Couldn't think of a cool title…

October 5, 2009

Awkward Interaction

Filed under: Personal, Talks with the Doc — me @ 8:39 pm

Ran into the Doc at the library today. I thought I recognized her, and then I knew I did, and then our eyes met and I didn’t know whether to say hi or not, and she stared past me and kept walking. Protecting my confidentiality is nice– and professional, but it’s also weird. Weird for me anyway, pretending not to know someone who knows a variety of details about my first experiences with intimacy and my true feelings about people I’m forced to be polite to. And weird in that way I used to feel as a kid when I saw my second grade teacher in the grocery store– “what? you have a life beyond that building I always see you in?”

It’s funny, because when I think about it I realize there are these little bits of things I do know about the Doc. I imagine it’s common to wonder about someone you regularly reveal your innermost thoughts to, and at the same time of course it’s reasonable not to have access to much about them at all. I know she went to school in Missouri and Connecticut because that’s what the diplomas on her wall say. I know she has at least two kids and that they go to schools in different districts for some reason because it complicates her availability for appointments around the time of spring vacations. I know she worked professionally with someone at my undergraduate school and that she knew my old neighbor, because he’s the one who recommended me to her in the first place, ten (!) years ago. I know she’s married, as she wears a wedding ring. I know she went from working in a business run by someone else when I first started going to her, to co-owning a business with other people now– because where she used to work a receptionist took care of billing and scheduling and now it’s all handled directly by her. And apparently she lives near enough by me to have reason to go to the public library in my town. And that’s about it.

It’s interesting to me that I found this chance meeting of non-interaction so awkward, because often when I see people I vaguely know in public settings I have an impulse to avoid them, a sense that I don’t want to be forced into smalltalk maybe? Or just a sense that running into someone makes me feel the need to be “on,” to entertain them on some level, to be worth talking/listening to. So in a funny way sometimes I see people and almost wish they would pretend not to see me. Sometimes too much of my life is a game of trying not to risk feeling too uncomfortable.

September 3, 2009

Job Lost Made for a Crummy Week

Filed under: Business, Melancholy, Personal, Talks with the Doc — me @ 10:10 pm

Kind of had an up and down week this week professionally. I applied to teach at my old high school and didn’t get the job, and I REALLY should have. I know the teachers they have there and I know what I’m capable of, and more importantly, I know how my credentials stack up by comparison. I also know that two people who left positions there specifically told him that I would be their first choice to take over their classes. So that leaves the interview as the apparent dealbreaker. I was interviewed by someone whose known me since I was 14 or so. Did that make me approach the interview too casually? Perhaps, or perhaps the fact that a LONG list of people were assuring me I would get the job so that made me complacent. (In my defense, the person interviewing me was barefoot at the time. Not exactly a cue for formality. But that’s petty I suppose.) My “spies” on the inside tell me that the only clue as to why I was not hired was a comment that I was “too vague” with my ideas. I’ve been feeling hurt, angry, frustrated, and sad about this all week. I originally made contact about the job early in the summer but the interview wasn’t until August. I did not get any notice whatsoever after the interview, only knowing I didn’t get the job because school started. I’m upset because I deserved at least the professional courtesy of notice, as there were other positions I did not apply for because I was unclear if I was still under consideration. Obviously this adds to the financial strain inherent in my starving artist lifestyle at the moment. But more than that I thought that the relationship I had with this person was such that if I didn’t get the gig and it really came down to a problem with my interview or something, that he would give me some feedback– “Look, we decided to go in a different direction, but I thought you should know…”– something.

So I’m annoyed with him because I feel strongly that he’s come to incorrect conclusions about my abilities, and I’m even more annoyed with myself– because somehow after all this time knowing me he wouldn’t think I would be good for his program. I know most of the people who encounter this blog at all will know that this isn’t a matter of my ego or something– this was a job that I was more than qualified to do, at a time when they REALLY need well-qualified people due to the particular mix of students they have  this year. So it’s all well and good for me to say “Fuck him,” — but if under these circumstances he didn’t see my potential then I really didn’t demonstrate it to him. And if someone who’s known me as long as he has doesn’t see that, how am I perceived by people who are just meeting me?

Interviewing is a skill, and maybe it’s one I need to work on. But more than that, I think I stumble a lot in putting myself  “out there.” I remember several years ago some work I did for a company got my name in the paper. And the head of the company, where I’d been working for three years, came down the stairs one day and said, “I saw that article. I didn’t know you were looking for a career in this. We should talk about that.” And it occurred to me how ridiculous that was– that I’d been working there three years, in and around this man who had a lot of connections that could be beneficial to my career– and he had NO IDEA that I had any particular aspirations of interest. There are a lot of people in my life, people I daresay have less to offer the field than I do, who would never have let something like that happen. And it’s all well and good to complain that “nobody notices me,” but what have I done lately to get noticed?

April 25, 2009

Because I’m Out of Practice on the Whole Blogging thing…

Filed under: Personal, Talks with the Doc — me @ 12:15 am

I’m writing even though I’m not really sure what I have to say.

It’s been a weird time in Seeing-the-Doctor-land. I’m on COBRA thru my old job but it’s stupidly expensive so I tried to apply for a cheaper self-employment health insurance and was rejected — on the grounds that I’ve seen a psychiatrist and taken an antidepressant. Apparently people who go to health care providers and follow their advice can’t get health care. Looking into my other options but Holy Frustration. In other news the Doctor was encouraging me to look into a group therapy option in addition to seeing her, but now that she knows I’m seeking health insurance she doesn’t want to do that lest I “seem sicker than” I actually am.” My initial reaction to the whole group therapy thing was one of mild panic, a why-am-I-not-just-cured-or-something feeling, just a sense of What Now. But then when suddenly the Doctor reversed course I’m ironically more frustrated not to be looking seriously at this option– suddenly it’s something that Might have been good for me that I’m not doing but only for a really stupid reason. So, instead of looking at a therapeutic option she’s suggesting I find a singles group, not a dating organization but some kind of SinglesWhoHike or StampCollectingSingles thing. This came out of my questioning a couple weeks back of what real progress I’ve made, my need to do/see something concrete. Of course, she sees progress I find invisible, or even feel guilty over– i.e, she considers my increased “disloyalty” to my family progress. When we were discussing this she implied that maybe I wasn’t feeling like therapy was the right thing right now and that panicked me more than all the rest. I don’t know how people decide that they “don’t need it” anymore but I guess I’d like to think I’d have a series of appointments that didn’t involve hopelessness or crying as a precursor to  considering such a thing. I guess, but don’t really know, that I’m in a stage of therapy that a lot of people go through– I’m not immediately in crisis or anything so I’ve had more time to process and thereby feel badly about a variety of things and the question becomes what to do with the information. The Doctor says that I missed a developmental stage, that I’ve been parentified and that I “parent” my family in a variety of ways, sacrificing my self in the process. I’ve actually started to wonder if, at some subconscious level, I’ve never had an intimate relationship because that would hurt/upset/discomfort my family. Screwed up. Got it. Now what?

In non-mental-health news, things have been overall better than I had expected. I’ve had enough work and been paid decently for it all– without feeling like I’m in constant stress every week. I finished a show last week that was well-received, I’ve managed to pay my bills, and at present I’m set till mid-June or so when school lets out. I’m a bit anxious to be losing that employment-safety-net of substitute teaching for the summer, and trying to think more seriously about what I really want both for the summer and after. With a friend of mine going into grad school it’s looking good that I could teach her classes at my OldHighSchool and make a decent living, especially on top of some other freelance projects and the Tech gig I’ve got at a private school now. But of course all that would keep me Here, with all the family issues and career direction confusion Here has. On the other hand, leaving presents a million other scary prospects of it’s own. I don’t want to turn away from a good oppotunity (should one arise) just because I’m afraid to step out of my comfort zone, I’m just struggling to figure out what exactly I want that’s worth taking such a risk. So. Don’t really feel like I’ve stepped forward, but the breathing room of I’m-in-Transition has been kind of nice.

March 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Filed under: Best Niece Ever, Good Moodiness, Talks with the Doc — me @ 10:46 am

Having just been taken out to breakfast I’m doing my best to relax my morning away. Seeing the family later tonight and hoping to be able to just have fun and not struggle with them or myself for once. Looking back, 30 was a momentous year. This is still very much a transition but I’m more hopeful now that I feel like I went through some of the hard work of growing as a person this year that a payoff is coming. I’m definitely more relaxed overall these days– my stresses over work, for the moment, are far between enough to be more reasonable, and being in a more project-to-project situation keeps me from getting to emotionally overwrought over most things related to that. My finances should be in decent shape for the next couple months so I have some time to plan and figure out what’s Next after that.

With more space in my brain these days my thoughts have turned more to some of the work I’ve done with the Doctor, some of it being rather painful. I am honestly kind of surprised to have honed in on new things about my childhood at this stage of the game and I’ve been thinking a lot about what it all means and what I should do with the information as I go further in life. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn myself more and hopeful that it will be a very positive thing for my future.

BestNieceEver knows my name now and has lots to say about lots of things. I saw her this past weekend, and very excited to see her tonight as a new TWO year old. I cherish the time I have with her and feel that she was a great spot for me this challenging year.

The best things I did last year were quit my job and go on a trapeze 4 times. What will be the best things this year? I can’t wait to find out.

January 6, 2009

This is it

Filed under: Melancholy, Talks with the Doc, The Old Job — me @ 12:53 am

This is the week, one way or another, I need to move on. My Replacement starts tomorrow and I’m handing over my keys. There are a million stupid loose ends, projects half-done that I feel guilty leaving in her hands– but she is, after all, being paid for it and I won’t be. I am sad and resentful, and I’ve shouldered the worry about that place for so long it’s very hard to release it. I don’t regret quitting, I just regret the sadness I feel over it and the fact that I couldn’t change what I wished to change there.

I saw the Doctor today. I feel like I had the same conversation with her that I’ve been having for the past 15 years– the wtf is wrong with me conversation. I am ashamed– honestly, ashamed–  to be in this stage of life and never had so much as a boyfriend. It feels with each passing year that the shame in this intensifies. I want more. But my fear has always gotten in the way. Or that’s what She says, anyhow. With the Job slipping away and the Holidays over, I have more time to think and more space to feel, more space to notice my unhappiness. She seems to think if I could just get miserable enough I would take on that fear, take whatever risks are required to change my situation. She guesses that, outside of my very close friends no one would even see that I am “looking”– maybe I don’t know how to admit I’m looking because I can’t handle the chance that looking won’t make a difference, in the way that I can’t say I want to go to the gym more to lose weight because I can’t handle the commitment of saying that’s something that matters to me. I don’t think I was raised to want things for myself. I was raised to want things for other people. And to look down on anyone who wanted things as superficial as to look attractive, to get felt up, or to have attention. I’ve spent my life acting as though I were too fulfilled by so many other things to care about what wasn’t there. I don’t know how to invite anyone else in. If it all comes down to fear, why has it so paralyzed my life? And what possibility is there for it to be conquered?

So yeah. I have a little time on my hands now and it looks like wading through some pain will be part of it. I’m hoping some insight and change will come of it all, but I guess we’ll have to see.

December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas

Filed under: Best Niece Ever, Christmas!, Talks with the Doc — me @ 7:43 am

It’s been awhile, mostly because I forgot my password and was too lazy to do much about it– but I wanted to organize myself at least to say Merry Christmas to everyone. My Christmas was quietly lovely and hopeful despite a stubborn cold and a bit of uncertainty. BestNieceEver loves her wagon and I am so glad I got it for her. I spent the day at my parents’, waiting around (by sleeping, mostly) for Sister and Brother-in-Law, with baby in tow, to show up (they said 11AM– try 6PM…) but once they finally arrived it was a lovely time. Later in the evening I went over to Cousin’s house. Cousin broke up with his fiance a couple months ago and is having a Blue Christmas, so I did my best to cheer him up and then slept over on the futon he inherited from me back when they first moved in together.

The Christmas show is wrapping up this weekend so its my annual time of nostalgia and emotional wreck-ed-ness. There was a guy I thought could have been a source of flirtation but I didn’t work hard enough at it, and he moves back across the country after tomorrow so oh well.

My faith that my Work is going to get better has been tenuous at best. I am burned out.

There are stories I’m a bit too tired to tell, but  the short version is that I’ve driven through some melancholy this past couple months, the Doc is changing my medication and we’ll see where that takes me. I am anxious to rediscover a happy person inside me again. Through it all I have been grateful for Christmas, with it’s random joyousness rubbing off on me here and there. I needed it and have embraced it as much as I have been able to.

October 3, 2007

Sometimes I just want to blog cuz I wish I had someone to talk to.

Filed under: Business, Talks with the Doc — me @ 2:14 am

So the Lady Who Made Me Cry last week made an attempt at a compliment today, she said that my new haircut was “much more flattering” in that way that implies that whatever I looked like before must have been truly hideous. It sort of amused me the way she did this, because it really did seem like an honest effort gone awry so I graciously accepted it for what it was worth and what I’m sure she meant. Maybe if I was a better person I would have made an effort as well, to come up with some nice thing this evening to say to HER. I’ve decided at this point that while I may find myself critical of the way she deals with those who disagree with her (not just me, but others too– and I say that with full understanding that it probably means that I have a reasonable amount of fault to be had in that department as well)– she really isn’t the problem. Sometimes I think it would be better if I didn’t work in such a small organization, at this very strange transitional moment– and wasn’t exposed to the sometimes painful realities of its inner workings and internal ruminations. It’s a time where everyone has an opinion, and frankly a lot of times people simply don’t agree with me. For better or for worse, my identity is very much mixed up in this place and this job and maybe I take my opinions as to what-we-need and how-we-should-get-there too seriously. I have such a hard time with chaos. I hate watching things go awry, and my experience is so-often well, if you’d listened to me in the first place…

Doctor would say that that experience in my working life is parallel to the experience I had growing up in my family. If everyone would just get along the way I imagine they ought to, I would often think as a child, there would be no problems in sight. Conflict was a bad thing in my eyes then, and total peace the seemingly obvious goal of life. It’s why I’m such a pacifist in my politics. It’s a filter through which all my ideas for the world passed through– from whether to abolish the death penalty to how to navigate a family picnic. What scenario creates the least tension? The least chance for regret? The least possibility for future conflict? Then that’s my position.

As a youth this… methodology… was carried out to an extreme degree in that I tried to generate utopia around me through my own unblemished (and forced) personality. No one could ever have any reason to  have conflict with me, since I would never dream of initiating such a thing with anyone else and I was so meek that only the heartless would consider taking any kind of aggressive position against me. And to those who did come into conflict (as a result of their own personal faults, I assumed) in my vicinity would find me a forgiving and eager listener and counselor, always equally understanding of any side of a disagreement and seamlessly find ways to smooth over the pain I perceived to be the natural consequence of such an event.

Sister, I suspect, always recognized this as bullshit. In my toast on her wedding day one of the roles I said she plays in my life is that she “keeps me honest.” Maybe her “difficult” personality in the midst of my family was really a matter of the one-who-calls-a-spade-a-spade suffering in an world that expected and functioned on illusions. As the “good” child I dutifully stepped in line to feign innocence when necessary and embrace the cause of “keeping the peace.” Sister recognized, in a way I imagine I don’t even now, that living is more important. And I think a lot of the latent guilt I’ve always felt towards Sister and her lot as a child has sprung from the fact that while I played the role masterfully– too masterfully, really– I was still smart enough, deep down, to recognize that she was right. I found out at age 19 that Sister had known, eight years earlier about my parents’ marital problems and the realities of our family life to a level of detail that took me aback so much that I did not recover from the shock for quite some time. I had spent so much time taking good care of my illusion of my problem-free family that I did not recognize our own story.

So I realized at some point around then that I didn’t really want to build my life around illusions, and became a lot more rough around the edges in a lot of ways. Friends celebrated my new-found personality, and I must say there was a definite release of a great burden I had carried around in trying to walk so strict a line in everything I did. But it has been difficult sometimes, as I have emulated those with opinions and then discovered the consequences of having a say. Not everyone wants to hear it. And perhaps not every forum should hear it.  But I have a hard time with disagreements even today, and even when it’s a fair assessment that I “started” it. I too often take dissenting views as personal criticism, and I don’t quite know what to do about that. At work any such reaction right now is made even worse by this sense that Things-Could-Be-Ruined-Forever!, which on one level I know to be ridiculous and on another I know to be quite apt in its description. Sigh.

I think I need a hobby.

September 22, 2007

Why this is a Diseaese

Filed under: Talks with the Doc, Workaholism — me @ 8:34 am

It’s been a long week. Today I rolled out of bed at my parent’s house, gratefully ate their food, and rushed over for my early morning staff meeting. I was at my parents’ house for the second or third night that week. There are two major reasons I go to my parents’ house to sleep over. 1.) They have food, and 2) They are closer to work so if I’m working outrageous (and I mean outrageous) hours late into the evening and too tired to drive the 20 minutes back to my place, I go there. There are other reasons, of course, but when it comes down to it, this is why I spend as much time there as I do.

My allergies were bothering me. I didn’t have any Claritin handy. I had run out of Effexor the day before and hadn’t been able to fill the prescription because it was hanging on my refrigerator in my apartment, which I hadn’t been to in two days. Effexor appears, from as best I can judge these things, to be a perfectly fine drug in most ways. I guess it works as well as the Zoloft I took for so long, and I believe it has less of a tiring impact on me, which is the main reason I switched. The problem with Effexor is not when I’m taking it but when I miss a dose. The doctor tells me it has a shorter half-life than Zoloft, which is a term I may have vaguely understood for 10 minutes in high school chemistry. Simply put, it means that missing dose puts me into withdrawal. I have massive stomach cramps. I have tremors. I get really hot and dizzy. While Doctor assures me that this withdrawal is not actually depression, I certainly am not of fan of my life when this happens.

I went in to work today for this early meeting despite it being my day off. Back in July there was a week I had to work 6 days in a row and I filled out the paperwork to “trade a holiday,” basically saying I should get a day off to replace the one I deserved from that week. My boss approved and for reasons I don’t remember, my new day off in early August ended up not working out because some pressing project at work came up. Diligently trying to advocate for myself, I filled out new paperwork for a second new-day-off for later in August, on a day that both OldBoss and So-Awesome-Office-Manager were also off enjoying vacation days they wanted to use up. NewOfficeManager was on her own that Friday and no one had put any money aside for a community service crew that was coming in on that day. It was also clear within minutes that she had little idea of what projects needed attention from said community service crew– I got a call early in the AM, came in, and then filled out paperwork a THIRD time, this time for this weekend.

Usually when we have classes during the school year I’ve been taking Fridays and Sundays off. We have no classes on Saturday this weekend because of Yom Kippur, so I thought this would be the perfect time for a 3 day weekend. Unfortunately, I realized too late that I had double-booked myself for a staff meeting scheduled for Thursday. I was supposed to see Doctor, and I’ve been pushing myself not to miss that. I apologetically told NewBoss I had a conflict and she said that was fine as long as I  worked out with the rest of the staff another time that we all could meet. Long story short, today, early AM was the only time that worked for everyone else.

So. Had minor insomnia sleeping at my parent’s. Came in cranky and sleepy, had staff meeting.  Set about to leave. Realized there was a contract I had to drop off to one of our schools and decided to drop it off on my way back home.  Went to do that, saw that there was a problem with the contract, which required me to spend 45 minutes there and then return to fix it at work in order to make sure it wouldn’t delay when my favorite Cash-Flow-Disabled-NonProfit could get paid. Then realized that one of our other programs, 40 minutes away, would have a major check available if I could go out in the afternoon and pick it up. Filled out the Okay-No-Really-My-Day-Off-Is… Paperwork for the third time.

Since I was already at work, stopped in at a meeting and was asked about our  past marketing strategy– and then had to explain that how OldBoss had never had any such thing, trying to tell myself that the incredulous looks were a statement against Him and not against Me. Listened to NewBoss explain that our Cash-Flow crisis is due to having fewer students this summer, which is not the case– we actually had more kids than the year before, it’s just clear the income wasn’t handled competently. At this meeting a question about some Sensitive Paperwork came up and long-story-short I found a document that outright proves that OldBoss lied on official paperwork to cut costs in ways that could get us in Lots and Lots of Trouble.

Had lunch at a restaurant with Friends. Food was 40 minutes late, then so jumpy that I wolfed down half of it but couldn’t eat the rest. Had to jump back into my car to get to that check at the school 40 minutes away.  Found out upon arrival that I had misunderstood and check was not actually availablle today. Also discovered (long story) that one of my Teachers was pulling out of the program and that I needed to entertain 12 first and second graders for the next hour. Unhappily drove home, stopping briefly on the side of the highway to throw up my lunch, trying to focus enough to make sure I’m not speeding outrageously when all I can think of is getting home quick enough to get that Damn Prescription before I completely am incapable of the drive to get it. My life is a test of endurance and I live it trying to squeak out “just a little more” on a near constant basis.

When I have a day like today, it’s like a really bad hangover when a drunk says Oh God Never Again. I Can’t Do This To My Body Anymore. I Can’t Put My Health and Safety in Danger Like This Anymore. Fuck Everything I Have to Change.  And then I cry into my pillow as I try to force myself to relax into my sleepy collapse, because I don’t really have faith that change is possible.

September 17, 2007

Junior Year

Filed under: Talks with the Doc — me @ 4:20 am

Figured I should post more than just my job-ranting here and there…

Junior year was kind of– the loss of my innocence. Or maybe the final chapter of the losing of my innocence starting with that summer my family fell apart and then melded itself back together again. I spent the summer immediately before falling in love with CoolFamily (couldn’t think of a better pseudonym), for whom I was a live-in babysitter. It was supposed to be for 3 months and it ended up being just short of 3 years. I kept a dorm on campus which was a good way to have a place to crash after working late hours at the campus arts center, but for the most part I was living on the 3rd floor of a house and eating my meals with a kindergartener and an almost-2 year old. BestCollegeFriend didn’t much approve of the arrangement, and neither honestly did my family I think– but I was happy. My course-load that first semester consisted of all high-level classes in my major and for the first time ever I determined that earning “honors” would be something to care about. If I was going to be taking all classes I wanted to be taking, I was ready to do it right. I wrote drafts and made Teaching Assistants read them. I was excited for the academic rigor and inspired to create, create, create. I fully embraced directing and signed on to direct a friend’s play that fall.

The school had a fall break in October– and I drove out to my FavoriteHighSchoolTeacher’s house in Upstate New York and spent a few days with her. It was a lot of fun hanging out with her again, with her kids and her dogs– but what i mostly remember about that trip is how I spontaneously burst into tears two or three times. She always had that effect on me. I didn’t know how to explain my sputtering– somehow just being around her tore through the layers of whatever in me was latent and unresolved. It’s odd remembering that trip now because it was so incongruous with my sense of that period in my life– all my other memories are of it being simply a joyous time during which my worst problem was having to deal with customers while working at Victoria’s Secret (little known fact about me that I myself have tried to block out– that will have to be for another post…). But I realize in retrospect that in my joy at being so focused and busy at school, it took only a few walks in the woods or a long drive with a long-ago mentor to break me down and realize how much I, even then, felt was lacking.

Junior year was the year I was diagnosed with clinical depression. Looking back I don’t think it was the first instance– in fact, I’m pretty sure now that my sixth grade year and part of my tenth grade year included depressive episodes in them– but it was the first time I was aware, and surrounded by lots of other people who were also aware— that I was slipping down a long path of sadness that I ultimately had to get help for. My mostly wonderful months of challenging classes were rudely interrupted by a lot of Reality all at once. Sister threatened her boyfriend that she was going to commit suicide. Twice. I got a call one morning coming back from class from Urbanblight, and the sound of his voice on the message made me know something was wrong. A Friend had died. I had never before had someone my age who had died. The circumstances of his funeral, the day after Thanksgiving, during which Friend was condemned more than he was mourned, were a final straw of sorts in my psyche.

There is a lot I remember about that depression. I left that funeral so angry it almost felt like being happy. I wasn’t sad anymore I just wanted to throw things. And then shortly after I had this sense that I took a hiatus from my own life– as though I wasn’t living it myself at all, and was just observing myself from the outside as I wandered around in a mostly aimless fashion. I was a mess. I stopped doing homework altogether and slept as much as I possibly could get away with. I didn’t brush my teeth for about three months. I had a strong sense of people around me, making these quiet inquiries, trying to reach me– but they all were so very distant-seeming. I had fallen too far inside myself, and I simply didn’t have the energy to reach back. In all the bad news I had received I had gotten it by phone call, and I went through a period where I was literally terrified to pick up a phone. The lowest point I can recall was of sitting on my dorm room floor one night, holding my ears while the phone rang, trying to will it to shut up.

The best description I’ve ever heard of depression is this. If someone had a broken leg, or cancer, or was living with constant intolerable pain– and you put a Magical Cure on a stick and dangled it three inches from their nose– they would sum up every ounce of energy they had to grab it and be cured. With serious depression it’s different. You can be in constant intolerable pain but if somooeone put the Magical Cure three inches from your nose– you’d just be too tired.

I did find my way out of that hole, but it took a long time. I told some friends I could barely get out of bed and they resolved to invite me to breakfast before class each morning. I saw an Academic Dean and was able to take an incomplete in one class. Luckily my grades had been so high in the other classes thus far that even the class I completely phoned in the rest of the semester still managed to amount to a low but passing grade. I got permission from the school to take on a reduced course load the next semester. CoolFamily had a psychiatrist neighbor who was able to recommend Doctor to me. I went on Zoloft that February.

Hmm. It’s hard to talk about depression without being… depressing. Maybe I should just go back to the job-ranting:)

August 25, 2007

Ruminating…

Filed under: Business, Friends, Personal, Talks with the Doc, Workaholism — me @ 4:56 am

Today was So-Awesome-Office-Manager’s last day. It was sad. I’m glad she’s still going to be in town weekends while she’s at grad school but it will be very weird not to see her every week. I’ve always said, she was the emotionally healthy one in the building. Now I guess it’s me– but with the stress I’m under it makes me hope that New Office Manager has a good therapist at least.

Speaking of therapy, I guess mine is going well. It’s hard to judge these things but I’ve had some insights recently that either surprised me or suddenly clarified a lot of the reasons I am the way I am. Those insights are good because at least then I think all the money I’ve thrown at this for a year and a half (not to mention on and off for almost four years starting in college) might be going to something of use. This week I realized that part of the reason I’m such a good planner is that it’s a strategy to avoid conflict and pain. Sister was always an unpredictable factor in my life and family– she can seem perfectly fine and then blow up violently as though she were an animal being attacked. So many times in the life of my family has there been an image of my parents and I tiptoeing around her after one of her explosions. My parents never handled these explosions with any competence or were of much use in giving any reassurance to me in regards to them. So, being the dutiful Parentified child that I am, I set out to protect my family’s emotional life and in particular to head off explosions before they start. This is why I work so well with unreasonable people. My mother and I have strong suspicions that my Maternal Grandfather was manic depressive, and she tells me that her mother was also prone to a different kind of off-the-chart intensity and unreasonableness at times. So my mother must have had her own experiences putting up with unreasonable people by being perfect and then turned around and taught me. I can’t think of a time my mother was angry in the first ten years of my life. So I didn’t learn how to be angry– or to misbehave, or to have faults. Because protecting them from each other was the biggest priority in my life, and being a person myself didn’t really figure into that. And when I think of my workaholism and how lately I keep obsessing about all the people this addiction has let down in my life– I realize that it is more the opposite. I may not call back a date or show up to see BestCollegeFriend or get out to Aunt and Uncle’s house on the beach and say, “I meant to… I had so much going on… I hate that I let people down…”– but it is most of all (and FIRST of all) myself that is being let down, over and over again. I consistently put myself last in all the many choices I encounter throughout my week, because, as a very young child, I practiced taking care of my caretakers until I didn’t know how not to. Time for a Selfish Phase, I guess…

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