Recovering from a cold.

Today is the first day in I don’t even remember how long (Two weeks, a little longer, I think?  When was that panic attack — I was bedbound by the end of that week.) that I haven’t been congested.  I still have a little bit of a sniffle, but for the most part I can breath through my nose again!

While I was sick I wrote a “chapter” of MNML — but I also ended up scrapping most of it as being just pointless filler babble.  I am seriously out of practice with my craft, and I’m worried it’s going to show in the quality of whatever I write now — but I’ve got to write something in order to get that momentum built back up.  I might just have to aim for “acceptable” and hope I can make up for it as the rust gets brushed off.

Being sick gave me a lot of time to think about things without having the energy to do anything about them.  ~_~  Which just sort of enforced more thinking.  I’m a little on the introspective side by nature, and when I’m in a depressed spiral that’s a really nasty trait.  In this case, I managed to avoid most of the depression-doom-and-gloom stuff, though.  Literally worrying myself sick turned into something of a wakeup call.

I need to be handling my stressors better.  A lot better.

I wish I knew how — adulting is so damn hard.  How do other people make it look so easy?  I wish I knew.

I’m going to try to be more aware of my limits and when I’m approaching them.  I’ve started feeling numb about POTUS 45 et al.  I despise everything they’re trying to do.  I want them gone.  But the deluge of shit has worn me down to the point of panic attacks, nervous collapse and physical illness.  I can’t keep investing like that.

So.  Do the things.  Contact the congress critters.  Make it to the protests.  Somehow care less.  I don’t even know how that’s supposed to work. :/  I guess being emotionally burnt out helps there?

I’ve been doing a lot of programing at home lately.  It’s simple work, and it doesn’t require the same level of creativity and emotional investment that writing does.  It’s served as my go-to escapism, pretty much since Hiatus Kitty passed away.  I’ve actually made a fully playable, decently featured game.  I may just put a donation button on it and release it to the google play store.  Unfortunately, that’s also time that I could have spent writing — except not really, because of the whole emotional energy requirements.

I’m tired, a lot.  I’m taking a sleeping pill to make sure I actually rest at night.  Because I’ve had those recent despair spirals I’ve asked Arr to hold on to the bottle for me.  When I was suicidally depressed, I realized that overdosing on pills would probably be the way I would end things, since I’m too squeamish for cutting and too scared of surviving a fall to try jumping.  I’m not suicidal, but I’m worried enough about slipping further to take precautions.

Work is work.  I am not happy there.  It has become this place where I spend nine hours a day, vexed that I could be doing something more meaningful as I try to force myself to do tasks that I find neither joy nor pride nor purpose in preforming.   I get no sense of personal improvement or mastery from the programing — the R&D department head has made it quite clear that I don’t qualify as a programmer (and never mind that my scripts are in daily use by everyone in our division).  There’s no avenue for advancement unless I opt to go into management, which I don’t think I could stomach with my social anxiety.  My annual merit raise has been being docked because I already earn more than the average for my job title — which just makes me less inclined to work, because why work harder for less of a raise?  This company’s policy on raises literally punishes people who consistently perform above average by instituting diminishing returns.  And the non-programming work is busy work to me.  It doesn’t employ any of my skills, just my time.  Anyone could do it.

I want to quit.  I am extremely dissatisfied with the lack of opportunity for advancement, the stifling reward policies, and the whole corporate culture.  It makes me disgusted that so much of my time is being sunk into enriching some CEO.  And I hate coming home too mentally fatigued to do any of the things that I would actually like to do with my life.

Work is quite possibly the hardest part of my life.  It is demoralizing.  It is an energy sink.  And I don’t know what to do about it, because I need enough income to support myself and Jae and Ess and Arr, and I need health insurance if I want to keep getting the treatments that let me have the energy to do anything at all.

I’m not even certain that another job would be the answer, though, because at this point I feel burnt out on the whole eight to five grind.  Like, I am literally forcing myself to come into the office in the mornings.  I have an alarm for when I need to get up and get ready, and another one for when I’m supposed to head over to Shae’s to carpool.  And it takes me from when the first alarm goes off to when the second alarm goes off for me to convince myself to get out of bed.  Then it’s just throw on clothes and run to Shae’s apartment.  This morning I literally yelled at myself — out loud — that I had to get out of bed.

I just don’t care.  I have no fucks to give about work.  I’m not invested in the company, in my team, in my contributions or in the end products of our labor.  This is just where I come to die inside for nine hours a weekday.

That’s probably my biggest problem right now.  Making myself try — and often failing to succeed — to do work that I don’t care about in any way is demoralizing.  And the energy I spend trying to force myself to “buckle down” and “work” is energy that I would much rather spend elsewhere — except it’s gone, now.  I come home and all I want to do most evenings is go to sleep.  Sometimes I feel like I’m only forcing myself to stay awake until dinner so that I can sleep through the night if I take a pill afterwards.

And I don’t want to be this person!  The sheer negativity of everything I’ve been writing about — I don’t want that to be my defining characteristic.  My default mood.  It’s all so pessimistic and depressive.  I want my journal entries to be about stuff like starting a new series, or books I’ve read recently, or cool events I’ve attended in the city, or how many chapters I’ve got queued up to publish, or going on a date with Jae — things like that.  Positive things.  Things that I’d write about (I assume) if I were a healthy, happy, normal-ish person.

Ugh.  I am so disappointed in myself.  Just: Ugh.


2 responses to Recovering from a cold.

  1. fionag11

    I tried to resist giving advice, but since you brought it up…I have to say one thing that really jumped out at me reading about your situation is you have real marketable skills that you know are being undervalued in your present job. Although it’s not your ideal, given that you can’t freelance at this time due to the medical benefits, getting into another job with a less toxic corporate culture would help on several fronts. Not least of which, it would be a chance to start over with new colleagues who have only ever known you with your current gender and name.

    And frankly, your current company doesn’t sound very secure anyway – when the boss goes so far as to admit “you only didn’t get laid off because you’re so underpaid” ouch can you say sinking ship.

    I know – very well- its not as easy as saying it – I’m in a similar situation for different reasons. But if I were you, I’d put whatever energy and purpose you can muster at this time into jobhunting.

    Best wishes whatever you do!

    • Eren Reverie

      Yeah, I really should look elsewhere–but that is one major anxiety that I do not remotely have under control. The “what if I am accepted elsewhere and fail? Or what if I get the transphobic manager and get fired?” Or other such scenarios. So even has much as I hate where I am, I’ve been staying here because it’s the evil I know — at the very least, I’m not worried about abruptly losing my position because of someone having a problem with my being transgender. (Also, I’m hideously insecure and cannot convince myself that my marketable skills would actually be valued elsewhere. I feel like they’re too specialized with my experience in this industry, and I’ve heard almost nothing but horror stories about all the major corporate cultures that work in it.) :/ I know I need to get over my fears and insecurities and start applying elsewhere… I just can’t make myself without succumbing to panic or despair attacks.

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