Hey, peeps. I've been pretty quiet lately, and I am sorry. I have been wanting to write an update for quite some time, but for once I really didn't know what to say. I wish I could say that the past 6-7 months or so has been so busy because I was really happy. I changed jobs, ButterBean got some much-needed repairs thanks to a little help from family and friends, and actually seems settled down (for the moment, knock on wood, cross your fingers and pray pray pray!) I sold my first real piece of artwork, and I created the first 3 pages of my story.
Those are all great things, amazing things. I am grateful for all of them.
I apologize for the following rant.
I don't know what's wrong with me. I guess I am just plain unhappy. Actually, I think I'm scared. My new job is not the wine and roses it appeared to be at first. Oh, I know retail work can suck. I've known that for years, but I thought I could handle working in a place where I was familiar with the product-arts and crafts supplies and the like.
The truth is this is one of the most miserable jobs I've ever held. This job has literally made me sick, and I'll probably have to go on high blood pressure medicine, but I'll talk about that later.
Initially, I was a certified framer, and it was all new, and I was starting to get some good practice in. I was excited. Then, my hours were cut down to almost nothing, and what little I had learned virtually vanished overnight. I couldn't do the job they had trained me for, I couldn't keep up with straightening my section of the store. I couldn't meet their expectations then, or now. It feels like everybody is succeeding like it's nothing at all, and here I am, struggling not because I'm sloppy, but because I don't know how to be careful and fast at the same time. I'm not fast at anything except reading. I'm methodical by nature, and a perfectionist, so if the manager says everything has to be pulled forward to the edge, facing the same way, no empty spots, etc. that's what I'm going to do to every single little row, be it paint, pencils, brushes, jewelry, or now with the candy aisles. I just plain don't know how to do that quickly and still have it look nice. It was far easier with books, CDs, DVDs, and so on. Now I'm a cashier, and hours are finally trickling in. I cannot tell you how heartsick I am. I can do a decent job, considering I had about 10 minutes of training and am still asking far too many questions to management's liking. I like the customers, and I like my coworkers all right, even though I still have to look at their name-tags to remember who they are. (Well, when you only work 2 days a week and the workers change, you don't get a chance to remember their names. I remember faces better than names.)
It's the job itself that's causing the most agony. Like I said, it literally made me sick. Starting back around Sept/Oct. I worked a full day there with a migraine. I was also scheduled to work my other job that night. As the day progressed, the pain got much worse, worse than any I've ever had before. I got home, ate some bread and took Excedrin. I went to try and rest for a few hours, but minutes later I threw up all over. That's never happened to me before. I tried to call in sick to my other job, but there wasn't time to find a replacement in so short a time. Oddly enough, the pain in my head stopped, and I was able to work the 8-hr shift.
I'll be honest, my head has never been quite right since. (All jokes aside, ha ha.)
I've been experiencing micro-headaches pretty much ever since. I say micro, but it's heavy pounding in time with my pulse. We think it's high blood pressure, because I can feel the pain shoot from my neck, through the base of my skull, and wrap around my head in huge pulses for a few, very painful seconds.The weird thing is when it happens: getting up, lying down, bending over, coughing...I can't even laugh too hard for fear I will have another attack. I checked my BP at Wal-Mart, and it was 135/85. I was told the 85 was a little high, but otherwise not too terrible, thankfully. I recently posted on FB that I'm getting my first physical as an adult in early April. I've never had one because I've never had health insurance, or at least not for long. I have no idea where my cholesterol levels are at, or if I'm pre-diabetic. (genetic) I've never had a pap-smear, and I haven't had a pelvic exam since I was about 20. I am doing better nutrition-wise, though. I've also been exercising more, and that has helped a lot. HPB is also genetic on both sides. I really don't want to take drugs, but until I get healthier, I must do something.
Anyway, I really wanted this to be the job where I could sink in some roots and stay for years. But that hasn't happened, and it kills me that I made such a humongous
mistake and did so joyfully.
I did the exact same thing with ButterBean. I love that car. I did from the first time I drove it, and yet it has cost me over $4000 worth of repairs. I wanted help to either pay off the lien I still have on it, or get a better one. I got some help from family and friends. I even set up a GoFundMe page, and dreamed big. Then I felt really ashamed, especially after reading what some other pledges were for. Trips to Hawaii as a dying wish, or a new wheelchair, or a mission trip...and I wanted to fix my car. I am so very grateful for the help I did get; it wasn't for nothing, because BB has been fine since then. Yet I feel like I never deserved any of it. Sometimes I really feel stupid. I'm a leech! I want to move out so badly. I am so ashamed that, as old as I am, I still can't take care of myself like I know I should. I really despise myself for that.
And yet, I feel like I'm an ungrateful spoiled brat. How dare
I even complain? I got exactly
what I asked for: a different job, a running car, and progress on my art and writing.
And that's where the fear and the negativity overpower me. I've been trying to finally, finally
put myself out there, and I. Am. Terrified. And I know! I know it's just in my head. I fight and fight and fight, but I get so tired, and I want to crawl back into my childhood and never come out again. I am sick. I am not crazy, but I know my mind is not right, and hasn't been for a long time. I've told stories about this before, about how the depression feels normal and feeling happy frightens me simply because it's so very foreign.
I've gotten a lot better at that than what it was years ago, but again, I get so tired. Depression really sucks, especially what I call the apathy bug. When the apathy bug bites, I have absolutely no ambition or enthusiasm at all. All gumption is sucked out of me and I'm just going through the motions. Some people are worse and can't get out of bed, but I can do that much at least. That's probably why I've denied it for so long. I'm not going to do that anymore. Deny, that is.
And where is God in all of this?
He's right here, and has been all along, same as always. I've always had a hard time knowing how to balance asking for help, and expecting to do the work myself. After all, I come from a hard-working family. I know nothing gets done unless you do it yourself. That's always been the kicker. When do you ask for help, and when is it no longer asking, but whining? Because I feel like all I'm doing is whining. Poor me, poor me, boo-hoo; shut up, you pathetic wuss! (That was just a tiny, PG example of the carnage that goes on in my head.)
Fortunately, God would rather you whine to Him than not. Yell at Him. Tell Him about your frustration, confusion, etc. I've done that many times. I know He's not going to take away the pain, because it's been one of my best teachers. Pain can be one heck of a motivator. I wish fear did the same to me, but instead it makes me freeze and shut down, and usually faster than before I can even process what I'm so afraid of. Still, He is here. I am positive He has sat with me and cried.
I don't have any idea what the best course of action is. I know I need to leave the retail job, but I have to find something else to replace it, because security still isn't enough. And I have to keep working on my own stuff. Poetry, art, cartoons, writing...that's what makes me happy. That's what I have to work toward, and I have to make sure to take God with me in the future.
Of course, He's already there.