Chilly

Chilly winter has come back, even on the second day of spring. Well, my mood is down to match. I am so down. Yet there’s been no therapy to blame for this. So that’s interesting – that I can feel awful even without talking about the past.

I know this part, V., is still very prominent. This is a very very sad part, and maybe that’s the reason.

Or maybe I miss Ron? I could write to him, but at this point I don’t even know what to say – more like a scream of pain. I don’t know what’s wrong, just that I feel like crap.

Today I wonder if I need to quit my job. It’s a corporate job, and it’s not very meaningful. However. It’s not like meaningful work is out there, waiting for me. In fact, because of my issues, I almost need a job which is not too demanding, where no one notices if I’m not producing for a few days. I’m a cog in such a huge machine, once I’m there, it’s OK to not be doing anything very much, sometimes.

Yes, I’d like my work to mean something. And my cubicle is so dark, somehow. It’s several rows away from the windows that line the perimeter of the floor. Nothing ever happens, unless I make it happen. But….I do have this little micro relationship with the young cubicle mate. Last week, her manager was away for Spring Break, and she had no one to talk to either,  so we had a few little conversations. I appreciate that.

My job is to produce a fifty page policy document. It’s to be modeled closely on another document they’ve just published. This document is written in a very dry, difficult to understand way. So I’m trying to get them to let me modernize the language and make it easier to use. Luckily, the manager is somewhat open to the idea. However, the other manager involved is not. A lot of people in banks are very very conservative, and so to them, the only reason you need for doing something a certain way is that it was done that way in the past. Anything new is threatening.

As a consultant, I’m not there to engage in battle with the staff. However, I also want to do something that bears some relationship to my skill, which is writing clearly and simply and to a particular audience. So I go back and forth, and I worry. I want my work to be decent. However, am I pushing too hard? Am I pissing someone off?

Then there’s not enough to do really. But they’ve allotted the time, and I need the money, so I try and stretch the task to fill it. I take breaks, wander around.

So there’s a lot of futility, a lot of loneliness, a lot of powerlessness.

I do need to support myself. So I need to stick it out. No one is being mean to me. I actually like this boss, and he seems to like me.

Does that explain my depression? I have no idea. I think also, bits of sadness and trauma get joggled loose by exercise. So there’s that. Oh yeah, I forgot this. I had started building in bits of support, bits of human interaction, and with working, I’m too exhausted to do those things anymore. I’ve missed all ACA meetings since I started this contract. I just feel too out of it, Saturday afternoons, when I’ve either gone to therapy already, or had training at the gym. At the time, it makes sense to stay home – I feel sad, I feel fragmented, I need to rest and recuperate. Same with church. I have not gone – it always seems more important to get extra sleep.

But then, I end up being alone all the time I’m not at work. I don’t talk to anyone, mostly. I end up feeling really frustrated, that I seem to be too exhausted to make use of my off work hours. It seems as if just surviving is all I have energy for.

Maybe next week I’ll go eat out a few times, and not cook. What if I eat out on a night there is ACA, then go to it? I wouldn’t have to cook or clean up.

None of this feels exactly right – it doesn’t seem to explain the sadness. It’s kind of half there, perhaps. I can’t feel the whole thing, and I can’t place it or make sense of it.

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15 comments
  1. From an outsider’s perspective, it sounds like your job is “just right” for you at the moment – a bit of undemanding social interaction, a manageable task, and of course that vital paycheck. It’s always lovely to have passion in one’s working life, but it isn’t always possible, is it? I am doing lots of stuff I’m passionate about right now – running a social enterprise, doing some research for a business, studying – but I’m not getting paid for any of it! So I’m trying to find paid work. I’m grappling with that whole issue of passion vs paycheck. It’s a puzzler.

    • Ellen said:

      That’s amazing, that you find so many volunteer type projects that you feel passionate about, DB. If I wasn’t working, I know I wouldn’t do that. You have an entrepreneurial spirit. Yes, my job has a bunch of positives for sure, and a lot of the time, I’m grateful I have it. Thanks

      • Well, to be honest, not all of them are *meant* to be volunteer, Ellen! 🙂 However, at the moment they are. I do appreciate you commending my entrepreneurial spirit, though. I try – even though I often don’t succeed 🙂

  2. cardamone5 said:

    I hear you, and you are an amazing person. You are struggling with a lot, and managing. Grant yourself some grace.

    • Ellen said:

      OK, I will grant myself grace. Thank you Elizabeth.

  3. You can just write a one-liner to Ron: feeling down, not sure why. That little bit of connection sometimes helps so much. Is there a part who would like to send an email? They like being able to be heard. They like being allowed to express themselves. Ron’s a safe person for them to express themselves to.

    One hard part of being in parts and having trauma to deal with is what it ends up subtracting from the rest of your life. You do need this kind of job now, where you’re not exactly saving lives. But maybe it’s not your ideal job. I know I find my work meaningful but a lot of the time I’m not able to do it as well as I want to or could if I didn’t have all this. And then you end up skipping these other fulfilling activities just to recover. There’s only so much energy and trauma sucks so much of it up that you end up of having a tough time even doing the things that replenish the energy.that. It’s so hard.

    Maybe try to console yourself that real people trying to get through the day just like you are depend on these documents you are writing and when they are clear and usable it is one more help to them. You aren’t the only one struggling–people struggle for all kinds of reasons–and when their tech documents work the load is just lighter for them. I think of all the small things that break the camel’s back for me because the burden is so heavy already. An indecipherble tech document would be that for someone. Maybe it doesn’t mean that much to you, but for someone else it does. You are making someone else’s burden just a little lighter.

    Take care.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, you’re right, parts tend to want to send emails. Especially B, small child part – she is very sociable. I do mostly block that desire I’m afraid.

      I think your job is inherently meaningful Ashana, even if you would like to do it better. You do your best, and I’m betting that’s pretty good. My job is not meaningful in that sense.

      Thanks for the sunny description of my job purpose. It’s true – ideally, that is all the case. It’s good to remember everyone out there is ‘fighting a great battle’.

      I hear you on how trauma sucks energy. Must be astronomically worse for you though.

      Thanks for your thoughts on this.

  4. manyofus1980 said:

    I hope the depression eases up soon. Its horrible to feel sad and lonely and depressed. I think eating out and going to ACoa would be a good idea. Sending you hugs ❤

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Many. I may do that eating out – treat myself right. Hugs to you also.

  5. A frustrating paradox when my life seems to be going kind of so-so not too much demand is when the long neglected emotions get their time on the stages of my mind. My counselor suggested that I sit my emotions down and ask them what they need. For me, acknowledging their existence goes a long way to easing the feelings of depression. Hoping you find an answer that works for you.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, acknowledging emotions and parts helps. I actually did a meditation tape after I wrote this, and that helped. Stopped my mind from spinning. Thanks Ruth.

  6. Grainne said:

    Hugs. I hear every word you wrote so clear. Xx

  7. Cat said:

    Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint the sadness, it sounds as if it might be to do with a lot of things, V included. I cannot bare monotony, so this job would drive me insane. I was wondering if therapy and gym on weekends is quite enough for the time being. Can you go for a nice long walk on Sunday’s? Your idea of eating out on an ACA meeting sounds more realistic, maybe even pleasant.

    • Ellen said:

      It’s very difficult to pinpoint. I got a laugh when I read your comment about monotony. No wonders I’m bananas then? He he. I bet you might like the nice paycheck though. I think ideally I’d have more human interaction on the job.

      I’ve been too wiped to go for a long walk, but maybe it’s upcoming. I do love walking in nature. I may do the eating out. I’m being kind of hard on myself, and don’t have to be, while I’m working. I can afford small luxuries. Thanks for the suggestions Cat.

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