Today Was One Of Those Days

Everyone has a bad day at work every now and then. You cry, you scream, watch a movie, play a video game, pet your cat, and move on. Bad days come and go and sometimes you can even laugh about them.

Then there are the days that make you question why you are in this field and if you actually have any faith left in humanity anymore. Today was one of those days.

This week has been crisis after crisis. Then I get a new referral for a family. And it’s a doozy. I can’t share details for obvious reasons (HIPPA Privacy Laws and wanting to keep my job and all that). But this family knocked me on my ass, ripped out my heart, stomped on it a few times, and left me totally speechless and crying for all the pain they have been through.

I don’t understand how human beings can be so cruel to one another. I really don’t get it. Then they drag their children through their mess not caring about the damage they are doing. It is so unconscionable. The damage done as a child can have long lasting effects. It can literally change the way the brain operates in the future and not in a good way. I can personally attest to this.

Please pray for this family tonight. I can’t give any details but just pray for comfort, healing, and peace. Also pray that I can hold myself together enough to be of use to this family and that I will have the right words they need to hear.

Spring Forward

I know it’s been awhile since I posted anything new. I wish I had a good reason such as things are spectacular and life is grand and I can’t WAIT to tell you all the good news. Sadly, this is not that post.

Every year around March, for some unknown reason, we spring our clocks ahead for an hour. I know back in the day it had something to do with farming but we are not all farmers now. I usually have an easy time adjusting to this change more than the one where we go back. But right now I’m struggling with changes of any kind.

I want some stability. I want to Spring Forward to the place where I don’t give a crap what anyone says about me but I can still handle it gracefully. I want to Spring Forward to that place where everything is okay, the pandemic is over, people are done being extreme assholes in the name of their “freedom,” people stop bitching about the election on both sides of the fence, and we can get back to a country we can be proud of again.

Everything feels so extreme right now. Facebook is a minefield you have to navigate to keep your friends and family from hating you. My mother in law is convinced that every time we leave the house we’re going to die and is fully convinced we are going to be a Socialist country soon and all our rights are being taken away and everything we worked hard to earn is going to be gone in a puff of smoke. She told me to get a safe and put all my money in it and then cut a hole in my floor to hide it.

I am tired of being scared. I am tired of anxiety. I am tired of being depressed. I am tired of all the complaining, the whining, the “canceling” of things, the everyone being offended by everything and being so damn sensitive you can’t even say God Bless you without being offended that you said the word God. Give me a break, seriously. Maybe what this country needs is a giant Kit-Kat bar to take a break, then a Snickers bar to release the hangry, some puppies and kitties, and babies and whatever else is adorable to get the focus off the hate.

My heart hurts. My head hurts. I just want to give up. I want to go to sleep and never wake up. I’m just so tired. It feels like it will never end, never get better. My faith is kinda there but not. My job makes me cry constantly. I can’t sleep, I’m stress eating, and I cope by playing video games, burning candles, reading books, and playing on my cell to just numb me so I don’t have to think. I can’t concentrate at work, I’m falling behind, my team is a wreck, and I just can’t find the energy to care.

I’ve had so many goals for my life that are never going to be accomplished and that brings me so down. I’m going to be 39 in April and what do I have to show for it? Maybe a dozen kids total who I actually was helpful to and a ton of parents who think I am a piece of garbage.

So I came here tonight to vent. To cry and type, and try to get some of it out. Because the pain is a poison in my soul that leaves no room for love or light to get in. Please say a prayer for me. I really could use some right now.

Sending some love to all my fellow writers and readers. Hang in there even if it is by the slimmest of threads. Some day it will get better even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Peace, Love and Kitten Kisses ❤

COVID and Elections: Hell In A Cell

When I first started dating my husband he was very into wrestling and loved to watch shows like Raw and Smackdown. For the uninitiated the WWE is a soap opera for men with pretend fighting that looks real and sometimes can actually cause real injuries or even death. I’m not a huge wrestling fan but it doesn’t bother me if it is on.

One of the most interesting matches I would watch with him was called Hell In A Cell. Basically the two combatants would be in the ring and a 24 foot high steel cage would descend from the ceiling and cover the ring. The only way out was to pin your opponent. But everything went in this match and there were no disqualifications, pretty much anything went. It was brutal and definitely not for the faint of heart (I know it’s fake but sometimes you honestly forget that when a huge man is jumping down on someone from on top of a huge steel cage).

Ever since March I feel like I have been part of a Hell In A Cell match with COVID. I have ducked, I have dodged, I have occasionally fought back but COVID is a strong opponent that keeps changing tactics. Faucci, public opinion, masks, no masks, sanitizer, gloves, death, hospitalizations, etc. It was enough to drive you mad. But eventually I kind of got to a place where I could sort of breathe (with a mask on of course!).

Then came election season. The tag team partner of COVID that hit me over the head with a brick and then whacked me with a steel chair while I was down and has not stopped hitting since.

I have never, in the 38 years of my life so far, EVER seen anything as destructive, divisive, corrupt, cruel, or soul sucking as this election has been. There have been mud slinging campaigns at election time. There always will be because people are people. But this took it to a whole other planet of attack.

People I love, people I care about, who I thought I knew well are ripping each other apart over this election. I can’t stand it, my heart and stomach both literally ache. Oh and don’t forget I get to go to work and hear how COVID is tearing families and communities apart.

Yesterday I attended church via online (still not comfortable going back yet even though they’re allowing up to 50 people inside). The topic of the sermon was “A Nation Divided.” The first 3/4 of the sermon were great. We should not judge others for their choices. We are not going to tell you how to vote. But use the Bible as your guide to how God wants you to vote.

And then….
it fell…..
completely apart…

I was told that as a Christian I should vote for someone that (fill in four political agenda points). I’m not going to share what they were but suffice to say that I did not agree with those four points and therefore felt shamed into thinking I was not a good Christian woman.

I spent the whole day on a serious rage spiral because I felt attacked on such a deep level. It did not help matters that I am in the middle of a medication change which has left me feeling like an exposed raw nerve every minute of every day. I screamed, I yelled, my husband consoled and validated me and eventually (as always) rage turned into depression and I slept a good portion of the day away until we had to go to his mother’s house for dinner.

Today I took a mental health day from work. I literally laid on the couch for the majority of the day trying not to cry or scream (I failed at not crying). I felt like someone had taken a sledgehammer to my very core. The hate I’ve witnessed, the fear, the frustration, it all came to a head in the last two weeks and I could not even muster the energy to move until about 4:30pm.

I love God so much, I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior and that because I believe he died for my sins, I am forgiven by God and will get to go to Heaven one day. That is enough for me. That is my faith and I’m comfortable with that. So for someone to come along and say that this is not true because I don’t vote a certain way hurt me in my soul. My faith is important to me and has gotten me through some rough times. To say I’m not a believer if I don’t do [fill in the blank] is to attack the very core of who I am as a human being. And that hurt.

I have asked my pastor if we can talk about this as it was one of our elders in the church who preached today and I did not feel comfortable talking to him directly as everyone was patting him on the back and telling him what a great sermon it was after it ended. I am waiting to hear back but I feel he will be able to hear my side and not judge me for it. He’s good like that.

So today was simply a venting of frustration, hurt, and pain. Please pray for me or send good vibes my way. This pandemic is killing us in the helping professions and unlike docs and nurses, nobody gives us any credit for the hard work we do (not saying docs and nurses who are killing themselves fighting this don’t deserve 1000% credit, but don’t forget parents, teachers, counselors, and social workers who are feeling this just as hard as they are).

Thanks for listening. Hopefully the next post will be a bit brighter. Spread love not germs ❤



I Quit: Poem About Social Work

Today I quit my job
I’d had it up to here
I was tired of all the stress
The crying and the tears.

I went back the next day
Just as I knew I would
Because I know I’m needed
To bring some love and good

Tomorrow I’ll quit my job
Because of this or that
Paperwork piled high
But I always somehow come back

Why do I do this silly dance
Round and Round I go
Soaring with the few highs
Crashing often in the lows

Am I madwoman
Doing the same over and over again
Or do I just stay in this work
For the totally incredible friends

Some days I lose my ability
To love, to feel, to care
As the stress piles on and on
And becomes too much to bear

I eat chocolate to ease the pain
Color when I can
Get lost in good books
So I don’t have to think about it again

I show up early
Work late most days
I do it for the idea of hope
(Definitely not the pay)!

So if I can spread kindness
Give resources here and there
Show others it’s not hopeless
Then I guess I really do care

So here’s to a broken system
We do what we can do
I’ll show up early tomorrow
Bring hope, healing, and a little love for you

Sometimes Not Knowing The Whole Truth Is A Good Thing

Today was exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. My cats decided that 5AM was the perfect time to start rampaging around my bedroom and knocking things over. Tried to give them 3 changes to calm down then kicked them both out. Got basically a total of 4 hours of sleep.

So on to work in my home office which is drowning in paperwork and various debris related to work. I put in some notes about how crazy all the parents are feeling, how stressed and how despite this they are doing their damn best. I feel like there should be a gold star options in my notes to say THIS ONE IS REALLY TRYING so that the state can see how awesome these parents are at taking care of their children with special needs during this pandemic.

Then 9:30AM rolled around and it’s time for our Team Meeting. I was looking forward to this as we all decided that today will be hat day and I was rocking my Philadelphia Eagles NFC Championship hat from the year the Eagles won the Super Bowl. We had fun, we got caught up with each other, we laughed, we learned…and then…

Our CEO joined our team meeting towards the end. Apparently she was supposed to be there the whole time but was having technical difficulties. After praising us for all our hard work she proceeded to tell us that we will most likely not be returning to our office for about 6-8 months. My jaw dropped and I was stunned, but because I am now a Team Lead, I have to maintain a modicum of dignity so I silently stared at the screen and smiled stupidly. The meeting eventually ended and we all logged off to go work for the rest of the day.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to break down and scream and yell and stomp my feet like a two year old and scream “IT’S NOT FAIR!!” until I was blue in the face. Why? Because I miss my co-workers. I miss real human interaction. I miss hugs and laughs and real connection. Most days I just kind of float through work in some kind of haze. I don’t even know how I get to my end time some days. It’s just work, work, work, and no interaction other then work related stuff. I want to walk down the halls and visit our secretaries. I want to see my co-workers all over the building laughing and smiling and rolling our eyes at some new thing a parent said or did or a new policy that has been rolled out.

I know I am lucky I am still working. I know I am not a doctor, nurse, or grocery store employee. But my job is essential and I feel myself and my co-workers deserve some recognition. We are providing mental health services to children all over the state and helping families cope with all of this. We are teaching kids how to feed themselves, how to be potty trained, how to communicate. Without these services many of our children would fall apart. We have dedicated therapists that still go into these homes and work with children that are tired, cranky, hyperactive, bouncing off the walls, suicidal, homicidal, abusing drugs, being abused…the list goes on and on.

I don’t even really know the point of this post. I just really miss real live people.

 

 

Finances, Anxiety, Depression and Adulting

This evening I filed my income taxes which should have made me happy. One more annoying task done in the long list that is adulthood. Instead it has added to my ever increasing depression about our finances and how much I suck at sticking with a budget. The prices of everything keep going up, but my paycheck does not. So I get depressed and comfort myself with food, which makes me bad because of my diabetes, so then I feel worse and I just don’t even want to eat anymore.

Work is a disaster right now with every time you come in there is a new change, a new policy, a new skill you need to know RIGHT STAT NOW!! People are quitting, people are being moved around, there has been a lot of yelling and crying and basically it has been full on bedlam right now.

I was so damn depressed by our staff meeting on Thursday (not to mention having a stupid sinus infection) that I called out sick on Friday. It was a full on mental health day emergency. Literally all I did on Friday was lay on the couch, watch TV, and fall asleep on and off. This naturally led to a night of insomnia since I slept so much of the day away.

Can I just tell you that insomnia and depression are not good friends and they should not be allowed to hang out together. It’s like one is bad enough on it’s own but when they combine in my life they usually bring anxiety to the party and then it’s full on hell in my brain that won’t shut off. I took my meds, I tried deep breathing and not a damn thing was working. I even prayed which usually always works for me because talking to God is soothing. But I couldn’t stay focused. So then I felt I was making God mad because I could not stop jumping from one rabbit trail to the next.

I applied for a Team Lead position at my work and while I was only halfheartedly interested, I figured I’m already doing most of what is required so I might as well get paid for it. So the morning of our staff meeting we were told to come in at 11:15am. So naturally I did not look at my e-mail until around 9:30am figuring I had plenty of time. At 6pm the night before, someone from upper management e-mailed us requesting 6 additional documents for our applications and told us to be ready to interview after our staff meeting. Seriously?!?!

So instead of having a nice relaxing morning where I actually got to enjoy breakfast, I had to rush around the house to get to the office early to print all the documents then again rush to where the meeting was being held (we have two offices).  I was so frazzled that I forgot to change into dress pants for the interview (we’re allowed to dress down for staff meeting day).

When I arrived at the office my supervisor started flipping out because I was not fully dressed up. I told her I had just gotten the e-mail this morning because we had been told when the work day is done, to not check our calls or emails unless we were on call. She proceeded to tell me I should have checked at 9AM and I said that we never have to work the morning of staff meetings. Then I left the meeting area and went to the kitchen to give myself a minute because of course I was crying. A few peers helped me to calm down and I returned to the meeting but honestly I just tuned out some of it because I’m so damn tired of the “You guys are great! We appreciate all your hard work!! Now here are 25 things you are doing wrong and you better fix it right now because the state is breathing down our necks.”

I need a break but every time I take a break something else happens at work and the work keeps piling up. And I’m so damn exhausted that I don’t want to talk to or see anyone because I am so damn tired of people. I just got made a deaconess at my church which involves a lot of interaction with people and especially the women of the church. I am happy I was elected but honestly exhausted just thinking about the next few months. I spend so much time during the week talking and catering to peoples needs that by the time the weekend rolls around I just want to curl up in a ball and avoid all human contact. Isn’t that awful?

So then my interview. Thankfully I was with colleagues who know me and make me feel comfortable. I had to answer a bunch of questions about leadership and what my areas of strength are and where I can improve. Honestly at that point I was so depressed and sick I couldn’t even be nervous. Some other me showed up to the interview because at one point it was like another person was speaking through me and I felt very disconnected from my body but at the same time knew what was going on. The other me must have done good because everyone looked happy at the end of the interview.

This was mainly a venting post but if you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions they are always welcome. How do you cope when life gets too overwhelming?

 

 

The Twists and Turns of the Past Month

Early October, my husband calls me at work saying he doesn’t feel well and is going to Urgent Care. The doctor there says he looks okay but wants him to go to the Emergency Room because he can’t get a full breath in. Turns out he had a massive blood clot in his lungs and another in his leg. One day later and I would have lost my love and best friend. He’s now on medication and doing fine but three days in the hospital were very scary for me. I got a taste of what it would be like to live alone, without my best friend, and I definitely did not like it. There was much sobbing and fear.

On the same day my husband went to Urgent Care, I was sent home from work early because I was totally and completely burnt out. I was snapping at my boss, crying, stomping around like a 2 year old, and engaging in much muttering under my breath. Thank God in the long run she sent me home because then I was able to deal with my husband. But at the time it made me angry because I had SO MUCH WORK TO DO!!

My boss has finally realized driving her team into the ground was not working so as a team we came up with expectations that seem more reasonable. This has lifted a load off my shoulders in the best possible way because I felt like I was drowning and would never recover from the stress of it all.

Last weekend I went to an Apple Festival with my mother in law and a bunch of people from her work. It was the most wonderful weekend I had in awhile. There was  crisp fall breeze, the scent of fresh apples in the air, beautiful leaves that were changing color, craft vendors, and of course fresh apple cider which is literally one of my most favorite drinks on the planet. The whole day was a big soul refresher and for the first time in months I fell asleep contented and did not wake up once.

Also in the past month I have joined two Bible studies. One is for people struggling with mental health issues called Hope and Grace. They meet every week and its a great group of people. I am making my husband go with me for support but it’s actually helpful to him so YAY! I also joined a Bible study about Romans which is very difficult because the book they are using is written like a college text book and is very hard to get through. But the people are nice so I’m going to keep trying.

My church has been doing a sermon series on the Beatitudes (Matthew Chapter 5 in the Bible). It has been very helpful in giving me insight into what God is looking for in a person. I also finished reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. That book blew me away! It really made me question how I am doing things when it comes to my relationship with God and also some strongholds I have in place that are getting in the way of my relationship with God which has been tough.

My fellow blogger, Jenny Lawson, also opened up her own book store which I was really excited to hear. You can find her blog here. She is one of the most hilarious writers I’ve ever read and you should definitely read her books. I would love to meet her in person one day.

Well that’s it folks. My mental health is back on track, I am no longer wallowing in despair and I hope to be writing more often.

 

Depression and Social Media

When I go on Facebook lately I see a lot of posts about supporting people with mental illness and #endthestigma. While I appreciate the thoughts and really wish we could live in a world where people with mental illness are not stigmatized the fact is it’s easier to post some nice memes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. then to actually follow through with what you are posting.

People are tolerant of someone complaining about feeling depressed or anxious but only up to a certain point. If day, after day, you share the reality of feeling suicidal and depressed or anxious or whatever, somehow that becomes “annoying” and you are being a “drain” on people. So people stop posting because they don’t want to be a “bother” or “bring people down.” But the depression or anxiety is not gone and now that person is more isolated then when they started to try and reach out. But hey, post some cat memes or some jokes and your likes will soar.

I am a person who is going through a bout of depression and has some major anxiety occurring with work. I am a good, hardworking person who likes to give my all and may have some perfectionistic tendencies (thanks mom!). But lately I can’t get things done, I can’t get organized, I can’t think, I can’t keep up. I am literally drowning in work. And nobody cares at work. I’ve tried talking to my supervisor. I’ve tried reorganizing my week. I’ve tried working extra hours (which I’m technically not supposed to do) Today I worked a total of 11.75 hours when technically I was only supposed to work 6 to get to a 40 hour work week. My job does NOT like you to have overtime. But there was constant crisis after crisis this week. So I wound up working 5 hours of overtime and I am STILL not close to being finished.

My counselor wants me to take a break from work and ideally quit my job. I would like to quit my job. But the reality is that I’m the only one working right now, I have the health insurance, so I cannot afford to quit. Plus this is cold and flu season and also Christmas is coming and all of the expenses with that.

Some days I want to check out of life. I want to hang myself at my office from the bathroom door with a sign that says I Give Up. I dream of slitting my throat at my desk and leaving a note detailing why. I think to myself that this may be the only way to get the attention of administration that what they are doing is not working for anyone.

But alas I have this husband of mine that I love more then life itself and I can’t do that to him. I know it would devastate him. I also have a grandmom that already lost my dad and I know this would crush her to the core. So I keep getting up, struggling through the day and praying the next one will be better. I am hanging on by a thread but at least I’m still hanging on.

Heartbreak On Top Of Heartbreak

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t do this life. I can’t even try to pretend I have faith anymore. I know God is there and that He loves some people but I think I must have done too many things wrong to be loved anymore. Or perhaps I am just a joke to Him.

My job is killing me. Literally. Like my stress level is so high I am having physical pain in my chest and I constantly am stress eating which is awesome when you have Type 2 Diabetes . Parents I work with are abusive to me, they lie, and they don’t want to let go of services so it all falls on my head. I’m the bad guy. I’m the jerk saying hey your kid is stable, time to go. Even though the damn therapists say the same damn thing I am always the one getting blamed for “not caring.” My whole freaking job is caring. But I am starting to not care anymore. I am tired of putting out effort with no return except constant abuse. And when you try to explain to your boss how stressed out you are you just get “just don’t take it so personally,” “stop being sensitive,” “you need to reset yourself.” Some days I seriously consider ending my life at work and leaving a note on my chest that says “Please find the positive in THIS.”

My Pop Pop is not doing well. He had a stroke about two months ago and has been in a nursing home ever since. He is mean, cranky, and abusive to the nursing staff and my grandmother. He tells her she doesn’t care about him and has abandoned him to die Even though she visits him five times a week). Then he begs her to not leave and to bring him ice cream. He’s 97 years old so I get maybe it’s his time to go, but why couldn’t God just let him go to sleep? Why put his daughter Linda and my grandmother through all this abuse? My grandmother is practically a saint in my eyes. She has stood by me through so much. She believed me about my mom abusing me when nobody else would. She encouraged me, helped me to believe in God even when I wanted to just give up. Now even she is questioning why all this crap is happening.

Today I found out my Aunt Marie is probably going to pass away soon because she has an infection in her lungs and she needs a lung transplant but it’s not looking good. She is currently in an induced coma to keep her body calm. She just retired this year in May after 42 years of teaching! And this is the thanks she gets. Dying when she would finally have more time to be with her grand babies. I guess I should be grateful that God allowed her to have one final vacation with all of her kids and grand kids this summer before he snatches her away.

My mother in law let my husband and I know last night that my husband’s sister is probably getting divorced because her husband is potentially cheating on her and also he doesn’t want to do anything in the house to help her or their two wonderful children. These kids are like perfect, no lie. So on top of being sad for her, now I’ve lost my mother in law as a support because she is going to be all wrapped up in my sister in law (as she should, don’t get me wrong).

I can no longer attend my church because one of the grandparents I work with has decided to attend there and will not stop harassing me at church for things. I need this. I want that. Give me this. Give me that. When are you doing A-Z for me? I’m not supposed to have work conversations in public due to protecting the child’s privacy. But she doesn’t care and now I can’t go there.

I am destroyed emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I don’t even know how I’m going to get up tomorrow and put up with work on top of all of this.

 

broken heart

What Would You Say: A Poem

*WARNING* Some parts of my poem below are pretty graphic. I apologize to anyone who is offended ahead of time. This is how I get through my depression. *

What would you say
If I told you that every day I want to die
That every step, every breath, every daily requirement
Is total torture and requires the strength of Superman
Just to get though 24 hours in one piece

What would you say
If I told you that I cry but tears never dot my cheeks
It is an internal maelstrom of rage, and hatred
Frustration, fear, anxiety, and so much more
All directed at myself but silent
So no one is bothered

What would you say
If I told you that I hated my friends all pregnant and plump
Parading their bellies full of babies like some trophy
Some unattainable prize I will never win
And that some days I just want to rip my uterus out
Because it is defective and so am I

What would you say
If I told you that I fantasize about sending letters
Full of cruel words that are stuck in my head
To parents I try to help but who are never satisfied
A system that is broken
And politicians who only care about the bottom line

What would you say
If they found me at my desk bleeding and pale
Because the expectations were too high
The pay was too low
And the praise was never enough.

You will say nothing
Because I will never say anything
And we will all pretend it’s okay
Until one of us collapses underneath the weight
Of a world too heavy to bear