phugoid motion

It’s great when you’re married and yet life seems to be in a downward spiral. You’re struggling to find a job even though you have countless applications out, and even though you go to interviews you don’t get second or third appointments. Your husband works more than 70 hours a week and is exhausted. You have no time together, no time or money for anything special and even barely enough money to pay for every day essentials. Your husband is trying his best to work, even though he has an illness that may never fully go away, and yet he arrives home mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.

I spend sleepless nights filling out job applications, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry hoping, praying, begging for positive things to happen, for there to be light at the end of what has been a very, very long and aphotic tunnel.

I am so tired of people saying “hang in there” or “be positive.” Until you’ve lived the life my husband and I have — when you’re drowning in debt, unsure of how you’re going to pay the bills, put food on the table, or when it seems like your dreams and hopes are continually buried under bills and notices, please do not say a word.

We are doing what we can, but it isn’t enough. I have no idea where I am going wrong on job applications or interviews. I wish I knew where I was going wrong, seriously. I  hate feeling like I am doing nothing to help. I understand my lack of a job, or any real working experience is contributing to this mess, not mention putting Cleve in an early grave.

The ongoing battle with anxiety..

Last night I made a firm decision–to stop taking my antidepressants. Sadly, I’ve been on them long enough to notice the two nasty side-effects I cannot stand: too many cravings for food and weight gain. Three years ago, when I was a super-stressed college student, a nurse practitioner advised me to take Celexa, to assist with my anxiety and hopefully calm my nerves. I’m glad to say it worked, but it also made me gain an unheard of amount of weight. Now that I have been taking the meds again, after a horrific attempt at taking Paxil, I have decided to simply stop taking the pills and find another, more healthful, alternative to dealing with my anxiety issues. I am tired of the constant food cravings and more than sick of watching the numbers on both the scale and my waistline go up.

I have no idea where the anxiety came from and that troubles me. I don’t know what the trigger is or was, thus I cannot come to terms with these strange manifestations of anxiety, stress and all the health issues that come with having both.

I actually have an embarrassing story about how my anxiety got the better of me. Three years ago, my boyfriend and I were out house hunting and I didn’t feel at all well. I was incredibly nervous and my stomach was in painful knots. Now I will admit, I was plagued by stress about going to a four year university (I just just graduated from community college) and I guess the nervousness spilled over into my daily life. To make this house hunt worse, my stomach started to cramp and I had the overwhelming need to use the restroom. Now this is where the panic set it in–would I be able to make it to a restroom in time before I had an accident?! Fortunately, I found a lovely and clean bathroom to use at a house we were looking at with a realtor. Since that experience, I travel with a shopping bag with back-up pair of clothes just in case the need should arise. My mother has joking dubbed it my “purse.” I have never had to make use of the extra clothing but to my mind it is “insurance” in case something awful happens.

Now, I have been tested for everything under the sun, I even had a colonoscopy when I was twenty-four — the results returned absolutely nothing. So what is the big deal?!

All I know how is that I have research to do in finding a better way to deal with my stress. Turning to food and eating ones emotions isn’t healthy, nor does it feel good. I want to feel good about myself again. No, I NEED to feel good about myself.

I’m sticking to my guns though, the pills are out.

Taking out the garbage

I never enjoy talking to people about my problems, I always feel like I’m burdening people when I dish about my issues: stress, emotional and mental problems, etc. Today was different. I didn’t have much hope for my second counseling session, but I was my unease was quickly swept aside by a gentle soul who, thankfully, listened to me. Going back some fifteen years, I realized that the emotional and verbal abuse that I had endured for years was taking a toll on me in the present day. My mind continually remembers and replays the emotional distress caused by a father who sent me mixed messages a child: at once ridiculing me and then telling me he “loves me.” The confusion was absolute. Today my social worker enlightened me, “Chris, get rid of the garbage,” she said. “You’ve been carrying around this garbage of negativity and cynicism that happened so many years ago, let it go,” she implored me. “Get to know yourself, find out what you want to do.”

No longer do I have to please other people. I need to find out what want to do, and do it.

I was nervous about letting my guard down and talking to someone. I find now that it is a most liberating experience.

Coming to terms

Time has gone by and I have not touched my blog in so long. I’m not sure who I should apologize to more, WordPress, the blog, or myself?! I should be more mindful of keeping up the craft of writing. After all, I have a degree in English and a minor in writing, and I have complained so much that I don’t know what I can do with my degree. I should write.

Sadly, writing has not been on my mind very much. I have been incredibly busy with starting a new chapter of my life with my partner, Cleve. He and I have started a new adventure – moving in together. He signed on the dotted line for a condo nearly a month ago, and since then the process of “moving in” has been both exciting and incredibly terrifying, not to mention stressful! A new place, a new neighborhood, and new responsibilities. Now that I’m actually living with him at his new place, I have to take care of some bills. I cannot convey the immense pleasure I had in actually setting up utilities in my own name. Electric, gas, and cable (television and internet) that are mine, it is something of a right of passage, no? Not only does the responsibility make me feel like I’m growing up, it adds luster to my credit which is, as it should be, always good!  We also scoured furniture stores in town, in an attempt to gauge what our taste was, and after searching and searching we found a lovely grouping of furniture, it arrives today!!

In addition to new digs, I have also started a new job working for Verizon as a Customer Service Representative. The job itself has been quite a learning experience. From the training environment onto the production floor, the past month or so has tested me in various ways. My patience, resolve, and understanding have all been put to the absolute limit. Being a CSR is not for everyone and the only way to truly find out if indeed you are cut out is, of course, to be on the floor taking LIVE calls from customers. In my roll with Verizon, I am the be all and end all of technical support. With the varied tools the company has reps using, we are charged with assisting customers with any number of problems regarding the devices on their respective accounts.  That means getting cozy with many operating systems, juggling two computer screens, and a laundry list of programs to: notate a customer’s account, research an issue, and make sure the customer’s issue is resolved in a timely manner. This all this going on with moving in to a new place, buying furniture, and applying for utilities my nerves and stress level have skyrocketed beyond normal levels.

I have had to come to terms with stress and exactly how to manage it. I have now ventured into meditation, yoga, and I am walking again! So the past few weeks have been a big stressor, so what?! I have found new ways of dealing with the stress, and a new resolve to become a happier, healthier person.  I have also continued on my doctor prescribed Gluten Free diet, and I have found the more I shop for groceries myself the more options I have to make healthy meals!

I have also decided to enter counseling, so that I might be able to talk to someone about the things that trigger my stress and anxiety. For someone who doesn’t like to talk about things, I am quite introverted, this is a very BIG deal. My first session with a social worker was very productive and quite helpful. The lady I spoke with even congratulated me on opening up enough to speak with her, small victories.

My counseling session is after Easter and I’m actually excited about it.

 

Nervous, happy, scared, excited

I’ve never been one to think outside the box. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I think things through thoroughly enough sometimes. Yet, at this juncture in my life, I’m finding myself at a weird point:  I’ve gone through school, years of school; however, I don’t exactly know what to do. I know I’ve written about the uncertainties of my life before, this time though things are starting to become more and more murky. It’s like I’m wading into a deep, dark pond. What lurks within the hidden depths?

I’ve applied to be a local writer for Examiner. I remember attempting to start at Examiner years ago but I gave it up as a bad job. This time around, I look at it as an opportunity to spread my wings. It may not be a newspaper, or a trendy magazine, but it is a start…somewhere. Thankfully, I have some articles I published in 2010 and 2011 as proof that I’ve actually had writing posted other than here and on my wordpress.

Things look bleak for college grads, people in their 20s, and those unemployed..

My generation is unfortunately one that got royally screwed on two fronts: jobs and student loans. Granted, I know so many others (who have degrees and more work history than I do) have been out of work longer, young people my age are facing the uphill battle of trying to find a job in a very weak economy. Sure, employers are adding jobs left and right; however, the numbers aren’t enough to truly budge the unemployment rate which is sitting at 7% nationally.

Student loans are another nightmare turned reality. With the government refusing to act on easing loan interest rates, college grads and people thinking of going back to college (like myself) are facing high interest rates on loans. Too many young people exiting college have to stare at huge bills of $10k or more – that number is more like $100k if you’re a medical student.

However, I digress…back to the matter at hand – my future.

My grandfather, who is an MD/PhD, advised me that if I truly want to go back to school (which I do) I totally need to stop wasting my time and study hard for the GRE. Admittedly, I’ve been out of school for some six months and I’m afraid of losing the information I’ve obtained. Like the old adage goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” He also admitted to me, rather candidly, that he didn’t foresee me being able to go all the way to a Ph.D. I can understand his reasoning. I have severe problems in two core academic subjects. I’m terribly weak in math and science. Both subjects are, of course, on the GRE which I have to pass in order to even think about a Masters program (let alone a PhD). To be honest, Math is my kryptonite. However, I’m not going to let that stop me. What I truly need to do is focus on what I want to do with my life. My grandfather also suggested that I write out what I want to do, “make a list” he said. “Write things out in several columns with the pros and cons,” he added in earnest. What jobs do I really want to do, what jobs do I not want to do.

I’ve come up with a short list (ranked from first to last):

  • Producer/Program Developer/Archiver for PBS
  • Writer and Theatre Reviewer for NYT and Variety Magazine
  • Producer and Show Host on BBC Radio (like Elaine Paige)
  • College professor (of English)
  • Professional Technical Consultant
  • Freelance writer
  • Academic counselor (I’d be very good at that – I’ve made MANY mistakes along the way)
  • Document creation (powerpoint, etc etc)

I can very easily see myself doing one, or even all of these jobs. I love the arts and am a great advocate for arts education and the proliferation of culture. Even a former professor of mine told me, “you’d be great in the arts as well, you have such a passion for it.” Does passion equate job success and satisfaction? For some, I’m sure it does.

People have accused me of lacking drive and ambition. To them I say the proof is in the obtaining of my education, which I fought very hard to achieve. I made two goals for myself: graduate from both a community college and a four year university. I made both of those and then some. Now I have to make new, more challenging, goals for myself. I have three principal goals: get a full time job that utilizes the skills I have and builds on them, obtain a Masters Degree, and finally, find a career doing one of the above listed. What’s the point of having a career if you’re not doing something you love?

I truly want to thank my grandfather for his frank appraisal of my prospects. I’ve always been something of a stubborn ass – when someone tells me I can’t do something, I do it anyway. Who says I can’t achieve my dreams? No one. I’m sure there are those who never dreamed I’d have even two degrees, let alone one.

I feel, to quote Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, “Nervous, happy, scared, excited.” Whatever emotions are running around in my brain, one thing is certain: I’m ready to prove people wrong again. I CAN achieve my dreams and goals.

And I will.

Upcoming things

I’ve been away for a while, I apologize.

I’ve had a lot of things come up here of late, so I’ve been neglecting my blog.

Here’s what I’ve got going on in my life:

  • October 7: Orientation (Amazon) 7:00 to 3:00p.m.
  • October 11: BARBRA STREISAND: Back to Brooklyn 7:00p.m.
  • October 20: First day of work

I’m also doing research on two term papers that are due the 23rd and 1st of November.

First, I’m doing research for my formal essay in Grammar class. I’d like to talk about comma splices, and the difficulties some people have with proofreading their own work.

But as I’m doing my research, I’ve come a bitter understanding: I suck at English. I suck at writing grammatical sentences. I’ve even started to question why I majored in English in the first place.

It annoys me, angers me, and pisses me off when I see friends of mine excelling at academic writing. I have never been able to write an error free paper; although, I have tried over the past 5 years to educate myself on my own grammar pitfalls. Nothing ever seems to stick.

I had a grammar exam tuesday and I don’t know the results until next week.

I feel so lost right now.