My job comes with a lot of responsibility along with the 26 people who report to me. Since getting the news I've barely been able to focus on work. Some people suggest throwing yourself into work to help get through times like this. Some suggest exercising like every waking moment of the day. I'm rambling, but my question is simply how do you make yourself do what you need to do with this hanging over you?
I am slowly starting to learn to open the doors and let some of those feelings come out later when I am alone. My IC also suggested (today actually) to either get a punching bag or start taking boxing classes to help me with my rage.
I think the way I do it is to honestly just shut that part of my brain down and pretend like everything is fine. Years of participating in theatre paid off I guess.
If you just tell your brain to focus only on the task at hand and keep practicing that you will begin to compartmentalize in a healthy way. I wish I could be of more help.
If you find yourself straying at work, try to shift your focus on happy memories (kids, vacations, etc). Something else besides the affair.
Get pissed. Get really pissed.
I think of that scene from the movie Good Will Hunting
Sean: My dad used to make us walk down to the park and collect the sticks he was going to beat us with. Actually the worst of the beatings were between me and my brother. We would practice on each other, trying to find sticks that would break.
Will: He used to just put a belt, a stick, and a wrench on the kitchen table and say, "Choose."
Sean: Gotta go with the belt, there.
Will: I used to go with the wrench.
Sean: The wrench, why?
Will: 'Cause fuck him, that's why.
I struggled, don't get me wrong. However, the times when I got myself fired up and was able to focus was when I put myself in that mindset.
Why did I keep going. Keep trying. Keep pushing all the shit that was done out of my mind when it would have been absolutely reasonable to curl up in a ball?
Because f*ck her...that's why.
Early on, one thing I did that helped out was making lists. I felt like I was writing out instructions for an intern, but I found it helpful to be able to cross things off one at a time. I felt like I was accomplishing things and it also reminded me of what I had to get finished that day. It broke the day into more manageable pieces and took away some of the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Hang in there man, time helps.
Then I'd give myself credit. Sometimes the credit was for getting my work done well. Sometimes the credit was for not vomiting. Geez - I filled out weeks of those charts. They kept my life from being a blur of pain.
I've not thought of those charts in months. It was a simple little spreadsheet but it kept me productive and focused and oddly, comforted.
I was supposed to start a new job! I had to postpone my start date by a few weeks because I knew I could not begin a new job in the mental state I was in. When the day came that I had to start work, I just made up my mind that I had to do it. I did not want to go! But, I have found my inner dragonlady and I switch to her when I go to work.
"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." -Unknown Wise Person
After DDay I was a brutal mess for about 3 months. I'm now entering into month 5 and I am feeling almost completely back to normal. I have between 5-10 bad hours per month, I'd say... This is compared to 24 bad hours per day during the first few weeks.
Although skeptical, I went to 2 hypnotherapy sessions in the first couple of months post-DDay. I had tried being hypnotised in the past and thought it was a bunch of hooey, but decided it was worth a try because the mind movies and rage just wouldn't stop. As a person who is generally pretty good at controlling my emotions, the roller coaster was distressing me a lot. I'm not sure if it was the hypnotherapy or just my own coping mechanisms, but I've been able to push most of the bad stuff out of my conscious thoughts. It sometimes pops back up to the surface, but those are usually times when I'm stressed, tired, or hormonal.
The hypnotherapist did some exercises with me to get rid of the mind movies (did some guided imagery to get me to replay the movies from end to beginning, and then taking the tape out of the player, putting it in a box, putting that box on a train, and waving to it as the train headed off in the distance... This even sounds hokey as I type it now... I'm a natural sceptic...).
But yeah, maybe hypnotherapy might be useful for you. I kind of approached it as "it's worth a shot, my mind can't get any more messed up than it is now." Five months out, I'm feeling pretty sane most of the time.