It’s time to start taking my own advice

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.

The Dreaded Job Search

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?

It is.

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.

Some random ramblings

Thanks to my husband for talking me through the fog, and thanks to my psychiatrist for upping my dosage of Risperdal, the negative thoughts have mostly subsided. In the meantime, I’ve developed an eye twitch. Also probably anxiety related. But it’s a lot better than the alternative. This is just mildly uncomfortable when it starts up, but it only lasts a few seconds and then goes away. Sometimes it comes back right away, sometimes it’s a few hours later. At one point I actually thought it was gone as it had been so long since it had twitched, but no, on my way home from work it started.

But in talking to both Mike and my shrink I’ve come to realize that despite classes being over and being done with my degree there’s still a lot to be anxious about. I’m going to be entering a new phase of my life. Most likely I’ll be leaving science behind and entering the business world in some capacity. It’s a total change from everything I know and I’ll be going into the unknown. (Although if we’re being honest I’m most definitely not going to miss working night shift and weekends.) Lab work is all I’ve known for the past seven years – eleven if you count undergrad. I’ve been at my current job for five years. That’s a long time by any stretch, but it’s the job that I know. The job that I’m comfortable in. Leaving it and entering something new is both exciting and terrifying at the same time.

There’s a thousand questions – will I work downtown? Will I have to work crazy hours? How will my life change? Will it be for the better? What direction is my life going to go in?

But I’m trying to be optimistic in the face of all of the anxiety I feel about it. I have to believe this will be a change for the better – no more night shift, no more 12 hour shifts, no more stress of making a mistake could kill someone, hopefully more time at home and more with Mike, more time with friends… I have to believe that this will be a good thing.

I think I’ve finally got my resume under control. So I’m hoping Friday to sit down and start applying for jobs. I have to move on this soon – student loans are going to be coming due soon and I can’t afford them on my current salary. And aside from that I’m incredibly not happy at my current job. They’ve known for awhile that I’d be leaving most likely this summer, so they already have my replacement hired and trained. I swear they’re looking for one good excuse to fire me and get me out of there so they don’t have to pay both of us. I voiced this to one of my coworkers who claims that they would never do that if only because morale would drop so much because they’d all know the real reason I was fired. On some level I honestly expected to be fired on Monday, but that didn’t happen so that’s good.

In other news, Mike and I are home improvement city. We had the furnace and air conditioner replaced about a month ago (our old ones were 25 years old and when they came out to service each of them last year the tech told us that they’d last us through that season, but after that they weren’t going to hold out much longer, we just decided to get ahead of the curve and replace them before they blew. We got a nice discount for doing both at the same time, so that was nice). Since then we’ve had a roofer come out and give us an estimate on putting in a roof vent or two, a concrete guy come out and give us an estimate on fixing the concrete pad that makes up the floor of the front porch (it leaks into the basement), etc. (These are all things that were budgeted for before the student loans and desperately need to be done.) Hopefully after this round nothing new pops up and we can go a year without a major project.

I just need to put my life back in order – a new job, get everything that needs to be done around the house done, and settle the hell down.