Readers of this space will know that I have struggled recently with coping with life in general. I’ve always had periods where I struggled with anxiety and worry. I’ve had down moods, but I always just coped with it, powered through and moved on. The last few years, I’ve found it harder and harder to do this. A series of life events, I think, lead to this.
I lost my mom to cancer.
I changed jobs soon after that.
My youngest went away to college and I had to learn to deal with an empty nest.
I learned soon enough that the job change was a mistake.
The toxic environment became more and more toxic.
Then came the pandemic and I lost pretty much everything I still lked about work.
The toxicity increased.
I reached a breaking point. My first hope was that I would convince my wife that I should quit my job and that would help. It became clear that would not happen, but something needed to change. I still think things would improve exponentially if I removed myself from that environment, but at the very least I need help coping with it. So, I decided I would finally take the step of seeking therapy.
It was hard to make the call. It was even harder when I kept being told that they had no openings. but I could be on a waiting list. I gave up and told my wife I was giving up on it and I would just cope on my own. She did not give up and texted me a practice to call. They did have an opening and I have my first appointment Wednesday.
Don’t be like me. You might be able to power through and cope, but it isn’t healthy. If I had talked to someone when my anxiety and depression started to get bad I would be in a much better place right now. It shouldn’t take a pandemic to admit you need help. If you need to talk to someone, make the call. I did.
As a bonus post today a share of two posts that reflect how I’m feeling right now. It is a particularly bad mental health day for me today and I still have 45 minutes before I clock into work. This has been a long week and it’s only Wednesday.
In which I talk about a similar thing except in this one I walk across the country. It would have the bonus of removing me from real life and giving me time to reflect and think about my next step in life.
The two things they have in common is basically running away from real life and my problems. At this point I would just take quitting my job and taking a sabbatical.
I never intended this blog to be so much of me talking about my problems. I meant to only write about my thoughts on the world. Current events, TV, books, etc. I did that quite a bit in the beginning with a little bit of my personal life sprinkled in. I did posts about my vacations and posts about my time working in jail. Lately, it feels like all I do is post about how miserable I am. I’m done with that. I will still be miserable. I just won’t write about it. I’ve given up on any change coming. I’m stuck where I am with no options or support to make a change to a less toxic life. No one wants to read about that every day. no one wants to write about that every day. I feel like I’m back on Livejournal when that’s what everyone did. No more. I’m done.
So, since I’m done with all that, I’m not sure how much I will be writing. I will still do my Friday post about what I’ve watched and read. I will still do my Sunday post where I write about good things from the week before. I will try to back to writing more about my thoughts on current events and such. I might try a few reviews, but likely not. I just don’t know when I will be in the mindest to write those things.
When you wake up to news about a pandemic and go to bed with news about a pandemic it’s hard to feel like writing about the news. When you wake up feeling physically ill about the thought of clocking in and go to bed feeling ill about waking up and clocking in the next day, it’s hard to do more than sit on the couch and watch TV.
So, I might disappear except for my Friday and Sunday posts. I might not. It’s hard to tell. I do plan to try to keep up my vacation habit of looking at very limited social media. I am going to try to limit my constant need to know the Covid stats in the country. I will learn to live with my daily dose of toxicity. It has to get better at some point. Right?
I woke up this morning already stressed and anxious before my day really even started. My dog woke me up around 6AM as usual. I tried to go back to bed and get more sleep since I am working the 4-8 shift at work tonight. I think I dozed a little, but I can’t turn my mind off enough to go back to sleep once I’m awake. It starts to drift to things that will make it hard for me to relax. I’ve been officially out of bed since around 7:30.
It probably doesn’t help that besides making coffee my first two things I do are turn on the news and read the newspaper. Maybe it is time to break my news addiction and do something different with my morning coffee. I did read a little bit and I did my morning word puzzles. It did not help settle my mind. All of the coronavirus news mixed with the stress and anxiety that work brings has me on edge all the time.
Since my day ends at 8 today it shouldn’t start until 12. One of the stresses of my life is people who don’t respect personal time. I already got a call this morning before 10. It was one of those “I sent you an email so now I’m calling to tell you to read your email” calls. Those are always fun. There was at least recognition that I am not on the clock once I mentioned I was in the branch 4-8 tonight, but I still felt obligated to read and respond to the email. It’s really hard to beat the stress and anxiety when there is no guarantee of personal time free from calls. It’s time for another mention to my wife that I need to quit and find a new direction in life. Maybe if I keep it up she will eventually agree. This is not a sustainable life.
I will be on vacation for a week after Monday. I may deactivate my social media. I will likely disappear from the blog during that time. Since I will be with the only people who I care to be in contact with I might leave my phone on do not disturb the entire time. I need a break from the world.
I wrote this one a year ago today. This is an ongoing issue. I’ve been looking at job openings again and I opt not to apply for a lot of them because I don’t feel qualified. I’ve also reached a point where I want less, not more when it comes to career. I want to be able to clock out and forget about work until I clock in again. This is not exactly the best time to be looking for a change. I feel like I’m going to be stuck where I am forever.
If you have followed this blog(or my personal Facebook page) you will know that I have long contemplated my future career-wise. I have applied for promotions where I currently work. I have been turned down for promotions where I currently work. I think we are close to 20 times now that I have been turned down for a new job with my current employer. I have applied for multiple jobs at other organizations. I have been offered one job. You can read here about my decision to turn down the job offer. In that post, I talked about upcoming opportunities for change. Those opportunities did not pan out and now I am back to where I was before, contemplating my future.
There is a job opening right now that seems to be a good fit for me. It is a change, but not a major change. I would be doing a job similar to what I’m doing now. The commute would be manageable. It would not mess up my long term plans(I don’t think). It would reset my vacation, but I could deal with that. I’m still hesitating, though, before completing the application. Why? Various reasons. Various questions. Is 50 too old to make a major change like this? Do I really want to start all over at a new place? Do I want to give up the vacation I’ve accrued and start over? And the big one – Am I good enough?
Maybe the reason I’ve been turned down for so many jobs where I work is that they know me and know that I’m not good enough. Maybe I’ve been fooling myself all these years and I’m not actually good at what I do. Maybe they see all of my faults and they all add up to someone who would not succeed at these jobs. Maybe I’m better off staying where I am. What if I go somewhere else and they realize all of this and then I end up with no job? Maybe I should have stayed in my old position where I was basically invisible and it was less likely people would realize all of this. Maybe it’s time to admit to myself that it’s not them, it’s me and I should stop wasting my time.
I should approach the job thing like high school me approached dating. You can avoid all the inevitable rejection by not trying at all.
I need to stay away from social media. I need to retire and figure out a way to get paid for writing random things from my house. I need to stop watching the news. Please enjoy the following images of my mood right now.
I wrote earlier that I had hit the wall during the lockdown. I hoped it was a one day blip. It was not. I took the day off that Friday and gave myself a three day weekend. For those three days I was pretty much OK. I did some cleaning and yard work to not feel completely useless, but I also spent some time watching TV, reading, and doing other things that were good for my mental health. Then, Monday rolled around and I was back to dreading the day every day.
I thought maybe getting out of the house and visiting the branch on Friday would help a little. I think the visit stressed me out more than I already was. Another sign that everything I actually like about work is gone and will be for a long time. Its hard to have something to look forward to when it seems like I will be exactly where I am for the next few months. It is even more depressing when I see posts from back home n Kentucky where they have done a better job of containing the virus and are getting closer to back to normal. Normal is a long time off for me.
I had another three day weekend this weekend. For the most part, it was a good weekend. I did as little as possible on Saturday. Sunday we had our time to go move the rest of the stuff out of my daughter’s dorm room. I’m usually a little sad when we move her into her room, but this was probably worse. I dread the thought of school being online again in the fall. She loves college and being with her friends so much and really hated the online end to Spring. I wish she and her friends would get a house together off-campus so that even if school is online they can experience it together. So, after the sad experience, we had lunch from her favorite place near her dorm and headed home. We grilled hamburgers, played Life, and had fun.
Yesterday was my yard work day and I noticed as the day wore on I got more and more depressed. I started to dread the end of the day. It was almost time to be back on the clock. I’m back to being sad this morning. It’s not hard to comprehend what makes me sad. I could deal with all of this better if I was retired already. I need to work on convincing my wife that I should quit working until the end of the year to get my head straight and figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I can’t imagine that it will work.
I’m still at the wall hitting stage this week. I’m seriously considering asking for the day off on Friday even though I work from home just to not have to think about anything but what I’m going to watch on TV next.
I’m tired of working from home when all of the work I’m best at requires being in branch.
I’m tired of the uncertainty. Our lockdown has been indefinite. Hogan might open part of the state this week, but my county might not follow. I have no idea what the rules will be where I live vs where I work.
I’m tired of watching my kid deal with online school for college.
I’m tired of the uncertainty of when we might get to go get the rest of her stuff from her dorm room.
I’m tired of the uncertainty about school for the fall. I don’t want the rest of her college life to be online from home.
I’m tired of the uncertainty about the possibility of driving to KY to see family this summer.
I’m tired of the news but want to watch the news to stay informed even though I can see how they frame things to get the biggest reaction.