I’m not sure what to title this post. Epic-life-and-everything-update, maybe? I don’t know. It’s been quite a while since I last blogged, and a longer time still since I wrote anything I consider to be especially meaningful. So, I guess this is an update of a few parts. (Warning: Long and rambley!)
1. The ole job status…. I did get that close-to-home job, and then fucked it up and quit within a week, which is not something I am especially proud of. I doubted myself, and as I have now learned, when I doubt myself (which is often), I get anxious about other peoples’ opinions of me, and I quit. I have quitted many things: University, jobs, courses, friendships, support groups, etc etc. I quit a lot more things than I care to admit and I often try to downplay it. So, to continue a tradition, y’know, this job wasn’t for me, and quitting it wasn’t all that bad for me (see, I downplay like a pro!). Yes, my CV was made iffy and I took a knock to my self esteem, but things looked up. I moved (more on that later!) and applied for a job which I have only recently started.
It has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride (albeit a tame, super-cliched one) between hearing about this job, applying for it, and now starting it. I am now the Chemistry Lab Technician at a secondary school. I first heard about the job in July. I applied a few weeks later, when a job advert came out in a local paper. Next step was to wait… and wait… and wait… the application process was delayed, so I went on jobseekers’, lost hope that I would get this job, lost hope that I would get any job. I really doubted myself, and despite the huge support I received nothing could quieten the voice, ever louder in the back of my head, that I was worthless and would not successfully get any job that I would enjoy ever so I may as well stop trying.
I persevered, and the support from those close to me is ultimately what enabled me to keep on going, and had interviews. I had an interview for a laboratory assistant at an environmental company. If I hadn’t told them about my depression (I feel huge guilt when I am not open and upfront about it) then I would have got the job! I am certain that I was discriminated against, and I felt like I did really well in the interview and my enthusiasm for practical chemistry shone through. It was devastating, but I had the prospect of my current job lurking, so I waited and waited. After a bit of a setback mentally, a spell on ESA and a change-up of my medication, the time finally came: an interview at the school for the job I dreamed of getting.
I heard back that evening that I was hired! Considering I was the only available candidate, and I had shown my keen interest for a full three months, I was thrilled. In the period of time afterwards though, my mood plummetted and my anxiety skyrocketed. I had my first panic attacks, I had difficulty sleeping and was restless. Sometimes I still am quite anxious; I feel a lot of pressure to do well. It is bittersweet to be working with chemicals after dropping out of university and I worry that it’s sort of too good to be true. That everyone will realise that I know less than they think I do, that I will let them down, make mistakes. I worry that I will be unreliable or that I will be unable to cope with the responsibilities of the job. I have also been daunted by the active nature of the job, and would I be able to adapt from having no job, being totally inactive to running about the science department constantly? I have been managing so far, two and a half weeks in. I am exhausted by the end of the day but I thought it would be crippling and unbearable to be on my feet so long. I worried that my knee would play up or that my hypermobility and dyspraxia would conspire against me. Alas, it is nothing that anti-inflammatories and a strong cup of coffee can’t fix! I feel like I really have made progress by getting this job, even though it still terrifies me if I think about it too much.
2. My depression status – As I wrote already, the past few months have had their fair share of challenges. Just as I get a handle on my depression, it creeps up again. But I have a lot of support, from my family, my friends, and my amazing boyfriend (more on him later!) I am very grateful for the help. I am still having regular therapy, which I cannot recommend highly enough to anyone, it is really beneficial. I am still on a medium-dose of fluoxetine. It is still working pretty well. I can’t drink on it any more though! It really enhances the effects of alcohol, eesh. I am now also on a small dose of pregabalin, that I take in the morning and evening for anxiety. As soon as I started taking it, I noticed a drastic increase in my energy levels, and I am much less anxious than I was before (only been on it a month now). I don’t think I’d be functioning this well with my new job if I weren’t on it. It really has given me so much more energy, so I’m much more productive. It is no longer such a struggle to do simple household chores like laundry and tidying. I even hoovered my room for the first time since moving….
3… Which brings me onto my next status: I left home! Whoop! I am now in a pretty unique situation where I am my boyfriend’s next-door neighbour. All the perks of living together, with all the perks of living apart. I am very fortunate, and it has really boosted my confidence to be self-sufficient at last. I am in a new county, with new sights to see and new places to go – it’s good to have a change of scenery and of course, my neighbours ain’t bad neither!
4 – last but not least, my relationship-status. Me and Joe, my amazing boyfriend, have been together nearly six months now. I am very lucky to have met such a caring, selfless and loving guy. He is so special to me and I love him very much! Enough of the smooshy stuff though, in all seriousness I do not believe I would have made it this far without his unswerving support and love. His circle of family and friends have accepted me with open arms and I really feel proud to see how much they all care about Joe. I feel truly welcomed here, and I feel well settled in now, too.
I would like to add, not to take away his thunder but because I want people to see his blog and not mine, and because I find him a true inspiration, and for shameless plugging of the amazing man I now share my life with….. Check out Joe’s blog! He has been strong and courageous through his personal battles with OCD, and is now sharing his experiences with the interwebs. Joe is writing an autobiographical book of his experience, and I cannot repeat enough how much of an inspiration I find him to be. His blog is http://thebrotherlynch.com/ – I would be honoured if you would check it out.
Many thanks blogosphere, and sorry I’ve been away so long!