D is for…Doctor: I’ve just walked out of a conference looking at the issues of resilience and healthy longevity. More specifically, in terms of dealing with stress and looking at the impact on biological functioning and its subsequent impact on emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Our presenters, Dr Allan and Helen Meyer, shared openly about some of their own struggles and gave glimpses of personal and leadership challenges and the subsequent insights they’ve learnt and have shaped much of their work with Lifekeys and other resources they produce.
The guts of what Allan shared was based around the following points.
- 4 major impactors on the Limbic system (with emphasis on the impact due to work related dynamics):
- Fear / bullying
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Not wanting to disappoint
- Effects of chronic stress:
- Depleted endorphins (physical pain)
- Depleted Serotonin (depression)
- Depleted Immune (illness)
- Depleted adrenaline (fatigue)
- Dysregulated dopamine (anhedonia)
- Depleted benzos (anxiety)
As our table discussed the impact of some of these realities and how we managed our own wellbeing, an older wise man shared the following quote from Henri Nouwen:
Anger is the emotional response to the experience of being deprived.
This resonated as I’m aware of feeling deprived across many important arenas of my life at present. This sparked for me several thoughts. The scariest of these was recognising that as I went through the above lists I could go tick for nearly all of them and see how over recent months my own capacity was being diminished across most of these bodily functions, both in part to cumulative work/life balance pressures, but largely due to triggers related to shared parenting issues that I’d not had to deal with for some 7 years.
Over the next few blogs I’ll unpack some of these thoughts and my experiences around…
- D is for…diagnosis.
- D is for…disappointment.
- D is for…depression.
- D is for…dirty grief.
For now, I’ll finish with…
D is for…disclaimer: I’ve been grappling over recent weeks how much I self-disclose through this medium. I’m consistently told I have much to offer, partly because of what I’ve been through, and partly the subsequent insights this has given me. Not that I think my experience and insights are especially unique per se, but I do recognise that I may be able to give voice on some topics that may assist others.
Part of my grapple is recognising that my professional, parenting and personal worlds overlap and I’m mindful that whilst I need to be able to give voice to my own experiences, I also need to do so in a way that respects various relationships, most importantly that with my two sons. I will seek to hold these in tension ensuring I don’t disclose anything that may create difficulties for them or that I may feel concerned about them reading.