Baby Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

wordle-depression

Happy to report that after two weeks of safety quarantining in our home both my husband and I have not experienced any symptoms of COVID and can rejoin the world outside our doors.The sun is shining and there is a beautiful breeze outside today. All is technically well. And yet both myself and my husband are struggling horribly with depression right now.

We both have gained a significant amount of weight due to being home and no gym to speak of. We sporadically exercise when we have the motivation (which is not often). People say we should just go for walks. Good advice except he has back pain and I have back and foot pain (thanks heel spurs). So I work and bake and we snack ourselves into momentary bliss, then feel like assholes when we’re done eating.

I love my husband more then life itself, but I cannot make this better for him and he can’t make it better for me. His mother keeps making snide comments about our weight and her being disappointed in him that he’s not working. Then we discuss his sister’s upcoming divorce and all this serves to make everyone miserable. Then we discuss the current state of our State and everything crumbles.

I feel like I’m sinking in quicksand with no way out. I feel the darkness closing in around me as it always does when I am depressed. It wraps me in its invisible bubble and though I can’t see it, I feel it. It literally colors everything more gray and dull. All enjoyment to be had is sucked away.

I know this will end but I am tired of these cycles of depression, recovery, more depression, etc. I feel I have no right to these feelings. I am working. I am paying my bills. I have toilet paper for crying out loud. My kitties love me and snuggle me daily. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Yes I know chemical imbalance….need to change your thoughts…eat better….get some sleep…practice mindfulness…etc…etc. But honestly right now I would like to crawl under the covers and never come out again unless I can get a brain transplant. And a total body makeover.

Lets Ratchet This Up a Notch Shall We

Today was supposed to be a blog about all the questions running through my mind while this COVID-19 overtakes the lives of everyone, everywhere but I’m going to put that on hold because today I am totally and completely FREAKING OUT!!

Yesterday I went to the grocery store with my husband. Our mutual friend works there in the dairy department. He was looking horrible and has been losing a lot of weight probably due to the 70-80 hour work week he has been having for the last almost two months. So I decided he needed a hug because hey everyone needs some love.

Today that same friend called my husband and said that his mother, who lives with him and his son, tested positive for COVID-19 and he had a fever as well. I may have had a mental panic bomb go off in my head as I started asking a thousand questions like:

“Is she okay?”
“Is he okay?”
“How did this happen?”
“What if we get it?”
“What if we give it to [his] mom?”
“What about work?”
“What if one of us dies?”
“What if you die?”
“Will you be able to cope if I die?”
“Do you know how to balance the checkbook and pay the bills if I’m down?”
“Do we have enough food for two weeks?”
“I have a fever. Does that mean I have it?”
“My chest hurts. Is that anxiety or am I going to die?”

When COVID-19 first appeared on our country’s radar I felt like it was “over there.” Then it hit the USA and ever since I feel like it’s a stalker trying to find its way into every crack and crevice it can find to infect people. It was in NJ but it wasn’t here in my neighborhood. Now it has crept its way into my home and my mind. It found me despite me trying to hide and cover my mouth and nose so it could not creep its way into my body and destroy it like the Death Star destroyed Alderaan.

I know that there is a high probability that I don’t have Corona Virus. My anxiety is on overdrive right now creating psychosomatic symptoms probably. But my stress is real. The fear is real. So I’m going to do more coloring today to try to be rational in a very irrational world right now. Stay safe friends.

Credit for art below goes to Alireza Pakdel from Iran.

Coronavirus Art

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?

 

 

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.

Falling Off The Face Of The Earth, And Climbing Back On

I know it has been roughly 2 weeks since I last wrote a blog. Things have been hectic around here at home and I have been so stressed that I could barely get myself through the door and onto the couch most nights. So here is a recap of what’s been going on.

I have all but quit the Edge Challenge. I was so excited. I thought this would finally make a difference for me. But sadly a few blows to my self-esteem occurred, along with a doubled workload at work (naturally without an increase in pay), and then I decided to take a group exercise class and hurt my back so I’ve been unable to workout since last Saturday. I also decided (stupidly) that I would go to the first weigh in for the challenge and found out I had only lost 0.6 pounds. After almost 2 weeks of busting my ass at the gym. Then yesterday the standings came out and a bunch of people have already lost 8% of their body weight so I feel like why should I bother trying? I’m going to wind up a loser just like I always am.

My trainer, Morgan, said we are going to have a chat tonight when I go to the gym (if I go to the gym). I know she’s going to be all peppy and tell me not to quit but I honestly feel like what’s the point anymore? This has been a battle I have been fighting with myself since I was six years old and discovered my love of all things chocolate. Why is this so freaking hard. The pounds pack on so easily, why is it so hard to get them off? Why is this such a freaking emotional battle?

Food is a friend who has turned into an enemy. Food is comforting, it takes away my pain, and it makes me feel better when I’m stressed out and just want to stop feeling my feelings for five minutes because they are so intense I can’t take it. But then after comes the shame and the guilt and the feelings of failure. So that brief reprieve is followed by hours of guilt and body shaming.

Is there an end to this? I don’t know. Tonight I went to Cold Stone Creamery, which is an ice cream place near me, to have ice cream tacos. This is why I am up at 4:30am instead of sleeping. I would like to just get outside my body for one day and be able to objectively look at myself and my life and figure out a way to help myself and stop beating the shit out myself. Can someone please invent a machine that does that?!

My doc increased my depression meds and gave me B-12 shots to take every 2 weeks to boost my energy levels. I’m hoping it helps. I just feel like I have no more hope at all. Life is going to be this endless cycle of feeling bad, working to get by, and never truly being happy at all. Mental illness is a bitch and I hate it with my whole being. But I will keep trying to fight the good fight.

Ta Ta For Now

 

Finishing Even If You Crawl There

Today was day #3 of my Edge Challenge. Today was not a good day. I did not sleep well last night and so I didn’t get to the gym until close to 10:30am. My husband and I had a lot of errands to run today so I decided to take a Zumba class instead of doing weight lifting today. Zumba is basically a dance class where you do a dance routine to very upbeat and bouncy music. You jump a lot, spin around a lot, and generally act like a jumping bean. Coordination is very helpful. I am not coordinated.

I won’t say the class was a disaster. I had fun even if I was going left while everyone else was going right and I can’t jump because of my knee and foot. So I made up my own moves. I shook my hips all over the place. I refused to give up even if it meant collapsing at the end. And I made it. All 50 minutes of it and I actually did not die. The teacher, Sandy, was awesome and encouraging. She said she hoped I would come back next week.

For the rest of the day my legs ached, my feet throbbed, and I generally felt exhausted. This getting fit stuff is not for the weak. But I will get up and try something else tomorrow. I am determined not to fail.

My teacher Sandy was awesome!

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This is Tina. She took the class with me. We killed it or it killed us. Depends on perspective LOL!

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