Better

Tomorrow is a new month.  Maybe I can get it together and do better at work.  Maybe I can manage my diet and exercise routine better.  Yes, it’s a new month.  I will be better.

I have said this to myself at the start of every month for probably six months now, and it never comes true.  At this point, I’m actually frightened about work.  I need to do better there, but depression makes me forget there are real-world consequences to my absence.  I try to work, and racing thoughts drive away my concentration.  Mania causes me to not worry about whether I have a job.  Who wants to worry when they’re manic?

As for diet and exercise, these are closely linked to mood.  Manic Me can count calories and exercise with the best of them.  Depressed Me can sometimes barely get out of bed.  Middle of the Road Me does a decent job of things.  She just isn’t seen often these days.

I’ve had so much trouble with mood symptoms that my psychiatrist is frustrated and considering personality disorders.  He just can’t make me fit in to one of his boxes.  The therapist told him that maybe the problem was him and his medicines.  I wanted to hug her for that.

So here we are.  March.  The end of the year’s first quarter.  Maybe I’ll do better now.

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Heartsick

That’s the best way I can describe myself right now.  I have choices before me, and none of them sound like the right answer.  I’ve been working from home for many years now, and, whilst it’s done wonders for trying to work and manage bipolar disorder, it has greatly weakened my ability to function in public.  I get too nervous, too worried about being hurt.  I don’t let anyone in, simply because the last time that happened in a workplace, I did get hurt.  Badly.

Now there’s a possibility of working outside the house, and I am terrified.  I haven’t been offered the job yet; I merely applied for it after realising I wouldn’t be able to take over my friend’s house in the event of her death.  She is elderly, is leaving me her house, and has two cats alongside my three.  As well, she feeds half the strays in the area.  That’s a great deal of financial responsibility, on top of her bills and mine.  So if I am offered this job, I’d be mad not to take it.  Right?

The problem is, I feel like I would become a working mum.  I have lost every person I considered a child, including actual children, and these cats are like my children now.  Only another dedicated pet parent would understand that.  So I worry about leaving them to go to work each day.  I worry about their safety in terms of anything out of sorts happening.  I worry they will feel unloved or will grow away from me.  If not for them, I would take the job with no questions.  Because of them, I question everything.

So the choices here are to keep working my current job and hope I could find something in the case of my friend’s demise or to take a second part-time job and risk detriment to my cats.  From where I’m sitting, neither option seems good.

Trapped

Life has turned in to a comedy of sorts right now.  Probably more like a horror, but the extent of events heading one in to the other is mind boggling.

It all started Saturday night.  My best friend and I went out looking at Christmas light shows in the area.  Whilst travelling on a crowded motorway at 70mph, my best friend noted that the car was becoming hard to steer.  Safely ensconced in a car park under a light near security cameras, we looked under the bonnet to find the power steering fluid reservoir empty.  That seemed an easy fix, given the shop where we were parked sold power steering fluid.

Upon retrieving said fluid and pouring it in to said reservoir, I cranked the car and reversed out of the parking spot.  With much difficulty, as the car still didn’t want to turn.  And the battery light came on.  And a sound like gravel trailing behind the car could be heard.  I somehow steered us in to another spot and phoned for a tow truck.

Sunday, the day of my major work deadline, I awoke feeling a bit under the weather.  As the day progressed, I got worse and worse.  By late Sunday/very early Monday, I could barely breathe from the congestion.  Mid-morning Monday, I phoned the mechanic to see how things were going with my car.  He told me it would be Tuesday before he could finish it.  As my doctor is located approximately 50 miles from my house, that was right out.  As I was still choking whilst trying to breathe, what’s called here an ‘urgent care clinic’ was in store.  I was diagnosed with flu, given medication and sent on my way.  That part is improving.

Next it was Tuesday and the day my car was to be complete.  Except that, whilst he was tightening the new part, my mechanic noticed another part fall off.  And now it will be Monday before the car is finished.  It will, in theory, be a much nicer car to steer after this.  It’s just costing hundreds and leaving me in debt.  No idea how I’ll make my bills next month, and no idea how I’ll cope with the claustrophobia of having no way to get out of here without my car.

So that’s the plight of December so far.  I wish I could say I knew it would only get better.

Still Pluggin’ On

That’s one of the best American phrases I’ve ever heard.  It means moving forward, even at a slower rate than one might want and against any odds.  That’s how I feel about work right now.  I’m still pluggin’ on toward that deadline looming not-so-distantly in front of me.  This means blog posts might be short or nonexistent this week.  I’ll do my best.  You have my word, dear readers, that I won’t take another seven-month break this time.

The Machines Are Out to Get Me

I have a work deadline looming.  This is a project that will be several weeks in completing, and the deadline draws ever closer.  What this means is I completely lose the ability to pay attention.  Yes, there are reports to generate, but there are also shiny objects just across the room.  Those are much more important, right?

Today was supposed to be different.  I actually had my notes out and was ready to go.  Then, when I turned on my laptop, it required updates.  This isn’t typically so bad.  However, it took almost two hours this time.  I finally got ready to work on this stuff, and the laptop decided that was not to be.  I know the importance of  updating Windows, and  I always install these updates.  This was just the master of bad timing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have reports to generate.  Or blog posts to write.  Or shiny objects to stare at.  Who knows?  scowl

Work

Like most adult humans, I have a job.  I’ve  had this job for almost ten years.  And I am burnt out.  My therapist pointed this out to me when I went to her with the problem of actually *doing* my job.  Getting through each shift is torturous.  The problem here is the job is perfect for me as a person with bipolar disorder.  And as a person who rarely likes to leave her house.  I telecommute.

Bipolar disorder dictates alot of things about my life.  I keep a regular sleep/wake routine, I keep appointments with my therapist and psychiatrist and I take my meds without fail.  My job allows me the flexibility of setting my own hours and taking days off as needed to cope with mania and depression.  It sounds like a dream job, and it really is a ‘sweet gig’ as they say here.

So why am I struggling with it?  Anybody care to answer that question?

Focus is a problem.  I’m not sure whether that’s a bipolar thing or just me having trouble forcing myself to do something that is causing me problems right now.  There’s a certain lack of confidence in myself in doing a job I’ve done for years now.  No idea where that is coming from.  This has left me financially in a mess, and even that doesn’t seem to be a motivator.  I have no idea what it’s going to take to set me right again.  I’m scaring myself, and that is saying something.  But my bipolar-addled, attention-deficient brain doesn’t care about my fear.  It just wants to stare in to space and think of other things.

Decisions

There are always stumbling blocks.  I am edging ever closer to the job I’m really excited about, but now healthcare threatens it.  I’m in America now, the land of horrible coverage.  Because I am well below the poverty line at this time, I qualify for what amounts to free care.  If I get this job, however, I will only qualify for reduced care.

What does that mean?  Copays on meds and doctor  visits, and a monthly insurance premium out of pocket.  Work one job, barely afford necessities.  Work two jobs, lose health coverage.  I have two chronic conditions that require expensive medication.  Neither will spontaneously go away if I get the second job.

This has me in a tizzy.  My best friend reminded me that I haven’t got the job yet, but I’m just trying to be proactive.  Too bad finding out information about copays and premiums is bloody impossible outside of the ‘enrolment period.’  America must consider itself the land of the healthy, because it’s almost impossible to afford healthcare.

Dangerous Nostalgia

Lately, I’ve been looking back alot.  This is problematic, in that even looking at the good times brings my mind to the bad times.  Now, I’m just trying to refocus in the present.  It’s easier said that done.  I tread through fire finding and charging an old mobile phone that was mine in graduate school.  I remember the exact ring tone I had and the exact text tone I had during one of the most challenging experiences of my life.  For some reason, I just needed to hear them again.

Maybe it’s an identity thing.  Nine years ago, my life was good.  I had a flat, a job, school, friends, and promise for the future.  Now, I feel hopeless.  The friends I had are gone, school has ended, my job is nothing like it was before, I’m not currently capable of living alone, and I’m maudlin.  I need to realise the good things and wonderful people in my current life.  I need to pull myself out of this rut of self-pity and be grateful for everything.

But instead, I’m staring at a mobile hoping a certain ring of the phone will transport me back to a time when none of it had happened.

Frustrating Therapy

Ever leave therapy more frustrated than when you got there?  That was my session yesterday.  I’ve had a great deal of frustration lately, and the therapy session was more like a rant session for both the therapist and me.  Simply talking about frustration is never helpful to me.  I have to actually *work* in order to feel satisfied with the session.  Nothing got done, and thinking about frustrating events only brought back the anger I was feeling at the time.  Lovely.

So what’s the point of this post?  I’m glad you asked.  The point is to decipher the whole therapy process.  It is, after all, important work.  My concept is going in, stating a problem or maladaptive thought/behaviour, and deciding on a plan.  The next step is activating that plan.  I get very annoyed when life gets in the way of therapy, though.  I couldn’t work on the drawing  because my thoughts were all caught up in the minor annoyances.  My brain was almost manic.  I flitted from topic to topic so quickly that nothing got resolved.

My plan was to go in and keep working on the drawing.  The therapist did ask me about that, but she picked up immediately on the idea that I was completely avoiding the topic.  And that’s the problem– I wasn’t *intentionally* avoiding the topic.  I just couldn’t get my mind centred enough to discuss anything of value.  Rant sessions are fine from time to time, but I expect even those to serve a purpose.  I left therapy frustrated, annoyed, and attempting not to let any of that cross over in my demeanour.

Here’s to next session.  😐

Broken Things

It seems like everything in my life is broken these days.  The latest bit?  My bloody car.  She isn’t dead yet, but I think she’s slipping that way.  A bit ago, the radio stopped working.  Actually, it stopped and started spectacularly for most of a week before drifting in to a more soundless existence.  Radios are peripheral to the actual car.  Inconvenient, yes, but still perfectly drive-able.

Next came the windscreen.  This is the third my car has had in the past year and a half.  The first was, to use the term the glass people taught me, sandblasted.  Tiny little specks had penetrated the glass, making it very difficult to see in light.  Once the new windscreen was in place, I could see perfectly.  For a month or so.  I used wipers by the brand of Rain-X, and they left a film on the windscreen, making it almost impossible to see in rain.  The product is supposed to make glass repel rain.  I had no idea it was even *in* the bloody wipers and no idea that, once you stop using the product, it almost ruins the windscreen.

Enter windscreen three.

This one has been beautiful.  It’s been so clear that it appeared relatively invisible.  Then, *it* developed a film on the inside.  I’m told that this is due to a slight problem with a heater core.  Nothing to worry about yet, and a microfibre towel wipes down the film just fine.  Once the windscreen developed a film on the outside, though, I was ready to make my car accidentally go up in a glorious blaze.

A clay bar took the film off of the outside of the windscreen, and, again, it was crystal clear.  Except in the rain.  As long as you don’t actually *use* the wipers, it’s actually relatively clear.  However, rain does require wipers, and wipers leave a very cloudy shadow.  With car lights shining in, I quite literally have to pull over and wait for the rain to slow.  As it turns out, the wipers don’t need replacing– the wiper *arms* need replacing.  And they cost twice as much as the actual wiper blades.  And three out of four local shops cannot order them.  And I can barely afford to buy one, labour not included.  This leaves me relatively unable to drive in the rain at night.  Not that I’d ever need to.

Bloody cars.