Another week and another week of being ignored regarding when I can and can't work. I just keep trying to go with the flow. I really like this job. I really need this job. However they don't seem to want me. I know I am the squeaky wheel and am asking a lot from them, but I was told this was acceptable, even sounded normal when I first was hired.
Now, almost a month in, I am being punished by scheduling me during the day when I cannot work because I have a day job. Then while standing next to two baggers who weren't doing anything but standing there I was called out for standing at one check out stand and just bagging at that one check out stand. It seems we are supposed to "bounce" between stands and not attach ourselves to one single stand. It didn't matter that I had been bagging non-stop that day, just that I wasn't bouncing. This was also explained to me in a public forum, which kinda stung. I am not used to public correction.
Any how, it just sucked. So I bounced from stand to stand for the rest of my shift. I would get stuck at one stand for a while and have to remind myself to bounce my ass over to another station, even as a new customer was entering the check out stand. Man this is a weird rule and it makes no sense to me. I am too worried to ask the Assistant Manager for fear of being made to feel even more stupid.
So, the next time you get in queue at the grocery store and see your bagger leaver just as your items start to roll down the convyer belt, just know that is called bouncing and you my friend have been bounced.
My schedule for this week is inconvenient to my day job, but not the end of the world. What is the end of the world in my schedule for the following week. Okay, my bipolar friends, what is one of the most fundamental self care items we are supposed to do every day?
Get and maintain a good sleep schedule. I guard my sleep like a soldier guarding a princess. My schedule two weeks from now has me closing the damn store at 12 am. I haven't stayed up until midnight in many, many years. So I am supposed to stay away for three hours past my normal bedtime and then come home wound up and not ready to go to sleep. It also means I will be keeping my boy friend up when he has to be awake and alert at 7 am. He has to be ready for a full day of being attentive.
Twice that week, I have to stay up until midnight. I feel like they are fucking with me because I am asking not to work until 5 pm Monday through Friday. I don't know why they are so angry at my request. I know there are other people who have second jobs as most of the staff at this store do not get 40 hours a week (I believe only management gets full-time hours).
I want to tell them I have bipolar and can't work til midnight, but I also don't want to give them any more fuel to hurt me with. It just doesn't seem fair to be messed with so purposefully when I am not making it up, that I was told this would not be a big deal. I wish that manager would come back to this store and straighten out this mess he helped create. But I can't imagine he would defend me. I am just a tiny person in this big corporation. It seems for every 15 baggers they bring in, maybe only 2 will stick. I had hoped to be one of those two.
My night is going to be filled with stress and repetitive thoughts circling round and round, keeping me stressed and anxious. Tonight's lack of sleep will be as bad as working until 12 am.
I gave my Assistant Manger my days and time I can work. This has been ignored two weeks in a row. They keep putting me on days when I have told them I have a day job. It takes so much energy for me to confront them and ask to be heard. Now I feel like I am purposefully being ignored so I will quit.
I don't want to quit. I just want them to work with me. I felt like I was being punished yesterday. I had 7 hours of mopping, brooming and bathroom cleaning. My back ached so bad. 7 hours? Why not break it up between two people each day. Maybe it just is how they do it, but it sure as hell felt like punishment.
That is how my bipolar brain works. It makes a mountain out of a mole hill. My brain is all paranoia.
I will have to corner my Manager, who moves so fast that I can't keep track of where he has gone, and see if he can put a face to the name on the sticky note and help me not work days when I have a day job.
I have to keep going in even when I have a day job because I need the damn money. I need the damn money and my back be damned, it is an easy way to earn it.
But I am truly tired of having to step up and try to set boundaries, especially when I feel so threatened. They make me feel like I am trying to get special privileges. I can work week day evenings after 5 and anytime on weekends. Surely that is beneficial to them?
I will just keep trying to be brave and not feel guilty.
Here is the second part of my story of anxiety and tears.
My son left for boot camp on Sunday morning. I cried off and on Friday. I cried off and on Saturday. Sunday morning I held it in as best I could so I didn't upset my son. He knew I would be a mess and was very kind about it. I had to go to work shortly after getting my last two hugs for 13 weeks.
Now I sit and wait for that first letter letting me know he is doing okay.
I came home to find my daughter cleaned up 60 percent of his nasty ass room. I am glad she didn't do it all because I just wanted to sit in there and be with him for a bit. Everyone is pushing change so fast and I am not ready. I don't have to be fucking ready. I don't want to move on yet. In fact I may never want to move on. Maybe I need things to stay the same so I don't lose my shit. I really hate being pushed to make change faster than I am ready. I don't feel respected by being pushed.
I don't want to end up back in depression. I barely made it through the winter and we are so close to reaching winter again. I don't think the people in my life get it. Sometimes I don't think they want to understand.
My daughter turns 17 tomorrow. I am excited for her and scared now that I have seen how hard it is on me for my son to leave. She is wanting to get out and get life started right now. She feels ready to leave. She just got her first job and is carrying some of the reality of being a grown up. I am so proud of her. I also want her to just stop growing up, now.
I am just on that tail end, people tell you about where the time is going to go so fast. I sit here today and my son hasn't walked through to ask what is for dinner or to tell me he is going out with friends and doesn't know what time he will be home. Most days I would get a hug, even though he didn't want to. I am missing that hug from him today. I am missing vacations with him, dinners with him, movies with him, and the silent moments we shared when he would play video games and I would sit near him. I just miss him.
And I can see the end of this same race with my daughter. I will be an empty nester in 2 more years. When did they get this old? When the hell did I get this old?
My advice, if you have children who are not teenagers, do everything you can with them now. Take those vacations before they start their first jobs. Make those cookies together at Christmas. Get the photos when they will still smile for you. Because it comes very quick and you won't be prepared even with 18 years to start with.
Holy crap, my 18 years is gone. Now I have to wait until they are in their late 20's and starting a family for them to want to come home. I am going to try to look at that as I have a decade to cram in all of the stuff I want to do. I need to start now, because ten years goes by really fast.
So far I have survived the vacation. Truly just barely. The trip started with my check engine light coming on less than 15 miles from the house. We had to turn around and come back home. We went to our local rental car agency and tried to get a truck so we could store everything in the back, but we ended up with a mini van. The mini van turned out to be the perfect vehicle. Everything was unloaded out of my car and loaded into the van. It all fit perfect, so off we went. I obsessed about my car for over an hour and then had to take a pill for my anxiety. What if we killed my car? What if she wouldn't start when we got back? What if I had to come up with $3k to get her fixed. She is all I have and my time with my kids and my employment rides on me having a vehicle.
My boyfriend did pretty good at not tailgating and watching his speed. He knows I have ginormous control issues with being a passenger, but I wasn't sure I wanted to drive the whole trip.
I only grabbed the car door a dozen or so times.
We made it to the camp ground and got set up super fast. We have done this enough to have it down pat. We were making dinner shortly after getting there. Then anxiety number 2 hit me. The water surrounding the campsite is super high and fast this year due to our snow pack. My boyfriend and his kids were right at the edge looking at the rushing water. They even through some sticks in and watched how fast the floated away. I fucking could not breathe knowing the ground near the edge was saturated with water and could give way at any moment. I rushed them away from the edge, but saw kids playing near it unattended and just couldn't stop the rush of mental images of someone sliding in. The water was moving so fast that anyone would be swept away before you could save them. I couldn't take another pill so I had a drink. Then I had a second. Then it was time for bed.
The day had been good, but extremely stressful for me.
The next day we headed to the hot springs for the day. This was my day to relax. It was heaven. I sat in the warmth of the sun and spent a lot of time in the water. To finish the day we went back in the evening for one final soak before bed. We got our monies worth out of the day pass.
Before heading home, we made a side trip. I hated the side trip. It is up the side of a mountain, with no guard rail and just barely wide enough with some of the large vehicles and the ones pulling trailers. My side had the steep drop off. Several miles of the awful drop off. I physically move myself as close to the center of the car as humanly possible and close my eyes and I pray. I prayed a lot of this trip. I had ugly thoughts of wanting to find my boyfriends weakness and exploit it so he could be as scared as I was.
Our drive home was near the water, and again, the anxiety pill not kicking in all I could imagine was our car plunging into the water and us not having the tool that shatters the window so we could swim out to reach the surface. Not that it would really matter as we had no life jackets on and wouldn't be able to catch a breath with the white caps thrashing us around. This is my life and the part of my life that I don't like to talk about due to how bat shit crazy it sounds. But this is my life.
My anxiety is way worse when I am away from my comfort zone at home. It just builds on itself a hundred fold.
We are home and I am still reliving much of my anxiety. I don't know how many days it takes for the fear to subside, but it still very much in the fore front of my consciousness. I just endlessly replay it.
I knew, I just knew. But even knowing in my gut couldn't prepare me for the text from my daughter that she works midday Monday and Tuesday, our first few camping days. I have to take her to her dad today Sunday so she can get ready for her first day. Meaning she misses tonight's Art Walk and dinner out. I am not even sure I will get to spend any of our vacation together, nor her birthday which I had scheduled to be the final day of vacation.
My heart is very heavy, which I know is very selfish. I don't care. That is where my head is at. My boyfriend asked if I still wanted to go with him and his kids. Normally if my kids flake out on plans or aren't here, I don't want to go see them be a family when mine isn't around. But for the first time I am going to go for me. I need a break. Sitting in the hot springs for two days sounds like heaven. My back hurts and my feet hurt from working the bagging job all last week. I am going to go so I don't sit at home crying and being sad.
My son will be staying home as he could get called in to the recruiting office at any time this week to work. I already knew he wouldn't be able to or want to do any of our plans. This is his final week of freedom for 13 weeks.
So, here I sit pissed, angry, disappointed, hurt and good and mad. The bipolar part of me really wants to be mean and cutting to my daughter and remind her I gave her the fucking dates and repeatedly told her to request them off. I want to be ugly and lash out. I can feel it down to my core. I want to tell her I am disappointed so she hurts like I do. I keep reminding myself that I am better than that. I am in control of what I say and do. Doesn't mean it isn't there.
My mind is racing and obsessed already stressing next years vacation and how to plan it early enough so she can go and then have the entire summer to work.
And, I am trying to pack for camping. What a cluster fuck that always is. Fun once you get there, but a logistical nightmare.
I know that anger and agitation are both signs of depression and I refuse to go back there. I am loving my new job. 4 or 8 hours of non-stop movement and absolutely no thinking other than trying to sort the groceries into categories for bagging. It is a good escape.
My Angel Card this moring is Release and Surrender.
"We shower you with blessing of our radiant love. Open your arms, and release the challenges that you've held tightly gripped within your hands. Open your hands, arms, and heart to our love and assistance."
How spot on is that card for my life today? Does the card speak to your struggles as well?
My daughter got the job. I am both excited for her and angry that it had to happen now. She is trying to work up the nerve to tell me they are going to want her to start immediately and that she cannot go on vacation with me. I had looked forward to this for months and in one swoop it is all being taken away. That is the truth of how it feels. I am feeling selfish. This isn't fair. It is not okay. I am not there yet. Being okay with this will take time and it looks like I will have plenty of time to myself to process how quickly her teenage wants trump my mom wants. I only have two more years until she is gone, like her brother, out being an adult. Just fucking sucks.
It has been a bit since I sat down to write what has been going on. I have been up and down and very anxious. Taking on this part time job has been a huge stressor. I know I need the work and I need the money but it is just so much on an already taxed system.
I have spent a couple of days on the computer watching safety videos and taking endless test. I didn't pass them all the first go round, but had the opportunity to retake them. That was super nerve racking. There were test on chemical spills, what gloves to wear for what type of work, missing children and active shooter. It was a lot to take in.
I logged onto the schedule system and saw that my vacation dates had been ignored and I was scheduled to work next week. I got so sick to my stomach. WTF was I supposed to do. I don't like being the squeaky wheel and don't really want to be singled out. I worked myself into a tizzy and then decided to head in to speak to the HR Manager. I was greeted with irritation that this information had not been told to her prior by the outgoing Manager who I interviewed with and whom told me my vacation wouldn't be a problem since it had already been paid for. Then the HR Manager called up my Manager who I had yet to meet. So our first meeting was me asking for special priviledge on day 3. After everyone calmed down, it was decided that my vacation would be okay and we would all just move on.
Crisis averted, but I was still really upset that this was my first impression.
The HR Manager then wrote out my schedule for the week. I would start bagging the very next morning.
The next morning I got up and got ready and was ready early like I always am. I screwed around and then finally head out the door to just sit and wait in the parking lot so I wouldn't be late. When it got close to time to clock in, I went and stood by the time clock like everyone else. One of the ladies who had been in my training class was there and we chatted about her firsts day. She then said "okay, two minuted til 9:00 o'clock so we can finally clock in."
My face flushed and I couldn't swallow. I was supposed to start at 8:30 am not 9:00 am. OMFG I had totally screwed up. I had been on autopilot as I have started at 9 am for a very long time prior, years in fact. I clocked in and tried to decide what to do. My Manager wasn't there and had assigned me to someone to teach me for the morning. So, I followed my teacher and started my day. Every couple of minutes the fear and shame would ride over me. Each minute that passed my head told me that there was no fixing it now. I had opportunities to tell someone but I couldn't raise the courage to do so.
My shift ended and I went home. I cried and couldn't stop the racing thoughts telling me I was going to be fired. I rehearsed and rehearsed in my head what I would say and what I knew my Manager would say. I played this horrible game all damn day. I called my sister to tell her how badly I had fucked up. She told me it would be okay. My boyfriend told me it would be okay. Hearing that did not keep me from replaying this movie all night long and into the next day. I didn't have to be at work until 4:30 pm that day and was planning to tell them how I could be punished right up until I verbally and awkwardly spit up my confession to the HR Manager. She could tell how stressed I was and she giggled a bit. She said it would be fine and that this happens from time to time as schedules change throughout the week.
I looked at her like a deer in the headlights. What? I wouldn't be fired? No being written up? No being put on strict probation? She again said it would be fine and to focus and finish my video training and then head back down to the floor.
It took a while for my energy to wind down after a day and a half of extreme anxiety.
This job is super busy. There is only about 30 seconds between one customer and the next. You stand hunched over bagging as fast as you can for most of your shift. There is also running to grab carts when you run out. No time to think, just bag. I like that I don't have to think and won't bring work stress home every night. It will be a good job and I am really glad I didn't get fired.
The reason I took on that this job is this month I lose half of my child support as my son is joining the military! I am simultaneously excited for him and nervous for him. I am mourning how quickly 18 and a half years has flown by. I thought there would be more time. The high school years went by so fast. There was so much happening each and every year. Some years I was just happy to survive with him. Some years I was thrilled to see him thrive. Now all I will have is glimpses here and there and way to short visits (hopefully). Seeing him every day is now over. One week from now he is gone for what is going to feel like is forever.
I feel like my world is spinning and I am completely off kilter about to fall on my ass.
Now it seems I may lose all of my child support as my daughter wants a part time job. Problem is most of the time the schedule is made a few days in advance and I may be working when her shift is ending. Might not be so bad, but she is finding work up in the mountains where her dad lives. Her solution was to just spend weekends with me, but I know that soon she will be booked to work on weekends and I won't get to see her at all.
My heart is breaking that she won't be in her room being a teenager. She won't be in her room at all. It is a lot to take in. I am having to remind myself that I am her mom whether or not I get to see her with any regularity. I will always only be a phone call away. It just makes me sad and upset that is all for a job and some spending money. I wish I didn't need my job to stay afloat or I would be able to drop her off and pick her up. For those of you thinking, why Melissa why doesn't she just get a car and drive herself? Because it could be as much as $300 a month for car insurance and an unknown amount for her to get a car. Again, my mind is racing with thoughts and emotions that I do not want to be feeling.
"This to shall pass is" and "stay in this moment" are my current mantras. She could hate it and choose to quit quickly or she could love it and work permanently. All I can do is guess what the future will bring. I am super proud of her for wanting and searching out the job, I just wish it was down here. Her boyfriend, her friends and her school are all up in the mountains, so I guess it was only time tell what this change brings for our relationship.
Finally, I had my med check/therapy appointment. It was the best of times and the worst of times. I do not enjoy therapy and the digging. I did however need to cry my eyes out at all of the change consuming me all at once.
My psych nurse prescribed a med to help stop my hand tremor and that is used to fight panic attacks. That was a blessing. I had to be weened off xanax two years ago and have struggled with awful panic attacks since then. I am so grateful to have a new med in my arsenal that works quickly and that can be taken at any point needed versus taking every day. I feel like I have my xanax back!
That about wraps up my week. Next week I am on vacation and that stress is already starting. We are going camping and I am having to think about sleeping bags, food, activities and my snoring driving everyone crazy. Seems I have a little more stress to contend with before I spend my day soaking in the hot springs!
Say a prayer for me, that I can keep my shit held together.
ADHD vs Bipolar
Could this be you? Have you ever wondered if you have been misdiagnosed? This is a great article that spells out the distinctions between ADHD and Bipolar.
"Approximately 20 percent of people with ADHD also suffer from bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness characterized by depressive and manic episodes. Since both conditions share symptoms, but ADHD is more common, bipolar disorder is often missed or misdiagnosed."
"Approximately 60 to 70 percent of people with bipolar disorder also have ADHD."
BY ADHD EDITORIAL BOARD, JANICE RODDEN, ROBERTO OLIVARDIA, PH.D.
Click here to read the full article.
I love this! It is so true. I need to keep this on my bulletin board as a truth I need to be ever present of. I know there are so many more ways to tell, but this one rings true for me. Each big, often bad decision I have made in the last 10 years started with me trying to block everyone else's ideas and thought out so I could hear my own. Problem is later down the road, I could see clearly how much I had listened to my core group of friends. Here I sit now, dazed and confused trying to fix or repair the damage I have done. I want to be open to really hearing what my support group has to tell me. So, I guess if I can sit and listen, then I shouldn't be manic.