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back to sea

Oct 14, 2011 - 0 comments

Day three of what will be either a 4,5 or 10-week voyage.  Feeling pretty blah- had a great time at home, got a lot of fun in, spent a weekend in Vermont reconnecting with my wife, a little, which was difficult but worthwhile. We're talking again, with lots of arguing, but there's honesty and discussion of emotions and feelings, which is a nice change.  I also went to Maine to relax for a few days. Did a lot of hiking and other fun stuff.
      My workouts have suffered!  I did a full workout today, and the hour of walking/calisthenics was tough to get through. My shoulders are tight as hell now, but I'm glad I got a full workout done- I've walked every day, but this is the first time I went in 100%. Still not feeling as motivated as last tour, but my weight loss has slowed to normal rates, which is fine, and healthy, but disappointing. I really enjoyed taking my belt in a notch every week there for a while. Regardless, I look healthy again. 30lbs more and I'll look rock solid. 40lbs and I'll have a flat stomach. First time ever, I think.

anxiety and anger

Sep 25, 2011 - 0 comments

I know that I've got a lot of trouble waiting for me at home. I haven't seen my wife in 5 weeks, and I've only managed to get ashore for 3 days (1-2 hours each time) in the last 35 days.  I'm burnt out with work, and when I go home I have to deal with my wife, which is probably going to make me want to run back to sea for another month again.
          I'm finding myself becoming more angry with my wife as time goes on. I suppose shock and hurt had numbed me for the first few weeks. For the very first time ever, I'm dealing with depression, in a small way. I've never had motivational issues, and I've absolutely never been unable to control my emotional state before. I'm getting explosively angry,which is NOT my way, and I so badly need to be calm and rational when I go home in a few days. I haven't prayed much since my father died, but I feel the need now to ask for patience.
           My anxiety interfered with a cargo load the other night. I second-guessed my chief mate, corrected the load plan he wrote, then missed my stops in several tanks. We put to sea with a mild list. No big deal, but I refused to believe the refinery manager when he finished loading. I was sure he had overloaded us, which never actually happens. That's a perfect example of what anxiety does- self-doubt turns into doubt related to what's in front of you, and then there's a panic. Stupid, really.

       Anyhow, I missed my marks on the load because I've been self-destructive, beating myself to death over my wife's actions, and continually pouring salt in my wounds. This further enrages me because I define myself by my job so strongly that I feel dissappointed with myself as a man when I make a mistake. Stupid snowball effect.
       The past 10 days have been ultra-negative. Really not like me at all.

paperwork, subordinates and anxiety

Sep 18, 2011 - 0 comments

Had an irrational bout with anxiety tonight. My new assistant isn't so great with paperwork, and I found what seemed to be a large discrepancy in our bill of lading between his figures and that of the loading port. Turns out it was within limits, barely, but I was already gaming out how the hell I was going to explain this to the guys in our office before I even finished pulling out a calculator. In the end, we were OK, but I'm really not sleeping well when this guy handles a cargo load, and that's a brutal thing, as I need my wits about me. I'm not sure why lately I've been worrying so much about making a mistake out here- I've made several small uncharacteristic errors in the past few weeks, and my shipmates and friends have caught them. Lately it seems I'm doing a better job in being more exacting in my capacity as captain, so I should be worrying less about things, but rather with the new subordinate I'm getting resentful that I can't trust him enough so that I can sleep well, and I can't fire him AGAIN, as he's already been let go and sent back to me.

1st entry

Sep 16, 2011 - 0 comments







Stress and anxiety


Diet and Exercise

I thought I'd do this as a way to keep track of my issues with anxiety as they come and go. I seem to have responded very well to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and my anxiety level has declined considerably in the past year. There are still moments and situations that will make me turn inward and panic quietly, but I can't remember the last time I truly freaked out where it wasn't actually justified; that seems like a good ad for CBT.

In the meanwhile, my shrink's orders to exercise more have really started to pay off. In the past year I've gone from a 44' waist to a 40', which, for someone my size, is great, and I'm back to the size I was when I played football in college. Still have 50lbs to go to my goal of actually being athletic in a traditional sense, but I haven't had a moment of self-doubt about getting there since I committed myself to being healthier both mentally and physically. This has been a boon, as my marriage has really been struggling, and I would have fallen apart had I been at this point last year before CBT.