It’s almost 1 am and usually by this time I have already been asleep for a few hours. Ever since I started my new job on August 2nd, on nights where I have to get up at 7:30 am for work, I take my night time meds around 9 pm and I am usually out within an hour. I am always so tired during the day since I am still trying to adjust to work life again so I haven’t had much trouble falling asleep at night.
But tonight, I am wide awake even though I took my night meds around 9:45 pm. I am going to definitely be regretting my life choices when my alarm goes off in the morning. I already have enough trouble waking up in the morning when I get my normal amount of sleep at night.
The meds I take at night tend to make me really groggy in the morning and make it even harder to wake up and start functioning. So tomorrow morning should be fun. I’ve even started relying on Kratom in my morning coffee again to try to get some much needed extra energy to get me going in the morning.
I only give myself an hour to get ready from the time my alarm goes off until I have to leave for work. I usually spend the first half hour trying to wake up and the second half to get dressed and pack my lunch and such. I should probably try to give myself a little more time in the morning but I try to get as much sleep as possible and 7:30 is the absolute latest I can wake up to leave myself enough time to get ready.
I’m liking my new job so far but it’s a lot to learn and I always have multiple tasks to try to complete at once and I’m not the best at multi-tasking. I’m the administrative assistant/HR at my new company. Even though I had the same job title at my last job, I have so many more responsibilities with my new company.
My last job I usually had so much down time that it felt like my shift would never end and this time around it’s the complete opposite. There’s always something for me to do which does help make the day go by faster. But it gets overwhelming sometimes. Especially if I am trying to focus on a specific task and my boss throws other tasks at me that she wants done right away because it makes me lose focus and my train of thought on the original task I was working on. I have so many half finished projects that I need to get done but don’t usually have enough time to complete in a timely manner with all the little last minute things that get thrown my way.
I really have to start utilizing to-do lists and taking notes everytime I’m asked to do something so that I don’t accidentally forget to get something done because I am starting to get backed up which isn’t a good thing for me. I try to remember everything that’s asked of me but by the next day I sometimes tend to forget what it was that I had to get done.
I also need to come up with a better organizational system for certain things because I have random papers all over the place plus I tend to forget where I put things from time to time.
Some of the things I have been working on at work are organizing employee files, seeing who needs what mandatory trainings, setting up direct deposit for all staff for the first time, working on getting employee medical benefits (which is proving to be a challenge), figuring out how to get employees some PTO, and so much more.
Plus, I am also taking the medication administration train the trainer course to become certified to teach the medication administration class to staff as well as observe their bi-yearly med pass practicum.
My boss had to pay $65 to register me for this course. I have to take a 12 part online module course that has a quiz after each module and I only get two chances to pass the quiz on each module or else I fail and my boss has the pay the money again and I have to start over. That puts a lot of pressure on me and makes me petrified of failing. If I pass all the online modules I then have to do a face-to-face training and pass that along with the final test and it appears I also have to do some sort of presentation in order to fully pass the course. My boss also mentioned sending me for the CPR train the trainer course.
I think with these train the trainer courses, I am even more nervous about having to actually host the trainings in front of staff. I’ve never been a good public speaker. In high school, I used to take zeros on my assignments that required me to present stuff in front of the class.
When I speak in front of a group of people I usually always end up stumbling over my words, forgetting what I was going to say mid-sentence, and either talking too fast or too slow. Plus, I also get so shakey that you’re even able to hear it in my voice. Sometimes I feel like when I’m trying to explain certain things to people I end up making no sense to anyone but myself. I have always been so much better at expressing myself through writing than compared to speaking.
I know I shouldn’t worry about actually having to train and teach employees until after I pass the course but it’s still in the back of my mind because I know it’s inevitable if I pass.
All-in-all though, I do like my new job much better than my last one and my new boss is much more respectful toward her staff than my last boss too. I just tend to over think which causes me to doubt myself and my abilities.
Some days I feel like I know exactly what I’m doing at work and feel like I’ll definitely be able to handle this job in the long run. But other days, when I’m doubting myself or feeling really overwhelmed, I feel incompetent and under qualified for this position.
On a good note, I started my third week at work and haven’t called out yet which is probably a first for me. I’ve never been the best with my attendance for anything. My 10th grade year in high-school, from September to December, I was only in class about 30 days total. My attendance has always been an issue when it comes to going to work especially if I am struggling with a bipolar episode or severe anxiety.
I tend to call out of work when I’m not feeling the best mentally. But since I am salary now and have no PTO, I know if I miss a day of work I’ll spend the rest of the week trying to make up the hours and 8.5 hours a day of work is enough for me already. I’ve already had to go in on a Saturday to make up hours from when I left work around noon on my birthday. That was not fun.
I did confide in my new boss and admitted that I am bipolar in case she notices that some days I am high energy and other days I am low. I didn’t want her to think I was on drugs or anything so I was honest. She even knows that I am on several psych meds since mornings I tend to be a little groggy from my nighttime meds. She was very compassionate and understanding. I’m glad I opened up to her about my mental health.
I also made a new friend at work on my first day there. Me and this girl clicked instantly and we have a lot of the same issues and struggles and can relate to one another. We’ve hung out outside of work several times. I’ve only ever clicked instantly like this with one other person in my life and that’s my best friend of like 23 years. I can see a lasting friendship with this girl.
My therapist thinks gaining this job will help me improve my self-esteem a bit. I hope she’s right. I am still going to try to see my therapist bi-weekly but I have to make sure I am her first patient at 8:30 am so that I don’t miss too much work. If I’m her first appointment of the day I can be back at work before 10am which means I only have to make up an hour.
My last therapy session my therapist complimented how I was dressed professionally and groomed for work since she usually only sees me when I’m wearing sweat pants and a baggy tee. She said I was very well put together for that time in morning since she knows I am not really a morning person. My therapist was very happy with the progress I have made since our year lapse in sessions. We both believe and feel like I am finally on the right med combo after 20 years of trial and error with the medication game.
I was even able to go from seeing my psych doctor monthly to every other month since I have been pretty stable for a little while now. I am even shocked by how well I have been dealing and coping with all the changes in my life that happened since the end of June. In the past, losing a relationship, starting a new job, and having to move back in with my mom and sister would’ve sent me spiraling out of control and caused me to rapid cycle to extremes. I’ve even been hospitalized in psych wards in the past after going through unpleasant life changes.
I know it’s all about progress and not perfection. I get that now. I am actually able to finally say that I am proud of myself for the progress I’ve made in my mental health journey. I still have days where I struggle with mania, depression, or severe anxiety but I am able to deal with these episodes a lot better than I used to be especially since my episodes aren’t usually as severe and debilitating as they used to be.
I know I’ll never be cured and that I will deal with my mental health disorders for the rest of my life but it feels good to finally get a break from the constant chaos that plagued my mind for so many years that never seemed to give me enough time or a break in order to just be able to breathe without feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I finally have some days off where I’m not really bothered by my mental health symptoms when in the past my symptoms were uncontrolled and it felt like most days were a bad day or a big struggle. I have more good days then bad I think these days. My most frequent and worst symptom tends to be my anxiety rather than my rapid cycling from my bipolar disorder. In the past, my worst symptom was the frequent and severe rapid cycling. But I feel like my current med combo has really been helpful with that.
I can’t believe it’s almost 2:30 am and I’m still wide awake. I don’t know how I am going to get through tomorrow at work. My last job, I used to fall asleep at my desk more often than I’d like to admit but I definitely can’t do that with this new job. I have too much to get done and theres usually always someone else at the office with me.
Since starting this job, this is the first time I’ve been up this late. Not being able to fall asleep tonight is giving me so much anxiety because I know how I get when I don’t get enough sleep. It makes me extra emotional and the simplest thing could bring me to tears. The last thing I need is to have a mini mental break down at work over something silly.
I do have some medical Marijuana I could try smoking but since it’s late and smoking flower makes me cough really bad I don’t want to smoke any and risk waking someone up with my loud ass coughing. It’s also too late and too close to the time I have to get up to try taking my extra dose of trazodone or seroquel. If I take some more now I risk not being able to wake up on time in the morning. I need to be able to get at least 6 hours of sleep minimum after taking one of those two meds. And my alarm is going to go off in just 5 hours.
The later it gets, the more my anxiety will grow if I can’t fall asleep. It’s almost like my night time meds had no effect on me at all tonight. Gotta love insomnia, right? I even turned the TV off and tried laying down doing nothing but I couldn’t get my mind to shut off. My to-do list for tomorrow at work keeps running through my head along with some other things.
I even downloaded the Microsoft To-Do app so that I could create a check list of things I need to get done in the hopes that getting it out of my head and writing everything down would make the noise inside my head stop but it didn’t help.
So here I am. Blogging in the middle of the night when I really need to be sleeping. I wish falling asleep were as easy as flipping a light switch. But it doesn’t work like that for me and never has.
When I was younger, I used to be able to function very well the next day after not getting much or any sleep at all. The older I get, the harder losing sleep gets both physically and mentally for me. I am reminded that I am not in my early 20s anymore. I’ve come to learn the importance of getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night.
My boss said that she’ll give me a month to train and learn how things are done but after that month she expects me to know what I’m doing.
That scared me a bit when she said that because there are some days where I feel like I’m not understanding what was asked of me even though I try to complete the task at hand to the best of my ability. Sometimes I feel like I’m performing tasks that I just don’t understand even though I am able to get the work done. It’s like I figured it out once but I’m clueless about how perform the task a second time since I didn’t really understand what I was doing the first time. I am not even sure that makes sense.
I need to learn to speak up when I’m not fully understanding something so that my boss could break it down for me or explain it better. But part of me is scared to ask for clarification because I don’t want to seem like an idiot or incompetent or something. Maybe that goes with my people pleasing tendencies.
Well, I better wrap this up. It’s almost 3 am. I’m just going to have to stay laying down until either I finally fall asleep or my alarm goes off. I used my phone to write this post and have been laying in bed the whole time. I thought that maybe blogging while laying down would make me drowsy enough to go to sleep but it didn’t. I used to try to blog late at night on my phone in the past and I’d usually fall asleep half way through the post.
Well, wish me luck on being able to get some sleep before work tomorrow!
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.