Thursday, February 14, 2013

Muddling Through

I know I said I was going to be better about blogging this year.  It hasn’t happened.  And neither has tracking what I eat.  Even though they were measurable and easily attainable goals, I have already failed at them.

I have a laundry list of excuses, but you know, it all comes back down to the same thing.
I’m exhausted.
I’m mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.  I know I don’t use the word spiritually much, but I do believe it applies right now.

This past 4 or 5 weeks have been killer.  There was Boo’s emergency trip to the hospital. (Now all that’s left is the being billed and paying for of that little adventure…)  There was my subsequent bout of illness to contend with.  Then there was the long and arduous trip to Texas to tax me even further.  And throughout it all there has been Cookiegate (mostly under control now, just trying to muddle my way through getting rid of the last 400 or so boxes… yeah, 400 boxes…) and network troubles at work.  Oh, and we can’t forget Gak’s been working open to close since the beginning of all this thanks to his boss needing tendon surgery in his arm.  It’s not his fault, but still trying none the less.

That’s enough to tax a normal person.  But for me, I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall and am now plastered against it with nowhere to go and no way to peel myself off of it.  Actually, that might be too kind some days; some days I feel like I’ve then slid down said brick wall and am just a puddle of goo desperately trying to reform into a person.

I’ve been getting sleep.  Not always good sleep lately.  The last week or 10 days I’ve been getting bad sleep thanks to a knee that’s decided to be very painful (but not swollen that I can notice…) and keep me awake in the middle of the night for a couple of hours.  Or one of my other joints on my right side will decide to complain I’ve been laying on them too much.  Therefore, I’m starting the day exhausted and feeling like I haven’t slept.  And because I’m “sleeping in”, I’m not getting my precious “me time” first thing in the morning.  Trust me when I say I need that quiet hour or so to myself every day.  That does as much or more to recharge my emotional and spiritual well-being as sleep does to recharge my mental and physical well-being.

I will freely admit I’ve been eating way too much garbage lately.  Largely it is stress eating at work because it is so frustrating to try and get anything done right now.  And yes, when I eat junk I feel like junk.  But lately the short term “happy” is outweighing the knowledge of what it leads to.  I need comfort and coddling and since I can’t keep my snuggle-bear husband or my snug-a-boo son with me all day… food is often the quick fix unfortunately.  The scale, my clothes and my general well-being reflect this.

Emotionally all the drama with Cookiegate and the stress of the mess at work has me at an all time low for stability.  The littlest thing is likely to make me snap at someone in frustration or all but break down and cry.  It’s not what I normally would call depression, more frustration and anger with an inability to have things “go right” for a bit.  It’s not that I’ve lost interest in doing things that I love or don’t care about things, because I haven’t; it’s more that I’ve become so utterly frustrated by my inability to physically do them that I’m at a breaking point.  I just can’t keep juggling all the balls that keep getting thrown at me and the ones that I want to add to the mix.  They’re all going to come crashing down on my head soon.  And then I’ll be useless to everyone.

Because of the physical stresses, I’m exhausted.  Because I’m exhausted, my mental and emotional state is on shaky ground at best.  And because emotionally I’m at such a rocky point, my spirit feels crushed and broken.  Normally I’m a pretty positive person, but lately, it’s hard to see the positive with myself.  With other things and people, sure I can see the sunshine, but my own life looks pretty miserable.

Point in fact; we had a team meeting at work on Tuesday.  One of the things discussed were goals for the year.  One of the “team goals” our manager, and his manager, wants is a team utilization rate of 80% or better.  This means at least 32 out of 40 hours in my work-week must be charged to a project number.  Meetings, unless project specific, don’t count.  Taking a 5-minute (or 15-minute) break to mentally recharge as I transition between projects, doesn’t count.  Vacation or sick time doesn’t count.  And right now, with my mental and physical state, that’s a damn near impossibility for me.  And I hate the fact that I physically can’t meet this goal.  This shouldn’t be that hard of a goal to reach with the amount of work on my plate.  This should actually be easy to do, if I could just “buckle down” and get things done.  But I can’t.  I have problems staying awake and alert.  I have to get up and walk around for a bit to clear my head and keep myself moving and awake.  And I need the human contact of talking with my friends from time to time at work.  I may be an introvert, but I need to know that my select few favorite people are there and around.  I need to be by myself and in my own world, but not alone.

A little while back I did a thing on Facebook where you list certain things at certain times in your life… one of them was “biggest fear”.  And let me tell you, my biggest fear, well above and beyond the normal fears all parents have and the “normal” day-to-day fears of most people, is that somehow I’m not going to be able to keep this act up and all the balls will drop and scatter and my stable and secure job of 12.5 years will be yanked out from under me because of it and I’ll let everyone, especially my loves, down and we’ll be in a much, much worse situation than we are.

That’s what’s on my mind right now.  That’s what helps keep me awake at night when something else wakes me up.  That is what consumes me and adds to my irritability and anxiety.  And it sure as anything isn’t helping the overall situation.

What can I do to fix it?  I don’t know.  I don’t know that I can fix it.  What I want is for someone, some professional, to say “yes, what you’re going through is real and not in your head and not normal for a young woman of 37 years old.”  Even if they can’t do anything to fix it, to know that yes, this isn’t normal, and that it’s OK to be exhausted like I am and that there’s a real honest, to goodness reason for it, would make me feel that much better.  Make it feel like I wasn’t fighting such an uphill battle.  Make it be OK that I just can’t do it all or even half of it all.  That I’m allowed to be this way and that some things are just going to be impossible for me.  But until that happens, I’m stuck fighting the fight that I feel like I’ll probably never win and no one will ever understand.

On that thought, I will leave you.
Peace to all and may not feel like your life is spinning totally out of control.

p.s. I wrote this at work, but I'm now home because Boo broke out in some kind of rash at nap time and I had to go get him.... *sigh*


Dianne Velazquez-Hunt said...

Wow! Sounds like we are in similar boats. I'm a SAHM mom but I understand what you are going through. Hang in there. We can help to keep each other afloat.

Anonymous said...

I understand and sympathize (empathize? I always use the wrong word, I think). I'm going on 25 years of "not quite okay" for undiscernible reasons, and yes, it makes everything else ridiculous and frustrating to deal with. I'm no professional, but yes, it's real and not in your head, and anyone who says it IS is a moron.

Internet-hugs and moral support from afar.

Addey said...

Thanks my friends. I'm so glad to know I have people out there who are either "there, doing that" or "damn, that sucks, but I'm here for you". Sometimes knowing I'm not the only one makes all the difference in the world. :-)

Jon said...

That 80% time thing sounds like a horrible idea and bad metric to use to "increase productivity". That's a real Bill Lumbergh idea.

And yes, getting up to walk around for 5 minutes to clear you head IS billed to the project, clearing the head so you can focus/etc. is part of working.

Grumpy Joe said...

Wow, I feel you pain Addey. Life is sometimes really the pits and seems overwhelming for sure. I don't know what to say to help you other than it will change and it will get better. It's a temporary thing. No matter what happens, no one will be disappointed in you Addey ~ you're a very very hard worker and a good mom. I don't know if prayers will help but I'll say a few for ya. I hope somehow things will get easier for ya soon. Meanwhile, understand that you have a lot of friends and co-workers and family who think you are the best.

Addey said...

Thanks Joe. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated, I can use all the positive my friends are willing to send my way. Sometimes I just need to get it all out there. Things are beginning to look up again, but there are still lots of frustrations. Hopefully the change in weather that should be coming will help bring more positive.