Still working on the worksheet from my CBT sessions…

Current problem:

Struggling to know what to do with university work, making me spend far too long on work, and taking me away from what I would rather be doing. Has affected me mentally, meaning my deadlines have been extended.

Its triggers:

General feelings about not knowing what I’m doing or what is expected of me (grading criteria is subjective, and marked against an unknowable and attainable ‘perfection’)

Specific occasions where I’ve wished that I hadn’t let myself spend so much time on my work, to the extent it took my time away from what I should have, and would like to have been doing. eg Easter 2010: my last time I spent with my grandfather, and I spent the whole time in tears and upset at my uni work while typing away at the dining room table, rather than enjoying my time with him (he died a few months later). Eg New Years Eve 2010/11: going to sleep at 10pm and setting my alarm for 5am trying to get uni work finished, rather than enjoy the night. On both these times I have never felt that the work I produced, reflected in my marks (that’s the only way I can judge the quality of my work), have been worth the sacrifice I made to take myself away from friends and family. Even if I’d got 100% I wouldn’t have thought it was worth it. So why why why did I let my uni work do that to me? It’s not even ‘Real Work’. Gah!

Feeling like its the last time to practice how to do things, how to work efficiently, before I’m out in the ‘Real World’, and that’s assuming I even get Real Work.

I’m scared that I’m a fraud if I pretend my work is good, that I know what I’m doing. Or else I will have to admit that I haven’t been able to cope with uni work. But then who will want to employ me.

The work I have produce is only the work I’ve produced with much anxiety.

I wouldn’t want to work like that again (thankfully I am slowly learning how not to force myself to work like that, since my sessions with Celine), but then I feel I’d be ripping off potential employers if they think they can expect that kind of work from me again. I’m scared that I will have to work like that again to produce that same standard of work which is expected of me. But I know (now) that that isn’t healthy or good for me.

Part time people on my course say that they’ve found uni work, in comparison to their Real Work, a ‘breath of fresh air’, and ‘refreshing’.

I’m scared that I’m setting myself up for problems even contemplating that I can cope with Real Life, and that I’ve wasted my one opportunity of having fun with my work by being anxious and so worried.

I’d like to do this year again, so that I can learn and practice working better, before Real Life.

But that would be such a waste of time, money. I don’t want to do that! And I don’t even now how I do work differently. So far I’ve worked out that making sure I eat and sleep properly helps, but is that really the whole answer.

I’m scared of going for a job interview (if I even get one. At least I think I can sell myself ok on paper).

I’ll have to talk about myself (not interesting), will have to try to be like a nice person that they would want in their office (but who would? I’m depressing!). So I will have to pretend to be interesting and someone they want around, but two problems: 1. I’m not good at pretending, 2. that would be lying. In addition, I’m worried that in talking about my work, it will make me upset, and I really don’t want to cry in an interview!

I’m realising it’s probably wrong to equate Real World with Real Life with Real Work.

Except in my mind they are all the same. I’ve almost always been in education except for my gap year, which was only ever a fixed gap and nothing else, so I’ve always felt that I’ve been in a sheltered, pretend world. I had a strange sense when Jo Yeates’ death was in the news, with thinking about how even though she was the most amazing landscape architecture student ever (we overlapped at university for one year. I watched one of her final presentations where one of the external examiners tried offering her a job in the middle of it!), even her amazingness at it couldn’t save her. Of course it couldn’t and I don’t think it could have, but it did highlight to me how much I’ve equated Work with Life, and the wrongness of that.

I’m not sure I’ve really identified a proper, isolated problem, or the ‘triggers’ I’ve mentioned are actually triggers. But it’s what I’ve filled in on the sheet, and I think are the main undercurrents in the worries I’ve been having. The specific things that send me in to tears in any given moment on any given day are way to numerous and random to mention. Or maybe that is what I’m meant to be concentrating on?

Here are links to my entries for the rest of the worksheet: Intro | Early Things | Core Beliefs | Rules | Coping & Maintenance