At Work

Today I’m just not feeling it. When I wrote to my therapist last night I was enthusiastic. “Each day I live is an accomplishment” was my ending motto. Not so much any longer. Work is frustrating. Things aren’t easy and they’re definitely not going smoothly. Not going ‘my way’. And I ate too much for lunch and my stomach feels bloated and my coffee is cold. Let me find every little thing to be irked by. Every possible little thing, compounded, to make it one big whopping bad day.

But no one hurt me today. No one is abusing me. The people in my office have respect, camaraderie, trust in me. I am safe. I am not unsafe. It’s not raining. I’m not starving myself. I am relatively comfortable where I am sitting. I am not in trouble. I am not being abused. These are things that are good, versus the bad.

Let’s take the good and the bad and match them up together in a contest! Let’s see who wins this battle! Angels and demons. Black and white. Hot and cold. I have opposing forces within me. Fight, fight, fight to the bitter end. All I want to do is to crawl in bed under my covers and hide, not come out, escape, withdraw. I feel this would make my life easier, even though crawling into bed will not get me a paycheck and will not contribute to my goal of living my life. Being here at work is contributing to me doing “living” activities. Supposedly I am living my life.

I have been having vivid dreams lately. They’re not always good. They consist of elements of my past, of the life I am trying to leave behind. Remnants of my ex-husband, his family, his friends, all the contacts that were a part of my life too, of which connection was severed like an umbilical cord the day he filed for divorce. The “D” word. It’s such a big word and has so many associated negative and anxiety-provoking feelings. It has been four years now and my life is different. I never thought I would be able to be independent, working like I am, paying my own rent and my own bills. I am doing it. I am responsible. I am. I. Emphasis on the “I”.

My therapist was on vacation. Last week was spring break in the educational institutions around town. I don’t know if he went somewhere or if he stayed here. I probably won’t ask him. I never ask him how he is doing. The sessions are always me-focused, me-centered, me-driven. He facilitates, asks open questions, probes, explores, helps me contrive memories and come up with ideas for insight and action. All these things I’ve learned about in my introduction to counseling class. I can apply them to myself as a patient, a student, a client, the one receiving the services.

Therapy is difficult! As a patient being treated for depression and a personality disorder is challenging to say the least. Some days I wish I had it easier, but if it were not one thing, it would be another. Of course I’m physically healthy, but my mental illness has been killing me. I am supposed to be healing. I am healing. There isn’t always light at the end of the tunnel, but sometimes I know it’s there. Metaphors help so much, don’t they?!

A grave sense of foreboding lurks in my fickle conscience. I try to ignore it. I try to concentrate on work throughout the day, but I know it’s there. Is it because I have an exam tomorrow? Is it because I am counting down the days until I see my therapist next? Is it because I am seeing a new primary care physician and I haven’t seen one for years? Primary care isn’t what I need, it’s the ongoing psychiatric treatment that I am more concerned about. But since I have a good healthcare plan, I am using it by putting things in place. I saw a dentist last year. It had been a long time. There are so many things on my personal to-do list.

Shoot me. My lunch break is up and I am getting calls in and I have to focus back on my work. Seriously, get a gun, put it up to my head, and pull the trigger. It’s a suicidal ideation with no intent to follow through. Life is hard, it’s difficult, it’s frustrating, it’s not easy. Where are the rewards? Is that when I sleep at night? I am not enjoying my life right now. There are no fun factors in my life. There is nothing I do for pleasure, except to eat. I also eat to survive and I eat to satisfy my emotional needs. That’s why I don’t buy ice cream. Or chocolate. I would like to eat those things but I’m not. See? Talking about food is distracting me from my pessimistic existential rant.

I want to be me. I don’t want to be me in my body. I don’t want to have to work out at the gym. I don’t want to do this job I do and work for a living. If I had a different career I might like it more. That’s why I’m taking psychology classes. To affect change. To influence my future. To build upon my knowledge and skillset. To become a helper and to eventually have clients. If I weren’t me, I wouldn’t have had my experiences. I wouldn’t know the depths of pain and despair that others feel as well. I wouldn’t be a part of a pool of the population taking anti-depressants. I wouldn’t know who I am. I do know who I am I just don’t know how to be. How to be okay. I am okay. Just keep telling myself that: I am okay. I am okay. I am okay. Repeat it in my head and let anxiety pass by on the wayside. The shaking of the leg, the short breaths, the wandering and distracted mind, the internal panic that I try to keep at bay and not exude into my exterior shell that I put up for others to see. They don’t know the real me. Only I know me. Me. Me. Me. I must focus on me. I can do this. Be here with me, right now, right here. Help me. Heal me. Trust me. Love myself.

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