Hooky or Mental Health Day?

I have put in my letter of resignation at work and will be starting my new job on Nov. 12 which is much too far away. The best way to describe it to the world is having senioritus at 26 and not being in school.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, at least in America, when you’re in your final year of high school or university people get senioritus meaning they don’t want to do any work. They’re bored and ready for the next step.

I don’t want to do anything at work right now. I am absolutely dreading going tomorrow which is a way I haven’t felt at my current job before. I’ve usually felt comfortable enough to get through the day when my mental health isn’t the greatest. If I can’t handle it, I go home early.

Feeling the heavy weight of depression for the first time in a while has really been challenging. I’m in that rut where the thought of leaving my house sounds horrible and all I want to do is chill with my pets.

If I choose to not go to work one of the days this week, is that playing hooky or taking a mental health break?

Sure I had the weekend to kind of chill, I mainly shopped and cleaned the house, but I want another day.

**This is where the post gets a little long so you can totally skip this part and I’ll let you know when to come back for the conclusion**

But there’s something else behind not wanting to go other than depression. I take photos as part of my job. I’ve been doing client portraits for the last couple months which has been rewarding for me. What makes this shoot scheduled for tomorrow different is that the client wanted to go to a nearby park to have a shoot with her twin babies who are 10 months old.

I told my supervisor about this and she scoffed, “You’re going to do a family photoshoot with babies? Somebody else is coming along with you, right? I think you should have someone else come with you.”

It hit me in a sensitive spot that has now developed a bruise. I feel incredibly insecure about my ineptitude with babies/young children. It makes me feel like a failure as a woman.

So I don’t want to go and feel like a fool trying to do a shoot with a family while a coworker has to babysit me. The thought of it is humiliating! Therefore I don’t want to go.

**We are back!**

I really want to take a mental health day tomorrow just to be at home. To relax, read, finish season 3 of Jessica Jones (omg it’s ssssooo good) and be with my pets. I feel guilty bailing (see my recent post about me being a flake here) on people especially since the client is counting on me! But I just flat out don’t want to do it.

Any advice, blogosphere?

Wishing I was Invisible

Do you ever feel like nothing is going your way? The universe wants to fight and it is winning.

Today I majorly fucked up at work. I had done all of the work for this idea I had to start up an Etsy shop as a fundraising effort. I hadn’t received any emails regarding any purchases being made.

Well there was one. That I found out today about an order somebody made a month ago!

I was mortified to see that this customer reached our 5 times, getting no response from me because I put in the wrong email as the contact email. So stupid of me!! She asked for a refund because it was never sent to her and she gave the shop a 1 star.

I can’t blame her for any of her actions, I would have done the same.

I’m mortified that I had this task that I gave to myself and I totally screwed it up. I let down that customer, the organization, the volunteers who made the product and my co-workers. All because I didn’t put the wrong email as the contact!

I feel like a fool.

It doesn’t help that yesterday during a meeting we were all reminded that we could be let go at any time for no reason. I’m already nervous about that so me totally messing up on our only sale makes me worry that I’ll get fired.

In this moment I wish I could be invisible.

A Lull of Positivity

As I’ve written about in my last post, I have been nervous about falling into a deep depression because of severe PMS.

So far I’m doing really well! I have been really careful will myself, like I’m cradling a porcelain doll. I am having a 3-day work week because I took off Friday and yesterday it was snowing and freezing rain all day.

Having a day off yesterday seriously reset me. I had a great balance of self care and getting shit done that I had been putting off for ages. I cleaned out my clothing, cleaned my shower and cleaned up under my bed which I hadn’t done in a very long time.

I am feeling like myself unlike how I was around this time last month. I’m really going to keep trying to enjoy this lull of positivity. To soak up as much of it as I can!

I wanted to give you guys an update in case you are struggling yourself right now.

Sometimes are worries never come to fruition, sometimes they never materialize into reality. Not every thought we have is true, they are not all accurate predictions because we with anxiety are clairvoyant.  I would say a good bit of us are not psychic even though we think we are.

If you’re having a difficult time, I really hope that this passes for you soon. You are strong, you are worthy, you are valued and you matter. You are alive for a reason, we are all glad that you exist.

Stay strong everyone!!

My Boss Made My Mental Health Worse

Working while having a mental illness can be incredibly difficult. I write and design for a non-profit organization which was a choice I made specifically for my mental health (and my bank account).

In my previous job at a local newspaper, I was one of a handle full of reporters covering a wide variety of news stories. My main beat when I left was religion, education, charity, police/fire and general news. Whenever there was a story that needed to be done about those topics, I was the one who was writing them.

I had always dreamed of being a reporter and I loved the actual work of it. I loved getting to meet so many people and tell their stories to the community. I loved seeing how my stories could make a difference in other people’s lives. There are a few stories that I hold close to my heart because of how deeply they meant to others.

I got a card in the mail once from the daughter of a woman that I had wrote about her mom. The mom had passed away and they had the story I wrote about her framed at her funeral. It brings tears to my eyes even now because of how that little story impacted their family and helped them to remember her in a special way.

It wasn’t the stress of doing a million stories at once or meeting deadlines. It was my freaking editor. I’ve never met anybody like this woman, she is absolutely crazy. I know that word can be upsetting for some but there is honestly no other way to describe her.

She has screamed at me, ripped my head off, chewed it up and spit it out onto the unvacuumed floor of the newsroom. I lived in constant fear of her. I worried that I was one story away from getting fired. Especially in the beginning, my stomach was in knots because I was so anxious about getting fired.

During many times when she made me cry, I would usually go into one of the single stall bathrooms or , if it was really bad, out to my car. I would usually be in there feeling like a total failure because of some mistake I made that my editor would intensify.

It was such a battle to love reporting but be terrified to walk into the newsroom.

So when I was asked to work at a local non-profit by my former boss, I jumped at the chance. Not only was I going to get paid more, I was going to be in a less stressful environment. I also believe strongly in the mission and the programs we have to help victims of violence and women and children experiencing homelessness.

Changing jobs really did help my mental health. I got my own office where I could cry in private, the stress was lower and I had a regular schedule instead of one that bounced around.

I still have depressive or anxious episodes that I have to ride out which happened today. I get very distracted when I have a thousand thoughts buzzing around in my brain. I can’t focus on whatever I’m supposed to do so I end up zoning out a bit.

In my next post, I’m going to give some suggestions about what I do to help when my mental health is making work nearly impossible.

Not Enough

My brain loves to take phrases that I find upsetting and play them on repeat. The past few days it has been saying, “you’re not good enough.”

As I’ve written before, I have always had this thought that I’ll never be good enough for anybody or anything. It is a fear and worry that has been engrained into my mind since I was little. I have no idea when it began but I’ve felt this way for a long time.

In regards to work, love, friends and everything lately I’ve been feeling less than.

On Friday at work I was getting close to having an anxiety attack because I was getting overwhelmed by my work load that had been piled on at the end of the day. I thought I had one thing to do but then my supervisor gave me a list!

I was crippled by the stress as the minutes ticked away while I was frozen in time getting no work done at all. I actually didn’t end up accomplishing any of the tasks before it was time to clock out which made me feel like a loser.

My boyfriend and I will be celebrating 2 years together next Thursday!! So exciting!

Despite my excitement to celebrate a huge milestone in our relationship, I can’t help but feel like I haven’t done enough to make him happy. That there are so many better women out there that he could be with instead of being with a disappointment.

I know that I will never be perfect, that’s not possible. I want to be good enough but I’ve never actually defined what that means. There is no criteria that I can meet. It’s just a vague phrase I ruminate on.

Maybe that is something to discuss during my next therapy session in a couple weeks.

My 2019 Mental Health Goals

In my adult life I have really been focused on taking care of my mental health. In 2019, I overall want to continue to stay in the place where I’m at right now mentally or maybe feeling even better than I do now.

1. Learn a new skill — For about 6 months or so I have been learning Japanese. I was really struggling mentally and wanted something to be able to focus on, to keep my mind from drifting into horrible places.

I chose to learn Japanese because I knew it would be challenging. I had to first learn Hiragana and Katakana which are the two main alphabets plus Kanji which are the fancy Chinese-based symbols. The Kanji and grammar are quite difficult but I’m trying my best!

So for 2019, I want to learn something else new that can challenge me in a different way. I’m not sure exactly what that will be but I’m going to figure it out.

2. Read More — I had the goal to read more last year and I did such a shit job at it. I have always loved reading but as I have become an adult, it has taken a backseat. So yes, more reading! I’m aiming to do 12 books so a book a month.

Reading gives me relief from my mental health struggles, it has always been a positive outlet for me.

Leave me a comment with your favorite book!

3. Save Money — This might not seem like something that would help my mental health, but it really has the potential to. I worry a lot about not having enough money for an emergency/retirement. I’m only 25 but I’m worrying about it now all of the time.

This year I had to spend almost all of my savings because my car was totaled over the summer and my laptop took its last breath. So right now I’m anxious about what 2019 will bring. I’m concerned that I will get in another car accident or my phone or DSLR camera will break.

4. Take Breaks When I Need It — In recent years I have learned that I need to rest regularly. To breathe for a moment and get some energy to continue on my journey. If I don’t rest, I get into a negative place where I don’t usually like being.

I am going to start a rewards system to help me rest and work. If I complete a task either at home or work, I reward myself by watching a YouTube video or an episode of a show I’m watching. (Right now I’m starting season 5 of Fairy Tale!)

This is what I have so far. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with all of these things I feel like I have to do in order to be a successful human. That right there is what my anxiety uses to tackle me to the ground and make me feel terrible.

What are some of your 2019 mental health goals?

Fear of being Fired

Lately I’ve been incredibly nervous that I’m performing poorly at my full-time job and my side hustle. Both involve me writing for two different organizations plus doing some design work and social media managing.

Let’s start at my side gig where my real anxiety lies.

I’m incredibly thankful to have something on the side to bring in some extra cash every month and give me additional writing experience. I’ve was hired in April 2017 because my boss loved the writing I did about them as a reporter.

He said, “Megan, I’m going to talk to the board and try to convince them to bring you on board.”

It all worked out! I really enjoy writing for them but my boss is a perfectionist. He might even be a robot, I’m not 100% sure though.

My anxiety tells me that my work won’t be good enough in his eyes and eventually grow tired of my work then sack me.

Here’s the thing: I have no evidence or actual reason to think that he’s displeased with my work. He continues to give me solid feedback and just gave me 3 stories to complete this month.

Anxiety tells me so frequently that my writing is bad, that I have chosen a profession that I suck at. My anxiety says that I should quit writing because nobody will ever enjoy reading it.

At my full-time job I am often asked to write in a style that I’ve never really written in before, a conversational style.

All through school and university I was instructed to write in a professional manner, to stick to the facts and leave any exaggeration or bias out of it. I am a journalist by trade so that is the way I have been trained to write.

Whenever I get my stories kicked back from my supervisor with edits up and down basically instructing me to rewrite it, I fear that I will be let go. I worry that because I struggle with a conversational writing style that they will fire me to find somebody else who excels at that.

My anxiety has always had a strong grip around my writing. I have always loved to write but my anxiety repeatedly tells me it’s all shit.

I’ve worked with my therapist about this issue for a while, clearly it’s something we need to revisit.

Stay strong and be alright, everyone!

Happy Hanukkah to all of my Jewish readers!