Anxiety revisited: an update

So here’s my update: I got the job. I accepted it, and have now put in my resignation at my current role.

It was such a huge relief once it was all over. I hadn’t really realised how much the part time work situation was weighing on my mind.

It was a big thing for me to walk in to my boss and hand in my resignation: I have such an irrational fear of other people’s disapproval and I’m not sure why. But I did it anyway. My voice cracked and I was shaking like a leaf, but I did it. I was curious to see if they would counter with an offer of part time work, but they didn’t. They basically said, “Oh, that’s sad. Goodbye.” And my boss said to me that she didn’t feel like it was working out. And I was thinking, “Well, this is news to me!” But of course I didn’t say anything.

So now I have a new job to look forward to. With a new boss who is excited to have me starting and (seems to) appreciate what I have to offer. I’m being paid more (per hour) than I am in my current role, and by the time I factor in childcare costs, I’ll hardly be any worse off at all.

This is all good news.

Faith

I’m breathing a huge, huge sigh of relief post-job interview this evening.  And reminding myself that sometimes, I need to give myself a break.  Have a little faith.

I was a mass of nerves the entire weekend (must remember never to schedule a Monday interview ever, ever again!)  I didn’t enjoy one single bit of my weekend away, and ended up cutting it short and coming home.

This morning, I was tempted to not even go to my interview.  Note that I have actually done this before – the anxiety that going to an interview brought on was so great that I have just not turned up, or emailed and cancelled.

But I rode it out.  I planned my morning, gave myself time to get there, took a walk beforehand and the fresh air calmed me a little.  I’d done my research, for the role and the organisation, and during the interview I was articulate and charming.

I got the job.  And I’m excited about it!  It’s going to be a challenge, and I’m going to enjoy it.  It’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for me, too.  And it’s part-time.  I’m really fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time.

But above all, I’m fortunate that I’ve made enough positive changes in my life to have put myself in the right place at the right time.  I don’t give myself enough credit.  I need to have more faith.

Anxiety

As I said in my previous post, I’ve been doing really well lately. Things have been good.

No sooner had I hit “publish” on that post than I started to sink, ever so slightly. As of this evening, I’ve been morose and tearful for 3 or 4 days, and it’s not hormonal. There are reasons, though, and as I’m alone for the week (partner and kids have gone off for the week), I’ve got no one to talk to about it.

I’ve got no one to talk to at all, in fact.

I mentioned that I had asked for part time hours at work and this hadn’t been forthcoming. So, in the past couple of weeks I have started applying for other, part time jobs. I think it’s the right thing to do.

During the week, I noticed that the other women all go off to lunch together. They go to the supermarket, and then all sit together and chat over lunch. Now, they’ve been doing this ever since I worked there. The first week I started working there, I noticed that they did this, and they didn’t invite me along. That week, I thought it was rude. It continued, and I got used to it. But this week, it struck me again: it’s rude that they have never invited me, and I started to feel isolated again. Out of place.

So, this made me think that it’s time I was moving on.

Anyway, now my wish is starting to come true. I have an interview on Monday. And it has me in high anxiety as the prospect of a job interview will do for pretty much anyone.

But I’m anxious because I’m torn. Because my employers will be upset at me for leaving. Because I don’t want to lie. Because I have to take a day off work to attend the interview as it’s in the middle of the day, necessitating the lie. Because I have to ask someone at work for a reference, and I don’t know if I should do that before or after the interview, because it’s a government job and they will contact my referees regardless.  Because I heard through the office grapevine, after I’d accepted the interview, that my request for part time hours had finally, after three months, been agreed to.

Because my comfort zone is in my easy, unchallenging job, which I can do with my eyes closed. Because interviewing for this other job, which, objectively speaking, I know I could do well, opens up a whole new career path for me, and I’d be in a challenging role doing something I enjoy and being paid well for it, and this scares the living cap out of me.

Far, far easier to stay languishing where I am.

And I just don’t know. Change is scary.

Look at me – being all quiet and stuff

So, I haven’t had a lot to say for myself lately.  Why?  I don’t know.

Part of me thinks that it might be the medication sapping my will to write.  But another part of me acknowledges that no, the creative side of me is still there: it’s just different.  I’ve just been busy.

I work full-time.  I have three kids that I’m running around after during the times I’m not at work.  I was working on a theatrical programme for a local community theatre group that took up a good portion of my free time.

In June, I asked my boss if I could move to part-time work.  I still haven’t been given a definitive answer yet – my boss is really just avoiding the issue and I just find that I can’t be bothered pursuing it.  Instead, I’m starting to look for a new job.  It’s kind of disheartening because there is just not much available part-time work out there.  And, yes, obviously the answer is that I should just push my employer on the issue a little more, but … I really just can’t be bothered.  I’m not sure why.  I’d really rather quit and move on.

But, all in all, things are good with me.  I’m well.  Being on medication has made a huge, positive difference for me.  It’s kind of shocking to think back on the state of mind I was in compared to the state of mind I am now.  Even my therapist agrees there is a huge change – I am just a completely different person. I’m only seeing her once a month at the moment. Last night I watched the Hugh Grant movie “About a Boy’, and in it Toni Collette plays a single mother with depression.  It was actually kind of painful to witness the scenes in which she was crying for no apparent reason, because that’s where I was not so long ago.

Hmm .. what else … not much really.  I’m getting out a bit.  Oh, and I got my hair cut!  That was a big change.  I’ve had my hair longish for a few years now, after having had short hair for nearly my whole entire life.  But now it’s back to a short crop and a bolder colour, too.  It actually made me feel more like my “normal” self than anything else has done for a long time.  I’ve been dressing in a slightly edgier way as a result, and in an odd way it feels like I’ve reclaimed myself.  I guess because I’ve always loved clothes and have striven to express myself in the way I dress (I mean, we all do, right?)  And I think I was dressing in keeping with my slightly conservative hairstyle.  And now I don’t have to do that any more.

I’m thinking of starting up (yet another!) blog that is more about rediscovering my creativity.  This is something that’s important to me and this year I just haven’t had time to even think about being remotely creative.  So I’m thinking as a new year project, I might commit to doing something creative once a week.  Why the need to blog it?  I dunno.  I’ve always enjoyed diarising things and it would help me keep a track of it.  Plus, it’s inherently creative, right?

Well, that’s me in a nutshell.  I apologise for being so boring.  Maybe I’m becoming the boring, middle-aged person I was destined to become!

They don’t know

My sombrely dressed companions in their coats of black and faces of grey: they don’t know.

As we all stand and wait, our faces etched with the solemnity of the occasion. We gaze at the ground, at our phones, at our newspapers, at anywhere but each other. We are subdued, our mood and clothing dark.

And I am muted, too, in my appropriate clothing and hair.

But they don’t know that underneath I am laughing: I am colour, I am leopard print, I am mischief. It does not show.

And they don’t know, these companions of mine on the train.

Sick of this

I’m sick of my existence.
I’m sick of my stupid brain, which prefers to dwell in unhelpful places.
I’m sick of being a chronic underachiever.
I’m sick of this empty, shell-like existence.
I’m sick of constantly feeling like I need to apologise.
I’m sick of the guilt and shame.
I’m sick of being so alone.
I’m sick of feeling so at sea.
I’m sick of of not knowing what to do.
I’m sick of being me.