some things like am i going to be exposed to that crap at work again, what is going to happen to me when they renovate the building over the next 2 years, what if the bfs dad has a smoke then comes into my house, what if i have to go visit at my bfs patents house, what if i get sick at work again and I'm the only one on, will i get fired for leaving sick if I'm the only one on, what if the intolerances get to the point I'm housebound, what if the pain gets worse, what if i get even more food intolerances (i did get more after getting poisoned), what if the house never sells, what if i end up on disability or get fired and we can't afford our new place, what if no one else will hire me because of my issues, what if they send me for training (i am guaranteed to get sick and not just from food but because the training centre scents the sheets and towels and uses air fresheners everywhere), what if im one of the 4 staff in my office that are going to get cut in the next 5 years (unlikely they are claiming it'll happen via retirement or people moving around in the company but I'm still scared)
Yeah my head is a bad place to be and distraction only works so long

Jun 16, 2016 1:33 PM

I have another spin on the worry journal. Make a god box...like out of a shoe box, decorate it, etc. Tape it so you can't open it back up, put a slit on top to slip little worries and concerns and praises to your God. By doing this, we practice faith, relax, let it go... kind of thing. Sometimes , we can over kill on trying to work out our stuff when in reality letting it go, breath, God's got this kind of thinking takes away the anxiety and fears away...or helps them to be manageable. This may not seem appropriate for all but at times, this has really really helped me alot..and I had fun making the box...it was a fun thing to do.

Jun 17, 2016 8:08 PM

Next worry assignment. I'm sure most have had this worry and been in this situation and can give me some practical advice. Please

What if I get a pain flare or bad reaction to something while I'm at work alone and have to leave, will I get in trouble, will my coworkers hate me?
More evidence:

What do others think:

What would I tell a friend:
If you are sick, you are sick. Go home and don't worry about it. It's better to leave then to make a bad mistake.
What will happen if thought continues:
I push through when I shouldn't and cause my health to worsen. I'll be afraid to leave work when I really should leave. I'll make mistakes at work because I don't want to inconvenience anyone else by having them come in for me.
More encouraging or useful thoughts:

Jun 18, 2016 12:37 AM

Hi gotobef.
I use an App called Worry Time at the same time every day.
The idea is you list your worries and only think about them at that time of the day.
It may be work a look.

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