For years, through hardships and bouts of mental illness, through both bad times and good, my unofficial motto has always been “keep moving forward.”
I haven’t been following that. At all.
I’ve let my anxiety cripple me in a number of ways. I haven’t applied for a job in months – there’s always some excuse. My cover letter needs work, I’m not happy with my resume, it’s the holidays and no one is really hiring. There’s always an excuse. A reason not to do it.
I’m worried that I won’t find something. I’m worried that I spent all of this money and time on a degree that I’m never going to be able to use for one reason or another. Now it’s to the point where I’ve worked myself up so much about the whole thing that I’m literally crippled with fear about the whole process.
What if I’m not good enough? What if all of the work that I’ve done, all of the sacrifices I’ve made, leave me with nothing but huge student loan bills? What if I let my husband down? What if I do get a job and I’m really not cut out for it? What if, for the past three years, I’ve made nothing but bad decisions?
At this point, I don’t know what’s worse – failing at everything and letting everyone down, or facing my fear and actually succeeding. Because succeeding means facing all of my fears and powering through them. And that’s a terrifying thought.
It’s times like this I really hate mental illness and the fact that I’ve been burdened to carry the load. Sometimes I think I’m not strong enough to handle it. Sometimes I want to curl up in bed and wish the world away. But I don’t have that luxury. I manage to keep up with everything that needs to be done, but for whatever reason, I have a really hard time facing this.
But I have to face it. It’s time to stop letting the fear run my life. It’s time to take the reins again. It’s time to keep moving forward.
I’ve been severely neglecting this blog recently. I resolve to post more often. I’m paying for the domain, I might as well use it, right?
To catch up from the last few months, the new meds are working great. I’ve got some breakthrough anxiety, which I’ll address with my doctor this week, but generally speaking things, mood-wise at least, are going well.
Holidays are an especially anxiety-ridden time for me. Time with my family, time with the in-laws (although due to the weather we didn’t head across the state this morning. I think we’re shooting for February at this point once I’m off weekends again), Christmas parties with friends, Christmas party for work, and we had a wedding to go to in the middle of things. The bottle of Ativan came everywhere with me. I shouldn’t have to carry benzos with me to social functions just so I can get through the night without totally panicking. Luckily I only had to take one twice, and at the wedding, we left before that feeling of panic got too bad. So yeah, that’s an issue that needs to be dealt with. But in terms of bi-polar mood, things are going pretty good.
I still haven’t found a job. Granted, with the holidays I haven’t put much effort into looking. Between being busy and I know most places don’t really hire right around Christmas. I’ve spent some time retooling my resume and my cover letter, and have gotten help from Career Services on both, so I hope they’re ready. I need a new job sooner rather than later. Finances are one reason, I go back to nights in February is another (I’d like to be gone before that happens, although that’s probably a pipe dream), and to be honest I just don’t like my job anymore. I have a lot of mixed feelings about the company I work for; unfortunately, nothing I can get into here, but I have a hard time going to work every day.
I need to get moving on that front.
So that’s it for an update. Nothing major, just a lot of little stuff. But sometimes that little stuff adds up and the combination of them all can be a problem.
I’ve been pretty lax about updating recently. Things have been busy. I feel like my days off fill up before they even get started anymore. Which really sucks because I haven’t had a whole lot of downtime. Part of the reason is Mike and I have actually had some days off together, so things get put aside so we can spend some time together. It’s been nice. But nice doesn’t help get shit done.
I haven’t really applied for many jobs lately. Part of the reason is that it’s been so disheartening to have not found anything yet. But I’m making a promise to myself that I’ll set aside some time this weekend and really hit the job boards hard. Something has to shake out eventually, right? I’m about two weeks away from getting a part-time job at Sheetz just to pay my student loans.
I’m tired. Physically and mentally. Like I said, my days off have been go go go for so long and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change at all anywhere in the near future. Ugh.
All I want for Christmas is a normal job, with normal hours, and a pay bump. Is that too much to ask?
And we’ve now reached the portion of the game where a touch of depression rears it’s ugly head and causes me to question all of the decisions I’ve made.
The theme this week is should I have gone back to get my Masters? Was it really worth the time and the money? Am I going to be able to get a job?
On some level, I realize that that’s the anxiety and depression talking. It’s normal to question decisions, especially decisions that will affect the rest of your life.
But I also realize that I had to do something – I couldn’t continue to work in my current job if we wanted to have kids, if I wanted to work a normal 9-5 schedule, if I didn’t want to have to be at work at 4 AM on a regular basis. I didn’t have a lot of options. Going back to school and getting the MBA seemed like one of the only viable ones. I don’t regret it. I know that with enough effort I’ll find a job and will get started down a new career path.
It can be hard, though, when you get into these mindsets to not start questioning everything or to not start doubting yourself and everything that you’ve done. The trick is to think past it, to realize that not only is this the illness talking – the part of you that skews your thinking into negative pathways – but also that everyone goes through this, even those that are neurotypical. It’s normal when coming to the cusp of your life where everything changes, to wonder if you’re doing the right thing. Or if you made the right decision. It’s normal to overanalyze and stress and worry. But if you’ve got that underlying mental illness, these same normal things can start a cascade that’s hard to stop.
Don’t let that cascade start.
You have to believe that you made the right decision. You have to believe that you’ll land on your feet. You can’t let the negative thinking slow you down or stop you from doing something, especially something new. If you do you’ll be sitting in the same place in ten years that you are now wondering why you didn’t do more with your life, why you never took risks. I don’t want to be that person. I want to look back on my life someday and see that I challenged myself, didn’t let myself sit idly by and let opportunities pass by. I want to tell my kids and grandkids how I took life by the balls and didn’t sit back and expect things to happen to me – I made them happen myself.
Now that we’re back from the beach, it’s time to tackle the thing that is causing most of my anxiety right now – the Job Search. I’ve got the fancy piece of paper that says I graduated, I’ve started paying on some of my student loans, it’s time.
I have a number of anxieties – money being the first. My student loan payments are intense, and I need a job that will cover them. If it doesn’t? I guess I’ll be working a second job. Which is exactly what I don’t want to do.
But I’m also terrified that hiring managers will look at my resume and immediately toss it in the no stack and think that I’m not qualified. I mean, sure, I’m new to the business side of things, but I have marketable skills. I have the MBA. I can do this. I know I can do this. But after five years at the same job, doing the same thing, I’m terrified of the change. But this is what I’ve worked for for the last two and a half years, isn’t it?
So it’s time to put on the big girl pants and do what I need to do.
I’m off on Friday. It begins then.
PS – I turned 35 last week. It’s time for a new chapter.