Now that some of the craziness surrounding the big loperamide story break has died down, I think it’s safe to start writing more about myself again.
I’ll be honest with you: the past few months, not being able to write here about my personal situation, have been really difficult. The Sobrietyland blog has always been a safe place for me to discuss my feelings and struggles anonymously, so without it — well, you wouldn’t think it would make that much difference, but it has. I don’t have a therapist anymore, and I really need to talk about some stuff.
So here I will put my toe back in the water and see how it goes.
I used to write about my personal therapist nazi, the Square-jawed NP (nurse practitioner), with some frequency. I don’t speak with him often anymore because he — as my long-time readers know — has moved away to NY’s Southern Tier. I called him a few weeks ago to let him know how I was doing. I didn’t tell him everything, just the good news which mostly includes my schoolwork. He’s proud of my accomplishments but really wishes I’d start writing in the journal he bought me. I wish I could, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. And I wanted to tell him so much more but… There doesn’t seem to be much point.
As you might be able to pick up on, I’m struggling with my depression again pretty badly. If you’re an old reader of my blog, you know how bad this can get. If you’re a new reader or someone who knows me in real life as a high-functioning person with depression, you have no clue! Just trust me, this can get ugly. It’s like the old story about the frog and the boiling water; if you turn up the heat slowly, the frog doesn’t notice how hot the water is getting until it’s too late. That’s depression — it sneaks up on you. Some days, it’s just another day, and on other days, it’s hard just to get out of bed and function in the world. A lot of everyday things have begun to slip into the cracks as I take less and less proper care of myself. Joy slips away slowly…. insidiously… I have to find reasons.
One reason IS school. I really, truly enjoy learning, and I’m doing very well at it! My college is in the next city over (about a half-hour away), so the early-morning drive is no fun at all, but once I’m there, things generally go well. My primary class is chemistry. I love chemistry! I truly believe it’s the key to everything in the universe, and even though it’s an introductory class (and frankly, a bit remedial), I’m remembering all the reasons I loved it when I was in high school. Even the math part of it — which, mind you, I was NEVER good at math — has taken on the same challenge as a tough puzzle. And I have found that if I am challenged to learn a really hard puzzle, then overcoming that challenge fuels my self-esteem engine and gets me through the day.
Then on the polar-opposite end, there’s work. Now normally, I wouldn’t speak of things like this, but as I mentioned, traffic here has died down so I think it’s safe to say that not that many people are reading it for articles about anything except the lope crisis.
As I have mentioned before, I work at a local “second-hand” store. Because my classwork is in the morning hours, I had to switch to night-shift register work, which my boss was really nice about and accommodated my request for the move. The night shift wouldn’t be all that awful except the vast majority of my time is spent cleaning, not interacting with customers. As the last person to leave, it is my responsibility to make sure the store is neat and tidy and ready for the next day. Some days this is completely impossible, but every other day, it’s simply virtually impossible. I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea that it was, in fact, entirely futile.
Every day, I pick up after piggy customers — and I’m sorry, but people are the most inconsiderate swine. In addition to the mangled clothing and merchandise they leave everywhere for me to pick up, they leave empty coffee cups, spilled drinks, cookies, candy, food, gum (holy shit! lots of gum!), puddles of pee, poop, used underwear, old socks, mud, dirt, mystery spots, and used diapers. I literally (and this is no exaggeration) spend 95% of my time cleaning up. Most slow shifts I can be found going up and down the aisles picking up after customers, throwing things away, and organizing our merchandise back on the sales floor. And on big sale days when the register is running non-stop? Nothing gets done, and I get my ass handed to me.
And — now this is a true story — while I was being reprimanded for not doing all of this well enough or fast enough, management informed me that they are adding several mandatory duties such as sweeping and mopping the entire store. All this while still doing normal tasks such as running register and gleefully attending to our customers. If there is anything on the list that I don’t get done, I can expect to be punished. When I can’t meet management’s unmeetable standards, I’m reprimanded for my idiocy and even more work is added. The stress in that measly four-hour-a-day, part-time, minimum-wage, no-benefits-earning job is overwhelming and has made the situation absolutely untenable. Maybe my boss is right and I’m just not a good fit for this job. I’ve been there five years and I’m at the end of my rope. I’ve given it a fair shot. To wit: I have learned to hate my job and have decided it’s time to move on.
So in that light, I am full-steam ahead in job seeking mode again. This time is different because I’m just desperate enough to take a lateral move just so I can find a job where I might actually be able meet my daily goals. Three jobs so far have resulted in job offers, but for various (good) reasons, the fit was not right. The one job I have my fingers crossed for is at a local “entertainment mecca” where I would work in retail (yes, again!). [Hey, it’s an entry-level job that pays more than I make now, so don’t knock it.] I had one interview so far with the recruiter. From there, another person has to call and interview me, then… there’s more. There is one big hurdle though that I cannot discuss here (because I’m not 100% anonymous) but trust me, it’s a big one. So this isn’t a done deal by any stretch. If I can get over that, I could have a new employer before Christmas. And even with the stress of starting a new job and having to drive further for work, it’ll still be less stressful than what I’m feeling now.
I can also add that there’s been someone “special” in my life now for almost a year. I feel okay talking about that now. After all, what is he gonna do if he sees this? Leave me? HA HA!
That relationship has finally broken down, and I’m forced to get used to being alone again. Great timing, right? Ha-ha indeed. Joke’s on me.
The truth is, he and I were never a good fit together for a number of reasons that, again, I’m not sure I want to get into here.
You know how there’s that moment when your friends start rolling their eyes when you say, “And guess what HE thinks about that,” and they’re all like, “yeah, quit talking about that asshole like he’s not an asshole.” Yeah. I was that person.
Suffice to say, when it was good with this guy, it was great fun, and once it started to suck…. but it’s not entirely his fault. He worked overnights and had a habit of calling me on his midnight breaks or on his days off at, like, 2am. And when he was drunk? Yep, piles of drunk texts and calls. And me, I would dutifully pick up the phone like a dumbass telling myself it was all cool. Or he would text or call for hours at a time with no consideration of what I might have been doing or thinking. And most of the time, he would talk at me, not with me. He’d tell me stories about his day or his life, rarely asking me about mine.
So you could argue, was it his fault for calling me, or my fault for picking up? He may have been the bulldozer, but I was the one letting myself be the dirt.
I have not been true to myself throughout any of it. Any. Of. It. One thing I discovered about myself is that I fell into old codependent patterns of behavior. I let him run roughshod into my life very fast. I was too loyal too soon. I forgave the unforgivable. I didn’t challenge things that were suspicious. I acquiesced instead of fighting. I wanted things to work out so badly that I compromised a surprising amount of who I am to try to make things fit — when in truth, he and I would have never fit no matter what I did. We are very different people. I wanted him to pick me — choose me — not realizing I shouldn’t have even been a choice to be picked.
Good things came out of it though, for which I will always be grateful. I had a lot of fun. I did things I didn’t think were possible. He made me challenge old belief systems. He made me fight a little harder when I didn’t feel like it. He opened my eyes to new ways of living and gave me insight into a world I would normally not be invited into.
As often happens with bad relationships, what is fresh and new eventually begins to rot. Where we used to call or text or see each other nearly every day, it’s now been almost three months since we’ve spent time in the same room together. Ages since we talked on the phone. And texting — the lowest form of communication if you ask me — is the only way we’ve sustained any conversation at all for weeks.
Then! There was light! It looked like he was finally making time for me. But for all his sincere promises that we were going to spend time together again at long last this week, he lied. Again. Nothing happened. Not even giving me the courtesy of lame excuses this time. Just nothing.
So…. I just stopped.
Maybe he really meant it. Then maybe when the time came, he just wasn’t in the mood or decided there was something else he’d rather do. Or maybe he’s met someone else. I don’t know. Doesn’t matter.
It’s time for me to move on — and even though I’m putting on a brave face, I’m really broken up about it. I still care even though I shouldn’t. I’ve lost someone I felt was my best friend. My phone rings, and I hope it’s him. The text chime comes on, and I wonder if he’s texting me. Who can I call now when something goes wrong — or goes well — just to shoot the shit about it and commiserate over shared memories? Yep, nobody. Now I get to just go home and go to bed like I used to.
I think that’s one of the worst things about losing a relationship — feeling like you’re going back to “The Before Times” — before this fun person entered your life and shook things up and made them great. Well… Then bad. Then great! Then bad again. Then more bad. Then …
Why do we spend so much time trying to make it work with people who are clearly not right for us?
In my plight, I have returned to familiar ground. I’ve been a longtime fan of Susan Elliott, author of the blog “How to Get Past Your Past” (and subsequent book, “How to Get Past your Breakup”). And thanks to modern technology, she has a number of YouTube videos that are helping guide me through this process. Again. Thanks for being there (again!) Susan! With her guidance, I am slowly remembering that I am, in fact, not the shittiest person on earth. And that even if I am, maybe — just maybe — I deserve a little more than a 2am drunken text. Even if I’m the worst person ever… I mean… well, hell! Even Hitler had Eva Braun.
So that’s where my life is now, folks. I’m pretty much a mess, but at least school is going well. And if I can sustain things long enough, maybe a new job and a new year full of new adventures with new people who can do more than text me at 2am!
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”– M. Scott Peck (as quoted by Susan Elliott)