Let’s face it – when it sucks, it sucks

Since losing my job, I’ve spoken with a lot of people.  Friends checking up on me.  Family members making sure I’m okay.  Former co-workers keeping me in the loop with the latest gossip.

A few times, when they’ve been complaining, somewhere during the conversation they’ll say, “Wait… I shouldn’t be complaining.  I mean, look at what you’re going through.”  And then today, I saw a post on Facebook with someone well-meaning lampooning fellow Facebook connections for complaining too much, and not being grateful, enough.  “You just wasted a breath with a complaint while someone else took their last one.”

…..please.  Really?  THAT is the new standard for our lives?  Be happy and grateful 100% of the time because someone else has it worse?  By the same token, should we refrain from celebrating because someone else has it better?

That is possibly the dumbest possible way to set yourself up for failure I’ve ever heard.  Because here’s the thing, folks – we *need* time to process our feelings.  We need to experience them.  All of them.  We need to experience disappointment and anger and happiness and frustration and sadness and excitement and boredom.  We have been given the ability of cognitive thought.  And with that comes a range of emotion.  That emotion allows us to tie feelings to experiences, and thus, enlightenment.

Think about it: You spend a whole week at work putting off an important project.  On Friday, the project is due, and you don’t have it completed.  Your boss expresses his frustration, a little less than politely.  You go into the weekend feeling angry with yourself for not getting it done.  You feel embarrassed because your boss called you out.  And you’re sad because, instead of socializing with friends, you’ll be doing the project you should have done during business hours.

Without the emotional ties, we would struggle to learn from our experiences.

When my friends shame themselves for complaining, simply because I’m unemployed, I graciously respond, “Don’t do that to yourself.  Don’t feel like you can’t complain about a situation because of what I’m going through.  I’d rather you express your feelings to me because we’re friends, rather than censor them because I’m in a rough patch.”

Without emotion, nothing happens.  As I’m sitting here, I realize that my coffee cup is sitting precariously close to the edge of the table.  That makes me anxious; I don’t want my coffee to spill.  So I move it.  Conversely, I notice that my running shoes aren’t put away.  But right now, I’m not worried about it, so nothing will happen.

You feel how you need to feel.  From processing emotion comes insight.  From insight comes enlightenment.  From enlightenment comes next action steps.  From next action steps comes success or failure.  And the process begins again.  Getting stuck in any one part of that process is problematic.  But going through them?  Perfectly healthy.

So here’s my public service announcement for the day: Feel how you need to.  Bitch about life when it has you down.  Celebrate when something good happens.  Someone always has it worse.  And someone always has it better.  And don’t worry about me.  I can’t stop myself from expressing myself.  So I’ll be just fine.

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Exhaustion and Wardrobe Malfunctions

Long days lead to exhaustion.  Exhaustion leads to poor decisions.  Poor decisions lead to bigger problems.  Sometimes, said problems are hilarious.  Yesterday was one of those days.

My days normally go like this:

Wake up.  Shower.  Leave for work . All done before 6am.

Get to work. By 6:45am.

Work. Until 6:30-ish.

Drive home. Get there about 7:30-ish.

Eat. Try to relax.  Go to bed.  Sometime around 10pm.

Yesterday, I woke up in a bit of a funk.  I was hurting and so tired, despite several hours of sleep.  Getting up at 4:55am can make you think some crazy things.  So a conversation in my head sounded like this:

Me: Gah!  I’m sooooo tired.

Brain: Me, too.  You know what?  Skip the shower.  You took one late last night, anyway.

Me: Good thinking.  Thanks, Brain!

(insert slogging around the house as I determine what the hell I want to wear)

Brain: You know what?  Just wear your pajamas and bring your clothes with you?  That way, you’ll have time to get your body in gear before you put on your business clothes.

Me: Brilliant!

So off I went, into the day.  Wore pajamas to work.  Felt good, striding into the office at 6:45 in yoga pants, an enormous t-shirt and flip-flops.  I was still a little stiff, but warming up into the day.  Got into my office, closed the door, and began to change into something more presentable.  I had tried on the dress only once before, but didn’t zip it all the way up, once I saw that it would easily fit.

That was my first mistake.

I went to zip it up, and with the very last pull of the zipper, the pulley came off and the entire dress split down the side, revealing all my bits and bobbles, from my boobs all the way down to my ass.  Yeah…. not awesome.  So what’s a girl to do?

This girl stayed in her pajamas, in her office (with the door shut), until JC Penney opened.  At 9:45, I donned my flip-flops, and proceeded to return the dress.

Walking in, I felt pretty out of place (and you should know, I almost *never* feel out of place, anywhere, at any time).  The gal at the register was nice enough, and I got the store credit so I could go look for a new dress.

There I am, walking around in some serious hobo-looking pajamas, with hair and makeup totally done.  Then, I get a text from BFF#1, describing how she is trying to explain syllabic emphasis when speaking spanish, to her kiddo.  She’s spelled it out, literally, and I laugh out loud, literally.
I’m sure, at this point, that the good peeps at JCP think I am certifiable.

In the end, I do find a new dress.  And I go back to work, change into it, and work the rest of my day in something more presentable than hobo PJs.

But the lessons are as follows:

  • I need a backup outfit at work.
  • I need to plan my outfits better.
  • I need cuter pajamas.
  • And lastly: Never ever assume that the zipper will zip all the way.

Well… that only took…. 34 days

34 days later and things are…. different now.

Let’s start just after that post:

I loved my job but I didn’t love who I worked for.  Nice guy with some serious control issues.  I don’t do well in that environment.  I was making things happen and feeling pretty good about it, but it was never enough.  No matter what I did, it was never enough to make him happy.  So, I took control of the situation and began to look for a new job.  Found one that read “part-time” but ended up being full-time.  More on that later.

Still no Lyrica.  Pain = *way* worse.  I’m currently in the middle of a flare that is a rival to any of the others.  Over the weekend I was pretty much useless.  Which sucks.  I’ll elaborate on that later.

Depression is better and worse, depending on the day.  Overall, I’d say I’ve climbed out of the hole a little.  Which is great.  Somedays, though, it sucks me back down.   I just take it one day at a time… kinda like an alcoholic.  More on *that*…. you guessed it…….later.

Later…

New job.  It’s pretty awesome.  I’m making more money, have more leeway, and have a ton of professional respect for what I do.  Plus, I have my very own office, with a door and everything.  For those of you who have lived (or still do) in Cube-City, you can appreciate the magnitude of having your own space.  I am the Director of Marketing.  I am learning new things and utilizing my skills to make a positive impact, and that makes me a happy girl.

I was going to go back to the doctor in September, but didn’t.  Like a dummy, I figured that the pain would pass and I’d be okay.  Welp….it didn’t.  So the joke’s on me.  The flare I am experiencing is seriously some of the very worst I can imagine.  I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.  Thankfully, the hubs and the kiddo have been indispensable and have been taking very good care of me.  In the very worst times, I can see how lucky I am.

And….the depression.  I would say that right about when I wrote that last post I had hit rock bottom.  I sat on the floor of my bedroom with a bottle of Xanax and a bottle of booze and knew I could end it all.  Obviously… I didn’t.  But the thought was there and it was an overwhelming. I would say that Fear is a companion of Depression.  And you know why Depression can sell Fear so well?  Because Depression talks to you in your own voice.  It whispers all those awful things about your worst fears in a voice that sounds *just. like. you* which makes it easy to listen.  And it almost got me.  By God’s Grace, I was able to hold on and get through.  I’m trying, now, to rebuild myself.  It’s much more difficult than you’d think.

So where am I now?  Here……  I guess I’m here.  And that’s no place spectacular, but it is alive.  And that’s enough, for now.

I caution those who may be reading this and feeling the same empty weight that I was….. reach out and talk with someone.  Accept that you may need help.   Remember, Depression is a lying bastard.  And Fear is his evil companion.  Don’t let them in.  You can get through it.

I’ll get back to more interesting posts…  Lord knows we have enough darkness in the world.  I’m going to get back to shining my light.

Love you all.  Thank you for reading.  xoxo

Brace yourself. This isn’t going to be pretty.

Suffice it to say that I’ve had one of the worst couple of weeks in the recent history of my life.

If you’re a new reader, you may or may not have read that I struggle with depression and Fibromyalgia.  It has been, at times, a daily battle that I have won and lost, depending on the day.  I am being medicated for both conditions, and in the last 14 days, I would say they both teamed up to beat me.

It started with the Lyrica.  I’ve been taking it for 4 months, now, and it had almost wiped out all the pain associated with the Fibro.  The only pain that it didn’t seem to help was the incredible burning pain in my hips.  Now, let me tell you about this pain: it was the worst constant pain I’ve ever felt in my life.  It was constant.  If I sat for too long, my hips hurt.  If I stood for too long, they hurt.  If I walked uphill, if I walked down stairs, if I lied in the same position in bed…. they hurt.  Everything.  I felt very old.  And very hopeless.

A friend of mine had cortisone shots in her hips a couple of years ago, and I thought I’d check it out to see if it worked for me.  The doctor said that sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Pretty promising, huh?  But I figured, what the hell?  I couldn’t feel worse, so up on the table I went.  Two of the longest needles I’ve ever seen were used to inject the steroid and anesthetic combo that would, hopefully, give me relief.  The immediate relief was fantastic.  For two whole days I felt good (with the exception of the rather large swollen bruises on my thighs from the injection).  And then the pain came back and brought friends.  The aching went from my hips all the way down to my toes.  And for another two days, I suffered with that.  Then, like I light switch, all the pain was gone.  And I was elated.

Cue the depression.

Out of no where came a crushing weight of worthlessness.  I can’t put my finger on what exactly the problem is.  It is many things.  I feel useless.  I don’t feel like there is any one place in my life that is stable.  Everything feels like it’s holding on by just. a. thread.  Insomnia has reared its ugly head and now I’m not sleeping well.  Maybe…. 5-6 hours a night? That, of course, contributes to the depression, which contributes to the insomnia.  I’ve spent hours just staring at the wall, or a blank TV screen, or into darkness.  But more than that….it’s the feeling of total emptiness.  There are times that I have nothing left.  Just holding my head up feels like it takes all the energy I have.  Or holding the steering wheel.  Or breathing.

Does it sound as pathetic as it feels?  Wowsa.  I’m re-reading…. I really do sound pathetic.

To add insult to injury….. every fiber in my being is telling me that I am getting fired from my job this week.  It’s just a hunch.  I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but I can tell you that the energy is almost palpable.  We’ll see.  I guess I’ll know in a couple of days.

But how crappy is *that* feeling?  To not know?  It’s terrible.  And the worst part is that I haven’t heard “good job” in a loooong time.  I’ve been yelled at (yeah…. a grown, professional man yelling…. it’s awesome retarded).  Adults who work here (all of them!) have cried because of his behavior at some point in the last 6 months I’ve been here.  So yeah…. this place is toxic.  I get it.  I’ve been actively looking for someplace new for a couple of weeks.  But it would be nice to leave and start a new job, not leave, panic, have a nervous breakdown, find something, start working again, play catch up on bills…. I think I’m panicking right now.  *deep breath*

The hubs is convinced that the Lyrica is responsible for some of this.  The insomnia, the depression, the moodiness… all part of possible side effects.  So I’ve quit it, for now.  I’ll be going to the doctor to see what else is available, but for now it’s gone.

We’ll see.  That’s all I can say.  I’ll pick myself up, eventually.  But for now, life wins.  I’m staying down for a little while to recover.

Back in the saddle again

Welcome back to the inner workings of my little demented interesting mind.

Quite the bunch of changes have occurred for me in the last several months – so let’s just jump in, shall we?

Last year, I had a job that I hated.  Like… hated.  The company was owned by well-meaning people, but really had the managing capability of a bunch of empty cardboard boxes.  I was out of my element and very very very stressed out. 

Now, I’m in a much better place.  I’m the marketing director at a dental practice.  As my gracious friend, Guapo, predicted, the job offer came in February.  I was thrilled.  This job pays more, offers more (in terms of professional growth), and has given me the comfort and support I need.

To my surprise, however, my depression worsened.  I waved it off, at first, to the transition (newsflash – I don’t handle change well).  But after I was quite comfortable in my new position, I was still struggling.  Scary, alarming and unexpected struggling.  Like… I’ll-bet-I-can-throw-myself-from-this-bridge-and-end-it-now type of scary.  My struggles were noticeable by my close friends, as well as the hubs.  I found myself isolating – totally unnerved by people.  In fact, my anxiety of social situations has caused me some pretty awful experiences.  This is all new – the social anxiety, at least.  I love people!  My job has required it! And I never minded, until now.  I find that I avoid new people and new situations.  I’m so concerned that people won’t accept me.  Or that I will not be liked.  The BFF says that I need to not give the power of my self-esteem to other people.  ….that ain’t wrong.  But…nonetheless…. it’s where I’m at now.  It’s a slow steady movement to work through it.  Baby steps.  That’s what I say.

And just to make it interesting, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in May.  After months of pain, it got to the point where I couldn’t stand it any longer.  It’s been hard to walk, hard to move, hard to get out of bed in the morning, hard to function during the day.  It’s be a big ole shit sandwich.  I’m still new in the diagnosis, and finding myself feeling hopeless and useless.  I’m tired, all the time.  I just started taking Lyrica (after a somewhat upsetting “experiment” with Celebrex), and I’m seeing decent results.  I’m not waking up pain-free.  But it’s helped just a little.  Which, these days, feels like a lot.  Instead of feeling like I was beaten with a log while I slept, I just feel like I ran a marathon. It may not seem like a pleasant difference, but I assure you, it is.
The other part of this is that I struggle with how to explain it to other people. I mean, how do you say, “There’s no reason, there’s no cure, there’s not a lot of understanding.  Yes, I’ve tried Advil.  No it doesn’t work.  I know… I don’t look sick.  Trust me… I feel sick.”  Additionally, because this is just how things go, the meds situation has taken some getting used to.  I never wanted to ever be a girl who had to take meds every day (I never even liked the pill!), but this is where life has taken me….

….and so it goes.

It has been an exhilarating few months of highs and lows.  I’m getting by.  And glad to be back to writing.  It is truly a release for me, and I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of blogging.