Nothing like a lack of blogging to make one think. Or not think, for that matter. I have spent the last month pretending like my new job is not stressing me out. Part of me thinks that this job can’t possibly be stressful, because that would mean that I am symptomatic. Well, that’s just not the case. Studies indicate that starting a new job is right up there in the top five of the most stressful things in life. I am not struggling with starting a new job because I am bipolar…I am struggling because I am HUMAN. Talk about radical acceptance.
I have had a hard time with the concept that my behavior is not always indicative of my mental health. The way I react to things isn’t always mediated by bipolar disorder — as QoB says, life is more of a factor of age, of being human. Why this is so hard to accept, I can’t quite put my finger on. I think it has to do a bit with passing the buck, blaming my imperfections on something that is largely out of my control.
So, work has been stressing me out. The jump in hours worked per week, the type of work changing, trying to learn something new, getting to know my co-workers…and coming into a job that hasn’t been done since last October. There is no wonder that I am feeling the strain from time to time.
Yesterday was markedly less stressful than the past few weeks have been. I don’t have any discharges this week, and, after having a few discharges in the last two weeks, I am getting to know what I need to do pre-discharge so that things don’t have to be so last minute. I did come home yesterday and tell Dr. Love that I must not have worked enough or hard enough because I didn’t feel stressed out. Sometimes the things that come out of my mouth, out of my head, really boggle the mind. Of course, he was supportive and reassured me that I am just learning my job, that he was sure I did work hard. And I did. I felt slightly guilty for taking off 30 minutes ahead of time, but I was really itching to get home and take Wizzah to the dog park before the weather got bad. After an hour at the bark park, I was really happy that I did take off early. And I only have 30 minutes to make up at some point during the week, which is easy as pie.
It is a truly beautiful thing, what Dr. Love and I have. We understand each other so well. He knows that my little spaz-outs are only that, and does not take them personally, just redirecting me to reality and to the fact that I’m not livid that he hasn’t taken that damn chair down to the basement that I asked him to do two weeks ago, but that I was stressing about the house needing to be picked up. Our relationship has become so much stronger in the past few weeks, I think mainly because I stopped focusing on his issues and started focusing on my own. It adds a new dimension to our relationship, one where I am not nagging, obsessing about his job search or whether or not he did something I asked him to do. Love is bigger than that, and I’m so happy that I found it.
I have been trying to focus on my physical health, pushing past denial and coming to terms with the fact that I am not getting any younger and my bad habits will take a toll in the long-run. My biggest problem is portion-control and I am working on that a few different ways. At lunch, I am taking Lean Cuisines to work (thank you, Adriana) and am packing my breakfast and healthy snacks. At home, I am trying to measure what I am eating, not worrying so much about WHAT I am eating, but HOW MUCH I am eating. Sounds simple, but it’s difficult in practice. As always, a work in progress.
I’ve been giving thought to quitting smoking, as well. I think that I am going to give it a go, using Chantix. I have quit before using the patch but have had absolutely no luck with it the last few times. I am feeling more ready this time, though, and I think that’s what I really need in order to quit. Let’s just say that I’m psyching myself up for it.
Coldplay, Fix You