Photo by Maria Lysenko on Unsplash
I feel like I am always exhausted and in need of a good cat nap. I don’t even work overtime or anything strenuous, but by the end of my shift at work I am usually ready to veg out in bed while flipping between Netflix and Hulu until it’s time for me to take my night time medications and go to bed.
I tend to slack on my housekeeping duties more than I should because of my lack of energy and motivation. I don’t know how people work full-time jobs and come home to cook and clean and watch your children if you have them. I give so much credit to people who work and can also take care of all their other duties and obligations without falling too far behind. Plus, I give extra credit to the people who work and go to school full time. It ain’t easy!
I am horrible with time management and feel like I can only focus on one thing at a time. If I have a job, I don’t have the ability to focus on trying to go to school at the same time. I’ve tried it numerous times before and always ended up dropping out after the first semester. The only schooling I passed and graduated from was a 9-month Medical Assistant degree program from Lincoln Technical Institute and I couldn’t even think of working while taking my classes. I am not multi-talented, apparently.
When doing something, I have to give that task my full attention and I have to try to minimize distractions. I lose my mind when people tell me to do multiple things at one time. I sometimes have to tell the person to slow down and tell me one thing at a time. I have to actually write down each task that I am being asked to do so I don’t forget about it when I’m given multiple duties at once.
They say women are great multitaskers; I guess I was out sick the day that trait was being handed out because I am horrible at it. Plus, multitasking can often increase my anxiety and overwhelm me to the point where I just want to stop functioning and shut down. I’ve already had anxiety and panic attacks when being told to do several things at once. I hate that about me, but at least I am aware of this downfall of mine and I am still learning ways to deal with it when being asked to multitask and do certain things at one time.
Generally, my work day goes a lot slower than I would like which I think helps contribute to my fatigue. When you don’t have a steady work flow during your shift, time can drag on forever. I don’t mind the days I am busier because it passes the time fa lot quicker. It’s weird, because on the days I have a heavier workload, I have a bit more energy after my shift compared to the days when it’s really slow.
I had to go out of my comfort zone today and fill in for a direct care worker who called out. This means I had to do direct care for the first time since 2017 when I had my last job. I am just glad that I didn’t have to work by myself since the client has a 2:1 ratio which means there has to be two staff for this one individual.
The shift today was easy peasy and the time went by pretty fast even though there wasn’t much to actually do. The guy I worked with today was also very chill and laid back which really helped ease the anxiety I was feeling when I first arrived.
It kind of made me miss being a DSP (Direct Support Professional) and working in group homes and taking care of people. I was thinking for a brief moment in time that maybe I should just go back to doing direct care work, but then I remembered some of the challenging individuals I worked with in the past and how I was always getting injured by certain individuals that I cared for and I changed my mind and decided that I need to stay as an office worker where there is less risk of me getting injured or aggravating my chronic pain issues.
C.I. Training Course
I am currently taking a Certified Investigator training course for work. I started the training last Monday. Except for today, I have been able to complete all my course work while at work. Today, I had to do my work after I got home and I actually just finished my assignments maybe less than 2 hours ago.
Like I anticipated, I do have some trouble focusing on the course and the work that needs to be done. This training is usually done in person which usually works better for my learning styles to be able to see the instructor in person, but due to COVID they are doing everything virtually and I have zoom sessions I have to attend and keep my camera on for. We aren’t allowed to mute our video so they can’t see us. They want to make sure that everyone is interacting and paying attention. We can only mute our audio unless we’re needed to talk.
They only have four Zoom sessions and tomorrow will be my last one before the final exam. On the days we didn’t have a zoom session, they gave us some light work to do on our own time such as watching webcasts and answering short quizzes afterward.
I am nervous about taking the final exam because I have always been horrible at taking tests. Even when I know the material well, exams still trip me up and make me nervous. I second-guess my answers, read too much into questions, and I am usually anxiety-fueled by the time the test starts. I feel like this exam shouldn’t be too complex, but I am worried if I fail it people will think I am a total idiot and judge me.
Since the last zoom session is tomorrow, I should be able to take the exam by Thursday. They do give you three tries to pass the test but you have to wait 24 hours after taking the first test to try again. We have to score at least an 80% or higher to pass. If you fail three times, you have to retake the course and finding open spots for this training is quite hard since so many people want to or need to take it that it books up for months at a shot. My boss was able to get into this course too, but he don’t start until sometime in July.
Helping my mom while she recovers…
My mom recently underwent surgery on her back. They put some kind of stimulator in her back that is supposed to help my mom control her pain and sugar levels better than her pain meds. Today was her two week follow up and she is still going to be down for another four weeks. My boyfriend, siblings, and I have been taking turns helping to care for my mom since she is not allowed to bend, twist, or turn using her back.
My mom is healing well, thank goodness! I am still worried about her though and I will be until she is fully healed from the surgery because she learned today the horrible things that could potentially happen inside her body from the surgery if she were to bend or turn the wrong way. And it’s all some really scary shit that could even lead to part of her spine having to be removed. Before my mom talked to her doctor today she was really pushing the limits of her movements and would try to bend and do things on her own.
Now that she knows what could potentially go wrong if she doesn’t follow her doctors instructions, she said she’s going to be much more careful and stop trying to bend and twist. However, I do believe this is all pertinent information that the doctors should have told my mom about before she even went under the knife so she knew what to expect and what could go wrong.
I know my mom feels bad for asking her kids and their significant others to help her since she needs someone with her at all times. I know she wants to do things for herself. I know she feels bad when my boyfriend and I have to stay late when we have to get up early for me to go to work. I know she feels bad for asking my brother to spend every other weekend at her house. I know my mom feel bad and guilty for a lot, and it honestly makes me feel bad and sad that my mom feels bad.
Even though on the days I have to go over right after work and just want to rest and get into PJ’s, I try to not show it (when I can control myself) when I am not in the best of moods and just wanna go home because I don’t want my mom to feel any worse than she already does. I try to joke around and make my mom laugh. I feel selfish when I am at her house and start thinking about how much I just want to be at home and unwind from work because my mom helped me so much when I went through both my surgeries last year and she didn’t complain about helping me one bit. I just want to try to repay her for all the help she gave me while I was down.
Talking about the subject of helping my mom makes me think back to my teenage years and how horrible I was to my mom and basically everyone else. Yes, I had some major childhood traumas and things were rough every now and again. But my mom still did everything she could for all four of her kids. She made sure we had what we needed. We may have moved around a lot, but at least my mom always kept a roof over our head and made sure that we were always fed.
It took me from the time I was a teenager until I hit my 30s before I really understood why my mom did some of the things that she did and all the trauma that she had to also endure because of my step dad. I wish I could make up for all the years that I was difficult and challenging. But I know I can’t. I can only try to make sure that I show my mom the love and respect she deserves from here on out.
Now that my mom is getting older and she’s in her 50s, I worry about her all the time. My grandmother passed away at 62-years-old suddenly and unexpectedly and as my mom gets closer to that age, the more worried I get. My mom and I now have a great mother-daughter relationship and I rely on her for so much. I call my mom several times a day, which I guess isn’t normal for a 30-something-year-old to do.
Every thing that happens to me whether it’s good or bad, the first person I usually turn to is my mom. She’s had years of experience dealing with me and my mental health that she is able to calm me down and talk some sense into me better than anyone else I know. It scares me that I don’t know how much time my mom has left. Is it 10 years, 20 years? Could it be today or tomorrow?
Sometimes I wish that I knew a legit psychic that could help ease some of my anxiety regarding the unknown. The unknown is scary and the future is unknown which makes the future scary to me.
I like when I am able to do little things for my mom that light up her face with a smile. Not too long ago, my boyfriend drove my mom and I to the house she basically grew up in that used to be my great grandmothers. I have quite a few memories in that house too from when I was little. Well, the new owners are renovating the whole house to fix it up since the previous owner let the house fall apart. The new owners were there and my mom got out to talk to them and they ended up letting us take a walk through of the house. It was gutted, but I could still picture everything just as it was when I was little.
Being able to walk through the house brought back so many memories and tears were tugging at the corner of my eyes. My mom was so happy and looked like she was near tears too which made my eyes tear up even more. It was just so… surreal. My mom was telling the new owners where things originally were in the house and how it was once set up and they said it helped them get a better idea of what they should do.
I just loved how happy this jog down memory lane made my mom. It made me feel so good to be able to make her happy because she deserves to be happy. Seeing the place I pretty much spent the first few years of my life really made me miss my great grandmother and grandmother. I am sure my mom felt that way too. Especially since my mom was very close to my great grandmother just as I was very close to my grandmother.
Random Thoughts & Ponderings
It’s crazy how I used to be completely suicidal and always wished that I would just die to make everything stop. It consumed me for so many years. But after I first tried to get sober and removed all drugs and alcohol from my life, I started to fear death and dying to the point where I was filled with so much fear of everything that I even got paranoid taking a Naproxen (an OTC pain reliever) because the side effects warned of the potential for it to cause a stroke as a serious reaction.
While I still get into moments where I feel like I’d be better of dead, I no longer act on those thoughts. It’s scary to think that you could be here living your life one day and be gone the next without warning. I don’t want to actually kill myself anymore because I fear the things I could miss and I fear hurting my loved ones and causing them pain. I also have fear about what’s going to happen when I lose someone close to me. I don’t want my loved ones to die. There’s a few people in my life that would trigger my suicidal tendencies if I were to lose them forever because I don’t know how to live without them.
I hate that the first time I got sober all these fears surrounding death and dying popped into my head and just won’t leave. I don’t know what’s worse; being stuck feeling suicidal more often than not or having strong fears that hold me back from doing certain things and taking certain risks. It is a shitty trade off. I fear both life and death.
Since I fear losing my loved ones and worry about something bad happening to them, it would be preferable for me to pass on before someone I love and am really attached to. It was hell losing my Gram and I don’t ever want to feel that way again. I don’t even know how I made it out of the five stages of grief alive. With how I was coping, I’m lucky to still be alive and that I didn’t overdose on anything or drink myself to death. My self-harm tendencies were also getting out of control during that time period. I don’t cope with loss very well. Actually, I don’t cope with anything that’s bad very well.
I have read and been told that trying to keep and follow a budget as well as trying to save money can sometimes be challenging for people who live with bipolar disorder. Well, I am one of those people who aren’t the best with their money. Every time I put money in my savings account and tell myself that I am not going to touch it and that I’ll act like it’s not even there, as soon as my funds start to run low I always end up dipping into my savings until there’s nothing left.
I hate that I am bad with budgeting because it can really put a strain on things from your finances to your relationships. I have stuff coming up that I need a certain amount of money put away for and I know this, yet I still tend to overspend. I wish I was more like my one brother who knows how to budget and save without a hassle. My brother was even able to save enough to purchase his own house and he’s 6 years younger than me.
I wish I could control my spending like you’d think a 34-year-old should be able to do. I can’t lie though, a lot of my money goes to the medical marijuana dispensary. The products aren’t cheap but it’s the only thing that controls both my mental health and my physical pain so I am loyal customer.
The product I found that works best for me from the dispensary are these 50mg R.S.O. capsules that cost $72 for just 10 pills. It helps tame my anxiety like nothing else. But for me, $72 is a lot of money that I have to put out every few days. I at least hope they keep this product around for a while because of how well it works. But having this extra expense in order to keep my sanity and help my pain gets costly.
In May, I have to shell out another $200 to renew my medical marijuana card and that money is just the cost of the medical appointment. Plus, there is the $25-50 for the registration fees. They should just fully legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania like they just did in New Jersey which is just one state away.
I love when pay day comes around, but I hate how fast the money that I worked for disappears. It takes so much longer to earn the money than it does to spend it. Adulting really sucks sometimes.
Overspending is a habit I picked up in my teenage years that seems to have stuck around throughout adulthood. If anyone reading this has any tips for learning how to budget and save, the advice would be greatly appreciated. You can comment below or even shoot me an email if you’re shy. (My email is ContactMyBipolarMind@gmail.com) I need all the help I can get with this matter.
I feel like I have been out of touch with so many people lately. I used to be on Facebook all the time and was really good at keeping up with my friends and family but ever since I started my job, I go on Facebook less and less. Sometimes it’ll take me a few days to realize that it’s been days since I heard from this person or that person.
I’ll look at the date of the last message and just feel like shit I should really reach out to this person and see how they are doing but then by the time I get home from work I forget and usually only converse with my mom and boyfriend on a regular, consistent basis. Sometimes I’ll even go a few days without talking to my best friend (Jazmine) or soul sister from another mister (Rissa) without even realizing it when I used to be really good at making sure I at least got to say “Hi” and send out a text every single day just to let them know I was thinking of them.
Then again, things are different now that I have a job and have to follow a set schedule. I used to be up all kinds of odd hours which left me available to have real conversations more often since I created my own schedule and didn’t really ever have anywhere to be. Now, I prefer to get a good nights rest for work in the morning instead of staying up all night talking to people. I realized just how important a good night’s rest can be when you have to be able to function the following day.
I feel bad that I am not keeping up with everyone the way I used to. I don’t want people to feel like I am trying to ghost them or anything. I’m usually in my own little world after work and life sometimes just slips by me and I forget to reach out to people. Sure, I can text at work but I can’t always keep up with conversation if I get busy. I don’t look at my phone every five minutes like I used to. Sometimes I won’t realize I received a text until hours later and won’t even realize that my smartwatch alerted me of a new message since I have to keep it on vibrate for work.
Then, there are some days where I just am really not in the mood to socialize so I’ll just watch my phone ring instead of answering it.
It is after midnight and I should have been in bed hours ago to get a full nights sleep before work tomorrow. I am usually in bed by 9pm. I just realized I forgot to take my night time meds and just took them maybe 10 minutes ago. Since I took the Seroquel and Trazodone so late I am probably going to be really groggy tomorrow morning. I got so wrapped up in writing that I lost track of time.
Sorry for the long post (yet again) but if you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read about what’s been going on in my life. I hope everyone has a good night! Sweet dreams ❤
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.