Square peg, round hole.

This has been a crazy couple of weeks. The work disaster, possible last minute job situations where I could transfer to the same kind of job in a different situation, lots of talking to lots of people, and lots of tears.

I’ve come to a conclusion.

I’m leaving the field. It’s not because my boss yelled at me and said those things, it’s not because I don’t like what I’m doing. It’s because it’s not a good fit. I’ve spent the last two years unhappy, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, working for peanuts, and I don’t have anything to show for the last four years of my life.

I’m walking away. I know what direction I want to go, and I’ve already reached out to several people to coach me through this transition. I’ve been thinking about doing this for at least a year.

Financially it will be better. Quality of life will be better, and most of all, I think it will be better for my mental health.

I feel a tremendous sense of relief. I’ve given myself permission to change directions.

Wish me luck!

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Confusion

Monday morning I almost passed out. I went to work anyways and my boss said some very hurtful things-mostly that I was a very immature and rude individual who was weak and couldn’t handle anything. At first I was upset and irritated and wanted to defend myself. I should of went home because I could barely walk but I stayed. It was camp week and I couldn’t do much more than sit in a chair and direct traffic.

I went to med express that night and the doctor said I was stressed, not eating enough, not sleeping enough, etc. that’s why I passed out. Maybe vertigo too, but that wasn’t the only reason. I got a medical excuse to cover my butt and made an appointment to see my doctor.

Wednesday I saw my doctor. He said the only thing that caused it was vertigo even though I flat out told him I wasn’t eating, and was really, really stressed. It confused me and I was upset. Mom launched into her thing about how I don’t express myself correctly and it’s essentially my fault people don’t listen to me. I had my sister pick me up from my parents house and take me home. I couldn’t drive until Friday. Mom called to apologize the next day, but I haven’t talked to her since.

And now I’m thinking my boss was right. I shouldn’t of set boundaries at work. I shouldn’t have put myself first. I’m attention seeking and lazy. The way I feel shouldn’t have impacted my work.

And I’m isolating myself. If I’m that horrible of a person I shouldn’t be around others. If I’m that attention-seeking, I should keep my distance.

I’m sad and confused and feel awful about myself. And I should. And what’s the point of trying to be different? I can’t.

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And it gets more complicated…

Yesterday morning I almost passed out. I all but lost consciousness. If my mom hadn’t been there I would have been out. Didn’t know where I was, couldn’t hear, couldn’t walk or stand. I was on the floor. Went to work and it was a disaster. Went to med express last night. They do all the normal things. Bloodwork. EKG. Blood pressure. Temperature.

Doctor comes in. Asks me a couple questions. Then asked me if I had an eating disorder. No. Are you eating? Not as much as I should probably but yes. Are you throwing up? No.

He leaves, they come in to do the EKG and other things.

He comes back in. Says a couple things. Looks me in the eye and says “you are starved” and told me that I need to see my doctor.

There are so many things running through my head. Work. What’s wrong with me. The disgust I have with where I am in life.

I see the doctor tomorrow. So we’ll see what happens.

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How I know my brain is falling apart on me. Again.

    I feel scattered.
    All I can do is talk about myself.
    I can’t remember anything.
    I’m choosing not to do things that need done.
    It’s a struggle to focus on other people.
    I turn into a complete and total slacker.
    I want to cry.
    I’m overwhelmed.
    I feel like people don’t like me/are constantly judging me. Someone can tell me that they love something I did and I still walk away thinking they hated it….and me.
    All I want to do is sleep.
    I’m angry at myself and annoyed with everyone else. I start hating myself for not living up to my expectations.
    I have weird dreams.
    I feel desperate for people that I can talk to about this shit. And I start to cross boundaries that I shouldn’t cross.
    Panic attacks come back.
    I’m constantly tired.
    I have thoughts of skipping meds.
    I want out.

I know the crash is happening because of my work schedule-the amount of days I have to work in a row, the long hours I have to work, and the stress associated with that. And there is not a damn thing I can do about it.

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#food

I have a bad habit of not eating. Tired, exhausted, busy, happy, sad, stressed, anxious, whatever. I fell out of the habit of cooking a year ago.

I’m staring down three weeks of nonstop work where I’ll be beyond exhausted and have zero desire to do anything. Especially cook. So this time I decided to be proactive because the last thing I need is to pass out in 90 degree weather while I’m supposed to be in charge of 13 six year olds.

I spent today cooking things that I can freeze. I officially have enough food in my freezer for a good month and a half. Now I just have to remember to eat it.

#challengeaccepted

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Journaling

And I’m not talking on here. I mean stream of consciousness pen to paper word vomit that you don’t read until two days later and all you can think is “Holy shit! Is that really what happens in my brain?”

That’s why I’ve been sorta quiet on here; I’ve been doing that for the past three weeks in an effort to get a handle on my sanity. In a little under three weeks I’ve filled half of a Moleskine notebook. I’m 99.9% sure I’ve cycled through all possible moods in that time.

But you learn things doing that. A lot of things, and many times it is uncomfortable things. I didn’t realize how extreme and obsessive my moods were until I found myself writing 3-4 times a day, and every few days I read over the entire journal.

I better understand what my mixed moods look like, how the agitation affects my life and how often I obsess over things and actually lose time. It can range from relatively benign things (planners and pens – I know I’m a nerd) to things that are not so “safe”. The only reason the planners and pens are benign is because I can keep myself from spending money. If it weren’t for that it could be a disaster.

Journaling like this prevents my memory from glossing over the bad (or good) parts. It enables me to create a timeline to give to my therapist. And my psychiatrist, who, by the way, won’t let me go more than a month without a med check right now. I think how quickly I “recovered” from when I was suicidal a few months ago and some of the symptoms I tell them now are sending up some serious red flags. After I looked through my journal I totally agree.

Regardless, this is one of those times when the unplanned and unexpected saves my ass yet again. I will fill up 74539 notebooks if it means I can get this figured out sooner, or at least let’s me know when I need to speak up for help.

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Humph

Let’s put this simply.

I’ve been depressed for the last I don’t know how many months. A year maybe? I have no idea.

Until this week. I’m cooking. I’m cleaning. I’m socializing. All those normal human things.

But I’m also obsessing. To the point where I forget to do laundry and shower and make my best friends birthday present (whose party is tomorrow btw and I’m going to have to show up empty handed. NOT COOL. I’ll figure something out.)

I’ve always been drawn to stationary and planners and journals. I use them for a while and then I abandon them…..just the way it goes. But at some point earlier this week I happened upon the whole concept of Midori Travelers Notebooks. Since then I’ve been obsessed with them. I have spent HOURS reading and looking at YouTube videos and pictures. I’ve looked on amazon comparing brands and I swear I’ve combed through every Etsy store. Like I’ve gotten home from work, made dinner and then proceeded to spend the next 4-5 hours staring at my iPad trying to figure out what I want to buy. This is the 3rd or 4th day I’ve done this. Never mind that I don’t really need it and would most likely not actually use it. But it’s like I need to act on it RIGHT NOW.

I don’t know if it’s a big deal or not, but it feels HUGE. I haven’t felt this obsessed with something since college or sometime around then.

But that, plus the restlessness and irritability and the anxiety that slams me if I give myself 2 seconds to breath……right now this is what my mood swings look like. Plus the negative loop in my head started earlier this week.

I keep trying to tell myself that this is normal. That everyone is like this. Or I’m over exaggerating. All because it’s not the dramatic, erratic, risky behavior you always hear about.

I wanted to stop feeling depressed because the meds were working, not because I was swinging in the other direction.

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20 questions

I feel like my posts have become judgmental, impulsive and bitter. So I’m trying something a little different.

What’s the toughest decision you made today?

Seeing that it’s only 9am, I’ll go with yesterday. Attempting to not be bitter about my job.

What’s the toughest decision you made this year?

Giving myself permission to acknowledge that I may not have picked the best field this time around.

What’s the toughest decision you ever made?

Leaving teaching. Hands down.

What have you forgotten?

What my life felt like before I was diagnosed with bipolar. The memory of feeling like I was normal and had potential for a life with marriage, kids, and a decent career is quickly fading away.

If you were guaranteed the answer to one question, what would it be?

What direction my career should go in.

What’s it like being you right now?

Intense. Confusing. Uncertainty.

What makes you nostalgic?

People that are successful and going somewhere in life. I miss that feeling.

If you had two hours left on earth what would you do?

Spend it with my family.

What’s the most beautiful word in the world?

Patience

Who makes you laugh more than anyone?

My dad

What did your father teach you?

What it means to be a good person, how to work hard, how to laugh, and don’t let anyone mess with you.

What did your mother teach you?

How to help people.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

Jeez, I don’t know. Maybe the ones that are meaningful?

Best gift you ever received?

The thoughtful ones…ones that make me realize that someone cares about me.

How many times a day do you look in the mirror?

Less and less as I get older. I’m not entirely thrilled with how I look…

What do you bring most to a friendship?

In general I don’t think I’m that great of a friend, but on my good days I guess empathy? Sometimes?

If 100 people in your age group were selected randomly, how many do you think they’d find leading a happier life than you?

Well if you go by what people post on Facebook all of them. In reality though I’d say a good number…I’m pretty fantastic at feeling bad about myself.

What is or was your best subject in school?

I should say history because that’s what I majored in, but if you look at what my grades were (and the classes that were easiest for me) in high school and college I’m going to go with calc, chemistry, and physics.

What activity do you do that makes you feel most like yourself?

Teaching. Why did I leave teaching again?

What makes you feel supported?

Someone truly understanding my struggles with mental health.

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The wall has been hit.

The last month has been non-stop. My therapist asked me when I thought I’d hit a wall.

Well. Now. The wall has been hit. Yesterday was the end of the marathon and in the last 24 hours two of my volunteers bailed on me, I found out I can’t take a day off for my friends birthday party because it’s a weekend, and my friends are making all these plans for weekends that I can’t participate in because I work. And I have been reminded that not only do I have to work weekends, I have to work weekends by myself so I’m isolated from everyone. I’m put into impossible situations where I have to do 5 things at once because other people aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.

I’m bitter, angry, and frustrated. I’m constantly biting my tongue so I don’t get myself in trouble.

This job is killing me.

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Jealousy

Four months ago I turned 30.

This is not a post about how I feel old. This is not a post about how I miss my youth. This is a post about regret and jealousy.

My 30th birthday was quiet. Very quiet. My parents came up the weekend before and we went to dinner. Then another day I went to their house and we had cake. That was it. I tried to tell myself that’s what I wanted. I didn’t advertise my birthday. The day of my birthday my mom texted me happy birthday. She didn’t call. My sister didn’t call or text. My dad didn’t call or text. My grandma didn’t call. This was the first year they didn’t. I tried to ignore the fact that they didn’t.

This week, a really good friend of mine had her 30th birthday. Another friend of hers took her to the Bahamas (this friend of hers has a condo down there). She’s having a big party in a few weeks.

And then this week it hit me.

I’m jealous. Jealous to the point I’m a little angry. She’s going to the Bahamas and I don’t even get a phone call. She did invite me over for my birthday, on the day of, but only after I told her I wasn’t doing anything. It felt like a pity-invite.

When I turned 25 my family made a big deal out of it-doing the same thing they did for my sister. They got us 25 gifts. (Don’t get excited….they wrapped up things like chapstick post-it’s and snacks. I wasn’t disappointed, that’s how we roll and it was funny).

This year? Nothing.

This whole thing reminds me of when I was younger when my parents wouldn’t do things and then pin it on me by saying “we didn’t think it’s what you wanted” without bothering to ask me.

Don’t get me wrong, my family loves me and has gone above and beyond the call of duty, but the fact that my birthday went by relatively unnoticed hurts.

It has sent me down the rabbit hole of realizing everything I haven’t done and the years I feel I lost because I struggled so much. It made me realize I’m embarrassed by my job.

So while I try to be happy for my friend, I can’t ignore the jealousy I feel.

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