It’s Been A While (Once Again), Sorry
So… it has been quite a while since I posted anything at all on My Bipolar Mind. I am so sorry for being gone for so long. With the job I had when I last posted, I was HR/Administrative Assistant/Certified Medication Administration Trainer/What ever my boss wanted me to be that day, basically for a company that housed and staffed individuals with special needs.
My stress and anxiety levels were through the roof at that job. It was like I could never predict the type of mood my boss was gonna be every single day, and her mood set the tone for how the day was gonna go. I would have a panic attack before work on almost a daily basis as well.
So I wanted to look for something new that I thought would be less stressful and anxiety producing, so, I applied to be an associate/cashier at a popular gas station/convenience store near me but then the assistant manager at the store I applied at recommended I become a manager instead and it took me over a month to even get an interview with the District Manager for that general area for a manager position.
When I finally got the interview, it was so nerve-wracking. I had almost no retail experience since my late teens/early 20s. But I wanted to try something new. In the end, I was offered a manger position for $18.50/hour salaried for 48 hours a week. Managers have to work 48 hours a week for this company and when I got hired the DM never told me that the position would be salary. That might’ve made me rethink taking on the position.
When he asked me when I could start, I said that I just needed to give my current job a two week notice, and the DM said he wouldn’t expect any less which made me look good that I wanted to give my current employer notice instead of just quitting.
The day I wanted to put my two week notice in was on a Friday, but I didn’t have the heart to give notice that day because my boss and the program specialist threw a belated surprise Birthday Party for me that Friday. I thought about changing my mind and just staying but decided against it. I had to try something different. I was also getting quite restless working there.
My last day on that job was on September 16th, 2022. It was on a Friday. I gave myself the weekend off before starting the new job on September 18th, 2022. I actually regretted not taking a week off but I wanted to look good to my new employer.
I spent about 10 weeks in this program they call the MIT Program. MIT stands for manager in training. The site I was doing my MIT Program at was an hour away from my house and I had to be there every morning, 5 days a week, by 5am. I still don’t really drive or have my own car so my mom would take me to and from work every single day.
Every other week was considered a reality week where I would go to other stores for a week and learn how to do things at those stores without having to do my every other week workbook. By the time I finished my last week of MIT, my DM asked me to run this one store that was only 30 minutes away from my house, while the assistant manager of that store went into the MIT program so she could actually become manager of that store.
I was only supposed to managing that store for a month but it turned into over two months I had to run it before my DM would even tell me which store was going to be mine. The staff at that store knew I was only the temporary manager at their store and wouldn’t listen to me for shit. One of the employees even told me that all the staff were setting bets to guess when I would quit.
At the end of January, I was finally assigned to my own store which is only about a 15-20 minute drive from my house. I don’t know why I wanted my own store because it really sucks so bad. I usually have to put in way more than 48 hours a week, especially right now since I am short staffed, and I only get paid for up to 48 hours a week.
I have been working roughly 2 weeks straight by now. I haven’t had a day off since before St. Patrick’s day and that’s all I can really remember since my days are all blurring together. I have been mainly working 4:30am – 4pm. That’s 11.5 hour shifts on almost a daily basis. If I get lucky, I can get out before 4pm. Which that’s only happened like 3 times since I started having to open the store daily.
I’ve got to wake up every day for work at 3:22 am, be at the store by 4:30am, to open up by 5am. I know, 3:22 am is an odd time but 3:20 is too early and 3:25 is too late. Ha!
I can’t take working all these hours anymore! I am also so physically and mentally exhausted. I don’t have a personal or social life anymore. I can feel either a mental breakdown or a depressive episode creeping up on me.
Monday, I wasn’t feeling mentally well at all. I had the urge to flip on every customer that came into the store. I found it hard to force myself to be nice to every single customer.
I had messaged my district manager around 10 am yesterday morning because I was starting to have a mental break down at work. I told my DM that I am trying the best I can but that I am bipolar one and I feel like I’m heading toward a break down or depressive episode. I told him that I really need a day off soon or even for someone to finish out my shift for me that day.
I was so worried that I’d have to try to stay and to try to finish out my shift. At which point I may have actually quit on the spot. But my DM was able to find coverage for me from 12pm until 4pm when my shift would’ve ended. I was very lucky that he was even able to find anyone on that short of a notice.
All I could think about doing was going right home and curling up in a ball on my bed. But my moms landlord was at the house and he doesn’t know I even live here with my family. So, I called a good friend to come pick me up and I went to hang out at his house until like 3:30pm.
I got home around 4pm-ish and just laid down and took a nap. I skipped dinner yet again and just set my alarm for like 6pm so that I could get up and take my meds and try to go right back to bed. I finally ended up eating something around 9pm (when I should have been fast asleep since I have to get up at 3:22am).
The only good thing that has come from working so much and being under so much stress and pressure is that I have been losing weight. I had lost 16Lbs in a month and I know I have lost even more weight since the last time I was weighed at my PCP appointment on 3/9/23. I’ve gotten so used to eating only like once or twice a day because around dinner time, I am usually napping or just not hungry.
After work, I am usually just so beat and worn out, both physically and mentally, that all I want to do is nap when I get home. My napping after work has gotten more frequent since working 60-70 hours a week (and only getting paid for 48 hours) without a day off.
I’ve been neglecting my mental health so much that everything is just starting to boil over again. It’s even difficult for me to force myself to shower these days, as well as shave, and wash my hair. I haven’t even bothered shaving since the end of January. I just feel so disgusting lately. I haven’t gone this long with out shaving for a few years now. And that was during a depressive episode when I used to live with Mike. When I was in that depressive episode a few years back, Mike used to shave my legs for me.
I really miss having someone be there for me when my moods are shifting all over the place. I’ve also been neglecting to do my share of housework since starting this new job that I have now been at for a little over 6 months. I really thought that the more time I have in at this new job, things would start to get easier but it hasn’t gotten easier. I’m still learning new things every day that I should have technically known how to do by now.
I’ve actually been contemplating whether or not I should just take some time and check myself into a behavioral health unit to get myself back on track with my mental health. But I also don’t want to waste my PTO and Vacation hours on a psych ward stay. I want to try to save up that time for when I am able to take vacation and be able to enjoy myself.
I really don’t know what to do or where to turn anymore. I just know that things can’t really stay the way they are for much longer before I really start to lose my shit and have a full mental break down. It probably doesn’t help that I also feel like the worlds shittiest manager. I feel like I am fucking more shit up than I am helping with.
I was a Senior Direct Support Professional (house manager) for one of the company’s I worked at back in 2015-2017. And that management role was so much less complicated than where I work now. Being a manager in retail is so much harder than I ever thought it would be. And I haven’t even had help from like an assistant manager or team lead (which I currently do not have either) to help with paperwork and manager tasks since I’ve been assigned to my own store.
I had an assistant manager in mind and I was training him for the position which he had to work his way up to, (he needed to get back on our DM’s & RM’s good side since he overheard me and another manager preparing a write up for another staff and he actually told that staff that he was being written up which he wasn’t even supposed to know about), but close to 2 weeks ago he quit because he wanted a pay raise and refused to wait for the position to officially start.
The employee I had in mind for assistant manager position didn’t even call me to tell me that he quit. One Tuesday, this team member was scheduled to open the store for me so that I could go to my manager’s meeting and have the rest of the day off. About two hours into my meeting, my DM started getting phone calls that my store wasn’t open. I tried calling the guy that was supposed to open the store that day but it kept going right to his voicemail.
My DM told me I had to leave and go open the store and by the time I got to my store it was like 11am when we were supposed to open at 5am. So my day off was completely ruined. After being at the store for about a half hour, I finally found the guys “I quit” note along with his store key.
What really sucked is that we were already short staffed and no one else knew how to open the store so that I could have 1 to 2 days off a week. The guy that quit really fucked me over which I am sure was his intention with how he quit. And it turned out that his phone kept going to voicemail because he fucking blocked my number. That was real adult like, right? It’s like thanks, fuck you too asshole.
These past two weeks or so, getting up at 3:22 am to leave by 4 am has gotten awfully challenging. I’ll even turn my alarm off in the morning sometimes and reset it to go off in 10-15 more minutes until I have no choice but to get up and quickly get dressed and do my hair for work and head out the door. I feel like the longer I have to work without a day off, the harder it is to wake up that early in the morning.
It’s currently 7:30pm, and I really should have taken my meds an hour ago or longer so that I could be asleep by this time. I get out of work between 4-4:30pm, get home between 4:30-5pm, and then usually have to take my meds and go to bed less than two hours after getting out of work. It’s driving me insane having to do this pretty much every fucking day.
It’s not the best idea to decide to work in retail as a manager when you hate having to deal with random customers. It takes a lot of energy and effort to constantly have to act like you’re okay when you’re so run down. It’s so much easier to deal with people all day when you get a break from everything one to, preferably, two days a week.
I am so going to regret staying up this late when my alarm goes off in the morning. If I go to bed even as late as 9pm, by the time I fall asleep, that leaves me with only 6 hours or less of sleep. I am just so sick of not being able to really have time to care for and manage my mental health as well as not being able to really hang out with anyone.
Well, I better try to wrap this up since it’s after 8pm now. Sorry for the long read but I wanted to get you guys and gals caught up with how I have been doing since the last time I blogged.
I do want to mention that my best friend, Jazmine, asked me to try saying three affirmations on a daily basis multiple times a day. She asked me to tell myself: “I am happy. I am beautiful. I am loved.” Affirmations have actually started to really help me with my mood but with everything I am dealing with right now, I haven’t really kept up with it for the past week. I was actually starting to feel beautiful for the first time in my life. Saying those three affirmations almost daily for over a month really was helping. I just need to get back on track again.
Thanks and have a good night, everyone!
Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mental Health, Our Personal Blog, Samantha Steiner, Samantha's Personal Blog
Samantha View All
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.
Thanks for sharing what’s going on in your world. I often think of you and hope you’re managing everything ok or better. One statement that has helped me hold on, in addition to the ones Jazmine said, is to tell myself “This moment does not define my life” I often say it repeatedly through out the day, but its help give me space to breathe sometimes. Major Kudos to you for getting through these days.
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Hey! Thank you so much for your uplifting comment. It made me so happy to learn that you have been thinking of me. I hope you like some of the new content I have posted! I am slowly getting back into blogging and that makes me feel so good!
Much Love, Samantha.