Chops gone, brain gone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by frankmike, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. Bruin

    Bruin Pianissimo User

    Mar 21, 2008
    FrankMike, I just read your most recent post -- a psychologist or clinical social worker may be able to help you and your situation. You sound like you've hit the wall, it's now time to ask/get some help and focus on taking care of yourself. Yes, you are taking care of many other people's needs, but you can't attend to anyone else's unless you, yourself, are well.

    May I make a few observations, however?

    Your schedule is overwhelming, man, particularly that you stay up till 2:00am to engage in something that should be respite and fun for you. It sounds like if you have this time built into your schedule, your music has become a "have to do" chore and stressor instead of an enjoyable activity that reduces your stress. It shouldn't be this way, IMHO. It would also help if you and your family (or just you yourself) could structure your weekend so that you engage in enjoyable, meaningful activities that will refresh you both mentally and physically. Try NOT doing any work on the weekends -- hopefully your job doesn't require this of you.

    It also sounds like you could benefit from learning to set some limits with your co-workers. Why do they have to drop in your office every 5 minutes? That's very disruptive and stressful. Unfortunately, when I was a healthcare administrator, I confronted a similar situation. Because I was dealing with patient care, there wasn't much I could do to change this situation. I had to attend to what staff believed were patients' medical emergencies, so I had to attend to them throughout my day.

    Think about some ways in which you have some control over how others interact with you, and see if you can come to an agreement about HOW you would prefer they communicate with you, e.g., not every 5 minutes, if this can be helped. Can they instead e-mail you, and can you put these e-mails into an e-mail folder to attend to during specific hours in your day? Might compartmentalizing your dad help you gain a greater sense of control and mastery? For example, co-workers can consult you between 11am-12pm and between 2-3pm, otherwise they cannot. Try to structure your work day so that things are more predictable. Lack of structure and constant interruptions are stressful. See if there might be a way to change this. If necessary, perhaps bring this up during a staff meeting?

    Also, if you have a spare horn, take it to work with a practice mute and practice instead during your lunch break. I've got one in my office. Or, use your lunch break to simply rest your mind. Take a short nap if needed. Watch a few youtube videos of trumpet players ... anything to take your mind off of work. Please try to avoid working during your lunch breaks to give yourself some distance from work. Even find a nearby park to have your lunch. When I used to work in West Los Angeles, I'd take my lunch and drive 3 miles to the beach, and have my lunch while looking at people surfing, walking along the beach, watch the seagulls ... it was a very calming experience.

    Communicate with your spouse about what you're going through, and see if, together, you can also come to some remedies for your stress. And, again, seek out the help of a professional to help you with your daily stress. Also, think about why everything came to a head one week ago. What was the stick that broke the camel's back for you?

    Also, instead of the 1/2 hour of Seinfeld, can you instead go for a walk, ride a bicycle, etc.? Physical exercise is so important to help reduce stress and its consequences. My buddies and I mountain bike ride every Sunday morning for a work-out, but this also serves as a male bonding activity. We sit down over breakfast post-ride and talk about stuff that we're up to, having problems with, and just to joke around. This is a great stress reliever, and makes me feel less socially isolated, which can sometimes happen with you're constantly engaged in some type of work ... work-work, family-work, school-work, etc.

    Take good care of yourself...
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  2. comeback_honker

    comeback_honker New Friend

    Sep 9, 2009
    I hate to suggest _adding_ something to your crazy schedule, but it may help. Exercise.

    When I was suffering burnout three years ago (not playing the trumpet, but with schedules in general), I found that adding intense exercise really helped.

    Now with your schedule, fitting it in might be a challenge. For me, I run 4 times a week, always at 5:30-6:45 am. I don't think that schedule would work for you, but if there's any way to add it, I think it would help.

    The benefits of exercise for me was massive weight loss, blood pressure decrease, and most importantly ... a much brighter outlook on life. In fact getting in shape is what made me ponder taking up the trumpet again after all these years.

    I had to give up other things to fit it in my schedule .. I traded TV for the most part, and really don't miss it.
  3. SFPat

    SFPat Pianissimo User

    Sep 20, 2009
    Your schedule is why I took 25 years off from the trumpet. Too much time allocated to commuting, work, children, home, wife, etc. and there was only so many hours in the day. For me, tt was a matter of priorities. I too did (and still do) an hour commute each way and also had a fairly heavy travel schedule. With six young children, what "free" time I had was spent with them or the wife (we insisted on an early bed time for the kids so we could have "sanity" time). As they got older, it was children activities - sports, music, school, etc. Now that most are out of the house, I find I finally have time for myself dispite still leaving the house at 6:15 am and usually not getting home until after 7:00 pm. Maybe you need to rethink the priorities and cut back on the music for awile.
  4. JoeBlack

    JoeBlack Pianissimo User

    Oct 12, 2009
    Northern Ontario

    HUGE red flag if I am reading that correctly!!

    Frankmike, seek help ASAP.

    Does your company have Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)? If so utilize it discreetly to speak to a councillor. They will get the ball rolling, and you may have to take a pile of tests, but in the end you may very well find the help you need. Also for more discretion, you might consider seeing your GP for a referral to a psycometrist, or other specialist higher up the ladder.

    Do so as soon as possible. Both avenues begin with a phone call. Squeeze that call into your schedule tomorrow. I know it's hectic, but please make an effort.

    Peace Bro, you can get through this...

  5. JoeBlack

    JoeBlack Pianissimo User

    Oct 12, 2009
    Northern Ontario


    Just checking in to see how your day went. Wanted to reassure you that it's OK to feel what you're feeling, and the fact that you're expressing those feelings openly here and reaching out for advice is admirable. There is a wealth of good advice here so far, so I hope you take a moment to reread the replies here to get a sense of what direction to go in terms of getting through this and back to a less stressful life.

    Sometimes our coping skills are overwhelmed. Stepping back, taking a wider perspective and obtaining professional help will do wonders right now.

    Drop us a line...


  6. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    Hi guys!!!

    Thank you all for your kind words, advices and support. It is very kind of you.

    I am better. Much better.

    Chops are back, brain will hopefully be soon:thumbsup:

    It is the case of everyday job related stress. My therapist even advised me to change it to sometnihg different. My job does not suit my character. I am working in the finances, I have big responsibility and it is very uncreative. And you have to take care about every single detail, because one small mistake in contract can cause huge damage and there is my share in responsibility, plus every now and then someone (from other dept) drops in to ask utterly stupid question, because they think because we are finance dept. we know everything, well we do not, plus our room is on the way to coffe machine (there is no hallway, they all go directly through my office), plus I am sitting all the time. And above all we have audit ATM.
    All in all it is a unhealthy job and unhealthy working enviroment, the only good thing is sallary, so I will have to think about it very thoroughly.

    I will also add some jogging in the afternoon in between practicing trmpt and piano, - hmm well we'll see how it works.

    Also I have bought huge MPC and I feel very positive about it, it is Amati 7c (but is much bigger than Bach 7c, infact it looks like it is 3c) very big and it suits me well, although it is a bit harder to play, but I can use wide pitch range, and I like it.

    Love for music definately came back I played that wonderfull tune (you're driving me crazy) last night on piano and I transcribed Mileses Dear Old Stockholm with a great sucess, also I tried it on trmpt and it was nice.

    Thank you again for your concern.

    Bye :grouphug:
  7. JoeBlack

    JoeBlack Pianissimo User

    Oct 12, 2009
    Northern Ontario
    Check yer sugar levels:D

    Man, you're one productive guy when you want to be! I mention sugar levels because they'll mess with your energy pretty bad. One of the first things to attack when you feel your moods rockin is your diet. Start by stripping back on coffee, reducing sugars (and that includes eating processed crap), and get back to basics. Intake a couple litres of water a day and 'graze' every 3 hours. Trust me when I focus on diet. It will do more good for your well being (both nutritionally, and mentally) than you can imagine.

    Keep us updated. I'm interested to hear how your energy and moods cycle, and how this relates to your ability to manage stress.



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