I finally got the letter

It’s official, it’s done. I finally got the offer letter.

Hallelujah, praise the FSM. No more of this shuttling from store to store. I now have the ability to rely on where I’m going to be from week to week.

The whole process has been very anxiety-laden. I was told that all of this was supposed to happen a month ago. But the finality doesn’t mean that things are going to be easy.

I’m going to a non-traditional store, which means that there’s a lot of things that are done differently from the way I learned. It also means that there’s a lot of extra things I have to do and learn. And I really have to hit the ground running. I’m hoping to get some quality one-on-one time with my GM next week and really find out what my responsibilities are, what I’m in charge of, and what I need to do every day. I’m going to say it – this is going to be hard. But I can do it. I know I can. Mike has faith in me. My family has faith in me. And my friends are great at pumping me up whether it’s job related, or going to the gym, or whatever I need. I really have an amazing support system.

Someone asked me recently how I managed my anxiety day to day. While I’m not on a typical anti-anxiety med, the Zyprexa really takes an edge off of things. But there isn’t a magic pill that makes anxiety go away entirely. It just makes it easier so all of the things that I have in my mental health tool box can work.

One of the first things that I ask myself is: is this something really to be anxious about? Is this something that a “normal” person would be anxious about? Or am I blowing things out of proportion?

Next: are these rational thoughts? Are my thoughts in reaction to the situation normal? Or are they skewed by negative thinking? For example: you forget to do something. Your boss tells you it’s totally fine, but you immediately think “do I need to look for a new job? Am I going to be fired?” Those aren’t normal thoughts that should follow what was ultimately a positive conversation and a teaching moment. There is no indication that you’re in trouble. But yet, those thoughts come.

And yes, sometimes they reveal legitimate worries. But more often than not, you have to recognize that these thoughts aren’t true. They aren’t real. And they have no power.

Fuck anxiety. It’s the asshole that lives inside of your brain, telling you things that are wrong. Making you worry. Making you shake. Making you believe things that aren’t true. Impacting your life in a grossly negative fashion.

I’m trying to say that I’m done with all of that. I’m using everything I can – twisting the thought and asking myself why I believe that, asking if that thought makes sense or if it is an overreaction, asking if I truly believe that or is that just what the negative thought pattern is trying to make me believe.

You have to take control back. You have to learn to minimize those thoughts – acknowledge them, yes, but understand that they don’t represent reality.

I try, every day. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, but the important part is that I try. And tomorrow, I will fight another day.

Making progress

Went to the gym for the fourth time today after work. It was a tough one, but I did it. And then I came home and ate hot dogs (and no, I’m not kidding). I cheated a little today and went 50cal over my budget for the day, but I’ve been good all week. And 50cal isn’t all that much. I think I’ve got myself planned for Thursday to jump on the scale. We’ll see if there’s any progress.

Work dragged today. When I was doing the schedule first thing in the morning and in the late afternoon when I was doing paperwork it wasn’t too bad. But man, those middle hours dragged on forever. It was actually painful to be at work. I hate days like this. It’s so hard to stay motivated and focused when you want to be anywhere but where you are. On the upside, I’m now halfway through my 8 day stretch. Too bad the hardest part (Monday into Tuesday) is going to be the worst as I close-open between those two days.

As of right now my transfer for next week is still on. But tomorrow is Monday, so who the hell knows what’s going to happen over the next four days. For all I know I’ll be going to Kentucky by Thursday. (For the record, this is not a possibility, but it sure as hell feels like it could be, at this point. I just want to know where I’m going to be, without the Wednesday Hail Mary of “we’re just going to give you a schedule here since we haven’t heard anything else.” I’m over it. I don’t even care where I go or if I stay where I am. I just want some permanence so I can go back to planning my life and having some sense of being grounded and stable. Honestly? With all of this going on, I can’t believe that I haven’t had any kind of even mini-episode. Thank God for meds, I guess. I haven’t even seen my therapist since November, or my shrink since December. For me, this is a miracle. With all of the uncertainty and doubt, the stress of not knowing what’s happening, I’ve managed to stay stable. I’ve managed to stay sane. Even with quitting smoking and going back to vaping, changing my diet, etc.

It’s been a hell of a year so far, filled with ups, downs, and even some sideways, and there’s still 11 months and 5 days left.

Day one and done

I made it to the gym today. And yes, I went in, but that was a struggle. It took a friend giving me a bit of motivation to actually get out of the car. And for that, I’m thankful.

Sometimes I don’t realize how much of my life is controlled by anxiety. Something as stupid as going to the gym for the first time I’ve put off for a week stating, oh I still don’t feel 100%. And I didn’t today, but I’m not going to start feeling better unless I push myself. So I took a half an hour brisk walk at a slight incline. I’m exhausted. But I did it. And now I can convince my brain that going to the gym isn’t something that I need to be anxious about. I figure even if I’m just going in and taking a walk, I’m still doing something. And that’s better than nothing.

The kick in the ass I needed came this morning when I did my weekly measurements and realized that I actually gained two pounds from last week from all of the snacking I was doing. And I wanted all of the snacks. I couldn’t stop eating. I’m tempted to think that it was hormonal as it’s not nearly as bad this week. I’ve had an IUD for five and a half years, and while they’re good for seven I’ve read that it’s believed that the hormone level can drop off a bit after year 5 and you’ll get some period-week symptoms. And that was eating all of the things and an acne breakout. I don’t see my gyno until March, but I think I can soldier on for a month and a half until I can get her opinion. She wanted to IUD to be changed last year, but the doc that does it said there was no reason to at that point and to call her when I actually got a period. She’d change it then. She knows best, I guess.

I volunteer every week for a local cat rescue. This pretty much means that I go in and play with cats for an hour or two a week. Honestly? This is one of the best parts of my week. I get to give all of the pets and I give all of the kisses and headbutts and face rubs. But one of the things that we do is try to socialize cats that aren’t used to humans. The big win this week was a cat that came from a hoarding situation that was pretty people-wary came right up and sat in my lap to get the pets. My cold little heart grew three sizes.

So I’m back on the diet plan, I’m back on the workout plan, and I’m back to working on me, and being the best me that I can be. New Year, new you? I got this.

The balancing act

What a lot of people don’t realize, well those that don’t suffer with mental illness, is that every day is a balancing act. A little teeter one way or the other could have disastrous effects. And if you fall, you better hope to all hell that you have a good safety net to catch you.

I’ve asked people in the past how much time they spend every day managing their mood. Most of them just looked at me like I was nuts. Apparently very little. I swear, I spend most of my day managing my mood and emotions. If not managing, then monitoring. Mental check-ins every so often, gauging how and where my emotions are running, etc.

This is sometimes made hard by the fact that at work I have to remain upbeat, personable, and friendly, even if I’m everything and anything but those things. Some days it can be exhausting. Some days I pull it off with no problem. Others… it’s not quite so easy. Those are the days that I need to come home and do some R&R. Those are the days that I look forward to my days off.

It really is a battleground sometimes in my mindscape.

So how do you do it? We all wear masks, even we don’t realize that we’re wearing one. There are times when I can’t deal with what is going on in my head right that second, so I have to put in a “For Later” file to be dealt with when I get home, while I’m working out at the gym, hell even when I’m driving home.

I hate this.

On a side note, we’re watching Evil. And this show is horrible. I’m really not sure why we’re still watching.

In other news, the new routine is going well. I’m having a hell of a time with calorie counting right now because I want to snack on all of the things. And I mean ALL OF THE THINGS.

Keeping up with the Joneses

I’ve had an Erin Condren planner for about six months. I love it. It keeps me organized, breaks up everything I have to do during the week, and keeps my life together.

But.

I just discovered the world of washi tape, stickers, and all of the cool things that you can put into your planner to jazz it up and make it more yours. I’m trying not to go overboard, but I want all of the things.

I joined a Facebook group about the planners, and I have to wonder, seeing some of the posts people are making how much is just doing what everyone else is doing? I mean, some of these women change the look of the planner entirely until it looks like it’s almost unusable for the purpose of, you know, planning. Like, who can put together the most colorful/arful/whateverful layouts and mods.

These things aren’t cheap – why would you spend all of that money and then change so much of it? I don’t know. I don’t get it. Sometimes it just seems like people are out to outdo each other. I know this group very much exists in a vacuum (and don’t get me wrong, there’s some great ideas that I’ve started to incorporate in my own style), and that there’s thousands of people that use these things in their base form, but some of this seems absolutely insane.

Any way. I found out today that my placement is most likely going to be in the store where I already am. I’m happy about it – I already know the people, I know how the store and my department will function, and I’ll have a partner. All good things. And the commute doesn’t suck. Another bonus.

My mood this week seems to have bounced back from the “depression with phlegm” episode. I still tire easily, but I’m getting my feet back beneath me. It’s been a good week, so far. Work is going well, I’ve been getting stuff done around the house, and I’ve made the pledge that I’m going to start at the gym next week. I signed up for a New Member Orientation tomorrow before work so I can get the lay of the land.

Right now I’m feeling highly motivated – to get the house in order, to get our finances in order, to lose weight, to get organized, basically to get my life together. I don’t want this feeling to end. I see good things on the horizon, if only I can pull everything off. I’ve got a lot of balls in the air, but I’m feeling confident. I just need to start feeling 100% again.

New Year. New Me. Let’s fucking do this.