It’s lifting

And just like that, the anxiety is slowly lifting. There’s still the thoughts of what I need to do in the morning and which students I need to talk to, but the overall crushing, headache-inducing anxiety has almost faded.

I’m back on medication; just antidepressants this time, and counseling. My coworkers are amazing, and I’m making some strides with my student’s behaviors.

The weights will lift, things will get better, I will start to enjoy this job at some point.

My teachers brain is slowly coming back and the constant state of panic is dissipating.

As much as I hate the ocean, I can sure relate to the waves.

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Not a choice

I don’t want to be writing tonight.

I will not quit my job. I did take sick day yesterday with my supervisor’s advice, which means I did tell her about the panic disorder and the back-to-back panic attacks I had all of that night and into the next morning.

She said she told our overall principal about the panic attacks, which I am okay with. I ended up telling my supervisor and TA about the bipolar in addition to the panic disorder. I told them that I feel so overwhelmed with planning and the behaviors so my TA agreed to take over planning for 2 of the 7 classes, and my supervisor assigned a float staff to our classroom for most of the day to help with behaviors and help teach. I didn’t have a panic attack at school, though in the morning it felt like I would. Some of the stress is relieved and I think it’s all from the support at school and the way my coworkers and supervisors responded to my disclosure.

I’ve never told a workplace about my disorders before. The thing is; I’ve never had to. I’ve not always been the best teacher, but I’ve covered up my low moments to where I didn’t need to admit to any reason behind strange behavior.

It scares me that I can’t control the panic disorder. Is it the job that’s so intense that’s bringing out the worst in the disorder? Is it just that I’m older and the disorders are now starting to take effect and take over my life more, like is there any way to stop how intense these feelings and thoughts are becoming? Is it just a depressive or hypomanic episode that I’ve never had panic attacks attached to so I didn’t realize it was the bipolar all along? What the fuck is happening and how do I stop it?

I saw a new counselor today, but didn’t feel comfortable disclosing more than just the stress happening at school. That seemed like the most immediate need and I didn’t feel like I had much time. I should probably talk about the rape next week. That would be smart to open up the other triggers.

And I’m back on medication. Just the antidepressants from before; the new doctor prescribed me another months worth. He says it should help with the anxiety and depression (obviously).

I just want this intense anxiety to be over with. All the things I really know about myself are just above a surface I can’t quite keep my head above. All of the anxiety delusions of not being good enough, being a terrible teacher, not controlling my student’s behaviors, being weak, being too fucked up to maintain a career…are the thoughts pulling me under, minute after minute.

I feel so desperately at a loss for how to make the anxiety and hopelessness stop.

The choice

This is probably the hardest choice I’ve had to consider in the last 5 years. Do I quit my teaching job?

I’m not even a full week into the school year (not counting summer school weeks) and I HATE this job with such a severe passion that I’ve never felt in any other teaching job. I feel this constant, anxious, panicked worry that I’m not enough and am not teaching the students worthwhile material in an interesting way and am not controlling or fixing their behaviors and am overall not good enough.

My anxieties are worse than I’ve ever felt them and its constant. I can’t sleep anymore and it’s not bipolar swings, but just anxiety all the time, waking me up every 2 hours, reminding me every other minute I’m awake that I’m not good enough, that everyone hates me…

I’ve never seriously considered quitting a teaching job. I’ve never hated my job this much and dreaded work even when I’m there and in the middle of it.

I can’t tell if I’m just burnt out on teaching (which is what I also fear it is) or if this job is too much for my mental health (which I definitely think it is).

As much as I love the coworkers and want this job to work so badly, I can’t even see myself getting through the rest of the semester without a mental breakdown, in all seriousness. I don’t see myself getting through this year.

Do I quit and do that to my resume and have to figure out work for the remainder of the year?

What I feel in my gut without question is that I couldn’t have anticipated this job to be this bad for my mental health but that it is and I shouldn’t stay here.


Whenever I’m running and it’s getting hard to breathe or my muscles start to cramp and ache, I always repeat to myself a little question/chant; “What’s harder; to quit or to keep going? To keep going is harder, so let’s keep going.”

For once, I think quitting would be harder. I think staying and hating my job and my life for a year would be hard, but I wouldn’t have to look for other work or find a job with benefits or worry about my resume, etc. Quitting is harder and scary because my life would fall into an unknown territory and my family would worry and how would I deal with bills? But, all that seems quite minor compared to how I feel about how bad this job is for me.

I need to talk to Sue and Miranda (my bosses) about this. I need to follow through with this for myself.

BetterHelp

So, I’ve been absent from blogging partially because I’m not depressed or manic, partially because I’m freaking out about school starting soon and can’t really put those feeling down, and partially because I got a counselor through Better Help to help me carry over until the point where I can actually go see a counselor in person. My insurance through this school is different and my appointment with my new primary doctor isn’t until the end of August, so I’m not sure when I can actually get in with a counselor I like. I didn’t think I could wait until September with all the stuff on here I’ve been opening up about so I’m trying Better Help in a desperate attempt to stay okay for awhile.

I got a tiny discount, which makes it easier to be okay with, and it’s actually helping? I didn’t expect to feel relief so soon, but I do and it’s nice.

Also, 20% sure I saw Nicole at Hyvee yesterday. If she recently shaved part of her head and dyed the remaining swoop purple, then I definitely saw and purposely ignored her while having mini internal panic attacks in the gourmet cheese section.

Leg work

On my end will be the mental stuff

Like telling myself I’m good enough.

I want you to make me strong

So everyone else knows it.

But really, I’ve joined 2 running groups, a biking group, 1 yoga studio, and 1 gym with hopefully 1 personal trainer.

Time and place

When was a time where you came the closest to killing yourself?

A lightening storm in ’08…

Not when you were still just thinking about it.

A college dorm in ’11…

But when you almost left.

A kitchen floor in ’16…

So only a few times, that’s no so bad…

Relief

There was a statement I read off a suicide prevention blog back in high school.

“If you kill your self then you will never be around long enough to feel the relief of death, your last moments on earth will be in pain.”

Every time a suicide idealization came back into my thoughts I’d remember this sentence and it would instantly bring me back to reality again. I wish I could remember what site I was on or had some way of letting that person know just how powerful that sentence was, just how many times it saved my life over the last 10 years.

Family

Me to my dad as he continued to talk over me: “YOU DON’T GET A VOICE. YOU DON’T GET A VOICE.”

Him: “I always like your natural hair better. Why did you have to dye it so reddish?”

*It’s not red, but with box dye (after a bad professional job that turned the back of my hair orange), it’s the closest I could come to my natural reddish brown color*

Him: “It looks like you have a worm in your ear.”

*Daith piercing, which I was extremely open and upfront about the purpose of getting it to help with my anxiety/panic disorder* He still doesn’t believe I have either disorder.

Him: “You know, I’ll always be willing to pay to have those tattoos removed.”

I got them so I could fucking cope with my world. My world of bipolar and ptsd and queerness and independence and anxiety.

I got them to fucking cope and none of these things are a joke to me. 


Everything he criticizes me about are all the things I’ve done to help myself, but I’ve tried to be as respectful as I can about them. My tattoos are mostly hidden, I don’t talk about my mental health openly anymore, my hair is always dyed a natural hair color (also for work), and I am fucking stable, always.

I just want, deep down, I just want my dad and mom to be proud of me. I want them to be proud of all of me, not just the things I’ve done and the independence/space I’ve created. I won’t get them to love the tattoos or hair dye or girlfriends I bring home or even accept that I’m gay. I really wish they would, but at the very least, I wish they wouldn’t openly tell me how disappointed they are. I wish they’d keep those comments, those thoughts, to themselves.

I dread hearing how much of me they don’t like.

Withdrawal

So, I’m going through withdrawal from anti-depressants and anti-psychotics at the moment. It’s awwwwwwful. I’m nauseous/vomiting, dizzy, tired, sore, shivering then burning up, irritable, and most of all, I have the worst headache on Earth. One that’s so bad I’m considering if I’m experiencing mini migraines.

I’ve gone officially 2 nights and almost 2 full days without taking any Seroquel or Lexapro and the side effects are already better now than they were the first day. I’m hoping (and after reading almost every Seroquel/Lexapro 1st page Google review withdrawal story) I’m expecting these nightmare days to be over within this week. I was weening myself off 75 mg of Seroquel and 10 mg of Lexapro. I was weening myself off both over the last few weeks until 2 nights ago when I was finally down to 5 mg of Lexapro and about 20 mg of Seroquel when I decided to quit cold turkey.

At the time of quitting cold turkey I just figured withdrawal wouldn’t be tooooo bad because I’ve already walked myself off both drugs (only ever one not both) at different times and though I had headaches or nausea, it was never this unmanageable. Lexapro withdrawal is kind of a godsend because it’s just this out-of-body floating high that fluctuates throughout the day. The Seroquel withdrawal is the bloodiest beast. Seroquel is the one giving me these killer headaches and nausea and cold sweats followed by heat flashes that turn into me running to go puke every other hour (again, much better than even a day ago). Finally followed by these mini migraines where I can’t stand light or noise and my brain feels a little too swollen to be resting instead my skull and I can’t sleep without waking up with neck or back pain (elbow and knee pain is most likely from the rain outside and the cramps are from my period) and I just feel like I can’t get anything done when I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO this week because I’ve only got 10 days left in this place before I move out.

And maybe a little stress thrown in on top. GAHHHHHHH I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate this pain. I hate hate hate how terrible these drugs are and I can’t believe and am so frustrated that they exist to help someone if they felt that terrible to be on and are this impossible to stop taking. It’s so tempting to take a mini dose just to lessen the withdrawal, but I don’t think it would. Plus, I don’t ever want either of those back in my system ever again.

I found a holistic mental health doctor who’s got me set up on a supplement schedule that I will hopefully not have to take for the rest of my life and even with taking them now, DON’T GIVE ME WITHDRAWAL and are not harmful to my system down the road or like right now.

I’m so angry at the mental health world for those terrible medications being the first option given when they are so painful. Why aren’t those the last possible option they give us to try? I’m done, so done, and so ready to be done with this pain.

Fear of leaving

December 27, 2017

I’m feeling so many emotions, so many right now that I want to sob. I don’t cry at home though. That’s another long story, but my family gets so upset when I cry in front of them. They accuse me of being unstable for days after they see me cry, so I just try and keep it together when I’m home.

I really want to cry though. I just emailed both of my principals (my most respected ones) and asked for a reference letter so that I can start applying to other schools for next year. The one I’m most intimidated by replied back to me; “Of course. Makes me sad but I understand.”

I can be a narcissistic asshole in all areas in my life, except at my job. At my job I am deeply insecure and self critical. Knowing an authority figure at my job respects me enough to send a sweet email in reference to my leaving makes me feel so good and sad all at once. My first immediate thought was to type back that I was just kidding, that really I would probably stay at my job at that school forever.

I’m terrified of moving. I know it’s all I’ve talked about for months now, but that’s because I just want to be someplace different. The actual process of moving for the first time since starting teaching is almost enough anxiety to make me never want to leave. I’m good at this job, I love these people I work with, why should I ever leave?

Because the pay is low and the area is poor and I’m far from family. But I want to move out of state where I’ll be even further from family? But that’s because I want to move to Denver and I know better than to justify my fear and never act on my dreams. So why apply to BloNo? Is it just for Liz or Nicole (who you are probably breaking up with next weekend)? It feels like it’s for them or it’s for family, which makes me nervous. But what makes me more nervous is still not knowing where I should be looking to move when I’m only months away from that decision. Living in BloNo with Liz would be cost efficient, but what if she never wants to leave the state? Moving to Denver for August seems too drastic.

My anxiety spirals in my head with this daily. I might have a headache from all the hours spent worrying today about those three emails I just sent. There’s so many open questions that I can’t answer for months, which is why I have the doctor’s appointments for more meds and a counselor set up for next week. I am preparing for this spring because I know it’ll be stressful.

Only a little sliver of myself is excited to move. The majority of me is terrified and stressed and confused, but I don’t think I’m wrong with this decision, which is comforting. I think moving is the correct decision for this coming year because staying at my current job would just be me settling with what is comfortable and safe for me. I have bipolar and anxiety and panic attacks, but I am high functioning with all of them. I’ve gotten this far with this many memories and successes because I’ve challenged myself and constantly stepped out of my comfort zone. Moving is the harder choice for this coming year, but it still feels like the right one.

A gigantic cry is waiting for me when I get back up north and dang will it feel good. I can keep it together until then.