And so it begins….


I have had my old employer and their dastardly deeds in my life consistently over the last two days. I received notice in the mail that there are some investigations into the company going on.

I have had anxiety consistently over the last two days. Dizziness, feelings of fainting and the dreaded thumps bumps and skids of my physiology are in full swing.

Picture a carnival setting up. The Ferris Wheel is erected and starts to turn. It is usually the visual clue that a carnival is taking place because it sits so high, spins so slowly and lights up the evening sky. It is like a beacon telling patrons that the fun is just getting started. That is my dizziness or disequilibrium. It is the first thing to show up. It gets the other rides moving. I find it anything but fun.

The next thing to set up is the mini roller coaster. It is unfolded and bolted in. Test runs are conducted and deemed “safe”. It whirs and grinds along. It whizzes around and around. The slow tick tick tick as the cars climb the incline followed by the brief pause at the top before the cars rocket to the bottom, twisting and turning, thumping and skidding around corners before it comes to a slow crawl. That is my heart and its “safe” skips and extra beats. It is the driving force to this carnival and a clear indication that my world is getting ready to be set on its side.

Once the Ferris Wheel and roller coaster are operating the High Striker shows up. This is the midway game that patrons use a hammer to hit a plate sending a puck to the top where a bell is located. *DING!* “WE HAVE A WINNER FOLKS!” This is my blood pressure rising and falling every few minutes. When I stand, as I sit, if I move…I feel the fluctuations with emphasis on the low pressure. Standing too quickly makes my world go spotty and gray. It is also apparently “safe” as I haven’t passed out and fallen down stairs or wrecked my car…yet. “CLOSE but no cigar!” It is called Orthostatic Hypotension and I hate it. It makes movement and life close to impossible. You feel it in the car, walking, sitting or even laying down. It is prevalent with  my anxiety and was dominate when I had panic attacks. It grinds and wears on me throughout the day rendering me nearly useless.

As these symptoms whiz and whirl around me, I have to push forward living my life. Searching for a new job yields extra pressure as I fear I wont be able to control the carnival in a new environment. Suffering from PTSD from my previous employer makes it a difficult when thinking about facing a new job, culture and bosses. The worry over being damaged unemployable goods walks with me daily. My last employer made sure I felt that way each and every moment. Leaving employment hasn’t resolved it. I talked with Senior in great length about it. Another mistake in my attempts to remove their treatment. I assumed that if I let her know how deeply their treatment affected me, she might back off. I had no idea it was a death match because I did my job well. My worst day was better than several of my co-workers best days.

When people collectively conspire to beat you down, you lose a part of yourself. I’ve never had it happen so I have no idea if you ever get your self-worth and confidence back or not. I highly doubt you are ever the same. I feel weakened and I know they take a lot of pride and joy in that fact.

I review my life there and other than the fact that I had (key word there is HAD. They beat any self-confidence out of me) a strong personality. I haven’t any idea what their problem was with me.

I was told once by Senior Director that I scared them because they never knew what I was going to say. They didn’t feel that they could include me in their team because a lot of things were discussed and if I didn’t agree with some of them, I might do something about it.

She was right. If they were to talk about sabotaging an employee, I would say something. When Director made the statement that she didn’t want people with disabilities to work for them because she wanted “good workers” – I would have said something. When they collectively said that hourly workers hold no value other than being warm bodies and were “a dime a dozen” – I would have said something. So yes, your concerns were valid because those things are not acceptable and just because you hold a position of “authority” doesn’t mean you get to say and do those things.

When Senior told me that she didn’t think I would “have their back” – she was right if they were acting in the wrong and there my friends lies the crux of the issue. If you don’t do unethical things – why worry who has your back?

When I said I would have their backs if they were operating for the greater good but would be the first to stand up if they weren’t, that was the final nail in my coffin. Well, that and taking 12 weeks of FMLA for a condition they caused.

So, as we move forward through the process I am clinging to the walls. I don’t want to go. I don’t want to have to deal with it. I hate the chaos and inevitable symbolic blood bath that is about to unfold. I don’t want to have to relive the details of what they did to me. I don’t want others to have to relive their trauma either. It is something I do not look forward to and do not relish because you see, unlike them, I am not someone who relishes on the pain and misfortune of others. I don’t seek to destroy someone because they upset me once five years ago or even two minutes ago. I prefer harmony and peace. I prefer teamwork and helping.

So this path that we are all headed down is totally opposite from my natural inclinations.

In the end, I hope they each learn some valuable life lessons and the company makes changes to prevent those things from happening to another person.

 

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Legal Chest Pains


I have been worried about my heart the last few days.

Having PVC & PAC activity is always disturbing but it seems a little different lately. More episodes, stronger extra beats or like this morning, two quick episodes of sharp pain with them.

I am sure I have had pain in the past. A faint memory is lying there but I can’t wrap my full attention around it.

When you have sharp chest pains and you are someone with “health anxiety” (the polite term for hypochondriac) then it sets off all sorts of warning alarms that I have mentioned in past posts.

For those not familiar, it goes a little something like this:

Minding my own business

Pain or dizziness – something out of the norm – could be a twitch or twinge

All systems stop in their tracks while the mind and body “listen” for anything else to happen. If it does, that occurrence is analyzed fully and completely.

Analyzing an occurrence goes like this:

What was THAT?

It was a…..<insert symptom here>

I wonder if that is a problem!

<Insert symptom here>

There it is again!

Okay, it was a sharp pain. It was in the center of my chest.

OH MY GOD ITS A HEART ATTACK

~ Launch all systems GO evaluation~

Blood pressure cuff – on and inflating (please be normal, please be normal….)

PulseOx meter attached (DON’T look at it for 10 seconds because it is always off while it calculates. DON’T LOOK YET)

Blood pressure results – within normal ranges (Thank goodness….)

PulseOx within normal limits (Thank goodness)

Pause……

“I wonder if I did them right.”

Relaunch check of symptoms

Within normal ranges

“Oh thank God! But…what is that pain? I’ll just look it up on the Internet….”

FAIL

As someone with health anxiety (don’t be rude, that is what we are calling it. YOU can be a hypochondriac…I am NOT!) searching the Internet for what ails you is the kiss of….well…..anxiety or panic…we CAN’T say the other word or it provokes nervousness.

If you are not in a full-blown attack then, you will be within a few minutes of clicking and sifting through the best terrorizing medical information the web has to offer.

The thing is? We KNOW this yet…we do it again and again.

I did it this morning after my bout of chest pain. “I can’t go to the doctor so I almost HAVE to rely on the Internet, don’t I?”

Um, no but that doesn’t stop me.

I sit down on the edge of my bed facing the window. This is where I go when I start having anxiety. That SHOULD be my first clue but it never is.

I bring up the search engine. “Tell me what my death sentence is Dr. Google” I almost say as I begin my sifting.

One thing I have learned is to stay away from WebMD as it will ALWAYS tell me absolute death is impending. Paper cut? Can become infected leading to death. Hang nail? Seek emergency medical attention as you may die.

We stay away from WebMD but Mayo Clinic is my golden child of the “What am I dying of today” world.

Mayo Clinic tells me the facts but almost leans toward not telling me enough. They always throw in when to seek medical attention but it doesn’t seem as ominous as WebMd does.

So far it could be spasms in my digestive track, PVC/PAC activity just causing pain or…brace yourself, it could be anxiety.

So, I launch another round of vital checks and determine that if I am going to die today, I need to accomplish something worthwhile.

Instead, I start writing.

What I have learned over the last year of my life is that I have become a VERY anxious person. I was always a Type A personality before but never full of twists and turns like I have now.

My previous employer shares much of the blame of the creation of the mess we all see before our eyes.

Years of being treated poorly and differently than my peers took its toll but nothing like the last and final month of my employment after returning from FMLA. The torment elevated to amazing new heights as they clearly felt the need to retaliate for my absence and then plotted my departure.

I have YEARS of excellent service to that company and needed time off to put Humpty Dumpty back together again because I was torn down from all of your games and demands and you couldn’t get past the time off I needed so you termed me? Makes total sense.

I am being told that my life will be better without my involvement in that company, in that department and certainly in that toxic environment but while I wait for that “bliss” to hit, I am left worrying about medical insurance, life insurance and of course, the almighty dollar to pay my bills when I did everything you asked me to do.

One of the things about the culture I worked in was that they pushed “We will provide you with all of the tools you need to do your job effectively” yet when I reminded them that I don’t have the tools, I was written up. When I didn’t quit as they thought I would, they fired me.

 

As your employee you promised me that you would lead me with all stops removed, to the type of manager you wanted me to be. I did as asked, when asked and usually much better than I was asked to do it, and then you let me go?

That just doesn’t seem ethical. Considering the source, that isn’t a shock.

So today I am fighting my way through the worry that the after effects of your poor and tortuous treatment of me have caused permanent damage.

I pray. I hope and I know that God will take care of me but I also hope that I don’t “go” before I have something important to leave behind. I am not ready and hope God allows me the chance to do something of value for Him, and me.

 

 

 

 

Unanticipated Mourning


It approaches the afternoon on a weekend. I am not normally home now but since I was let go, I am home a lot.

Job searching is slow and yields very little response. Faceless electronic submissions, you don’t see people any more, they also don’t see you which can be good or bad depending on your look I guess.

One interview went well until we established that the company has solid dealings with my last employer. Everything turned to ice within a day. Can’t imagine why!

Home is comforting and I am grateful for it. Life being in a total upheaval is not the norm and not something I particularly enjoy.

I find myself missing my dog quite a bit. Each day it sinks deeper into realization just how much he provided comfort for me. The others are my love as well but there was something different about him. He just knew…..

He knew when I was sad and would come over and push his face against mine. I never let a dog lick my face before and I didn’t with him, he stuck them in quickly but it made me laugh each and every time…for years.

When I was having anxiety he would come over and sit by  me making sure his arm or a part of him was touching a part of me. His presence provided me comfort when nothing else could.

When I was having panic attacks he would place himself in front of me, staring into my eyes and hoist himself to eye level, balancing on the front of my chair with his two front paws. He would star intently into my eyes and I would just hug him. He stayed as long as I needed him to. I needed him to – a lot.

When I was sick, he would lay next to me. He would occasionally place his head on my chest or lap and just lay there. Having him near me made me feel better.

When I was burdened by my job he would do silly things to make me laugh. If I cried he would sit close and sneak a forceful lick of my face in to make me forget and start laughing.
He made silly faces and seemed to know when was the best comic timing for many of the things he did.

One of the things I miss is letting him in from being outside, having him run though the house – bound up the stairs, across the floor and pounce on his favorite toy, shaking the house during the entire process. He was my rock and my joy. I am struggling to learn how to deal with this new life without him.

Before panic and anxiety I would have a difficult time anyway. Post those afflictions, it feels too new, too big and too overwhelming.

Those with a special relationship with their pets understand.

We don’t all have to be the types to call them our “kids” or dress them up. There are plenty of us that love them as deeply as they love us without the oddities that this world has become.

Spouse and I were talking this morning about the very large vacancy that his death has caused in all of our lives. None of us realized just how present he was in each of our own individual lives as well as the household as a whole.

My other dogs are lost as well. We are all in a new environment trying to forge a life without one of our family members. It isn’t easy.

So today I am a bit off. Not quite anxiety, maybe little blurbs of what want to become panic but mostly it is a sense of being overwhelmed and a bigger sense of loss.

That terrible place with those terrible people I was employed with just exaggerated the issue. Not unlike them and I am sure they would take immense joy in knowing that I am struggling. That is the type of sad human beings they are. Negative and totally enthralled with gossip – unless it is about one of them of course.

My struggle today has nothing to do with them and everything to do with my missing friend.

Today is a mourning day and I sure didn’t see it coming.

 

 

Sadness


My skipped and extra heart beats (PVC, PAC) are back today. I hate them. Life is stressful enough – I sure don’t need these too.

It’s been a week since I was fired. I don’t miss them, that’s for sure. They are ridiculous people with a skewed image on how to conduct business. Popularity contests never proved to be great for business over the long run.

Today my heart is ping ponging around my chest upsetting me more and more. Some chest pains and some left arm numbness. It’s scary but I’ve been told as late as April that my heart checks out just fine. 4 months ago. I just have to keep reminding myself that its okay.

I received some legal papers in the mail. It’s just exacerbated the symptoms further.

It’s too bad life gets this way. It shouldn’t have to be do hard.

 

Old worries like to visit


I generally move about my day trying to keep an eye on the anxiety. I greet it with a professional nod and try to keep going.

Anxiety/Panic are like that co-worker who likes to invade your space. It gets too close, has eaten onions and ass for lunch and smells like it hasn’t showered in years. It stands super close and spits as it talks but wants to cling to you during a very long and intense conversation that you would really love to avoid any part of…..but, you’re stuck.

Keeping a friendly but impersonal distance is best but not always possible. You don’t want to hurt its feelings and cause it to lash out so you try to be cordial but you sure don’t give it time to chat.

My anxiety is bossy and controlling. When its low on the charts, I feel it lurking but I am able to stay pretty functional while I am at work. Then….

Its time to come home. Its quiet. There is less to do and fewer distractions. That annoying co-worker lives with me and even though I continue to be professional and respectful, it likes to come in my room, take over my private time and causes me to spin in circles trying to ignore its presence. It all but jumps on my bed and throws my things on the floor!

But, I manage to keep it to a distance. Annoying, present but a little subdued.

As I climb my way through my days, I find myself returning to one original fear that cannot be confirmed or denied. On February 25th, it will have been one year to the day since my anxiety/panic took hold and insisted we were soul mates destined to be together every moment of every day.

They say that the longer it has been since you functioned without the intensity of anxiety/panic, the harder it is for you to recall what it was like before fear ruled your world. I would have to agree to a point.

I look back and recall literally living in my bathtub. My current water bill reflects as much with HUGE spikes indicating the comparative usage that I am now paying an arm and leg for. What was I to do? I know water is a precious resource but it was the ONLY time I could get some relief.

The bathroom was my safe haven. It was quiet. It was secluded. It was a place I could talk to God without interruption. My family was and is wonderful when it comes to leaving me alone when I am in the tub because I would honestly be in there for hours.

I would beg God to help me. I would argue that I can’t be any good to Him or anyone else if I was paralyzed by this world gripping torment and fear. I insisted that I wanted to do good things in His name, if he would just allow me to rid myself of this anguish.

No, I wasnt lying. At least, I truly do not think I was. My sincerest desire IS to do right by Him. God has been there and I have had first hand experience with His help. There is nothing that can shake my faith. I might get angry. I might demand that I be cured and I might insist that I can’t continue to believe without relief….but He and I both know it isn’t true.

Over the last two days I have been listening to a Podcast by Tara Brach. The one I was listening to was titled “Remembering What Matters” and several parts of it struck home.

Intentions. What are our intentions when it comes to dealing with others or even ourselves?

I can say that I am human and humans….well, we know they suck. They are self-involved and sometimes just say or do things that are mean or without any reason other than to be difficult.

As I am listening and agreeing, I was almost run off the road by a self-absorbed driver. I wasnt the only one.

I became so angry! I sped up just to get next to her to waive my hands like “What the hell!” and then I continued on my way. When she sped up, I sped up. We played this game for a few miles until we turned off onto another stretch of road. I then slowed down to trap her behind me and between the other cars.

All while I was listening to the Podcast “Remembering What Matters”. She slowed down and went around the other cars and kept going. I stopped being a jerk.

As I drove to work, I wondered to myself “What the hell!” I wondered why I had to make an already upsetting situation worse. She was a terrible driver and I honestly pray that God protects those around her (and her as well) because she just changes lanes, she doesn’t bother to see if anyone is in it first. (Yes, apparently still a tad irritated by the whole thing…Im a work in progress!)

I wondered if I was just destined to be quick-tempered now. My fuse used to be SO long. I was so easy-going for the most part. Of course, once the fuse was used up, well, look out, but it took a very long time.

Since this panic and anxiety, I am quick to react in the car or at home. At work, I think I have to hold things together so tightly that it oozes out in places where I am not required to have as much control. But…..

Then I feel bad. I feel like a failure. I feel like I could listen to a million podcasts or books on “tape” and be just as much of a jerk without them.

So, I had to apologize to God for being a road rage jerk. I apologized to myself for being so intent on “proving some point” that I really, proved nothing except I have such a LONG way to go it is overwhelming.

So of course today, I had a few moments of health anxiety and continued snippyness toward my employees and my family.

Once I got home I realized I wasnt feeling that great. A bit achy and perhaps a very mild touch of a sore throat and then…….

That burst of worry.

Through this time I have had recurring worries that the reason I am having so much difficulty is because I delayed treatment for what was likely a bat bite. It took me about 3 weeks to actually place a call and get in so in my Health Anxiety mind, perhaps that time was my undoing and I am suffering the slow take over of my mind by Rabies.

What do Health Anxiety sufferers do in the early stages of their affliction? Well, we Google. We Google the SHIT out of our worries. We search and search for the meaning to this and that.

Since this Rabies concern has been on and off for almost 2 years, I have gathered an arsenal of information from the CDC, Mayo, WebMd and The World Health Organization.

Flu like symptoms well, today, check. In the past I held my breath for more confirmation.

Headaches. I have had one on and off for the last week. Never mind my stress at work is off the charts and I clench my shoulders like I am getting ready to take down a linebacker.

Sore throat. It’s not quite sore but there is something there. It COULD be sore….but again, my ears have been bothering me a bit the last week so….

Anxiety and aggitation….well….yes. Yes I do and ON goes the light and the engine starts to rev.

I feel achy. I feel like MAYBE I am getting the flu. I have a headache, I may or may not have a sore throat and I am always agitated.

Once the symptoms come on its 2 – 10 days. So….as you can imagine….for the next 10 days I am going to be waiting for it all to end.

While I do, I ponder. IF I AM really going to die, how do I want to spend the last 10 days?

Do I spend them in a job that I dislike working for people who treat me poorly? Do I spend it keeping my position running fairly smoothly while they run me into the ground? Do I spend my “last days” chasing that dollar for a life I “may” not have?

The answers settle in. No. No I don’t want to do any of those things. I want to be free from a place that makes me feel bad every moment of every single day. I want to enjoy listening to the birds sing and watch as the sun rises or sets. I want to sit back and wonder how I ever allowed myself to fall into that trap……but…….

My family would need the life insurance policy. They would need my last wages and savings…..

So, I sit blinking as the birds fly away and the sunrise/sunset disappear leaving the darkness that I have faced for pretty close to the last year.

I try to reason with my semi-irrational fear but as we all know, there is no reasoning with Crazy.

I introduced you all to Crazy a while back. Crazy does what she wants and is very difficult to deal with. Crazy thinks, walks, talks and acts the way Crazy wants and God help you if you get in her way.

So, Crazy is insisting that I have Rabies. Crazy swears that when I die, THEN they will all know that what she has been saying ALL ALONG is true….SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH ME!

But

I don’t have a fever. It is winter and I spent the last day cold. I havent slept well because I was afraid to miss the alarm. I ache because I am so tense at work I could be a diamond factory. I have headache because I swear my body is trying to expel my head from its base. My ears and throat may or may not be sore because…..its COLD AND FLU SEASON and NO ONE WASHES THEIR HANDS OR COVERS THEIR MOUTH WHEN THEY SNEEZE OR COUGH!!

I have had anxiety because I truly think I was on a rollercoaster of fight or flight. I had many many unique and volatile situations transpire one right after the other for more than a month. I do belive it created a vortex that led to the mess you read before you now. I think our bodies can be conditioned to produce adrenaline. I think our system gets confused and is ready to go at any given time because that is what it has been ready to do for quite some time, we just don’t have external reasons for the survival mode.

Its funny because I recall very vividly the day that I decided I was no longer going to fret or fear about obscure possibilities or perceived threats.

I have always been a hypervigilant person. I was raised in a hypervigilant time and with separate but equally hypervigilant parents. Everything was a possible threat to my safety. Everyone and everything so I became a hypervigilant adult who part-time jobs like nighttime security officer or working with troubled and sometimes violent people. It clearly gave me an external reason to keep an eye on everything around me.

The day I decided I wasnt going to worry so much, I was concerned about some car or some person. I reasoned out the likelihood that it was a true threat and I left it alone. From that moment on, I havent been that same person….externally.

Within a few weeks I was depressed over work, anxious and felt I needed a little medical intervention. I had taken the medication as prescribed and that was it. It was all over. I had a bad reaction and I was off the charts with Panic and anxiety from that moment on.

My work aggravated it. My boss propelled it. I was a victim of a silent force that I couldn’t see or pinpoint. I was at its mercy and it ravaged my soul like an inferno.

But

It HAS gotten better. Yes, I fear that I actually have Rabies but there is a part of me that knows I will be here in 11 days, 689 days and 1354 days….if God deems it appropriate.

Crazy has had to work with me. She so badly wants me to start pacing, bathing and crying over the possibility of this terrible disease but I deliver the ultimate blow every time she throws it out there………

If I am going to die of Rabies, there clearly is nothing that can be done. No vaccine, no medical intervention……nothing. Once it takes hold, I wont even know what is happening. I have to believe God has a built-in safeguard for one’s ability to process what an awful thing is happening and if there is a small chance that I am wrong, then I will have moments of clarity and know that it is almost over and this world that I fear so much will be behind me.

You see, it has never been the actual passing of my life that has caused me the greatest anxiety, it has been the worry that I will know it is happening and I didn’t want to deal with that.

Once on the other side, I know God is waiting. I know that He will welcome me and that I will be at peace.

Health Anxiety is something that doesn’t reason well and doesn’t make a lot of sense. We become afraid of everything from over the counter medications to germs. Everything is catastrophic. Everything is leading to THE END.

It is the one outburst that Crazy can have that will get some attention regardless of how big or small and no matter how much I remind her of what I have said above, she wants to find that little hole of doubt and exploit it.

So fellow sufferers, you’re not alone. You are never alone because each of us in our own ways can identify with another. We all know that pleading look or pale moment. We all know what it feels like to have the room swoon or the pit of our stomach lurch at the mention of our triggers.

For those with Health Anxiety, we all know what it is like to do a constant scan of our health, our bodies and our feelings looking for one small obscure feeling that is out-of-place and we will search to find a reason for it, even when there likely isn’t one.

We could all be PhD’s with the tests, symptoms and treatments we have looked up in our time with Health Anxiety but we still can’t quite heal ourselves!

So, I am off to the bath to subdue Crazy before bed. The Rabies battle wages on and I could use a little quiet from her screeching ways.

 

Dont poke a stick at it


So I begin today. I wake slowly a few times through the morning. Today is a day I am able to sleep in and I absolutely do not want to wake up at my regular time. I drift in and out enjoying the quiet and sighing to the fact that I am actually able to stay in bed.

Reality starts to fade in and I wish it would stay asleep too. Flashes of the day before start to intrude on my bliss and before you know it, the last 45 minutes of what could be quiet, calming sleep, are assaulted by blips of discussions, incidents, fears and fretting. Now, I, am, awake.

My spouse was upset yesterday because the new job is difficult. The supervisors pulled my spouse in to the office and had a 30 day review. As a manager myself I think, ut oh, as soon as I hear the news. My spouse starts to, with great stress, relay the meeting.

Not so good news. They like you…but. There it is. The lurching but.

Now, the fact that I am in the midst of a back slide in my own deal-eo, does not make listening to this any easier. I am trying to focus on what is being said as numbness drifts to my left arm and face. I start to panic a little but try very hard to hide it and remain neutral. My spouse is now crying stating that they feel like a failure as I fight to remain in the here and now, and not concentrate on my impending sudden death.

I try to comfort my spouse because after all, there are real issues there too. My spouse has suffered from anxiety and depression for years. Disability was the only source of support until my spouse didn’t send the paperwork for the review back and was dropped off. I was furious when I found out.

My spouse doesn’t do well at work. Never has and we have been together 14 years. I hear about all of this success pre-melt down and am amazed its possible. People skills, great unless you are someone my spouse does not care for and then its all over. Forever.

So as my spouse is talking about having trouble seeing the forms and completing the work, I flash to a month from now and realize, my spouse is going to be fired.

I am angry yet understanding. It is a weird mix. You want to be compassionate but by the same token, you want to freak out. Computers have never been a strong skill for my spouse and this job requires some basic computer skills. Eyesight is an issue and macular degeneration runs on the paternal side of the family so, I worry this is something coming along as well.

Now, before I continue, let me just make this statement. I am truly a kind hearted person who loves my family. I am giving and believe in a world with Good and God. There are things in this world and life that sometimes people just cannot help.

Having said that….

I am frustrated. I see a near future where I am the only income. Again. Now we are worrying about the limited vision so that means no driving for my spouse. So, I am now the only income and the only form of transportation that my spouse will have. What about doctor appointments, the grocery store, outings and other things? It is a lot to fret about.

For better or for worse. I embrace that. I do. But it doesn’t keep me from being fearful that I am not in a position at this time in my life to handle the for worse part, because right now, I am in the midst of my for worse and I want to get away from ME!

Lets also ponder for a moment, other posts where I have relayed conversations where my spouse has been just short of a jackass with my for worse part. I am sure it is unintentional but jackass is jackass, even if it is by mistake.

Dont get me wrong, I am not divorcing my spouse because of a job loss or loss of vision. That is crazy talk. I am ranting that in the midst of the worst now 7 months of my life, I don’t know if I can cope with big drama on the other side right now. I am fearful that a job loss or devastating news about my spouse will seal my fate and I will be forever loony.

The same can be said for my prison of a job.

I had a phone interview yesterday with another company. I will have a face to face interview at the end of the month for a job that pays almost 16k less a year but has a rep for a great place to work, great benefits and would actually have me OFF on the weekends. I would also not work later than 6p. However, 16k less a year when the spouse is likely going to be unemployed before the first snowfall…..I may be chained to my current hell for a longer period. Of course, that’s unless they get rid of me first. I am sure with every review and every increase they think they could get someone cheaper and that hasn’t lost heart. Because frankly, they have stabbed me in mine so often, I really have nothing left.

I wonder, if I left, will they care? Will they know I am leaving because of how I have been treated all of these years? Will it matter? Likely not.

The Director has been normal lately. Pleasant really. My boss has been absent for several weeks. Not from work, just from my work. It has been nice as I was ready to pop with a weekly or bi-weekly visit to drop in and say the same things. Now if visits happen, I am sure it is when I am gone.

I think about losing that job and wonder if I will care. I wonder if it will actually send me over the edge. It may or it may actually bring me back from the brink. It is such a hostile environment that it amazes me that the people in the ivory offices are really SO out of touch that they don’t see it.

Then I wonder, should I just leave a sue them? Should I sue them for $1 just because I need to make a statement about how terrible they treat people? How they have turned me in to this absolute shell of who I used to be or could have been?

I am irritated that they treat people the way they do and think it is okay.

They fire some people for ethical lapses that yes, should have been fired, no mistake about it. Then I wonder if they are evaluating WHY these people, after SO many years are making these terrible decisions?

Do they understand that beating people down day after day, having as many changes as our company has had over the last few years, demanding more more more with no understanding of the burn out it causes, do they think just MAYBE some of this may be why people with 8 or 10 years of tenor are taking a path they have never taken before?

I have been there 8 and I have been beaten to DEATH by them but no, I would never steal. I wouldn’t do the things that others have done but I also couldn’t care less about them. I care about my employees and their well-being but as far as the oppressors go, it wouldn’t phase me if they left and never came back. It wouldn’t upset me if I made a job transition to another company for the same income. I would fill by box and book it out the door yelling “SEE YA!” on the way out.

So with all of this going on, it is no wonder my anxiety and panic are back to manifesting themselves in worry over my health. That is how I express my fret. Health anxiety. I highly recommend staying away from it because it will drain you fast!

So today, I get up, go about my duties that I have to meet and then return home. I gave myself a haircut. (Do not assume that I went Brittany Spears, I have cut my hair for years and never chose to go bald but thank you for your concern)

I showered and came in my room. My goal for the day has been to NOT lay down but stay seated or moving. I decided I was having anxiety so I am writing instead of obsessively checking my blood pressure and pulse ox. It is like an addiction. If I want to get out of the habit, I have to stop doing it.

Besides, I am functioning. I am tired and want to nap but should go in to work. I don’t want to and am considering just starting my new-found resolve to stay busy, tomorrow.

When you are functioning okay, limited dizziness, some “unreal” feelings but over all, functioning, it is silly to take a blood pressure and risk undoing what is functioning. I WANT to take my bp, but then I think about last week when I did and how I took an okay week and turned my life back into constant panic and worry.

If you are functioning, don’t poke a stick at it. Continue to function until you can’t. Then, poke the stick because you’re already down, whats more going to do?!

So, as I finish my ramble, I have glimpses of hope that I can be productive and get my homework done today. Of course it would involve actually DOING the homework for which at this second, I am too tired to do. I think I will see if I can take a nap. If not, homework and maybe work it is.

For the rest of you who have the affliction that I do, I pray that you find peace and calm. Even if it’s just for a few hours. I am praying that your hours lead to days, to weeks, to months and to years.

This world is in shambles and life is not easy. With prayer and luck, maybe, just maybe we can get back to normal. We can feel good. We can experience true joy and happiness.

Those are my prayers for you. And me.

What is NORMAL anyway?


Sitting in my swiveling, rocking deck chair on the porch, enjoying an early morning that is beautiful as well as quiet…my heart starts to pound. I’m not startled, I’m not rocking or swiveling like a crazy person, I’m sitting.

This is the life of someone with palpitations. We are attacked at any time, during any events for no reason.

Needless to say, solitude moment, done.

Those without anxiety or palpitations shrug and wonder why we can’t just move on. You’re normal, what do you know.

We struggle with finding a comfortable spot to live our lives in. We long for the ever absent peace and tranquility.

Comfort within the walls of our bodies and mind is always just out of reach. We get just close enough to see it, to just about touch it but not close enough to breathe it or embrace it.

We dream of the days (and nights) when we will finally be still. Our thoughts calm and soothing while our bodies are relaxed and we finally, at last, feel  comfortable in our own skin.

My vision of normal is being easy going. Taking good days and bad days at face value. Having a healthy spirit, mind and body. Taking disruptions with a grain of salt while remaining strong in your beliefs, your values and your ethics. Being proud of your accomplishments as well as your failures. Being humble but assertive. Serving the greater good while enhancing your own life. Honoring your faith while respecting the faith of others.  Being normal is living your life to the best of your ability while enjoying the process and enriching the lives of those around you.

My goal is to be my version of normal.