Pros and Cons

Monday was a rough day for me. I had spent the entire previous week working on Turning the Mind (DBT skill) toward acceptance in regards to going to work. When my emotions would get really strong (in the negative direction), I would take a deep breath and remind myself, “I am choosing to go to work (today, tomorrow, etc.).” It worked pretty well all week. Then Monday happened.

I was opening Monday so I had to wake up at 4:50 in the morning. As soon as I woke up, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to quit my job. Usually, as soon as I leave for work, the dread and not-wanting-to-go disappears. Not this past Monday. Even at work I kept thinking about quitting. I wanted to just throw my hands in the air, say, “I quit,” and walk out.

I didn’t quit. I stuck out my shift and went to my scheduled therapy session for later that day. As soon as I walked in the door and sat down and exchanged the “Hellos” and “How are you?” with my therapist, I told her that I really wanted to quit my job. We spent the rest of the session doing a pros and cons list for acting on the action urge (quitting) versus not acting on the action urge (not quitting).

I basically set it up in a table like this:

Pros                                  Cons


Not quitting


Then, I ranked each item on a scale of 1-100 based on its level of importance to me. Then I compared the overall scores for the pros of quitting/cons of not quitting and the cons of quitting/pros of not quitting. They were so close. Within 15 points of each other I believe, with the pros of quitting/cons of not quitting coming out just ahead. However, I also realize that I don’t want to just up and quit my job without notice. Also, I figured maybe I could talk to my boss about scheduling to see if I can have more bearable hours/shifts.

The rest of this week has been difficult, but I’ve been getting through. I set up a DEAR MAN (another DBT skill about asking for what you want) and texted my boss about possibly getting assigned shorter shifts or longer shifts with another person present for part of it. I haven’t gotten a response back from him so I don’t know for sure that he saw that text, but I’m hoping that he did and that he will consider my requests.

Overall, doing the pros and cons gave me perspective and allowed me to get a couple steps closer to my wise mind. I didn’t quit my job and I’m still moving forward.



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