Update From My Last Post…..

Well, in my last post I told you all about this job that became available at the organization where I currently work. The position that became available is almost 2x the amount of hours I currently am working and has better pay, benefits, and hours. The position was actually initially offered to me. It was my understanding all I had to do was think about it and then let them know if I would be accepting it or not. WELL……the person who offered me the position over stepped her boundaries and offered it to me without first getting it approved by the director, and without finding out if there were other candidates for the position. SOOO…….she basically had to take back her job offer, and she then told me I had to go through the whole process of interviewing and all that because there were 2 other candidates they were looking at for this job.

Last week I had my first interview with the supervisor of the position. She and I know each other well, so I wasn’t all that nervous really. She asked questions I knew the answers to and was able to answer in ways that were very well rounded. It wasn’t until the end of the interview that I was surprised by the question being asked. She asked me “So what are you going to do about your ECT treatments?” …….I have ECT treatment every other week for my depression, and therefore wouldn’t be able to work every Friday. I was a bit shocked that she even had the nerve to ask me about these treatments in the first place, especially because she knows how important they are to my treatment and my recovery. I responded to her by saying, “Well, I was hoping we would be able to work out a schedule around these treatments as they are a huge part to my recovery and my treatment. I also wouldn’t want to mess with them because if I did that and then started having symptoms again, it would cause bigger problems; not only for me and my recovery, but for you and the job, because I wouldn’t be able to do my job as well due to symptoms.” She just rested her head on her hand, took a deep sigh, and said, “well, it’s something we will have to try and figure out.” I honestly was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I later found out it is illegal for them to ask questions about my disability during an interview, and they have to try and make accommodations. This brought up a ton of anxiety for me. I was anxious about everything, just wondering if I was right for this job, or if I would ever be able to get a job because of my illness, etc.

After the interview, I tried to relax, take it all with a grain assault and continue my day productively. Well, I was able to get through the day, but the next couple days I couldn’t get my anxiety to go down at all. I had never actually looked forward to an ECT treatment, but this past week it couldn’t come fast enough. Then, after ECT was over, the nurse called me and said we can only do treatments every 2 weeks up until April 21, then after that it will be treatment by treatment because their schedule is getting so full they can’t schedule in advance like I have been. SOOOO……I had to tell the lady at work that was happening and that if I got this job I wouldn’t be able to work Fridays because I couldn’t guarantee which Friday’s I’d be available to work because I wouldn’t know when my treatments would be. The deep sigh, and look on her face, it made me feel like such a failure. Like I had just messed things up so bad. I hate that this is seeming to have so much influence on my feelings.

They are giving me a 2nd interview, tomorrow at 2, with the executive director, her assistant, and the person who would be my supervisor (the one who did the 1st interview). I don’t know how this will turn out, but I guess we shall see.

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The Next Step Forward In My Recovery Has Come…..And I’m Excited, But Nervous All At The Same Time

So, I’ve said it in earlier blogs, but I’m going to let you all know again, just in case there are people who have never seen my blog before reading this. I have a mental illness. I was diagnosed when I was 21 but it was many years earlier that the symptoms showed up. I just worked really hard at hiding what was going on from family and friends because I was really scared, ashamed, and just confused about what all was going on inside my head. Long story short…….after I was hospitalized for the first time for depression, anxiety, and self harm, I went into a downward spiral of negative coping and depression. I spent my days engaging in self injury, and coming up with the ways I was going to try to kill myself next. I was in and out of the hospital and I had to quit school because I wasn’t able to keep up with my own daily living skills let alone college courses. I lost a lot of friends, I couldn’t work at all, and every moment I had by myself I was hurting myself, trying to stop the chaos that was going on in my own head. Jump forward a few years, and the hospitalizations started to slow down and I started to take recovery seriously. I started to put in just as much work on myself as my support system had been for the past couple of years. I decided I needed to be engaged in my recovery if I ever wanted to go back to school, work, and move forward in life. In 2011 I went back to school and graduated with my BA in Psychology, and in 2012 I hurt myself for the last time. It’s now 2017 and I haven’t hurt myself or been hospitalized since August of 2012. I have been volunteering at NAMI by speaking and sharing my story at High Schools, Police stations, hospitals, and other community organizations. I have also been working for NAMI as a Peer Specialist on a part time basis, 18 hours a week. These are all successes. I have done a complete turn around from where I was when I was first diagnosed and all that. I have taken huge strides and made so much progress. I have been able to cope more effectively. Well, this past week a position at NAMI came to be open. It is a 30 hr/ week salary job, it comes with insurance, and holidays off. I would be making 2x the amount I am making now, and it would let me reach my goal of getting off of Social Security Disability. My boss has already told me she would love to have me in the position, and that I would do great at it. I told her I would seriously think about it and talk to my dad about it too. I am overly excited about this opportunity because of the opportunities it brings. I’m excited because it’s a step closer to working full time and eventually moving out of my parents house. I’m excited, yes, but so nervous all at the same time. Nervous about failing, getting overwhelmed or so stressed out that my symptoms heighten. I’m just nervous about taking this next step, even though I believe I can succeed, I just keep thinking about the “what if.” I know at some level nervousness is normal when it comes to anything new, or life changes. I have thought of all the pros and cons to taking the position vs not taking the position, and there are definitely more pros to taking it than cons. I have talked to my dad, my mom, and my best friend to get some different perspectives, and I have prayed about it every night since it became available. I know I am going to go for this job, I just need to cope with the anxiety and nerves that are coming along with this process. Please comment with ways maybe you or someone you know copes with anxiety. I’d appreciate all the input I can get on this situation. Thank you all.

 

I Said My Final Goodbye To A Friend I Thought Would Never Die

I wrote in my last post about a good friend who died about a week and a half ago. He was 74 years old, a fireman in town, and he was a best friend to my dad, and like family to my sister, mom and I. He was a guy who could make you laugh, but also scare the crap out of you too when you did something wrong. He would never hurt anyone, but he knew how to intimidate when needed. I remember times when I was little running around the shop and making noise, and he would sometimes come and play but others make sure we knew we were too loud. He gave amazing hugs, and I would always go up to him and kiss him on his cheek when I saw him…….all the way to the day he died. He was a guy who had the tough outside but on the inside he had a heart of gold. He was a guy that you just always knew would be there. The guy who you could call for anything and he’d be sure to help you out. He was the type of guy that people looked to as someone who would ALWAYS be there…..we never thought about the day he would pass on. We kinda held him to an invincible standard. And now, now he’s gone, and it hurts like hell, and it seems so so weird that we’ll never be able to call him again just to say hi, or to ask a question. He will never dress as santa clause again and light the town Christmas tree, and he won’t be there anymore to lead us during the steak frys and corn boils. This past Thursday was his wake, and I looked down at him in the casket and I cried. I cried because it’s unbelievable, shocking still. I cried because I feel like I lost a piece of my heart, my life that I will never get back. I lost a dear friend and I feel empty. Saturday was his Funeral. It was a beautiful service. Dad got up and spoke along with 5 or 6 other friends and family members. They all did a wonderful job. Then from the church we walked behind an antique fire engine that had his casket on the back, over to the cemetery, had a few words over there and then we all put rose petals on his casket before they lowered him into the ground.

I can’t imagine what his daughter and step children are feeling during this time. I can’t fathom how much it hurts. I know how much it hurts for me, and I am just a friend. I want to hug him again, I want to kiss him on his cheek and I want to hear his booming voice telling us all that we need to do better. I just want him back here on earth, and I know that is so so selfish, but I miss him so much. He was such an amazing man and he impacted my life in so many ways. I just want to give some of that back to him, have an impact on him too. I feel like I owe him so much that I won’t get the chance to give him.

I love you Stuart, you hold a special place in my heart and I’ll never forget you and all you’ve done for me and my family. Rest in Peace buddy.

When Someone You Love Dies

This past Saturday (2 days ago) my dad received a text message from a long time friends  step son saying he had passed away. It was 6:30 am and I was the one who saw the text message first. My dad was still in bed and his phone went off and I was thinking it was an alarm so I looked at the phone and while doing so I saw the text message. I stood there in shock for a second and then tried not to scream as I started to cry. This friend was the fire chief in our town for over 20 years, my dad was a cop in town at the same time. This friend was a mentor to my dad, a best friend, and to me he was a mentor, like a second dad……like if dad wasn’t available it was call this guy and he would be there. He was there for everything in town, all the events, everything. He was there for my family, my whole life. He was gruff on the outside, but a big teddy bear on the inside, he’d always greet me with a hug. He’s been sick for the past couple months, and we all knew he probably wouldn’t make it through……deep down we knew this……but on the surface level it was always, he’s going to get through, he could never die……we didn’t think about him dying and never being here again. No one thinks like that….therefore, it makes it more of a shock and a tragedy when the person does die. I’m still in a bit of shock…..his services aren’t until the end of this week. I don’t think it’s going to really settle in until I see him laying in that casket, buried in the ground, and a headstone with his name on it. I can’t even cry anymore. I can’t make the tears come down…..because I’m trying so hard to “be ok” make it as if it hasn’t really happened…….or should I say I haven’t faced it yet, accepted it, or let it truly sink in that he is gone. I loved him like family. Loved being around him. He was a great guy. I feel a bit lost, a bit scattered, and just incomplete.

 

I know this isn’t a post anyone probably wanted to read, but I had to put it out there. Document some how I was feeling in this moment. I just feel lost. Sad. Depressed, and angry all at the same time. I just want my friend back.