My therapist says it’s too early to quit. I agree. It’s not too early, however, for me to question seriously whether I can actually handle this. One of my long-term goals during this time of disability has been to get back to meaningful full-time work. The first step is part-time, easier work, such as administrative or computer work. Get used to working again, keep a schedule, build stamina and concentration and competency. I still can’t believe how these things are not part of my repertoire anymore.
Because I had been volunteering at the site of the new position, already knew something about the org and knew the staff, we thought this would be an easier transition to part-time work than another place might be, even though my therapist thought we were about 4 months early to start working part-time. Yet, I applied, interviewed and accepted the job, knowing it would be harder than the volunteer work I had been doing, including different skills and software. And it is a newly created position, so there are lots of unformed and unstated expectations by staff, board and my self.
When I talked with my therapist, I acknowledged that within this first week, I saw all the normal signs of starting a new job. Overwhelmed by number of tasks to be done in 15 hours a week. Learning curve for software programs. Expectations unclear. Sense of doom (we all get that at the beginning – WHAT did I sign up for??). Emotional and tired feelings as try to absorb tasks and environment.
At the same time, I’m feeling things that are unusual for me. I feel physically and mentally ill, and at wit’s end when I’m at home. I’m able to disguise it or work through it at work (another of those “functioning bipolar” thingys). I get confused easily so I forget how to do simple things such as use a mouse or walk to the bathroom. I’m angry and hateful. Not at anything in particular, except myself, I suppose. Probably for biting off more than I can chew.
I desperately need rest. And a chance to S-l-o-w-l-y integrate what I’m learning. That’s what’s behind the unhealthy coping skill of wanting to hurt myself again. One of the coping skills I learned in the hospital in May is to look underneath the hateful and painful and dangerous impulses to see what I really need. And if I did those better things, the dangerous impulses would decrease.
I’ve got 3 days of rest now until I go back. I still feel hateful and angry. I still want to disappear from the earth. I suppose those could be side-effects of the steroids they pumped into my back on Monday too. Just another feature in my not-as-rainbow-like week.
I’m very glad to be progressing along the path to full-time work again. There is still a lot of psychological and psychiatric stuff to process to get there again. And religious stuff too (SIGH). Yet I have this good opportunity to try my hand at gainful employment for a non-profit I believe in. That should be good news.
I wish it was right now. Just too tired and emotional. I can’t even think what would be restful since I’ve slept a whole lot now. Watching the Olympics or reading a book or watching a movie still leaves too much room for my mind to wander down paths where it doesn’t belong. Figures.