Monthly Archives: March 2016

Business Tips For Your Mental Health

business-blog-1

Alright, back to business.

Back to the business of mental health and the importance of protecting yourself when no one else will.

It’s important to know your limits. I’ve reached my limit at this current job; I’ve memorized so much information in such a short time I honestly thought I’d been there for four months already. It’s been about one and a half.

I could spend my free days feeling like a failure once again, I could spend my free days dreading the moment I confront the director and tell him “homie, this shit ain’t workin’ for me” in the most professional way I can conjure, and I could spend my free days reminding myself how much of a loser I am.

Or I could realize the fact that I lasted as long as I did and memorized hundreds of pages of notes as quickly as I did is a true accomplishment. I could celebrate the fact that my social anxiety isn’t the reason I’m leaving this time. I could realize that if I can handle and learn as much material as I did so quickly, than I can work almost anywhere given I’m able to work more independently at my own pace without people breathing down my fucking neck every five seconds.

over-time-kamen-rider-drive-27-5db577f5-mkv_snapshot_09-57_2015-05-02_00-26-43

Just like it’s important to learn how you learn, it’s also important to know how you operate mentally, particularly if you struggle with your health in that department. For example, through this position I’ve learned I need the mental space to be alone.I’m applying for positions that require I’m mostly independent with limited oral contact with the public. Like a loss prevention associate. You know, those people who stand by the doors of retail stores with their little ear piece and their black suit and they smile and say hi but what they’re really thinking is “don’t stuff a shirt in your purse bitch, I’ll floor you”. 

When I tell people what I’ve applied for, I get comments like “that sounds boring”. And I reply with a round of slow claps and hand them a golden medal with their name misspelled on it: that’s the point. 

I want boring. Why is that so surprising given my personality? Think about it:

Lab Assistant: cleaning beakers, sinks, and machines.

  • Leaves up a lot of time to think about the universe and all it’s inner workings, don’t you think? Maybe I’ll think so hard I find a contradiction in Christopher Langan’s “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the universe” so I can send him a long email explaining said contradiction with a ton of laughing-crying emoji’s just to add insult to injury. I’ll send him a copy of my IQ test too, since those things seem to matter to people these days.

Loss Prevention Associate: Stand and watch people or sit in a security viewing area. Take action when needed. Although your presence is a pretty good deterrent.

  • I’m paranoid enough to be considered paranoid, but not paranoid enough to be considered delusional (go figure). I can spot a kleptomaniac from a mile away.

losspreventionoriginal

Sanitation Clerk, Night Shift:

  • More than enough personal mental space to come up with my own Coginitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe. Mine won’t have such a cocky title. Mine will be called “Shit to think about, take it or leave it, I’m not an arrogant prick, we can never have an absolutist point of view about reality/cognition/the universe.” 

So there is no such thing as “boring” to me. My mind is always running, always creating alternate realities and theories and ideas and stories. A boring job is exactly what I need. Learn what things you will be good at and what things you won’t. The best way to find out is trial and error. I thought people were my problem when in reality I just need to be by myself.

how-to-say-no-to-your-bossIt’s important to inform your bosses about your struggles, if you didn’t on the application already. I cannot stress this enough. I’ve never disclosed my personal issues to strangers before and it was rather liberating to receive such an understanding approach to scheduling me less hours and less days per my request. Now I’ll be leaving, but not because they overwhelmed my anxiety or my depression or paranoia or any of that. It’s because the job doesn’t fit me. And honestly, my anxiety diminished drastically the moment I told the Director about my struggles. If you work in an environment where you have no secrets, you’re able to focus on the work and not hiding behind your mask.

I’m not saying show up to work without a shower and sagging clothes and tired eyes and claim they have to accept you for how you are, whether you have depression or not. Have a little self respect here, people. I’m saying let them know what they can do for you, take charge of yourself and your surroundings, it will do your mental health a world of good.

It’s important to remember you’re a person with interests and you don’t have to settle for zanyideassomething you don’t want just to appease your mental health. You and your brain are a team, remember? Even if it feels like he beats you into the floor and you’re left defenseless often, you’re still a team. You feed him just as much as he feeds you. Therefore, you and him will disagree on a lot of things. You have to decide whether or not you’re going to succumb to his wants or whether you’re going to pursue life according to your wants and needs.

I found an interesting article posted on The Mighty today (click here to read) about the controversy behind the phrase “Don’t let an illness define you”. This mother argues that chronic illness does define you–and not in a bad way. It defines how you live and what you have to do to live happily. It’s on your mind from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep. And in that context, it does define you. Where people have come off thinking that’s a negative things is beyond me; I agree with much of what this woman has stated.

She’s speaking on behalf of physical illness I believe, but it can go both ways. My anxiety and depression have defined how I live. It’s defined my likes and personality. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so; I enjoy what I like (no shit) and I enjoy my introverted personality. It’s always been other people who have something against the way I think and the way I want to live. So in reality they’re the ones making my illness or my disorder define me in a negative sense, not the other way around.

That being said, letting your struggling dictate how you live doesn’t mean you’re at the mercy of it. Another position I will be applying for is a Sales Consultant in computing. If you’re just tuning into my site, then you’ve missed the rants I’ve posted on technology. I’m a sucker for it. I own several laptops, desktops, Chromebooks, gaming consoles, phones, sound systems, televisions, and have been saving up for more.

michael_surrounded_by_computers

I’d own a Mac, but I’d Have To Sell My Fucking Car

Sales Consultant? With social anxiety? That sounds like a death sentence. 

Yes. Yes it does. But if I can handle Cash Control, I can handle telling people what computer to buy. I’m not looking for a position I’m absolutely comfortable with, that’s going to be impossible. I’m looking for a position I feel I can enjoy and be decent at. It’s not as if I’m a cashier having to have a conversation about someone’s day. No, I’m a factual robot repeating the same selling phrases and technological information to the same set of technologically deficient souls.

It’s important to realize your choice in job should play to your strengths and to never short change yourself just because you struggle mentally. I’ve been down that road far too often. Finding a job is kind of like finding a therapist: you need to take control. You need to tell them what you can do and you need to analyze them to see if they fit for you just as much as they’re analyzing you to see if they fit for them.

It’s a give and take.

As for me, I’m almost gunning for that sales consultant position. I’m waiting for the day someone asks me “So . . . how do you turn this tablet on?”

Or

“So, is this windows 8?” when the sign clearly says Windows 10.

I like those kind of people. They make me feel smart. 

Advertisements

Epiphany

Thanks to those of you who have been following me through this time and sending a few positive thoughts my way. I’ve come back from the dark place and have made a decision based on a pretty conclusive analysis on my current situation.

For those of you who are new followers, there are few, let me just say . . . you’re in for a ride reading my posts. I don’t hold much back, so if you’re sensitive to vulgarity and truth well, consider yourself warned.

warning__extremely_volatile__by_link_designs-d6o4ge1

Anyway, I’ve been comparing this job position and my previous job position to see how such different positions could result in the same mental reaction out of me.

In customer service, I couldn’t handle the people. I was overwhelmed with anxiety and depression over the fact that the staff treated me as if I were mentally challenged. As if I wasn’t giving my all every day, as if it was okay for them to continually call me quiet and shun me because of the fact.

In this job called Cash Control, our contact with people is minimized. I see the same faces every time I work. My social anxiety is at an all time low in this environment, which is a first for me.  It’s taught me how to take charge of my own tasks, a new skill I cherish, and it’s helped me take criticism a little better–it’s an environment where you are going to be wrong all the time and when you are, you have to have the ability to take it and turn it into a learning process. There are a lot of positives about this position.

But I realized today, as I spent three hours washing and waxing my car, that it’s not my anxiety that’s causing me to want to leave this job. It’s the fact that it’s just not a fit for me.

j20pants20closeup

My previous customer service position was too many people. This position is too many procedures, too much pressure, and honestly I’m over it. The people gossip too much, we aren’t given enough time to learn the thick ass book of notes they want us to memorize, and I’m not even a business major! I don’t give two shits!

Although, I did handle 75 thousand dollars the other day.

It doesn’t really register how much money you’re touching until you leave the basement and realize damn, that was a lot of money.

I know this blog is generally anonymous, but I don’t trust the internet. Someone, somewhere could find out where I work and the department I work for and that is the reason I can’t share with you the stuff we do at cash control. I was informed not to speak about it anywhere, so I respect them. They were almost robbed at gunpoint last memorial day.

But let me tell you, the procedures are endless and the perfection is required.

cross-the-lineMaybe my anxiety is contributing to my uncomfortability, I honestly don’t care anymore. I just want out. The pressure is going to my head, it’s so fast paced and fuck man, answering the phones? Fuck it, I’m out. That’s just crossing the line with me.

So I’ve applied to a position I’ve been chasing for a year. It’s a lab assistant position at a biotechnology lab in town. I’ve been waiting for them to post the opportunity again and they happened to do so a few days ago.

As much as I dislike cash control procedures, this shit looks bomb on a resume. I may just have a chance.

And, as I said, the skills you learn are pretty valuable.

I applied to be a delivery driver for a cafe. You go to the farm location, put the food in your car, and take it to the cafe. I was stoked about the opportunity until I saw this shit:

2016-ford-transit-connect-front

For fuck sake man, I have to drive this? Are you kidding me? I’m used to my low to the ground, space ship looking frame with my tint and my chrome wheels and my booming bass.

That thing is . . . it’s . . . it’s a cockblocker. It’s literally the definition of it.

I applied anyway.

I also decided to put in some volunteer hours.

It might seem as if I’m trying to take on a lot, but honestly I feel good about it. The more confident I’ve become (which I owe the majority of it to Cash Control these last two months) the more I’ve wanted to get out in the world. My social anxiety isn’t gone, but I’m forcing it down. The depression is another story. I’ll deal with that later.

Right now, I feel good. I feel determined and ready to take on the world. It’s 2 AM and I’m hype. I’m ready to go. I’m ready to try something new, Cash Control is boring, I’ve mastered what I can and I don’t want to learn anymore, I want to try something new and exciting like delivery driving or cleaning beakers in a lab.

I put in an application with the Sheriff department. Never mind that my car looks like a drug dealer’s and I do often have marijuana in it, and I make friends with the homeless pot heads at the car wash (I met Juan and Robert today, they really loved my car and how I take care of it, they thanked me for doing such a thorough job on it) and that I could be a criminal mastermind if I wanted to, I’m going to work side by side with the Sheriff.

there_s_a_new_sherrif_in_town___fallout__new_vegas_by_pd21x-d6koszn

Which Cash Control will also help me get. We work very closely with security and security works very closely with the police station. We’re walking out in public with 40 thousand dollars for fucks sake.

I want to either be the Fleet Maintenance assistant in which I drive the police vehicles to repair stations, document the repair, and bring it back to headquarters, or I want to be the Citizen Patrol in which I go around in a volunteer sheriff car trying to find abandoned cars or checking up on vacation homes to make sure no one is smoking it up in there. I wouldn’t carry weapons or be trained as an officer, I’m just the eyes.

I realized the positions I’m applying for, volunteer and otherwise, are independent focused. I like to be by myself. In the lab I’ll mostly be working by myself or with three or four people. As a driver I’ll be driving by myself. As a sheriff volunteer I’ll be driving by myself and taking the cars to the shops by myself for only 4 hours a week. That’s the position I need. The people don’t matter, it’s the insatiable need I have to be alone.

Cash Control is not isolated. You don’t have contact with the public, but you’re constantly around other people. I can’t even take my break by myself for God’s sake. For my personality it’s just not a feasible position. Someone is always watching you, always listening to you, and that makes me paranoid. It makes me anxious.

I have a lot of respect for the people in this department. But it’s just not for me. Now I understand why I’ve always craved a career in which I’m my own boss. It’s not about power and authority (okay, maybe a little), it’s about the freedom to be mostly independent. I’m the only one watching myself.

I don’t mind working in teams, just don’t stack endless procedure and perfection and phone calls on top of that.

I hate to leave a job so early again, which is why I refuse to leave the position until I have another job lined up. I’ll endure this until I can’t anymore, and I will leave correctly this time. The next time I have alone time with the director, I’m going to have to express how I feel. I want to let him know I’ll be leaving soon, and that it just isn’t fitting with me. And that’s okay. No one has my feet welded to the floor. I’ll always be welcome to come back and maybe I will at some point when I feel I’m mentally able to.

I have to remember I have options in life. The world isn’t going to end because I can’t handle this job. It doesn’t matter what other people think and I won’t let my trainer convince me to stay. It’s my decision and no one else’s. And that realization is why I feel so much better today.

Shout out to Robert and Juan. They my new homies.

 

Snitches Everywhere

absent-6762998

I have been absent.

I feel as if I said that last time. Did I? I can’t remember anything.

These past few days have been trying. They’ve been tough and I’ve been struggling, and the more I reach out for help it seems the more people recoil. I enjoy their enthusiasm and their hope for me, I’m sure I absolutely deserve it. I mean, I’m never anyone’s shoulder to cry on or anyone’s personal confidant, ever.

If you couldn’t tell, that’s sarcasm.

With work picking up, it becomes apparent how important this position is to the people I work with and how important perfectionism is to this department. You can’t afford to make a mistake when you and your partner are stomping your away across the street with twenty thousand dollars between the two of you.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have picked a department that plays off of one my greatest weakness that also happens to be one of my greatest strengths. I’ve hated my perfectionism and my sensitivity to criticism ever since I realized the toll it takes on your mental health. Having to be right all the time is a lot of pressure on yourself. A pressure you create that you ultimately find yourself blaming others for. How covertly conceited.

19f5c8550d5f482f606e9eb0885ce9108efeefd95f10746ae3b21faa33fc78cd_1

At any rate, the friend I got hired made a mistake and pulled an extra hundred from one of the machines my department manages. They had to do a lot of editing and balancing to get everything back to normal. I was the last new employee not to make a mistake yet.

I didn’t hold onto that title for too long. 

The first night I was on my own without a trainer over my shoulder, I took every precaution. I read my notes as I processed bills and coin and paper work. If I was 99.99999 percent sure of something, I didn’t take a chance and asked one of the leads/managers to help me. As much as that takes a toll on my social anxiety disorder, the thought of making a major mistake and the toll that would have on 1) my self esteem and 2) my perfectonistic self-loathing scared me much worse.

At the end of the night I left feeling generally pleased with myself. One goal I had for myself in getting this job was developing a sense of independence and demolishing my dependent nature and after that night, it seemed as if things were going just the way I planned.

Honestly, I should have just stepped in front of a car at that thought. Does anything ever go as anyone plans? Thinking that way is just a recipe for disaster, let’s be honest here people. The moment you blurt words like that to the universe is the moment Murphy’s law is stapled to your back.

sws-one-murphys-law-words

I already haven’t been feeling my greatest. My depression is settling in the more dissatisfied I am with school  and the direction my life is heading. So when I heard I made a major mistake that one night, the only night I felt decent about myself, I fell into a pit. And I’ve been here for a few days now.

The mistake? A computer error. I processed ONE DIME, TEN CENTS, and the fucking computer I was using printed it on three other receipts, receipts that I didn’t process any coin on at all, and my dumbass check marked the ten cents as if it were 0.00.

1330114079223_1889157

You’re supposed to see 0.00 when you don’t process coin. Somehow 0.10 got past my vision. It backed up morning shift three hours. They need to have everything balanced by 7 a.m (an hour after they clock in) and my mistake cost them a lot of hours and caused a lot of headaches. My director was not pleased and so far two of the morning shift people will not speak to me or even look at me.

For the remainder of my first day back after my mistake, the director also avoided eye contact with me. I thought it all a little childish. He speaks with me now but my trainer warned me the more mistakes I make, the more he dislikes you.

Well for fucks sake, excuse my fucking humanity. 

fc2b28f738537b106b6b62526da86c65

As I said, my depression was already creeping up on me and it hit me hard after I realized I was suddenly the most hated new employee of the cash room. For a computer error.

I had no problem admitting that I should have caught the mistake. But my trainer stuck up for me: she never told them I was cleared to process things on my own, someone should have been watching me. And it wasn’t technically my fault; I expected to see 0.00 so that was what I saw, even when the numbers read 0.10. I understand I should have caught it. But their computer system shouldn’t be that shitty.

The last few days I’ve been drifting into blissful suicidal fantasies. I’m not someone who is hell bent on having a good job or any of that. I enjoy thinking and being by myself and I hate being pressured into positions I’m not comfortable with, into drama, into all that petty bullshit they should have left behind in elementary school. I miss the days I could write for hours or take my camera for a walk. Now I don’t have the energy for any of it.

I’m just not happy.

not-satisfied-cat

I struggle with finding happiness ever, really. I am positive, I always try to direct myself in that direction for other people’s sake, not mine. It never helps me. But it seems to help others to see someone stronger and more positive than they are. I envy them greatly.

Even if I sat in a customized studio fit to write for days on end, I wouldn’t find happiness. It’s unattainable for me. The only time I feel an ounce of happiness is when I’m with my boyfriend. But even then there are times the dullness creeps in and I find myself fighting hard to not ruin his day.

But inside I’m dull, blank, empty.

how-to-unleash-your-best-work-every-day-so-that-you-die-empty

And as a seasoned self-harmer, that usually means it’s time to burn something or cut something. I don’t do it often anymore, but when I do the marks are rather large and severe and I cover them with sleeves or pants or shirts or whatever.

Today, while putting on a backpack to get ready to take some cash to the upper levels, my sleeve got hoisted up by a backpack sleeve (despite my careful efforts to never let any outsiders find out the truth about me) and one of the shift leads saw. I know he saw because I spun around, absolutely mortified, and found him staring directly at me. I gave him the look I rarely give people: tell someone and I fucking murder you.

He looked down instantly. I took my belongings and left as swiftly as possible. I’ve never been caught in such a way. In fact, I started panicking. I blanked out for a few minutes and the only thing I remember is sitting back in the cash office whispering to myself. That’s when happens when I get frustrated: thoughts flood my brain and the only way I feel I can stop them is by telling myself to shut the fuck up out loud. It has to be out loud. Obviously that’s not acceptable in a work environment, so I whisper it or breathe in loud or clench my teeth and twitch my head to the right and roll my eyes.

Don’t ask how, but it all helps.

This particular lead shift is a snitch. My trainer says so. Anything you say he passes on to the director, so you’ve always got to be careful around him. Whether or not he told the other shift leads and director, I don’t know yet. But I’m sure he will. What will happen then? Stigma, stigma, and more stigma. 

I’m intelligent. I learn quickly. But I’ve never been happy or satisfied and if I am, it’s artificial, short lived, and abrupt. Then it’s gone and I’m left to this black abyss.

 

Dependence

hello1

Well, hello, hello, hello.

It’s been a while.

How have you all been? Good? Bad? Horrendous?

I’ve been incredibly busy. Work is picking up and I’m getting a little better at the procedures. The bosses are a little stressed about all the new people still having to be trained and not being fully independent yet, but we’re all managing.

I never imagined to be part of a business at this level before. The thing about having consistent anxiety since before social development (4 yrs old or so), is that we grow up in the position of a dependent. We need constant reassurance before we are comfortable doing something, to the point where it develops into a very timid type of perfectionism. And that, left untouched, develops into procrastination perfectionism: you only do it if you can do it perfectly, and if you can’t do it perfectly well then it necessarily follows that you won’t do it.

perfect

That’s what always gets me about working.

Within the first two months of any job, any volunteer position, I’m ready to give up. The pressure grows. I’m expected to function smoothly on my own and I’m expected to solve problems without the eye of a trainer or partner over my shoulder checking my every move.

I don’t know how I feel about independence. I crave it, I fantasize about it, but whenever it’s placed in my hands I left it slip through my fingers. It’s a painful, repetitive process.

So I want to push myself past the two month mark. I want to fill out my full seasonal position and at least work throughout the summer and then make a decision on whether or not I can continue to handle it. I want to prove to myself that my anxieties and depression will no longer hold me back from doing something I need to or want to. I want to prove that to the staff and to my boyfriend as well, but mostly to myself. Because none of them could know what I go through and how much I push myself just to get along every day.

gahan-wilson-grim-reaperBecause getting back on prescription medication just sounds like I’m signing my death warrant, I’ve decided I’ve got to start doing this naturally. I want to get back on a healthy diet, I want to continue exercising, and in the mean time I’ve taken up Passion Flower. It’s a supplement that works well to calm anxiety, particularly if you take it regularly. It’s non-habit forming, it’s prescription strength (for the majority of people) and it’s . . . well, a flower. It’s literally dried petals in a digestible pill capsule.

What makes me laugh is how health websites stress how dangerous supplements are, how they haven’t been studied extensively, how they could cause bad side effects, and yet they fail  to mention how their prescription medications haven’t been studied as extensively as they tell the public, how they also cause bad side effects and fatal ones like Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome.

If they put as much effort into studying synthetic and natural medication as they did lying and turning the medical profession into a business, we’d have cures up the ass by now. 

we-are-laughing

That being said, if you don’t know things about grams/milligrams, half lifes, supplements and other such drug related things, I don’t suggest going to your local drug store and picking up a supplement just because I’m sitting here telling you Passion Flower works well for anxiety from my experience so far. Because, as I said, there can be side effects. The only difference is they’re not listed for you on a perfect little slip of pharmacy paper for you to reference.

And for God’s sake, stay away from Kava Kava.

I’m very fond of alternative medicines. I like reading the studies on them, I like doing research on them, and most importantly I enjoy trying them. Passion Flower is my favorite thus far. It acts on GABA: basically it’s a Benzo without the zombie feeling, without the total knock out, without the addiction, without the worry of serious withdrawal after years of use. It slows my mind down just enough to stop the consuming thoughts of work, of school, of how I’m not normal, of this, of that, of blah blah, all those negative thoughts you tell yourself over and over again that you eventually begin to believe.

no-bad-thoughts-picture

I don’t want something to “Stop” my anxiety. I want something that can help me teach myself how to control it. And that, thus far, is what Passion Flower has given me the ability to do. My anxiety is part of me. It might keep me up all night, it might keep me from asking for help in classes, or participating, or even stepping out of my front door, but it’s still part of me. And I treat it with respect because of that fact.

I’m trying to stop being dependent, and as scary as it sounds to me, as much as I want to cry at the thought, I know it’s what’s best. I know I’ll be happier in the end. And part of not being dependent requires I don’t depend on my anxiety to be an excuse for why I can’t do something. I know my limits and I know when my anxiety tries to create new limits, I need to push through them in order to see it was never a limit in the first place. And whatever I have to do to get to that point in my life, I will do. Even if it means swallowing dried flowers that smell like fresh rotting corpse. To me, that’s better than swallowing synthetic chemicals that smell like four year old rotting corpse.

The Lion’s Den

I feel betrayed.

104122-101715

Iheart and I have been so close for so many years, ever since the app first launched.

And they still play songs like “Twerkit” on my selected stations. Haven’t they learned I prefer anything that isn’t indicative of the generation I live in?

Anyway, I decided to take a shot at an internet radio server because I couldn’t figure out any other way to begin this blog post. I guess I could have just said that. Oh well, I make things much more complicated than they should be.

One thing I have realized, that I’m not entirely proud of, is my tendency to hide behind this persona I’ve created. It makes it shockingly (not shockingly) difficult to express true feelings, true motives, and an honest opinion to people as often as I’d like to.

For example, because there’s always been an expectation over my head to perform at my academic best placed on me by teachers more so than anyone, and eventually myself when I realized they realized I wasn’t a mute moron I’ve always tried to play myself off as if I have everything together.

14355381-business-perfection-stock-photo

I minimize the mental stress I feel when speaking of it.

I minimize amount I struggle in certain subjects when speaking of it.

My perfectionism requires I do whatever necessary to keep order on the outside. I must not show a single crack, a single crease or leak to the world lest I am prepared to deal with someone thinking less of me and me thinking less of myself.

It’s my anxiety speaking more than anyone. I think it takes a long time for people to dig deep into themselves and not only recognize but understand that a lot of the time the pressure placed on them is stemming from their own mind. It’s easy to feel the whole world on your shoulders and not realize you’re the one holding it there.

secret-to-being-a-fearless-artist-salvador-dali-550x275

So I try to remind myself a B on a test does not spell out DEATH. Death doesn’t even start with a ‘b’, unless I’ve been spelling it wrong all my life which, let’s face it, I would never do.

Of course, someone was speaking to me through the lights tonight, I swear. The car on the street had it’s parking lights flash in a Morse code fashion and when I passed no one was locking it or in it or anywhere near it. Then the light at Walgreens right above my car, the ones that never falter, did the same. I’m telling you, it’s a sign.

But I digress. Of course I do, it’s me, I’ll always say some dumb shit in the middle of my post and interrupt eloquent language with a sailor’s mouth. 

I also try to remind myself it’s okay to say what you feel, or what you think you feel. It helps people relate to you. If it’s one thing I have trouble with, it’s connecting with other human beings on a human level. You can probably tell. Perhaps that’s because the person they speak to the majority of the time is just a manikin constructed with life-like features to fool them.

11-81-4022n_2

And then other times I wonder how my ability to switch between a human and a manikin will help me in the future, career wise.

My brain is often more aggressive than my anxiety can handle. Therefore I strive for the best in everything. I make competition between me and someone when there shouldn’t be, and when they don’t know I’ve made one. 

If they get praised for their writing, I make it a goal to get praised more often. When I do succeed (I’ve won an essay competition at my college this semester with a 9 page essay I wrote in six hours) my anxiety keeps me from reaping the benefits. They want me to read it at a ceremony and network myself among other writers and college executives.

haha-wtf

 

Firstly, it’s nine damn pages. They said I could just read a passage but lets be honest here guys, I wrote the thing in six hours and I understand people are often impressed with my formal writing but I was not impressed with it. In fact, I felt it was one of the worst essays I’d ever written.

Secondly, I fucking suck at socializing. And I really suck at speaking in front of huge groups. I thank them for the recognition but I’m just not ready for that.

One of my past professors has pushed another one of my essays into yet another competition. I’m not arrogant about winning, but I feel I have good chances to win that one as well.

Yes, they pay you.

Why get a Bachelor’s when you can get an M.D? That’s my mindset. 

35423383-closeup-headshot-portrait-of-friendly-smiling-confident-female-doctor-healthcare-professional-with-l

I always feel the need to 1-up someone and it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy because if I don’t succeed in such a task, I spiral into a soup of self loathing.

It’s part of the reason I enjoy movies like “City of God”. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about some slums in Brazil in the seventies. It’s about cocaine, power, and if you know anything about philosophy, a lot of philosophy.

It starts off describing a trio of slum teenagers and children, some of which rob and loot and deal drugs. They get money to help their families who often refuse to accept dirty money.

But there’s one kid who stands out from all the others without standing out and as a child full of ideas who is sick of not being recognized by the older “hoods”, tricks the trio and sprays a reign of death through a hotel brothel. He shoots ’em point blank. He’s a brutal child.

evil-children

But eventually he rises to the top because it’s all he’s been focused on. He finds ways to overpower everyone, he runs his slums by particular rules and regulations and although everyone bows at his mercy, they are at a type of peace for once.

He falls prey to the arrogance that partners with power and the arrogance is his downfall. I want to experience his success, his power, without the downfall and the only way to do that is to slither to the top without burning people along the way. I’m not out to hurt people (physically or mentally) and I’m not out to show off. I don’t want to be respected because of a title, because I’m a manager or an executive or a bestselling author or essayist, I want to be respected for the actions and the message I spread.

Often to get into those positions you sacrifice your integrity. You sacrifice your morals for the position, for the gold that comes with the position, and you don’t realize what you’ve done until you’re falling flat on your ass.

atm-machine-scramble-1This is why I’ve always loved Kant: we’re rational creatures. We don’t want to be treated as someone with instrumental value–in other words, we don’t want to be treated like objects, like tools, like an ATM machine. It’s not just about treating others with respect, or the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would want done to yourself), it’s also about having self respect. If you let yourself be used, you’re behaving unethically. 

I lived by that motto before I even knew how to spell Kant. It’s why, no matter how bad my anxiety is, no matter how far my depression knocks me down, I’ve always refused to let myself be run over or treated badly. It’s why I could build up the courage over my social anxiety to speak to my boss about my accommodations.

Once you’re in the professional realm, there’s no room for being a piece of raw meat. You’re in the lions den.

 

 

Rant or Something Of The Sort

635861764975713104896906678_image

I cannot CHILL.

Nope.

Nothing.

Nada.

Looked for some chill under my bed . . . wait, it’s two mattresses on the floor, no I didn’t. I looked in my CLOSET for some chill and it was missing.

I searched my laundry hamper thinking maybe I threw it in the dryer and it shrunk, but I burst from my pile of clothes empty handed.

I ate a couple cookies hoping maybe the chill was in the chocolate chips but I think that made it worse.

Maybe it’s the stress. This usually happens. I must have been ignoring something. Maybe I’ve been ignoring all the school stress and work stress and mucking my subconscious up with it to the point where my subconscious has no other choice but to hurl it back up through my system in the form of anxiety, hyperactivity, energy, and that patented “panic” feeling.

alex-gregory-oversensitive-car-alarm-new-yorker-cartoonAlthough last night was much worse. I started noticing my heart beat (that’s how it always starts) And when I tried to lay down I kept waking up to it beating in my ears. My head was spinning, my thoughts were racing, and I could barely focus an ounce on the computer screen when I tried to use YouTube,  my faithful savior, to calm me down. I went through the motions of wondering if this was it, if I was going to die, I went through the motions of wondering about things so quickly I can’t even remember what they were about, and then I remember the Ativan. I remember how well the placebo effect worked with those useless things, so I scrounged around in the bottom of my satchel to find a measly half a milligram.

While my heart rate has calmed down, I still feel my blood racing through my veins (that’s what it feels like, a million ants or centipedes crawling underneath my skin) and my leg is still bouncing like I’m on a drum set smashing double bass for a black metal band, and my thoughts are all over the place. You know, the kind of thoughts that sort of bounce off your skull like your brain is a trampoline. But instead of waiting their turn, they all get on the toy together and jump around screeching. Because that’s what your brain is to them, a toy.

My left hand keeps tapping at the opal stone on my necklace (it’s really pretty and shiny, it’s one my boyfriend gave to me) and it’s another way to relieve tension if I can’t keep both of my hands busy I suppose. If I don’t tap the necklace I’ll have to find something near by to grab like a knife or a pen to just tap on my desk or I’ll just tap repetitively on my collarbone. I like the gentle thudding sound it makes in my head. It’s so repetitive.

5-more-minutesBecause I didn’t sleep until 5 A.m yesterday, and was too lazy to get up at nine, I missed my afternoon class. Luckily it’s philosophy and the class was just a review. The test is Thursday but let’s be honest you all, how the fuck do you study for philosophy? Just keep the views of the philosophers in your head so when you answer a question about them, you can just reason it out. That’s how I get through all my philosophy. It’s not rocket science.

Tomorrow . . . err, today, is my math class. It’s at 8 a.m and I still can’t get to sleep. It’s 1:02 now. I usually have to get up at 6:30 to be ready to leave by 7:20 so I can get there ten minutes early and find a comfortable seat away from everyone.

My head is pounding and my brain will not turn off tonight. Nope, not tonight.

Night time always evokes anxiety in me. I like the silence, but I don’t like the lack of company. I think perhaps I could get to sleep, like I said my heart rate has calmed, but now it’s all about the brain. It’s all about the thinking and the feeling like I HAVE to do something.

I could clean (least likely). I could ride my bike in the freezing fucking cold. I could do yoga. I could stay on this computer all night (most likely) messing around on this website, going on forums, and multitasking all around. My eyes feel tired, my brain doesn’t (yet) and I feel as if I’ll be taking a quick nap through chapter eleven in calc tomorrow.

I’m hoping I can lay in bed and let my body do what it does naturally: pass out.

e9cb16057441a3c401d6461e686d5783

But that probably wont happen. And I’ll probably be late to class again tomorrow.

It’s interesting how you can feel your brain moving so quickly but not have it think about anything really. There’s no substance to the thoughts, they just pass and I see them and I reach out to shake their hand and they pretend to have never met me.

Things about school, things about work, things about theories and cognition and the universe, and how stupid IQ’s are.

But at the same time, my brain is blank. It has thoughts with no volume, like a pool with the theory of being filled but never experiencing a drop of water.

Even though my eyes hurt and I want to lay down, I don’t feel like there’s a point, not with how fidgety my body is, not with how actively inactive my brain is.

Then again, it’s almost three in the morning and I need to be up in three hours.

I should probably lay down.

Tomorrow is going to suck.

Honesty In The Real World

0126

This Fucking Guy Will Be In My Nightmares

I’m not a morning person.

Anyone who has had the displeasure and pleasure of knowing me for a few years would be quick to offer up the suggestion that I am a vampire. Cool bro.

So getting up at 9 a.m to be to work at 10:53 can be challenging.

Yes, we have to clock in seven minutes before our scheduled time to arrive because it takes a good four minutes to get through the maze to the room we operate in, then another two minutes or so to put your belongings in the lockers outside, get inside the door, and put your food in the fridge.

The other reasons mornings are challenging are because I don’t get very much time to spread out my anxieties. I’m anxious about the day the moment my eyes open. If I don’t have a decent amount of time to process those feelings, to spread them to every inch of my body to give my brain a fighting chance, than I’m going to have a bad time.

ski-instructor-morning-conversation

For that same reason, I’m typically very irritable in the mornings. Most people don’t know this because they don’t live with me. The most outsiders (meaning people not in my apartment) see of me is the composed part of me, the part they mistake for stable and kind and sweet. If they knew the truth, if they saw me when I punched through walls and doors, burned or harmed myself, threatened to kill myself, or screeched every five seconds for the tiny little noises that bother me to the point of no return, they’d probably label me crazy.

So this morning, as I sat in my car in the rain listening to the engine idle down, I was still pushing some anxieties down. I’d taken the last Ativan yesterday for work and now my one time prescription that was supposed to be for bringing me down from panic attacks is gone. Now I’ve got to get a doctor. I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to give me an active prescription.

Although, perhaps something I can pop that’s non-habit forming. The last thing I need is an addiction. And I could see myself falling down that hole easier than you would think. I may have a strong will, but that means practically nothing in my situation.

At any rate, I got a call the second before I put my car into drive that the park was closed and they didn’t need me today.

3947564634_c56a2a16fd_z

That left me with a lot of pent up anxiety and cortisol, so I went for a cycling ride around town. It would have ruined my day if I hadn’t.

Yesterday was very game changing for me. And thoughts of yesterday have consumed my mind today.

I always thought very highly of people with mental health issues who could be so open about themselves when they needed to be. In fact, I admire these people a great deal. It’s one thing to post yourself online to get the support of people you can’t see, it’s another thing to go out into the world where stigma is much more real and in your face and you have to watch your words.

See, we’ve got a nice little pocket here. We’ve all developed a blog-to-blog type friendship/relationship. We all have our struggles and part of the reason we read and support each other is because we know what each of us is going through. We get encouraging words from people who have never dealt with our struggles but who are interested in mental health or just think we’ve written something really touching. Which is nice. But it’s nothing compared to real life.

I wouldn’t go up to a stranger and say: “I think about killing myself very often”, or “I pretty bad have depression” or “sometimes I see spiders crawling along the shower door that apparently no one else sees”.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-27320-1396635050-12

I swear to God there was a spider, it was fucking huge and black. I saw it three times, every time I hit the door. I think my mother was the one tripping.

Their reaction most likely won’t be sympathetic, particularly if I keep a monotonous expression along my face as I usually have when I blog.

All the emotion sways to my fingertips when I write.

At any rate, they’re probably going to laugh. Let’s face it. It’s weird to have someone walk up to you and say something completely unexpected. They’re not laughing because they’re assholes, they’re laughing because they’re nervous and confused.

But that’s what we basically do on here. We tell the truth about ourselves in blunt words and those who are understanding and interested comment or like or read. Those who aren’t, generally don’t.

I knew I would have to have the conversation with my boss regarding my hours and my situation. I first prepared my bottom line: I settled with myself how many hours I was willing to work and how many days a week I was willing to work, and I went over in my head a million different ways to explain my brain.

ugh

None of which were even necessary.

I told him why I couldn’t work specific times on days when I have my psychologist appointments and I told him why I even see a psychologist in the first place. I usually get flattened expressions or lack of interest, but he smiled, whether out of sympathy or genuine kindness I didn’t have time to assess.

He immediately asked if the shifts I was working at the moment were too stressful, and I said they would be once I started working on the weekdays. I said I’d prefer to work 5-6 hours at the most, but never 8. I told him I don’t want to go full time, not even in the summer when they need all the hands they can get. I told him I’m most comfortable working 5 days a week.

He agreed to it all. He asked if the environment I work in (there’s no windows or doors, just concrete) gives me anxiety but I said it was the exact opposite because of the fact I see the same faces every shift and there’s only six or seven of us. There are no loud noises (besides the giant tanks and generators outside) and everyone has been really kind to me.

And that’s the truth.

He told me if there was ever a day I felt bad or panicky or this, or that, all I had to do was let one of the leads or managers or himself know (he’s the director) and they could either let me go home early or give me a break, whichever I preferred.

10887luck-cloverI feel particularly lucky. We’re a very small department and we get personalized treatment, we really do. The main floor of the company I work for gets no such treatment. They have hundreds of employees, most of whom are under the age of 18, and things get messy and dramatic. People are over-worked and stressed out often.

We may be short staffed in our department, but at least we’re all in our twenties and thirties. Some are in their forties. No pesky kids to deal with here.

I also feel lucky because I’ve never had good reactions from the people I’ve been honest with. Most people are confused to why my problems are even problems, as if they have the right to claim them as not-problems. Friends in the past just call me crazy, others were condescending. Bosses and teachers I’ve had were always so confrontational that I never felt an ounce of comfort around them, not enough to explain the truth about myself and why I’d need some extra time to chill out.

I may not give two shits about day jobs, I may not care whether I get recognized for this, or that, or promoted or being a good worker (#loseyourintegrity) or whatever people care about, but I do give two shits about the people who work in this department. When I leave, I’m going to remember to thank them. It takes a lot to gain my trust in such a short time.