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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
I 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.