Being An Adult Is Hard

I’m sure you can all agree with my above statement and if not… then please tell me your secrets so I can be living the good life too! I would love to live one of those picture perfect lives where everything you do and stuff is instagram worthy and make sit look like its all so effortless but, apparently, I’m not graced with that (though from what I’ve read not a lot of people are even of those who make it seem like they are).

So I not only just got diagnosed with Lyme disease recently (something my doctor is pretty sure I’ve actually been struggling with for a while without knowing it – something that is very common) but I have also gotten a job! I am ecstatic at having some income and a reason to leave my house every now and again. However, there is one thing that I am slowly learning that I sorta wish I’d already known and that is that I am just not built for retail.

Now I want to make this very clear: I have the utmost respect for those who actually work retail because it is not an easy job.

Now I want to delve more into why I can’t do retail and why I’m coming to terms with that as being okay and not something I need to force myself into. To start I want to explain the reason why I can’t do retail, which is really quite simple. I can physically do all the things that the job requires of me, that part isn’t the problem, but when it comes to dealing with that many people for 4 to 8 hours a day (depending on the length of my shift) I can’t cope with it. This part of the work is so mentally and emotionally draining that I basically become a bit of a walking zombie by the end of even a 4 hour shift.

Now you might be asking why is that and I’ll happily answer that for you. The simplest answer is that I am introvert and have really bad anxiety on top of that. Let’s break that down and talk about each reason on its own.

We’ll talk first about the introvert part. I have a feeling a lot of you know what an introvert is and why someone who is in this class of personalities might not make such a good retail worker. Being an introvert means that one gains their energy from time spent in a more solitary setting doing something calming rather then gaining energy through shared experiences with groups of friends. It does not mean that I do not like to socialize but that I prefer to do it on my own terms with small numbers of people who I know and feel comfortable around. Though even with those people I consider friends I can still get overwhelmed and I certainly still need time on my own to recharge my battery. Basically the fact that I have to deal with a large number of people who I don’t know every day working in a cafe means that I am very quickly drained of my energy reserves since I am required to be an extrovert at work. That on its own is quite tiring but not enough to be utterly draining.

Now add to the natural introvert nature the anxiety and you start to see why it becomes something that is so overwhelming. I am not currently taking medication for my anxiety (though my therapist has recommended it but my own personal issues with taking lots of meds are sort of getting in the way) and I don’t really have any coping mechanism in place to deal with it either. This means that I spend pretty much my entire work day panicking about things that haven’t happened and generally aren’t really likely to happen. I panic that I’m going to mess up someone’s drink horribly and they’ll be angry or that I’ll take too long and they’ll be upset. Its all these little things that build on each other in such a way that even writing this is making my chest feel tight, making breathing difficult, and giving me jitters and I’m not even at work right now.

It is this combination of things that results in a draining of every ounce of energy that I would prefer to be putting into writing (something that requires a lot of emotion for me to do well). I end my day wanting nothing more then to curl up on my own couch and just lay there. The most I do in the evenings when I work is read or play with my dog because he’s adorable and demanding. It takes me multiple days off in a row to recover even a fraction of that energy and by then I’m back to work again. I realize this is an unsustainable cycle in the long run because it will, inevitably, lead to me not writing anything at all which defeats my life goal of becoming a writer.

This job will eventually eat away at all my free time just as the previous retail job I had did and I’ll wind up miserable again and yet I get myself into this situation again and again. I want to work and make money. I want to be able to go in and do my job every day and still write in the evenings. I want to be a normal(ish) member of society who can do their job without it being detrimental to my mental and physical well being. These are all things I am desperately trying to grasp at while making sure I’m not doing myself the grave disservice of forcing myself into a situation where I have to pick work or my love and desire to write stories that touch people’s souls. It is a struggle and I don’t know how to win because the ‘responsible’ adult in me says to forgo writing for now in favor of having a stable job even if it means I’m exhausted and emotionally drained outside of work because that’s what everyone expects and wants of me. But on the other hand the dream in me says to screw work and go all in for that perfect life I dream about, the one where I can create and make things on a daily basis and not worry about money. These two aspects of my being are so fundamentally different that I don’t know how to reconcile them.

My entire being and soul yearns to be creative and make beautiful things that people can admire and that make them feel something but my mind reminds me to be practical and says I don’t have the skill or resources to make that a viable possibility. I want to reject my current reality in favor of the one I wish to create but the fear of failing and being without the resources to live are a crippling weight that I do not know how to shake off.

Maybe some day I will look back on this time in my life and see the path I’ve taken has lead me to where I want to be… but I fear I’ll look back and realize this was the moment of me giving up all those dreams.

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Why The MIA

So I realize I have been entirely MIA (missing in action) lately and that’s not what I set out to do. I set out for this to be something to prove to myself I could do a thing and I really haven’t. In fact I feel like I have proven the opposite, that I cannot keep the promises I make or do the things I set out to do. Its a failing on my part and one that seems to be systemic of the rest of my life at the moment. I keep making promises to myself and not keeping them for one reason or another. None of these reasons are particularly valid except for one.

I have been suffering from a lot of strange and seemingly separate symptoms. I had written these off due to different things like stress or not sleeping or even just general lack of having reasons to leave my house. I had accepted that it was simply my life to be exhausted nearly constantly, have achy and stiff joints, and a myriad of other problems including brain fog that made it hard to think. I figured I would just have to live the rest of my life function at bellow normal levels and learn to cope and work around that, though so far I really haven’t been able to do that.

I recently started talking to a family friend who said my symptoms matched up with what she’d been going through with Lyme Disease. For those who don’t know that’s a tick born illness caused by a bacteria that invades nearly every part of the body and frequently suppresses the immune system making a lot of the body function bellow acceptable levels along with a host of other problems. While there are some areas of the country that tend to have more Lyme then others its quickly becoming more common everywhere. Colorado has never been a place with a particularly high count (though that is changing now) but my mother’s family is from Massachusetts where it is very common and I’ve spent most of the summers of my life there.

So I figured it was worth going in to talk to this doctor that our family friend had been to and see what she had to say. After taking a urine sample test and going in for a consultation about the problems I’ve been having the doctor wanted a few more tests but is fairly sure that it is Lyme disease. With a diagnosis in hand I can now start on medication that is hopefully going to help my body fight off this and return to some normal way of life. The road to that isn’t the easiest as the way to do it is kill off the bacteria within the body thus causing a die off which results in the body over reacting and often the symptoms can get worse before things start getting better. Also since the bacteria is very good at hiding itself in the body it isn’t a quick and simple process either.

That being said for me even just having some idea and being able to start some treatment is really helpful. It just feels really good to know that what I’m going through as a reason and is valid rather then just me making it up or exaggerating my symptoms. It just feels good to know that a doctor actually thinks something is wrong and isn’t just telling me its stress or me not sleeping or what have you.

I feel like this is all a step in the right direction to getting my life back under my control. Having my life heading in a direction towards not being tired all the time and feeling like I can focus and keep a train of thought is really amazing. I really look forward to figuring this all out and getting my life back.

Eh…. Just Another Day (And an epic movie)

So I’ve been a little MIA here and that’s a problem. Mostly I’ve been going through some things that, well, have left me with little desire to write. I almost got a job but now I’ve not heard from them and that’s sad since I wanted it. I also haven’t gotten a different job though I’ve been offered pet sitting and accepted it so at least I have some money coming in. I also wound up applying to Galvanize for web design classes and I’m looking forward to that.

Really mostly my motivation has been an issue. I’ve been sad and upset and generally just not interested in a lot of the things that usually make he happy so I wound up delving into the world of books and letting myself get lost in them. It was a good break but not a kind one to my blog. I gotta keep writing and all that so that I don’t just let it slide again and again like I used to.

Well enough of my moping because I have other things to talk about… particularly Spider-Man: Homecoming! Yet another Marvel movie and frankly a damned good one! It was amusing with enough serious points in it to really showcase a full range of life for a teenaged superhero. From beginning to end it was well worth the money to see it in theaters (something I don’t often think) and I already want to see it again!!

Of late I’ve realized that I do not much care for most movies out in theaters. There are one or two that I would consider paying to see but most I’m either entirely not interested in or would prefer to wait until I don’t have to pay to see it. Its been a weird change since I used to go to movies a lot before. Still, I find that Marvel movies are always something I’m at the very least interested enough to see in a theater and usually opening weekend. I think there’s just something about seeing the way they’re building an entire universe (or really universes) with each addition that I really like. And yet, at the same time, each story really is its own story. Or at least each person’s movies have been their own story line and don’t have to have all the other movies to make sense. Frankly its amazing and I can’t wait to see how it goes from here!

Why Jobs? Why?

So I’m currently unemployed and looking for work! (Yay?) Anyway, its been a fun roller coaster ride of trying to figure out what I can do that won’t leave me a sniffling anxiety ridden mess at the end of the day. Obviously some things are easier then others and all that (not to mention everyone’s anxiety is different).

For me I’ve found that certain jobs are just way to stress inducing. This includes things like cashiering and receptionist work. I think part of it tends to be the high costumer interaction coupled with the high load of different things I have to do at the same time. Receptionists answer phones, make appointments, sort mail, greet people coming in, and general like a billion other things that require high amounts of social interaction which drains me like nothing else and also makes my anxiety go through the roof. And cashiering is pretty similar to that if at least involving a few less things but often more people.

That being said there are some situations I think I could make it work in but those generally have to do with a company or product I’m highly invested in. Say if I was selling books at the very least I adore books and reading so I feel like I could possibly handle that better. Or maybe things with animals because, again, that’s something I enjoy and can talk to people about without feeling entirely like an idiot in the deep end.

Over the last two days I was supposed to get a call from a job that I was excited for and really hoping to get but I didn’t get that call. Now, whether that was an oversight or what I don’t yet know, but I do know it was a killer blow to my self esteem and an additional stress point. I’m still sorta hoping they’ll call me tomorrow and say the job is mine but we’ll see.

Either way I have some good people around me who mean well but at times aren’t entirely helpful. For one my parents (who I adore and who support me no matter what) have certainly been pushing me to get a job and I understand where they are coming from. But at times this additional exterior stress is only harmful. In the end it makes me feel like even more of a failure when I can’t get a job or manage to deal with the job I did get (it was cashiering and even training made me come home and cry).

Others are friends who, again, mean well and want to help me. They keep suggesting a receptionist job at an optometrists that they have an in with and look at me weirdly when I decline but apply for other things. I know they mean well and just want to help me, to make things easier for me in getting a job, but its one that I know I couldn’t do for long before it would wear me down to a bare thread and leave me with no energy or motivation. I’m just not good at getting up every day and going in to a job that requires me to talk constantly to costumers while inputting information and keeping track of a million other tiny things. The very idea of it makes my hands shake and fills my stomach with dread. It makes my chest hurt and my brain whirl with too many thoughts of all the things that could go wrong.

It all comes back to anxiety and how it influences my day to day living. It creeps up when I least expect or want it, consuming my thoughts and making me second guess everything. Its frequently the reason I cannot leave my house some days or why I break down crying over seemingly inconsequential things. Its a constant force in the back of my brain that drains my energy and makes me view everything as a matter of utmost importance… and thus even the tiniest failure become overwhelming matters in which I’ve obviously ruined everything and thus I’m a horrible person and unlovable.

There are times when I know this comes between me and not only healthy living for me but all my healthy relationships. There are times when I wish that I could transfer the way I feel to other people in my life so they could understand for just a day or even just an hour but I’d never really wish this on anyone else. Still, I find it nearly impossible to fully explain why some things are okay and others are not okay. There just aren’t the right words to explain exactly what I go through on a daily basis and certainly not when I’m having a larger anxiety attack. Of course its probably also that everyone who deals with this goes through things differently and experiences things differently. No one can really say what another feels and that’s something I try to keep in mind every day of my life.

Again I’ve gone a lot deeper into this then I really meant to. I’d honestly just meant to post a light lighthearted thing about how annoy and terrible the job market can be and it devolved into me talking about anxiety and trying to make others understand it. I think I’m done for the night though because now I’m second guessing posting this which isn’t helpful or good. So now I’m going to post this before I can stop myself and just get it out there.

Too Much Stress

Hey guys. So I know I haven’t been as active as I said I would or as I should be but I promise there is a reason (even if I think its a pretty shit reason despite the fact others have told me otherwise).

If you’ve even looked at the title I am sure that you have some idea of what I am talking about. My life has become quite stressful over the last month. Or really its just come to an unbearable point in the last month since its always been stressful. As you’ve probably guessed I’ve got some bad social anxiety issues I’m dealing with but at the same time I’m trying to make a stable life for myself so I can afford things I need and want. This means I’m trying to get a job while also trying to figure out how best to handle my anxiety.

Anyway, that has basically forced me into a situation where I have a lot of anxiety going out trying to talk to people and then come home and have a lot of anxiety over the fact I have no job. This amount of anxiety is really only something one can deal with for so long before it breaks you a bit. And, well, I’ve reached that breaking point. I spent most of my weekend crying my eyes out and being overwhelmed with the fact that I, currently, can’t afford to even buy myself food with money that I can honestly say is mine but also that I can’t go to a job interview with nearly having a panic attack and coming home to curl up and hide. Not to mention there is also the worry over if I get the job and then fail miserably at it or wind up with no time to write or other things. Basically its a shit storm of proportions that I do not wish to fully consider.

So far I’ve managed to avoid thinking about it in entirety until this weekend when it really all came crashing down on my head. I’ve recently gone to an interview for a job I really would love to get but of course my own anxiety told me repeatedly this weekend that I wasn’t going to get it. I just couldn’t take it any more and spent a lot of time crying and being comforted by my boyfriend. Honestly he’s been a rock for me these last few days and I don’t know what I would have done without him. All this has combined to basically make me hide in my room most days or do things that aren’t writing. I have done some doodling and stuff so maybe I’ll add that to all this fun stuff but, yeah, sorry I haven’t been posting.

On top of that my therapist was very clear on the fact that I need to do some self care stuff. I need to focus on making me feel better and doing things like going to a chiropractor or a message therapist so that I can deal with my back pain. Or other things like getting out for walks more often and such all to better take care of myself. Over all I’m basically trying to focus on making sure I don’t drive myself to the breaking point under all this stress and wind up in the hospital for exhaustion.

So this is sort of an apology and sort of not because I keep apologizing for things I shouldn’t apologize for. And, well, taking care of myself first isn’t something I should apologize for but I should apologize for just ditching my duty to post here because I wanted to avoid all my responsibilities. So here is my half apology and hopefully I can win back some favor while I work on making sure I’m taking care of myself properly.

What Even Are Words?

There are days when I just don’t even really know what words are and that’s really annoying. Its not the dyslexia that causes it, though that does make words generally difficult and bothersome on a regular basis, but rather something else. Some part of my brain just sort of refuses to allow words to connect into a coherent sentence or thought. They become these foreign things that take on a life of their own.

On these days the words themselves morph into sentient beasts that refuse to be tamed or often times even to be found. I cannot remember common things are such as forks (obviously a dinglehopper) or spoon. I’ll start some sentence with an idea of where I want it to go but halfway through it takes a sharp 180 and I no longer know where to go but only where I came from. At such times I tend to wind up repeating the start of the sentence again while gesticulating wildly as if that will get my meaning across. Not that wild arm waving and gesturing in a direction actually is all that clear to anyone else.

There’s just something about the words that eludes me in the most frustrating way possible. They are all there on the tip of my tongue or hiding in the dark corners of my mind where they are just barely out of sight. I can feel them tauntingly close as I want to speak them but my tongue cannot form them and my fingers hesitate over the keys. I become entangled in my own inability to articulate to others what I mean or what I want to say.

On these days I find I wind up saying things that I don’t mean if only because I can’t figure out how to say the things I do. And my writing becomes convoluted and circular in a bad way (if you can believe that!). More then once I’ve went to go read back through what I’ve written on such days only to cringe and delete the entire thing for the simple fact that it has gone nowhere and barely makes sense.

I often wonder if other authors, would be authors, and people in general ever experience such days. If not perhaps it really is something to do with my dyslexia but that just doesn’t feel right. Maybe its just my brain denying the truth because I refuse to let it come down to that one little fact that has defined so much of my life yet again. I don’t want to think that everything I do or am is somehow connected to something I was born with and that I could very well pass on to any future children I choose to have because its a part of my DNA. I want there to be parts of my life that don’t revolve around the fact that my brain isn’t wired to work in the “normal” standard manner. I think that’s a bit of a failing on my own part. I should accept and embrace that my dyslexia has so shaped and formed my life that I get to think and see things the way I do. I know for sure that my view point is unique unto me because of my experiences in life and so many of those experiences have been shaped and caused by the dyslexia. Nothing drove this home more for me then mathematical proofs in High School (if you remember these then you’re either cringing in utter horror or grinning in delight). With mathematical proofs you were supposed to be from point A to point D in precise planned out steps in exact order or it didn’t count. It didn’t matter that my answers were always right because the way I got to them was not the “correct” set of steps. It didn’t matter that my way was shorter because I made intuitive leaps that were considered “wrong” by the standards set by some guy (or girl) who was probably no longer alive. It was glaringly obvious then that my brain decided to go about figuring problems out from a different point of view and with a different set of guidelines then what society considers “normal” and “right”.

This has become a lot deeper then I really meant it to. I’d just meant to comment on how some days I just can’t words and it amuses myself and my friends but then I just let it go. I suppose that’s really what this blog is for in the end. I wanted a place that I could share my writing and my thoughts so this still applies. These are my own thoughts that I am sharing with you now. So, again, what even are words? If you know please do enlighten me.

Bad Guy Or Good Guy

“I would say I’m a good person but that’s a lie. I’ve hurt a lot of people and only some of them were guilty while a majority were innocent. I did it because I believed in my cause, in what my superiors told me to do. I believed in what they told me was right and wrong. I was a good little soldier, a weapon for the cause, until the day the cause died. In the seconds after it happened I didn’t believe it, couldn’t believe it really, but I wasn’t given a lot of choice. My reality was forever changed in the span of moments in which the real heros showed me I was wrong, that I had been on the wrong side all along.

Since then I’ve been trying to rebuild, to find something I can cling to in order to prove I’m not the monster I ended up being. But it’s hard to convince a world that has seen you murder in cold blood that you aren’t that person any more… maybe it’s time for a new world then, where I can make an entirely new start.”

 

This actually came to me as a dream which made it really weird. In the dream I was at once this person and yet also a distant observer watching things unfolding as they went along. It all centered around this one person who had such good intentions and truly believed that those around them shared their views and wanted to make the world a better place. They were so devoted and dedicated to their cause that they allowed that to cloud their judgment and wound up doing things that were not what the “good guys” would do.

It all came to an end when the “true heroes” came in and killed the leader of this persons group and exposed their evil plans to rule the world and bring ruin to it. And then it shifted and it became all about how those people who worked under the “evil ruler” had to figure out how to pick up the pieces and make some sort of life for themselves. There were always too many to really all be brought to justice not to mention many never did bad things or did bad things because they were forced to and if the “heroes” killed them all then they’d be no better then the “evil ruler”, right?

So this was a little start at my attempt to figure out what would happen then and I’m not sure where it’s going. It could easily go into something of this person becoming the next “evil ruler” but could also go into them finding a way to leave their world for someplace else to do good there or something else entirely. I think I’ll keep mulling this over and work further on it as its still an idea I really like.