Breaking Point

I’m at a very low point right now. Even though I have a lot to be grateful for, I’m feeling like parts of myself are being chipped away and it’s frightening. I’ve been an emotional wreck all day and am having to fight very hard to keep from rushing to the store to buy something I don’t even just because it’s on sale. I even took an hour and a half drive with no destination in mind just to try and calm down. It didn’t help, but I was mostly ok while I was out driving so I guess there’s that. I feel like I’ve reached my breaking point, and quite possibly my limit.

Like I told my best friend this morning, I’m sick of all the work related emails, which have doubled in the past few months. I’m sick of coming away from both emails and conference calls feeling more scolded than uplifted and encouraged. I was actually upset last night by an email that felt like a personal attack and it’s still bothering me now. I know it shouldn’t, but it read like I was being scolded for doing my fucking job. And this is happening a lot more often lately. Not because I’m doing a bad job, but because I miss one or two tiny little things. I understand they want perfection every time, but no one’s perfect no matter how hard they may try, and I’m a perfectionist so I understand and struggle with that daily.

I’ve been struggling to concentrate all day, all week, possibly all year even…that’s how bad it’s gotten. I’ve been on the verge of an anxiety attack and have even had small bursts of uninhibited crying, like releases of emotion just washing over me to give me some kind of release from all this stress. I’m caught between this vortex of opposing energies, between wanting to do everything and nothing all at once, which will lead to nothing getting done at all. I don’t even know how I’m putting together coherent thoughts right now. The only solace I have right now is my music, my best friend, and being alone.

I’m beyond exhausted. Mentally, physically, emotionally…it doesn’t help that we had relatives over last night who stayed until midnight and I was trying to sleep, having gone to bed at 11:30 to try and calm down after reading that stupid email shortly beforehand. I have such terrible eye strain that I need to alternate between my two pairs of glasses on a daily basis now, and the only way to really rest my eyes is to sleep or do absolutely nothing but stare at the ceiling. I’ve tried doing my other hobbies without my glasses and the only way that works, and it’s not a given every time, is if I haven’t already been wearing them all day for work. And even though my headaches have mostly gone away now, I still feel like I can’t catch a break. I know people say it has to get worse before it can get better, but I feel like my switch is stuck in the “worse” position and it’ll never get better.

Pre-Midlife Crisis

The reason this is titled the way it is, is because I’m not old enough to be having a midlife crisis, but I imagine this is what it would feel like anyway. Earlier I was trying to take a nap and after half an hour of limited shut-eye, I had a disturbing revelation, though not one I haven’t thought about before, but this time it felt as honest and true as anything I’ve ever felt.

I don’t want to be at my current job for the rest of my life.

If the last year and a half have taught me anything, it’s that I love editing and correcting people’s grammar, but it’s been nothing but a rollercoaster, and not the fun kind either. This has been the kind of rollercoaster that jerks you around and makes you want to vomit at every turn. Not for the first time, I thought, god, I’m bored with this tediousness. The same crap day in and day out, never knowing what to expect in the morning work-wise, and not getting paid enough for some of the bullshit I have to deal with. It’s exhausting. I just don’t feel like I can do it anymore.

More of the people I like working with have already left or are leaving soon and I’m down to maybe three people I actually like to work with because we communicate better than the new people. We’re being sent regular emails about how to improve our “efficiency” or new changes to something, even though we just changed it a few weeks ago. Most recently, we got a harsh email about a spelling mistake in one of our forms, and what’s ironic about that, the person who sent it, as the head of our department, made an error in the first sentence of his email. Ridiculous, right?

I’m not sure how much longer I can suck it up and deal with this nonsense. But I also don’t want to lose my only source of income and I don’t know how my family will take the news. I’m not even sure they will support me if I decide to leave.

Weight Loss: The Never-ending Struggle

Let’s face it: not everyone is happy with their bodies, and unless you were gifted with the metabolism of a five year old and can get away with eating whatever you want, whenever you want, and as much as you want, you may have dealt with, or know someone who’s dealt with, the struggle of weight loss at least once. I’ll admit I’ve been struggling with it my whole life and it never really seemed to bother me until middle school. And then in college it really started to bother me, because I spent a lot of time alone for six or more months and did a lot of stress eating. None of my clothes fit and I had to keep going up in sizes. I wasn’t really happy with anything about myself.

Then halfway through my sophomore year of college, my doctor at the time told me to lose 50 pounds in 6 months. I was like, yeah right, lady. First off, since I was literally fighting genetics, it was going to be more of a cliff scaling battle for me than a gentle, sloping, uphill battle. Second, the most exercise I did on a daily basis was walking from one end of campus to the other. But I decided I at least needed to try. So I started eating a little healthier (or as healthy as school food goes) and I tried taking the stairs more often, which in my case, meant walking up five flights and taking the elevator the rest of the way since I lived on the tenth floor. And I talked my roommate (Gia) into going to our health and wellness center for weekly Zumba classes. Which turned out to be a lot of fun. I absolutely loved them. By the end of the semester, I had managed to lose 20 pounds and I was super proud of myself for that. I tried to keep it up the rest of my college life.

Fast forward to after graduation. Gia and I found an apartment together and because of where she worked, she discovered this smoothie place which was supposed to be really good for you and the smoothies were like meal replacements. I had a good job at the time and decided to try this fad diet. Well, as it turns out, it was just a fad. I managed to get back down to my high school weight and was wearing clothing sizes I had never worn before. But after I lost my job and could no longer afford to pay for the stuff, I gained back everything I had lost, plus a few extra pounds, just from eating real food instead of drinking two of my meals. It was awful. And then on top of that, the falling out had begun and I was stressed out and stress eating again, even though I was still trying to work out in my room by doing stuff like pushups, sit-ups, etc. Now, since living at home, I’ve managed to keep a (semi) regular routine, though it varies week to week and I’ve found two things I never thought I would enjoy as much as I do. Yoga and Pilates. Yoga is more for pain relief and stretching tight muscles and Pilates is for toning, weight loss, and general overall fitness.

That being said, over the past five months I’ve noticed a trend. I’m neither losing nor gaining weight. I’m maintaining it. Which, honestly, after 10+ years is kind of a relief. Am I happy with my current weight? No. But I’m stronger than I was then, I’m more flexible than I’ve ever been, and I’ve also been able to step back a little and find what makes me beautiful in my own eyes, which I’ve never been able to do until the past few years. I’m chubby. My best friend will say I’m not but I am. I like to think I’m cuddly and plush, and besides my sinus problems, which were gifted to me by my mother, I’m the healthiest one in my family, aside from being overweight. But I keep pushing myself to try and be better. Most days, that means just finding the energy or the will to work out, and most times I feel better afterwards, albeit sore and sweaty. And I think what’s hardest about learning to love yourself, is seeing what’s beyond the mirror and into what makes you special. Your shape and weight do not define who you are. I’m overweight and I love to work out and eat healthy foods like salads and fruits and veggies, but I also like my junk food. I’m addicted to Pringles and chocolate. But my weight isn’t going to define me. It’ll just push me to be stronger and to do better for myself, because I’m the only one who can. Fad diets are only good if you stay on them. And only you can decide what makes you happy, if you’re willing to look past the mirror and see the beauty within. Much love and respect ❤

Finding the Silver Lining

It’s another one of those days. Those slow days of work that I’m starting to unfortunately get used to. And yesterday, we had a conference call that indicated an eventual possibility of limiting hours so that our night staff has some work to do. Which I totally understand; I wouldn’t want to not have any work at all just because I work nights. But limiting hours means less money coming in and I’m seriously considering looking for other work, even though I have no idea where to start looking because I’ve been doing this for four plus years and I’m no longer well trained to be around people. Plus waiting to get busy again is testing my patience.

So instead of looking at only the negatives here, I’m trying to find the silver lining to this mess and “enjoy the break,” as our supervisors told us. For me, enjoying the break is likely more difficult than for others because of my anxiety issues and needing a set routine as opposed to just going with the flow. But anyway, I guess my silver lining is being able to work more on my crocheting, which I’m also actually thinking about doing as a side business, because if I have all this time, I can get a lot more done than I have in past years because I was purposefully taking my time on those projects. Currently I have three or four blankets in the pipes, one of which I’ve started and had to restart because it ended up being bigger than a king size bed and I only want full size. But I have yarn for three additional blankets, one of which is going to be a reversible blanket, so it’s basically like doing two blankets and sewing them together into one. Additionally, in the past couple weeks, I’ve finished three hats and although I don’t wear hats myself, I’m happy to make them for someone else. I can also do scarves and probably whatever else gets thrown at me. I’m pretty adaptable with crochet items.

I could also do more weekly gaming and free up some of my weekend time for watching anime (or playing catch-up as it is now) or hanging with family. I’m two dungeons away from beating Final Fantasy V, but seeing as the second dungeon is the last dungeon, it’s likely going to require a bit more time than the other ones and I just want to be done with it. I can hardly wait to move on to Final Fantasy VI because it’s one of my absolute favorite games, probably tied for first with Final Fantasy VII. It’s also the one that got me started on Final Fantasy so it has an extra special place in my heart.

And I could probably be doing more writing, especially in working on revisions for my novel, which desperately needs my attention, and there are a couple character profiles I need to finish working out yet.

But most importantly, I need to focus on taking care of myself and getting back to a more normal sense of balance. With my aunts here last week, and my dad home this week, I haven’t really had much time to myself to mellow out since going off my birth control and I still have the lingering twinges of a tension headache and some stiffness in my neck from yesterday. (I also wanted to punch my dad in the nose when he said he should be telling me to “suck it up” whenever I have a migraine or headache of any kind. Even though it might have sounded like joking, it wasn’t funny. You don’t just “suck it up” when you have a migraine. Unless you have really good meds to make them go away, you basically have to wait for a migraine to pass and hope it doesn’t eat up too much of your day because you really can’t do much with a genuine migraine. Or at least I can’t. Nothing helps except laying down in a dark, quiet room.)

So my silver lining in not having much work and being limited on hours is finally getting time to take care of me and make sure my body and soul are nurtured and soothed before I try to take on anything else. As Albus Dumbledore said, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Easter Musings

Happy Easter to all of you! Sorry it’s been a while. I just recently went off of the birth control I started because it was giving me migraines and I basically lost a week’s worth of time to them, and I’m still trying to get back to feeling more normal and am not likely to get there until at least next week because my dad has vacation this week. I’m foreseeing a lot of time in this back room sitting at my newish desk with the door closed trying to enjoy my solitude.

Normally  I enjoy holidays because my family is pretty close-knit, but today was just draining. I don’t know if it was just the chaos of getting dinner ready, which I’m not normally a part of, or if I’m still adjusting to my own hormones again, but I am exhausted. I spent a few hours in the basement trying to finish my stupid game so I can actually move on to one I like and I’m still not where I want to be, so I’ll probably be playing that all this week too. I think once I get past the stress of feeling behind schedule with this gaming challenge, even though I’m still a little ahead, I’ll start to feel more relaxed. Although having steady workflow would definitely help too.

The past six weeks, I’ve only had one full work week, and since I only work about 25 hours a week, that’s pretty sad. It’s throwing off my whole schedule and making me seriously consider looking for a different job that can give me more consistent hours. And I love my job, I love what I do, I like a small group of people I work with, but after being promised to have more consistent work coming in, as opposed to this super busy, super slow roller coaster when we were bought out, I’m feeling seriously let down that we now can barely get a full week’s hours in.

And to show just how slow and intermittent we’ve been, I finished crocheting two hats and I finished my first ever sewing project in the last two weeks. The one hat I did in three days between our “busy” hours. I even started a blanket, which I then had to rip out because it was WAY too long, and am now currently on the third row of a significantly smaller blanket with the same ripple pattern. I decided to try and help my mom with her project list by creating my own and so far, I’ve gone through three of them in the past few weeks because we’ve been so slow at work. And I have to admit, even though she didn’t get any of the projects on her list done this past week while she was on vacation, she did get several smaller projects done with the help of her sisters, and I’m proud of her for that.

Aside from this blog post, which was kind of spur of the moment because I needed to clear my head a little and I did want to write something, the only writing I’ve done lately is daily to-do lists and filling out my weekly schedule. There’s been too much chaos to focus on anything, and that could be from the anxiety. Even growing up and going through middle and high school, I had issues with writing when people were around. I especially didn’t like having to write on command for my creative writing classes. It’s gotten better, the writing with people around, but I still need to be in a quiet place by myself and then left alone. Like now. I’m sitting in the back, media room with the door closed and music playing quietly in the background, which is allowing me to focus on this entry and slowly complete my weekly schedule.

I hope all of you had a happy Easter with your families and until next time, don’t be afraid to be yourself and do what makes you happy. Especially when you need to calm yourself and focus your thoughts just to get through the next few minutes.

Undeniable Proof…Plus an Announcement!

Remember a few posts back when I mentioned I got an unexpected text from Gia wanting to get together and hang out when she came home next? Well, turns out she didn’t want it all that badly because the day she came home has come and gone, and I didn’t get a single text from her. The only reason I know that is because I glanced at her Facebook page, having hidden her from my news feed, and she had already left this morning on her family vacation.

Looks like I was right to abandon this sinking ship.

This little event has given me undeniable proof that I had clearly been putting more effort into this friendship than she was and that the only time she wanted to, or claimed she wanted to see me was when she was already in the area for something else. I mean I get it, it’s a long drive from here to there, but that’s beside the point. Jared is still a ways away and he made time to come visit me just because he wanted to. This friendship street works two ways.

Needless to say, I’m glad I didn’t get a text. I went on an adventure this morning just to avoid her because I couldn’t remember what day she said she was coming home and yes, I may have been expecting a text, but I was also planning on ways to make myself unavailable. Clearly this friendship has run its course.

**

Now for the announcement: As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I stumbled upon a post by one of the literary agents I follow and it said she was looking for interns to commit 10 hours a month for six months, ideally. I read through the specifications of what she was looking for and after discussing it with my best friend, I decided to make the leap and apply for it. Now I know interns don’t get paid usually, but I see this as an opportunity to learn more about the publishing world and also potentially get hands-on coaching lessons from the agent to better my writing. I’m both nervous and excited, because I don’t know what the future holds for me with regards to this internship, but I’m hoping and praying I get it. I’m hoping it’s a stepping stone to the career I’ve always wanted.

Back to Normal

**Possible Trigger Warning. Please read with caution.**

This past week has been a bit nightmarish for me, partly because both of my parents were home on vacation, there wasn’t a lot to do at work, and I wasn’t feeling all that great from Thursday through today (I’m still a little under the weather, but functioning more normally). One of the oh so fun advantages of having a dust allergy is when you play in the dust for spring cleaning, your sinuses flare up for several days. And in my case, literally nothing helps the pain in my face go away, and the one time I tried to take painkillers, I ended up throwing them back up five minutes later because the nausea was so bad. Though I did feel better after that…On top of all this, I’ve been overly lethargic and sleepy and lacking all energy to do much of anything, and I haven’t been able to figure out why, though right now I’m feeling more like myself. It’s possible it was the disruption in my usual schedule, which is the most likely trigger, and this past week got me really thinking on what my unique anxiety related triggers are.

First and foremost, as much as I love them to death, my parents can both be triggers, especially if they are together. For me, their energies can clash, which puts a lot of strain on my mental state. Dad is generally more laidback, calm, and likes to watch tv a lot, but at a volume that is louder than I usually prefer. Mom can be kind of all over the place and chaotic, trying to do half a dozen things all at once and then getting more agitated when she hasn’t gotten any of them done. Having them both together can be like standing in a hurricane of energy with no protection and I found myself more often than not looking for solitude to refocus and re-energize myself. That being said, on any given day, I can be either one of those similar energies. I’ll have days where I want to be super productive and get lots of things done, and then I’ll have days where I just want to lay down and catch up on whatever shows I have recorded.

Second has got to be work, and sometimes lack thereof. For a work from home job, you wouldn’t think it would be all that stressful, but at times it really is. We have deadlines to meet, quality standards to meet in specific time limits, etc.  And when there’s a lack of work, it really upsets my schedule, because I can’t just assume nothing is going to come in during the day. I have to leave my schedule open so I can check periodically through the day for any work that comes through. Like today. I’ll be checking periodically throughout the day. And last July, work was the cause of my two worst anxiety attacks, because they happened within 12 hours of each other, which had never happened before, and has not happened since. The only thing that really helps here is, when there’s no work, to find something to occupy my time, like crocheting, video games, reading, writing, etc. And when there’s a lot of work, it helps to take mini breaks throughout the day not only to give my eyes a rest, but also my mind.

The rest of my triggers are more situational and less all-encompassing. Like large crowds, which I tend to avoid if I can, though doing chores like grocery shopping can be a bit overwhelming if I don’t have a plan for it (like listening to music while I shop). Other triggers can include loud noises (especially if I’ve been sitting in silence or quiet music all day), being around people I don’t know, being around loud and extremely abrasive people, any kind of change to my schedule (not just work related, but things like an impromptu lunch date or unexpected visitors), being around a former abuser (Gia), making phone calls, doctor visits, and pretty much anything that makes me feel pressured to do something or be someone I’m not.

The calming “antidotes” for each of these situations are as varied as the situations themselves. Stuff like phone calls and doctor visits, the best way to get over the anxiety is just to go through with it, which I know doesn’t always work for everyone. However, with phone calls, I generally keep them under three minutes. Journaling and listening to music are my biggest forms of therapy, because I can listen to my soothing (or not so soothing) music and write down everything I’m thinking, just to get it out of my head and stop myself from circling back on it and obsessing over it. Video games are another great form of stress relief for me, as is having my best friend to talk to.

So as this week starts with my parents going back to work, I’m looking forward to going back to a more normal daily routine and less stress on this happy hermit. ❤