Each Day A Blank Page

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movementforthebetter

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Each Day A Blank Page
« on: October 03, 2017, 05:18:19 AM »
This post will contain triggers for violence, and some deep emotional exploration.

I thought I wouldn't write again so soon. But I am too sensitive to the world. And lucky me, my sensitivity is multiplied by a particularly heavy period which has left me feeling sick the last 3 days.

Current events, societal and political, have got me down. There was an attack on innocent people in the pub district of my hometown this weekend, which many are making about race. It's not to say the attack wasn't bad, it was.  But people jump on any chance they can to validate their ignorant redneck views and false assumptions. The attacker had dark skin so he must be a "terrorist". A fire fed to exploding by the police themselves. Disgusting, and one of many, many reasons I Ieft that city.

Then waking up to the Vegas attack this morning. Not since Sandy Hook have I felt such utter futility in the face of the destructive power of insanity. And of course the shooter is a white man, because 99% of them are. But he's a "lone wolf", not a terrorist though almost 60 died by his hand? It makes me nauseous. 

And then the topper is the reporting mess surrounding Tom Petty. I was just reading a news story talking about his music this morning. I got busy at work, took late lunch, checked Facebook and boom, it was everywhere that he had died. Except he hasn't yet, as later corrected. But all night I've been waiting for the news... Looking for something concrete one way or another. Singing his songs in my head.

I had recently decided to give up on a car for now. I can't afford it. I was scraping to make rent, and getting further and further in debt. I think I made an adult decision.

But I had to tell my folks why I wasn't going to be there for thanksgiving. It was a big mistake on my part, saying I would go when I don't have it in me. So I told them, and about what living is like for my generation in general, and for me more specifically. My M said she'd send some money.

I told her multiple times she didn't have to but she insisted. And tonight I got it, and it's a considerable amount. I started sobbing when I saw it. It helps hugely. Yes, I appreciate it and need it. But I do not want it, and feel shame in accepting.

This is how she shows love. I think she means well. She says she loves me. I basically believe that. But I don't feel it in my core. And it was never the love I needed or wanted.

There is a deep emptiness inside me that I am rarely aware of. Tonight, I am. I love, and I am loved. But none of these loves join to form a real connection due to circumstances and biology. It leaves me feeling deeply broken to think that I can't really feel love. That it's something that either I never knew, or worse, could just never process.

And so I am broken down, beaten into submission by life. Accepting gifts from the person for whom the past doesn't exist. The person whose acknowledgement would mean the most. Considering returning to my surface family and redneck city because I have almost nothing left to my name.

Does acceptance of the gift equal condoning the violence of the past? If I am the only one who knows my truth, can that carry me through being closer to my family? These are the questions I will sleep on tonight. 

Edited to add that as I wrote this, Tom Petty did pass away. Rest in peace, Tom, and thank you for the music.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 05:20:57 AM by movementforthebetter »

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 01:42:32 PM »
So, the title of this journal didn't come easily to me. I chose it because it's generally optimistic but also realistically factual. Like me.  ;D

In the spirit of general optimism, despite wanting to call in sick today, I got up early, rested with a cool cloth on my eyes to reduce swelling and redness, had a nice hot shower, and am heading in to work. I'll even be early.

One foot in front of the other is something I learned the excruciatingly hard way after my dad died. I haven't got it mastered by any stretch. But people make irrational decisions and life goes on no matter how much I wish it would stop most times. So I've learned that my best options are to either make my contribution to the best of my ability, or remove myself from the situation and find somewhere else to contribute. Today I will contribute where I am, as I am, and it will be ok.

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 05:08:30 PM »
Woke from some intense dreams. Feeling discombobulated.

In the 2nd, I listed my ideal traits for a partner, but they were reflected in the dream-mirror of an old high-school classmate who was dating a former college prof. I'll see if I can remember them, in no particular order. It was a long list. Intelligent, funny, thoughtful, considerate, kind, motivated, witty, dedicated, honest, emotionally in-tune, attractive enough (not hot), good conversationalist, treats her well, interesting, curious, adventurous, generally optimistic, confident but not arrogant, humble, helpful. I spent the first part of the dream at a weird outdoor winter concert for one of my favourite musicians, then indoors, trying to find something, in a home filled with stairs and ledges. Right at the end of the dream I was talking with a pregnant friend when she said she had just noticed that I was pregnant, too. And I was. "I'm scared, " I said. And she said, "Me too."

 In the first, I remember nothing except the last moments, in which I witnessed a kitten get run over by a car. In the dream I cried out his name, "Smokey". In reality I whimpered loudly in my sleep and the sound woke me up immediately.

Despite bad dreams, I feel little desire to get out of bed today. I am on my vacation. It's raining. I'm tired from cramming too much in yesterday. I got a lot done, which is good. In 3 weeks I'm travelling for work to Eastern Canada for several months. It's a big challenge  that I learned of late last week. It started sinking in over the weekend. I need to do so much to get ready, but I also want to take time to savour my home while I can.

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 02:14:24 AM »
I went to my Dr. and said I wasn't coping well. That my anxiety is paralyzing me and I haven't been taking care of myself. My dosage of my meds has been increased, and I'm stepping it up now, on vacation. LOL. Another aspect of my life the "normals"  would never get. "What did you do on vacation?" "Not much, just increased my antidepressants so the side-effects will interfere with my work life as little as possible."

I am experiencing headaches and some mild dizziness so far. Jaw-tightness and ear-ringing seems up, too. Otherwise it's ok.

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 05:28:21 AM »
Well, vacation flew by.

I had work dreams last night. Tonight I have that anxious insomnia going on, after sleeping a ton during my vacation. Depression naps galore. But I accept that my body wanted the sleep. I wanted it, too. Sleep is becoming my favourite pass time.

I leave on an extended work trip in a couple of weeks. I'll be leaving everything I know for several months and living in a hotel, working near to there.  I found out right before vacation, so that significantly ate into my ability to relax. I am very nervous about it and there's a lot to prepare. But it's going to be a good experience for me. Growth, whether I can actually handle it or not. I wish I was more confident that I was ready. I plan to study my technical notes so I feel better prepared. I have a friend in that province, so at least that's one definite positive thing.

Things move so fast. All I've wanted since 2009 was for things to slow down. They never will, will they? Not in work, and not in life unless I avoid things, which I do. I'm not ready to commit to every day moving at light speed, and me along with it. I can make it work at work for a while, but that's the limit.



Today self-care involved making my breakfast and lunch ahead of time. I've also started wearing a mouthguard again. They have so many more options now, and I was able to get a comfortable one.

OK, enough fighting sleep. Once I'm moving again, I'll be ok. And post-vacation blahs are normal, so that shouldn't surprise me.

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hank

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 10:39:43 AM »
How will you like the ways in which others paint you? Paint back.

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 09:10:24 AM »
Awake again, for an hour now, in the middle of the night. My brain gets going on work thoughts before I am fully awake, so there's some subconscious activity spilling out from my dreams that I don't have much control over. I do things to influence myself into feeling safe at night. Not that I feel "unsafe", but some subtle tweaks have a good influence. Soft, warm lighting in the hour or so before bed. Wind-down time, meaning a period of stillness before sleep. Quiet, calm, looping music and nature sounds mixed with white noise, that I can play all night. If I wake and the music is going, I know I'm it's still bedtime. No glowing clocks to fret over. A cool room, as much as possible. I tend to overheat and I think that contributes to my waking.

I didn't set the music tonight so thoughts got active, quick. I guess I wanted to rest my techniques. I do notice a positive difference when I use them, even if I don't sleep any more.

Lots of thoughts lately about the ways in which I am "difficult" for others. Not sure if I can or would want to change any of it. And not apologizing. Just trying to see myself through a different lens.

Think I am tired enough again. Mid night wakes seem to generally last 1.5 to 3 hours, no matter how tired before sleep.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 01:30:47 AM »
mftb, i thought the title for this journal was extremely meaningful.  you're absolutely right, each day is a blank page.  some of it is written for us, and for some of it we do the writing.   what we write are our choices, decisions, and actions. 

i'm with you on the whole mess that is the news anymore.  i didn't hear about tom petty till 4 days later.  have always loved his music.  one of my favorite videos is with him and the rest of the traveling wilburys singing 'end of the line'.  i used to listen to that every morning - i always gave me a lift.

i am sorry for your sleep problems.  i know those middle of the nights very well.  they suck.  hoping that you find some rest and comfort that will enable you to sleep better soon.

sending you a warm, loving hug.  we'll make it thru this. 

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 07:22:40 AM »
Today was a high-pressure day. All week, really, escalating each day. It's so busy that most days the last few weeks, now, I come home, have dinner, then crawl into bed and play a game on my phone until I get sleepy. Then it's bedtime until my midnight wake, then a couple more hours of sleep if I'm lucky. I suppose it sounds like I sleep too much but with the wakefulness and ultra-earlystart,  I really don't.

I don't have the supports I need at work to do my job effectively or even at all sometimes. I was upset about work I'd done 2 weeks ago not being maintained by others responsible, but a bigger issue will actually  make me miss a deadline (again, not me) . Instead of getting stressed out by this today, I was able to figure out what I needed to push ahead, and contact the multiple people who could help get it done. So that is some significant growth for me. And I am proud of that. It's possible that after over a year on the job I fully understand what is needed to do it. 

It's not to say that I don't make mistakes or cause others to be inconvenienced - I do. And I am so hard on myself when I mess up. My inner critic kicks into overdrive as soon as a mistake is noticed or a problem pops up. Deep down I think most of my projects are failures because I "could've done better". Deeper down I think that means that I am a failure for the same reason. But today I overcame my hurdle despite all my negative leanings.

And I'm going away in 2 weeks to work with a huge new team from all over the country. I am so anxious about this. My manager talked to me today - gave me the rundown but also said I was representing my location, it was a privilege to be invited to work there, and that it was so important that I really know my stuff and can work fast. That if team members have deadlines, they won't be able to help me.   Which is where I started to feel panicky. I am not confident in either of these things. My job has manuals upon manuals that I am expected to know, without having been given any work time to memorize the material over the past year. And I am not salaried. So I am studying, hoping I can shore up my knowledge before I leave. But I also have to practice on my software because any hang-ups on the technical end could cause major problems for me. So much of my unpaid time is being devoted to work now and into the foreseeable future. I suffer from terrible imposter syndrome and this whole situation makes me feel like I don't deserve to be there. And having to do so much unpaid work just to ensure I am ready for the work ahead is just another reason I find work so awful most of the time, even though I can also say I am at one of my dream jobs.

The pattern is that under extended periods of stress and uncertainty, I manage until right before the finish line, right at the highest point of stress, I breakdown, sometimes publicly. The kind of thing that shakes me to my core as to whether I should even continue living, because it's all too much for me.  Will it happen before I leave, after, both, or neither?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 07:33:34 AM by movementforthebetter »

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sanmagic7

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 03:13:52 PM »
mftb, may i make a wife2 suggestion?  breathe.  then, breathe again.  slow yourself down.  prioritize, if you're able.  one step at a time.  ultimately, this, too, shall pass.

i don't believe you have been given this opportunity because you suck at your job.  rather, your work has shown itself to be of such merit that it is believed you have something important to contribute to the rest of the team. 

an example from my own life of getting overwhelmed by too much to process/do/consider has been all this medical stuff i've been going thru.  each doc has told me to do this, that, and the other, and get it done now.  lab tests, sonagrams, exams, surgery . . .  and on and on.  i was going nuts.

for one thing, my hub took care of much of that for me, keeping track, driving me here and there, going with me to see the specialists.  without him, i felt pretty much on my own.  my d has definitely supported me, but ultimately i had to make the decisions myself.

prioritizing was the way for me to go.  what was most important to get done the soonest.  in my case, it was the first round of doc appts. and lab tests, schedule the surgery, and pay off all those visits and tests before i made more appts.  it really helped clear my head and took away that overwhelming feeling.  it was like i took my power back.

just like the docs looking over my shoulder telling me what i had to do 'right now', or something dire would happen, you have your bosses doing the same thing.   you know your strengths, you know what you do best, and you know what's most important for you to know.  simplify and take your power back.   take one step at a time and you'll get through this.  you're not alone, sweetie.
right beside you all the way.

sending you a big hug filled with encouragement, support, and confidence in yourself and your abilities.   

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2017, 11:30:54 PM »
Thank you Sanmagic7. I have been trying to breathe deeply.

Ironically I'm so busy that finding the time to do that during work is exceedingly difficult. I know that sounds like exaggeration but it's not, really. At the end of my shift I had people lined up to ask me questions... And I'm not a project lead or manager yet. It was nuts.  I worked 9 hours yesterday,  had a good dinner, and have been in bed since, for the most part. A combo of burnt out and side effects from my meds, I think. I've actually had trouble keeping my eyes open all day.

Re-reading my last post, it comes off overly dramatic and I didn't intend that. The whole going on living thing is more of a philosophical issue than crisis. I'll try to be more careful with my words.

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2017, 04:45:26 AM »
Since last week was so, so bad at work, followed by sleeping sickness Saturday, I decided to change the timing of my meds. My small dose is in the morning and my large dose at night, now. I'm hoping this might help with the exhaustion.

Having said that, I hardly slept at all last night because I was so anxious and panicky about work and life. In the little I did sleep I dreamed about work and train cars being knocked off the rails. (though I read a news story that I think planted the seed.) Har-dee-har, brain, dreams aren't even subtle anymore. 

So today I called in sick and took a mental health day. Cleaned and organized a bunch at home. My manager was texting me through the day asking questions about work. I was surprised they didn't just let my stuff sit, but it is a busy time of year. So not quite the break I needed. It never is. I'm pretty sure it's innappropriate to be texting an employee that's said they can't come in. I'm tempted to say something. But it's just one more thing in a long list of things that's wrong in my workplace.

I should be gearing down for sleep now. Am breaking my own rules. But felt this last week/end really needed to be commented on. Probably the first time I've called in sick without thinking somehow that I should drag myself in and beat myself up with guilt about it. After all the crazy that got dumped on me last week, I didn't mind too much that I left a mess for them. So basically this work trip will make clear to me if I do have any future in this company or not. As it is now I can't stay because the realist in me can't see things improving, and my health is suffering for it. So maybe things will be better in the other role. My anxiety is rooted in the perception (probably accurate, sorry not sorry) that things will not be better on the other side of the country, and may in fact be worse. At least it's only 3 months.


Edited to add that I slept 4 hours with much tossing and turning before waking. Might take some time to see if the meds impact this or not.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 08:37:16 AM by movementforthebetter »

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sanmagic7

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2017, 05:12:55 PM »
i'm really glad for you that you were able to call in to work and take the day for yourself (altho not glad at all that you kept getting bothered with work stuff while at home.  that doesn't seem right.  a mental health day is in order to take a break from the work stuff, right?)

hope you get the sleep stuff figured out.  that's a gritch all by itself.  am interested in how it goes for you for those 3 months.  best to you with that.  big hug to you filled with calm and soothing.

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2017, 10:53:27 AM »
Too awake to sleep, too tired to... Anything. Just poking at my phone now.

I have a lot to do and 1 week left at home. I want to stay in bed all the time but manage to drag myself out. Not looking forward to my trip like everyone else seems to think I should be. I suppose it will be ok. Not worth getting into worst-case scenarios.

I'm soul-tired. If money were no object I would live without purpose other than my health and a hobby or two. As it is, fitting in costs me all of that.

I find moments of joy but they are fleeting and I need to work harder and harder all the time to achieve them. I often want to quit everything. I have admiration for the homeless who chose to opt out of societal systems of oppression and just live. It's what I want. I've known it for years, but I've been groomed to stay on the career treadmill. I've accomplished a lot, but at what cost? And the damage to myself necessitates I have medical benefits... Which I then rarely use because I struggle to keep up with life. I don't know what I am doing anymore. I just want to sleep all the time. And be free.


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sanmagic7

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Re: Each Day A Blank Page
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2017, 06:04:18 PM »
i so hear you, mftb.  it's like you read what i just wrote, but you wrote this first.  so very tired of not fitting in.  big hug to you.