So I was recently an emotional nightmare. Maybe nightmare is too strong – maybe the better term is “emotional sorta bad dream”. I had two reactions to pretty much everything: anger and/or tears. Tears were inevitable – because when I used to have other emotions, they would all manifest themselves through tears. Happy, sad, scared, confused…hey look! Amber’s crying!
I joke a lot about how I hate my job and how it totally drains the life out of me. I guess I never realized just how affecting it was until January, when I had a complete breakdown. I went to work on January 3rd, after having a week off for Christmas, and I started crying and couldn’t stop. When I woke up the next day and thought about going to work, the tears started again. I called in sick. I could NOT face going to my job.
Over the course of the month, I took 100 hours of sick time, which means I actually worked the equivalent of two weeks. Never consecutively – I could never get through an entire week without having a day or two or five when the thought of getting out of bed was so overwhelming that I thought my head might explode. So I just didn’t get up.
The people around me knew I wasn’t myself. I would sit quietly, no jokes, no smiles, just sitting. I could put up a good front for a while, but man, the effort was hard. That, combined with the effort it took to get dressed and leave my house was something monumental. I didn’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone. More accurately, I didn’t want anyone to see me. There were few people I could stand to be around – not for any other reason than that it was just too hard. Everything I did was so hard.
My boss and Sally teamed up to make things better. I got the best doctors and things started going in the right direction. I got on medication, which promptly knocked me on my ass. I was so mellowed out that I didn’t even care about getting out of bed. Also I was sick all the time. Not the right chemical. So I tried something different and it worked much better.
I spent most of February and March not having emotions of any sort. Except for happy – happy was good and I felt SO MUCH BETTER. I rarely got angry, and if I did, it lasted for a nanosecond and then I would be like “meh.” The Anxiety Queen has been dethroned – I rarely get anxious anymore. And the crying? We don’t CRY here. Don’t be ridiculous. A good example of the effects is the other night when P.I.C. and I got back from finding my car at the tow yard. I was looking out the window and he said “This is a testament to your medication – you were so CALM. I think I was more upset than you were.” And it was true. I was like “well, what are you going to do?” At first the no emotion thing worried me a bit, but then I realized that maybe I was just having the sort of reactions that normal people have. Huh. Weird. I also know that the emotions will slowly come back -- when I'm ready for them.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And I think that my having a crashtastic breakdown and subsequently dealing with shit happened so that when the time came for a HUGE life change (the whole “my company’s closing” thing) I could deal with it and not totally freak out.
I haven’t freaked out. When they told me the BIG NEWS, I was like “well it’s about time the board made the decision one way or the other.” I re-worked my resume and started looking for a new job. I’m actually really happy that this is happening.
Yesterday we found out that our office is closing April 30th, instead of in late July like we originally thought. The interim boss told us in a staff meeting, and we went over some of the details and questions and all that. At the end, he’s like “that’s all I have for now, but I’ll keep you updated.” And I said “Okey Dokey!” Everyone looked at me like I had lost my mind. Ha. That’s the funny thing – I felt like I had lost my mind a couple of months ago, but now? Not so much. Not at all, actually. Mind: found. No one panic, everything is under control.
So yeah. I still have stuff to work on – medication isn’t completely magical, but at least now I’m capable of dealing. Plus, if I didn’t have anything I wanted to change or improve, I’d be bored, and that’s never good. NEVER GOOD.
I’m excited to see where I go from here. I have fleeting feelings of fear and sadness and “what ifs”, but I don’t dwell on them. It’s great. I know that whatever the circumstances, I can take them in stride and adapt. I’m good like that. I have family and friends who love me and a bazillion other blessings that aren’t affected by whether or not I have a job or feel sad or am “myself”. This experience has shown me that over and over again, and for that, I’m thankful.