Category Archives: Stress

Another Transition, or Find Something Else to Do

Hard to believe this has happened, but I shouldn’t be all that surprised. With the  chaos and instability in my workplace, it was probably only a matter of time until my turn came. So here it is, I’m looking for employment again. My therapist tried to prepare me for the prospect of losing my position, but I hoped I could ride out the wave of multiple discharges and frequent boss replacements. So here is a over-educated, middle-aged nurse with a variety of experience looking for a new position. Just have to put on my smile and positive attitude and try to minimize why I happen to be unemployed at the moment. I’m sure that prospective employers will understand, right?

Now I also have time to get back to blog writing. I have definitely neglected my online journaling, and it is an effective way for me to process some of the things that happen in my life. Perhaps I can spend some time figuring out my smart phone too. Somehow it’s supposed to improve my quality of life, but I haven’t plunged into the world of apps. I’m sure life will be oh so much better once I conquer the phone.

There never seems to be enough time to do all the things that need to get done when you aren’t working. Time flies when you are unemployed. Perhaps I won’t have time to pursue much else, but I’ll keep busy, I’m sure. Somehow, I think I’ll make this transition to new work…at least I can be positive about it.

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Ch-ch-ch-changes

This past week has been ch-ch-challenging. I just took my son to college and that was a bit stressful. I’m doing my best to cope with that colossal change in my life. Then I go to work on Monday to find out from the CEO himself that they let my boss go. Wow. That was a shock. I liked working with him (see previous post, New Environments). He was always positive and motivating with me, but apparently not with everyone else, which was the rationale we were given for his departure.

Of course this would be the week that I also run out of meds and I’m waiting for the new insurance card to arrive so I can get the prescriptions refilled. Not a good week to be off my meds! So my mood took a nose dive and I was dragging through the week. It was everything I could do to make it through the day, and I couldn’t wait to get home and crawl into bed. Too much loss for one week. I admit I shed a few tears as well, I was feeling lonely coming home to an empty house with my son gone.

I am so glad my son is attending a nearby college, he decided to come home for the night on Friday and we spent breakfast together on Saturday. That cheered me tremendously. Knowing I can see him regularly has eased the transition. Now I just need to figure out how to handle the new situation at work.

Ex Anxiety

Why after almost 16 years do I still have some anxiety over seeing and dealing with my ex-husband? I don’t normally have contact with him at all since he moved to Alaska (I know, who the heck moves to Alaska??? But what a blessing!) but he has graced us with his presence for our son’s graduation ceremony. I feel very fortunate that he did move so far away, because we had a very contentious relationship and ongoing battle over custody and parenting. Let me just sum it up for now: it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t in our child’s best interest, but I did what I felt I needed to do to protect and nurture him.

Anyway, I imagine part of the anxiety is for my son. His relationship with his father is strained since dad moved away. My son had some say in where he lived when his dad decided to move, and he preferred to stay in Ohio, close to family and friends. His dad didn’t handle this well, and hasn’t managed to stay in close touch.  He hasn’t seen him for about a year, and now he comes into town just for the graduation ceremony and is leaving tomorrow. Like my son said, it’s almost as if he just feels obligated. I mean who spends twelve hours flying just to turn around and go back in a day?

There has been a lot of acrimony and hurt between us too. At least that is how I feel. Our failed marriage was the result of his infidelity during my first episode of Depression (how’s that for a kick in the teeth?). He subsequently married the woman that he had the affair with, and had another family. Because of the depression, I found it an extremely painful time of my life, and he is still associated with that pain. I have grieved the loss of the relationship after all this time, but the darkness and despair of that episode of Depression still scares the heck out of me. And I associate him with being abandoned at my time of greatest need. Perhaps that is the source of my anxiety, I just never thought of it that way before. Writing is therapeutic too.

So, wish me luck as I put on my game face and do my best to confront my anxiety/my ex. It does get easier over time as my son gets older, and as I become more self-aware. At least it’s only for a day.

Overwhelmed by the News

Twenty-Four hour news is such a bad idea. We get inundated constantly with information and the news is generally negative in nature. When is there ever any good news? They don’t have time to report that. I always said I would subscribe to a station that showed only good news. It would be so refreshing to hear about people who do good things for each other, not just as an aside or filler to all the bad news that gets reported. That would be fair and balanced don’t ya think?

Problem is it is so easy to get caught up in the world’s tragedies and the quagmire of our government that it adds to one’s depression. Makes me want to stay in bed! Where is the hope? I’m not saying we need  news “lite” or should minimize what is going on in the world. Perhaps it is just too much for some of us to handle in large doses. I know I can’t take too much, because I tend to internalize it and hold it. I can’t walk around with the weight of the world on me, I can’t carry it, I can’t change the world. I can only influence my little circle. Since the news rarely addresses my issues, perhaps I should just shut it off altogether. I feel like that would be the putting my head in the sand approach.

It is of course all about finding balance. As usual. If someone who has depression has been able to find a balance without being overwhelmed by the news, I’d love to hear about it.

Holding Patterns

Sometimes I just feel like I’m in a holding pattern. Like an airplane circling above its destination waiting to land. I never seem to have my life completely together or balanced. For example, work is going well, but my personal life may be in shambles. So work could probably be even better if  my home life were not in disarray.

Right now, I’m making progress in therapy getting my head together. Unfortunately, my love life is down the drain and the rug was recently pulled out from under me at work. So needless to say, I feel unbalanced. I would really like to know what it feels like when everything is going right all at the same time. Is that possible? Is that what normal is? How long do I have to wait to land?

Have I Given Up Things?

Most people say that as you get old you have to give up things. I think you get old because you do give up things. —-Theodore Green

I don’t know who Ted Green is, but he got me thinking…have I given up things? I believe I have, but always rationalized it somehow. Thought it was part of growing up and being mature, the trade-off for having a family, etc. Was I supposed to let things go? Does everyone let things go? Do women just let things go?

Still having some deep discussions in therapy, a lot surrounding my career and choices. I have let things go because I made this career choice of nursing and thought I had to do certain things to be “successful.” Let’s just say I’m a high achiever, went to a high achieving college and nursing program and being “just a nurse” was not enough. I felt like I was expected to represent my high level of education and achievement by leap-frogging into management or something. So I did. This of course left little time for other pursuits as I was juggling being a single parent and fighting with my ex in and out of court. So I gave away little pieces and parts of what I enjoyed and had pursued before nursing dominated my life. Like ceramics and photography. Like needle arts and sewing. There were many things that I gave up along the way that I am slowly trying to retrieve. But now I am wondering if one of these things or perhaps something else altogether should occupy my work time instead?

More than halfway down the road and I’m questioning EVERYTHING. Doesn’t make for day-to-day stability. Some days I just want to escape and not have to think about any of it. I feel like a big goof. But then I think, I don’t hate nursing, I just don’t have a passion for it like some do. I’ve done a lot of good things during my career, and I’ve touched a lot of lives in a positive way. I am proud of that. It’s not a total wash. I don’t regret what I’ve done so far, although it has been a rough road at a number of turns. I just wonder if it’s time to take the road less travelled. Mr. Frost says it will make all the difference.

Thankful for Mud

So thankful that I have something besides work to keep me busy. Recently got back into pottery, and have been literally up to my elbows in mud. I love working with clay, both wheel-throwing and hand-building. It feels really good to do something creative, it nurtures the soul somehow.

Handling the clay is a process. Sometimes I have an idea in mind for what I’d like it to become, and sometimes I just let the clay have its way. Sounds a little queer to say that, but there are times it can’t be forced to do what you want it to do. You have to listen and relax. Not fighting with the clay is a challenge. I don’t want to experience frustration because this is a time of enjoyment for me. I sure don’t need any stress over mud!

Wheel-throwing takes patience for me. As a left-handed person, I’ve had to adapt to doing things as a right-handed person would do, just to make life simpler. Throwing is a metaphor for life. The first thing you do is center the clay. If it’s not centered properly, nothing else will go well. Certainly is a metaphor for my life. Being the slightest bit off kilter emotionally or spiritually can affect EVERYTHING ELSE. Fortunately, between the potter’s hands, a bit of pressure and water, the clay will become centered. I seem to take a little more effort to get settled than that. Perhaps I should  meditate or pray more, I don’t know. I’ll have to figure that out. Right now I am enjoying the physical activity of the clay. It helps me feel centered as my creativity is expressed.