T-MAPs 4: Slipping off the Tracks

This is a continuation of the series on Transformative Mutual Aid Practices (T-MAP’s)
(See: https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/t-maps/ )

This section is a bit odd for me. The questions relate to significant stresses, deeper than I’ve had to deal with. There were significant stresses related to my career as a neonatal respiratory therapist, software and medical hardware engineer, database developer, and researcher. But I’m retired now.

The point of this section is to map out what is hard for us, what we struggle with, and help us develop self-knowledge to be able to figure out what to do about it. This section is often the hardest one to fill out because it asks us to think about hard times, but the information we gather is really useful in our journey. Often unresolved things from our past can make us feel unsafe or upset in the present – this is called getting triggered. Sometimes our triggers contain useful information about what needs to heal in us, and what we need to express. If you find yourself getting triggered or overwhelmed as you complete your map, take a break and do one of the practices in your wellness toolkit. It can also help to do the T-MAPs process with other people and realize you are not alone.

My Stressors

Do my job, school, or finances contribute to my stress?

Check off any of these examples that apply to you, and write in your own answers at the bottom:

Add your own:

My stressors relate to conflicts that arise from my spiritual guidance and trying to get Quakers and/or others to understand that guidance and follow it with me. Or for certain guidance, finding out how to implement it, and then do it myself. I realize this isn’t much compared to the awful things many people have gone, are going through.

Do my relationships negatively impact my wellness?

I get stressed when Quakers, friends and/or others feel I’m on the wrong track with my spiritual journey.

What health factors negatively impact my wellness?

Sleep Deprivation

Getting Sick

Add your own:

Sleep deprivation commonly triggers migraine headaches. Or becoming irritable more easily. Fortunately, I don’t get sick very often, but I don’t like to feel unwell.

Do stressors related to my cultural background or identity negatively impact my wellness?

Describe your experiences:

I suppose being a Quaker and my spirituality are my cultural background. It can be hard to hear what I am led to do spiritually. And sometimes to be led to do difficult things like write blog posts expressing some things I know will upset others. And sometimes it is difficult to join public events related to justice.

Do any traumatic events from my past cause me to get triggered in the present?

People criticizing or judging me in a way that brings back past experiences of emotional/​verbal abuse

Add your own:

My first public expressions of spiritual leading were when a teenager I really upset my parents when I turned in my draft cards during the Vietnam War. I know they had my best interests in mind, but I felt betrayed that they didn’t support draft resistance despite their Quaker beliefs in peace. That often comes to mind as I do many things related to justice work.

Now we’re going to ask some questions about what we’re like when we’re not well.

We get to decide what “not well’ means for each of us. There’s nothing wrong with having a hard time, but sometimes things feel like more than we can handle.  Try to identify what is a “warning sign” for you that danger is ahead, and what is just part of the natural ebb and flow of how you experience life. It can be very useful to have this information so we can share our insights with others.

What it looks like when I’m not doing well:

How I feel when I’m not well:

Check off any of these examples that apply to you, and write in your own answers at the bottom:

Anxious

Everything seems like too much effort

Describe your own experiences

I sometimes take on too much related to justice work. Also, responsibilities related to my Quaker community. That can add to the stresses related to spirituality. On the other hand, I don’t usually get too anxious because I do have a strong spiritual basis in my life (most of the time).

The following sections explore warning signs that we are having a rough time and could even be headed for crisis.

We’ve offered suggestions of different warning signs people might have, but feel free to move these around and make them your own – for example, for one person not sleeping enough might be an early warning sign, and for someone else it’s an advanced warning sign. Trust your own intuition and arrange your answers in a way that works for you – at the end of each question, you can always write in your own responses.

Warning Signs that I’m having trouble

Check off any of these examples that apply to you, and write in your own answers at the bottom:

I’m not sleeping enough.

I can’t get excited about things I usually love

Everyone and everything irritates me

Add your own

I usually notice this right away when I find I’m having trouble writing, since I write a blog post almost every day. And I have trouble finding things I want to take photos of, since I walk with my camera almost every day.

Advanced Warning Signs that I’m Approaching Crisis

Check any that apply to you, and write in your answers at the bottom:

Add your own:

I don’t even attempt writing or photography. I consider leaving my faith community altogether. Think about just giving up on my blog.


You are free to share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following terms:

 T-MAPs is licensed by Jacks McNamara and Sascha DuBrul under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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