I’m Trying to Take Care of Myself
Yesterday, someone asked me if I’m going through a bankruptcy.
I was shocked that she would think that. Sure, I’m a student, so I have limited time to make money, but I’m still working. More money couldn’t hurt, but bills are getting paid.
I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I’m writing to try to make more money … but that’s so I can work less, or have more of a cushion for my emergency fund.
Apparently that’s not the signal I’ve been putting out. I’ve been wearing the same clothes all the time, and looking really sad and worried.
And I thought, oh … that’s just depression and anxiety.
I’m trying to write more about my anxiety, in my efforts to tackle it. I’ve written about it before, but I still find it difficult to talk about myself with brutal honesty. That is, shining a light on all the little broken pieces of myself.
That’s been difficult.
Anxiety Can Make You Feel Inadequate. You’re Not.
Getting past our fears, to our full potential
Today, in fact, started off pretty bad. I woke up, saw how much I needed to do, and then burst into tears.
There’s the housework, which I’ve been putting off because every day has been: work for 8 hours, come home, school 2–4 hours, sleep. My saving grace has been that my job is flexible.
Or shall I say … was.
Have you ever played chess, had a next move in mind, only for the other player to anticipate it and block it? That’s what my week felt like. At work, I was told that I can no longer take time off at the beginning or end of the day for appointments. If I want to take time off, I need to bundle my appointments and take a huge block of time, ideally a full day.
My jaw almost hit the floor when I found that out. I was thinking of going to counseling, but most therapists follow the same bankers’-hours schedule as my job. My best bet would have been to go before work (and go in late) or late afternoon (leaving early). I can’t take a day off every week, or even every two weeks — I’ll burn through my vacation time.
I told that to somebody (while sobbing) and he said to find a place that does evening or Saturday hours. Which I can do, but it’s going to be much harder.
I also have some medical appointments that I’m going to have to shuffle over to urgent care, which is open later but involves long wait times.
Add the fact that I’m totally exhausted. This is my most intense semester yet, and I’ve been going to school for a long time. I’m wiped. I had a project that I need to do for school, and I couldn’t pull it together today. Cleaning the house, getting my research done so I was prepared … it all fell apart. And I felt horrible.
Granted, I still have a few days before it’s due, but it’s not a lot of time and I felt like I completely messed up. I felt like just emailing my teachers and withdrawing.
One thing someone told me that’s really stuck with me is that sometimes there aren’t problems, but I create them in my mind. I start off thinking, “Oh, I can’t do this, because it will go terribly wrong…”
It’s like standing inches from the ocean, and saying, “I couldn’t possibly go in. I’ll drown. I’ll get eaten by a shark.” But really, what’s more likely is … I’ll just swim. And be fine. But I can’t move, because of that paralyzing fear.
I just wish I could snap my fingers and feel better, the way people without anxiety are always telling me. I wish I could just declare emotional bankruptcy, wipe out all my mental debt, and start over. I wonder what that would look like.