October 18th, 2012

#3630: Making hard choices seems to be the theme of this week.

If you haven't read them before, go back to May of 2011 and read some of the posts, particularly starting on May 12th and going forward. Be warned, though: it's depressing stuff.

The point is, I was in danger of being right back there again.

The very next day after the linked post, I said, "Og says that I'm putting far too much pressure on myself, that if the job is going to cause me this much trouble I should just walk away from it and find something else."

I've heard it from others since then, and I wish I'd been smart enough last year to heed his advice...and this time I'm taking it.

Last year, I found myself in a very difficult place, and ended up scratching myself with a razor blade in order to find a way out of it. That gave me the "out" I needed, the path to ending the avoid-avoid conflict. It also cost me some $2,700 in hospital fees, doctor fees, ER fees, ambulance fees, fee fees, and the horse I rode in on--almost literally, as I could have bought quite a nice motorcycle for that. It cost me my FOID card and two weeks in the psych ward. It also cost my family and friends quite a lot of angst they did not need.

This time? This time I talked to my therapist, and my fiancee, and prayed over it...and came to the conclusion that I can't do this, that if I try I'm just going to lose my shit and end up in the psych ward again.

My exhaustion--and falling asleep while driving--was a symptom, not a cause; and it means that I have to be a lot more careful about how I approach the "career" facet of this big life rebuilding project I embarked on in June of 2011.

Here's what I wrote to Lemonzen earlier:
I have to be out of the house for twelve hours a day, and have perhaps 3 hours in which to do *everything else* (bathe, cook, pay bills, shop, etc) before I MUST be in bed for the next day. On this schedule I cannot go to either Bible study (that keeps me up past 9 PM) or choir (which keeps me up until 8) so I am, in effect, unable to go to those activities if I want to get 8 hours of sleep and be able to function the next day. 8 hours of sleep is 7 PM to 3 AM, more or less; if I have to get up at 3:30 in order to leave the house at 4:15, I MUST be in bed by 7 PM. Especially since I don't go to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow--it usually takes some time for me to fall asleep even when I'm really tired. And of course I wake up in the middle of the night to hit the can, so I don't get 8 hours of sleep even if I do get to sleep at 7 and have the alarm set at 3:30.
She has been extremely supportive throughout all of this, and is 100% behind me. More, I cannot ask.

We had three chances to talk today; and our last conversation occurred after I should have been asleep. I did go to sleep around 8-ish...then woke up at 9:30, completely, and was unable to sleep. I was depressed, and crying, and was--in every respect--in exactly the same emotional state as in May of 2011, when I had that job in Rantoul. I called Lemonzen; she and I talked for about an hour, and at the end of it I'd made my mind up on what had to be done.

So I resigned the position at Michaels. Sent an e-mail to the HR person who offered me the job saying I was regretfully resigning blah blah blah etcetera.

It's not an optimal solution, but it's a damned sight better than continuing to try until I get so depressed I feel like cutting myself is the only way out.

...already have begun looking for a new job, though--put an app in at CompUSA via the Internet Wednesday afternoon, and there are a few other places I'm going to have a gander at later today (Thursday) or perhaps tomorrow.

But while sitting here and thinking things over, I realized that what I ought to look for, right now, is a part time job. Jumping right into a full-time job seems to be part of the problem.

It's Man's lot to live by the sweat of his brow and I have no objection to earning a living; I just can't seem to do it very well. It's something I've got to work through; I had thought it was simply a question of sufficient distance from Mom's death but it's obviously a lot more complicated than that.

I honestly thought I was ready.

Well, besides looking for a new job, I'm also going to embark on a new project: I'm going to write some short stories and try to sell them. I have some ideas (and a few roughs in the can) that I can start with, and I might be able to make something out of them. We'll have to see--but if I did that, and could make a few bucks here and there, it would help.

Also, there's my promise to Lemonzen to shop [Release Candidate 1] to at least one or two publishers by the end of the year. Selling a novel would be huge.

And maybe that's why the Lord is putting me through this. You never know.

#3631: How joyous it is. (Sarcasm.)

After how yesterday was, I think it's going to take me a little while to recuperate.

Metaphorically speaking, I feel as if I'd gone to jump over a hurdle, tripped on it, and landed on my face.

Though I've been told not to feel this way, I still feel as if I've let down a lot of people.

I think everyone involved is (or is going to be) disappointed about this development, in one way or another, but there's nothing I can do about that. I know where I was at yesterday and it was not a place I had cared to return to, ever--and had not thought I would return there.

Clearly I have deeper issues than I had thought I had, and it's going to take some doing to figure out what my problem is and how to fix it. In the meantime, perhaps working part-time is the solution to the immediate problem of requiring income. Less pressure, less stress--instead of having the requirements of a full-time job landing on my back like a ton of bricks, I can ease into working slower.

...you have to do what you have to do, I guess.

What I do know is that I was the oldest guy on the dock. All the guys working the receiving dock at that place look to be in their 20s; I saw one guy who might be in his mid to late 30s, and might not. (When I was 21 I looked 25. This guy may be similar.)

As I said before, I could have adapted to this job--unloading trucks 10 hours a day with only two 20-minute breaks--when I was in my 20s. If I could have eased into it somehow it would also have been doable. But having to hit the ground running? Going from doing nothing more strenuous than rattling a keyboard to that?

I'm amazed that I don't hurt worse.

Disclaimer: I'm not accusing the people at Michaels of anything here, I am just speculating...but I have to wonder if hiring me was a defensive move: "The guy's over 40, but if we don't try him out we could get sued for age discrimination." I really don't know, and it doesn't matter even if that's what they did think.

What I do know is that I'm still really, really tired. I don't think I have ever experienced such total physical exhaustion as I did yesterday; the muscular pain has diminished and I feel better now, but I don't feel good, and I'm even considering skipping choir practice tonight because I feel so rotten.

Well, better luck next time, I guess.

#3632: Yes, it's the kids' fault their teacher sent them a naughty pic.

The interoperability of Apple products has a downside. A teacher broke the cardinal rule of taking nude photographs of yourself--NEVER KEEP THEM ON AN EASILY-ACCESSIBLE DEVICE--and then further compounded her idiocy by keeping her iPhone, containing the nude photograph of herself, turned on while she was working in a classroom that contained other Apple products.

So when her iPhone synced the nude photograph of her to the several iPads it could see in the immediate vicinity, naturally it was her students who were at fault. I mean, isn't that obvious?

The students have been suspended and threatened with expulsion. "Action has been taken against the teacher," but that action hasn't been specified. I'd wager this sums up the "action": "Damn it, Ms. [name$], don't you ever do something that stupid again, or I'll have to give you an official verbal warning!"

* * *

It seems that the 0.4% drop in unemployment was about as short-lived as my employment was, so I think maybe I really did drive the change.

CNBC.

Karl Denninger.

* * *

But there's no inflation. Various items which don't count in the federal government's estimation of inflation because they're energy or food.

Gasoline--up 158%.

Yeesh.

* * *

Why I won't vote for Mitt Romney, nicely summed up. I'll blockquote the salient text:
In some ways I think Gov. Romney will be worse than Pr. Obama. Mitt will get some Republican support, couple with the Democrats, and call it bi-partisanship like that’s a universal good. They’ll pass a gun control bill, fail to stop spending beyond income, continue to expand the reach of the Federal government, do nothing more than tweak the healthcare bill, and select moderate-to-liberal justices that will sail through their hearings. You can look at his record as Governor of Massachusetts and see it coming.

I’m willing to be proven wrong, but you’ll have to convince me,...
I might vote for Romney to be re-elected if he does things I like; but since the above blockquote rather neatly matches my own estimation of the situation, I don't think I'll be casting my vote for him in 2016 even if he does win this election, which ain't a sure thing by a longshot.

* * *

This is one of those socialized medicine stories you never hear from the American press. Anesthesiologist just up and leaves the OR during a procedure because it was time for his lunch break. His assistant left 15 minutes later, same reason.

Oh, but everything's okay because "Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare...has issued ‘stinging criticism’ of the hospital’s policies."

Well, that makes everything okay, doesn't it?

* * *

As for me, I don't have much of an appetite. I really didn't eat that much yesterday and don't have much interest in food today, either. Regardless of the cause, you can't just flip depression off like a light switch.

But after talking with Lemonzen last night, and after making my decision and acting on it, I was actually able to continue working on a story that's languished since August. I added three pages to the thing.

I'm going to take it easy this week, and then next week start pounding the bricks to find another job. Perhaps part-time, in order to ease into working a little slower.

Meanwhile, here's a homebrew Garfield Without Garfield for our mutual enjoyment: