The light at the end of the tunnel

It’s been way more than a month since I’ve updated this, and with the big black monster I addressed several posts ago looming over my shoulder, this is how I’m trying to handle it.

I’m disappointed to say that I was fired from my job just yesterday. It was unexpected, and unjust; filing unemployment and a complaint with the labor bureau (shout out to Boz) and adjusting my financial aid with my new jobless status. Oof. I had to literally knock myself out last night. It took two advil PM’s and a few cups of Trader Joe’s Well Rested tea. The self loathing is intolerable. But I guess there’s more than a few things that are positive right now that I’m gonna try to focus on.

First off, school is going well so far. I’m keeping up with my Math 60 class (beginning algebra) so far, been keeping up with all the reading for both Ancient History and Intro to Natural Resources. The very first yoga class I have ever had was way more enjoyable than I anticipated. My yoga instructor (that class is 3 hours long, just btw) is also the instructor for the Wilderness Survival class I will be taking sometime this year, and she is extremely chill.

Losing my job means for the first time in well over a year, I have another 60 hours a week back. That’s a job & homework right there. I’ve already applied to places in town and I’m getting some things put together, such as a photography gig Saturday evening at Edgefield and possibly some freelance drawing for the game shop’s Magic tournaments. I’m sleeping more and I’m not as bad off as I feel I am.

I will be okay, I think. I just need to keep on trekking.

Addendum: considering writing a book… I have one sitting in limbo. Decisions, decisions…

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Adrenaline

I’ve been working very hard lately. My boyfriend is in town currently, I’m filling out school paperwork and items for my FAFSA and loan information, and throughout all of it…. I’m still vegetarian.

Usually by now I’ll have broken and jumped to the nearest meaty comfort food (my personal favorite is biscuits & sausage gravy, which I may post the recipe for soon because I want to make it Saturday morning), but for some reason I’ve been able to beat the craving. I’m going to blame the bounties of summer & her fresh vegetables and the promise of my own measly zucchini plant finally pushing out a single squash (did you know that? zucchini is a squash? yeah? oh..). The recipe I tried this week and totally spaced on taking pictures about was Eggplant Parmesan. I literally had no idea what I was doing but it turned out pretty decently. Well. Amazing enough that I had to put my foot down in order for there to be leftovers.

But that’s enough of that. There’s a bigger issue in all of this. Working full time (at minimum wage, no less) with a commute that adds another 20 hours to my work week that is unpaid for has finally taken it’s toll. I am exhausted.

I need something better. I need a new start and I need to focus on school. I can’t be distracted…

This short post is here for one purpose and that’s to alert the masses that for the first time since 17, I won’t be trying to work as many hours as I can. I won’t balance it with school. I either will be working weekends or evenings, but I feel there’s a big chance I will be attempting to ease myself out of working my current job to find something else to pay my core bills while I go to school.

I’m terrified. Let me say that again. Terrified. All of my friends have moved on to either university or are almost finished. I turn 22 at the end of the year and while that’s not that big of a deal, I’ll be older than the other freshman. I haven’t taken a math course in six years and I have never been through this scary process of applying for aid & loans. Not only that, I have my animals to worry about. I have that beautiful kitty Peaches and my wonderful little crazy ball of poo, Annie. I know there’s going to be bigger vet bills for the cat in the future and Annie will be reaching two this December.

This is me having a panic attack. It’s an irrational fear of the future and the small things that has me nearly hyperventilating as I sit at the kitchen table, waiting for my breakfast muffin.. things.. to finish baking in the oven before I run out of here in a whirlwind to replace my phone charger and then leave for another 1.8 hour commute and 7 hour shift and another 1.8 hour commute back. Run on sentences. Self loathing for run on sentences. Coffee gulp. Stare at the screen for a few minutes with a twisting feeling in my stomach. Yep.

This is what a panic attack does to me.

Sometimes I really can’t justify the way my head works, and that’s okay.

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It sounds kinda lame now that I read it, but I’ll tell you why this is an achievement for me.

You see, behind this pale blue fontface and earthy “this is my garden”, post, there’s this big black (as in color of its inky dripping fur, not ancestry) monster that creeps on me. There are thousands of little strings attached to me, my limbs and further my emotions and every day I can repeat that stupid little mantra that everything will be okay, is another day I kick that monster in its shaved gorilla balls and save the cake princess and by extension, have a good day.

I also call that monster depression.

Now at first he wasn’t that bad. It was when I had my first high stress job that he decided “hey, I’ll just put these strings here and… yeah, theere we go. Ignore your responsibilities.” I was miserable. I had a physical aversion to work that made me so sick I ended up with walking pneumonia and furthered how bad my chronic bronchitis had hit me that year. Panic attacks, resulting in me literally curling up in my bed for days at a time and calling in sick to work.

I wish I could say that it got better after I quit, and began working retail. It really didn’t. I reached the heaviest I’d ever been… and I honestly lost sight of what I even wanted anymore. I had never known but it was bad enough then that I stopped caring.

One day, about a year after I had made it out of call center hell, I actually looked at myself and saw that monster standing behind me. The worst part was just how much he had grown and how badly he had gotten his strings under my skin and made it impossible to do anything unless he let me.

“Unless he let me.” I hated thinking it. I hated almost everything I had done up until that day. I wasn’t living anymore. I was waiting to die.

I was able to cut one of the biggest threads the beast had on me that morning, and I went and had an hour long tattoo session.
A month later I was alone in my bed for the first time in three years.

There had been something comforting about having someone next to you. I had felt safe and took it for granted, and when he was gone it took several months to feel comfort in my room alone.

I feel pathetic right now talking about this. As I sit here on the train, tears coming down my face as I realize just how hard everything had hit me and how far I’ve come to own up to my mistakes and shortcomings.

This is what that monster had done to me. And this is where I am now.

I don’t think anyone really realizes just how much counseling I’ve been in over the last two years and how much better I feel now.

To all my friends, thank you. To all the people I’ve wronged or have unconsciously done anything to, please tell me. I’m trying to do better. I’ve never been good at this social thing.

I wish I could say that this is me relearning how to live, but I never knew in the first place. Instead, this is life. And every day is another tally on my win/loss against the beast.