Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fear and (Self) Loathing in Indiana

So. Work. It's been worse than normal lately. I only work 24 hours a week now, because it stresses me out too much to be there any more than that. I can't find a good psychiatrist in the area (I tried recently with laughable at best results), so I'm kind of between a rock and a hard place until we figure out where and when we're moving (it's either a half an hour away or several states away, depending on whether or not my husband gets into grad school). In the meantime I'm just kind of getting by.

But fucking work lately. Every day last week (I work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday), I found myself crying in the bathroom at work over how miserable just being there makes me. I'm constantly anxious, and seemingly always surrounded by customers who have absolutely no respect for the personal space of strangers. I've had carts physically rammed into my person, unwanted shoulder and arm touches, and more people literally leaning/hovering over me to reach items than you can shake a stick at in the past week than I even care to think about. Here's a tip: If you're at a store and an employee is in your way, SAY EXCUSE ME. Not after you shove your cart into them or as you're physically pushing your body past them and inevitably moving their work supplies and/or rubbing against their body, but before you attempt to get past them. We are not immovable fixtures, we have feet and legs and feelings (what with us being human beings and all), and if you ask us nicely to move or hand you an item, we'll be happy to. But moving the carts an employee is working from or leaning over them as they're kneeling on the ground trying to reset planograms or stock shelves (and effectively preventing them from being able to move in some cases) is rude. And if an employee moves because you didn't bother to ask them to, don't say, "Oh no, you're fine!" No, I'm NOT fine. I'm moving for ME, not you, because I don't like people looming over me and/or putting their hands and face within 6-8 inches of my face without my permission.

Maybe it's just a symptom of my anxiety progressing due to not being medicated, but I've been feeling more agoraphobic and claustrophobic lately. Not, like, full-blown phobic (I've got a couple legit phobias, and I'm not reacting with nearly the same level of severity to the crowds and people as I do to my phobias), but they're bothering me much more than normal.

I've also been horribly stressed out over my lack of social life. I don't really have any friends. That sounds self pitying, but I really don't have anyone I hang out with outside of work aside from my husband and parents. Therefore, my work relationships and friendships mean a lot to me, and yesterday (Friday) a few of my closest work friends just outright would not speak to me. Ignored me at break, avoided eye contact with me... I mean, people have bad days. I know that all too well myself. But I'm horribly paranoid about it now and have cried about it 2 or 3 times in the past day and a half, because whatever it is I did, I want to fix it, but I don't even have the opportunity, because I don't know what I'd be apologizing for/fixing.

Overall, I just worry that people think I choose to be anxious and depressed on a certain level. Even other people I know who have varying levels of anxiety and depression make me feel very inferior and annoying to be around. All I want is to be happy and productive and -call it pathetic- liked. I want to be liked. Who doesn't? I want friends that I can turn to, and those feel so horribly rare. When I got married, before the wedding, one of my bridesmaids just sort of stopped talking to me after losing her job (we worked together). I reached out to another close (male) friend to be a bridesmaid in her place, and THAT friend ended up leaving my bachelorette party an hour in and, a week later at the rehearsal dinner and the day after at the wedding didn't show. Fortunately, my husband had a friend who was able to stand in his place, as he wore the same size shirt, and I don't regret a bit having him in that place, because I've become closer to him since getting married, and he's an awesome guy. The friend who didn't show recently contacted me for the first time in 8 months, and we're rebuilding our friendship. Oh, and my matron of honor? The day after the wedding she stopped speaking to me. When I reached out to her to try to make right whatever went wrong, she cut me off entirely (she and her husband, our officiant, unfriended me on Facebook even). She and I had been friends something to the tune of 20 YEARS. And then nothing. And while I'm glad to be back in touch with the one friend (who had a lot of personal things going on that we've begun to touch on in private conversations), I can't help but feel just horribly dejected. It's corny, but aren't a woman's bridesmaids supposed to be her closest, best friends? And yes, I had 3 bridesmaids (including my maid of honor sister) who I am still close with, and I'm immensely grateful for that.

Sometimes I feel like my personality must be offputting or toxic in some way. I feel so horribly flawed and unlikable, and I don't know how to fix it. I'm sort of afraid to talk about ANYTHING pertaining to myself, because regardless of what it is, I feel like no one is going to want to hear it (or worse, they'll hate me for it). I know this all sounds really self loathing and "poor me", but when you live your life walking on eggshells, everything seems way more fucking complicated and self-wrought than it is. If I upset someone -and I'm sure I do, obviously I do- I probably don't know why. If I've pissed someone off and don't apologize, it's because I don't realize I've pissed them off. I value every friendship I have, because friendship is hugely important to me. It isn't my goal to hold grudges or give the silent treatment. But sometimes I get nervous and jumpy and maybe say or do things that others find irritating or off-putting or maybe even bitchy, I don't know. But I don't do things with explicit malicious intent to upset other people. I HATE upsetting people. If anything, I'm bad at staying mad at people who wrong me, because I crave smoothing things over. Discourse makes me crazy. I'm a peacekeeper who craves interpersonal interaction like the air in my lungs, and I cry at the thought of pushing people away. Yet as my GAD has gotten worse, it's pushed a lot of people farther away than I could've ever dreamed in even my worst nightmares. And it breaks my heart, because I CAN'T FIX IT. I'm tired of being told that "everything happens for a reason" and "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle". I may be a peacekeeper and a lover of love, but I'm a realist and an atheist. GAD does not make you stronger by default, and it isn't my fault that I'm not *~gRoWiNg~* because of it. And I feel really selfish and shitty for saying that, but I'm not going to lie to myself and agree with it, either. Hating my job and being constantly disappointed in myself might not kill me, but it isn't making me a better, stronger person just because some trite phrase on a plaque at Hallmark says it does. It is fucking hard dealing with anxiety and depression, and I hate feeling like people -even other people with anxiety/depression- think less of me because I refuse to pretend that everything's coming up Milhouse when it isn't. I'm not depressed and sad every day. More often than not, in fact, I feel pretty good and happy and energetic and ready to take on the day. Seriously. But it's like when I have a bad day, I feel like I can't talk about it, because I'm not the only person who has problems and I should probably just suck it up and be a goddamn adult about it. We're allowed to have bad days. EVERYONE is allowed to. Anyone who says they feel like a million bucks 24/7/365 is a liar. But sometimes it seems like the fact that I have bad days because of conditions x y z, I'm being looked at as someone who just uses their conditions to their advantage to seek sympathy. And I'm 100% NOT that person. And it's just exasperating.

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