I should be crushed. I have the entire data warehouse of a multi-million dollar business in my clammy little hands. Since all of my vets are on vacation, I am on-call to get the warehouse back up and running should it fail. I should be hiding under my blankets. My stomach should be roiling with butterflies. But it’s not.
I’m cutting through the stress like a fighter jet. I feel it out there, but it’s not getting in. Why? What am I doing different? How is this awesome responsibility not crushing me? I think it’s all because I refuse to dwell on the negative. I’m not letting my doubts and fears run amuck. I’m telling myself it’s all going to be ok. I’m smart and if something goes wrong, I’ll work the problem. I won’t get fired. My kids won’t go hungry.
It all seems so easy, and obvious, but it’s not. When I’m depressed, nothing rational seems obvious. It’s all hidden behind a shroud. I can’t be myself, and I have to wear a mask all day just to function. Now, I feel like I have a way to pull myself out of the nosedive. It’s pretty cool.
I started a new playlist on Spotify, inspired by Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. I call it “depression slayers”. Just one more arrow for my quiver.
This week has been pretty good. My boss left this week, I had to run the team down a man. Stress was high, but I lived through it. I even enjoyed myself. Things are really going well. Really the only thing I’m doing differently is telling myself that everything is going to be ok. When I feel myself focusing on bad things, I just take a breath and think that things are well. That’s it, really. It seems to work. Hard to argue with the power of positive thinking!
I saw my therapist today. He told me that I need to be kind to myself. I put too much weight Of responsibility on myself. I need to find the funny, mirthful guy when I’m feeling negative. Is it really that simple? Can I really just think my way out of this funk? When I stop and think, really think, about the horrible consequences that could befall me, I know that the worst is very unlikely. My brain loves catastrophe, though. It can’t resist thinking about failure and doom. So I have to step in and take charge. Remind myself that good outcomes are more likely. Ive made a name for myself. I have a reputation. I am capable of good things. So I have to just do them, and laugh at my pain. I’ve got to keep trying.
Wife is home! So excited! I felt strength rush back into me as I held her in my arms. We had a great reunion and went to bed happy. Then, I woke up. Started obsessing about work. All of the things that are happening. All of the unknowns of my boss leaving, and upcoming challenges, and projects, and… all sorts of things I can’t control. Panic is threatening to rise up and over-take me.
My plan is to focus on one thing at a time and keep the panic at bay. Do all that I can and deal with situations as they arise. Wear my mask when I have to and come home to my wife before I collapse. Keep my doctor informed of how I feel and just survive this.
I sure hope it works.
Everything can just go along swimmingly and then change on a dime. I’m taking a half-day at work today and a full day off tomorrow. Kids are now on summer vacations and I don’t want to leave the alone. The chance of a big fight is too great, especially with mom out of town and everyone out of sorts. Just before I leave, my boss drops a bombshell. He’s putting in his two weeks. I just moved over to this department in part because we have such a good rapport. Now I’ll be losing that and have no idea who I will be working for. So, the future looks cloudy.
Surprisingly, I didn’t immediately have a panic attack. I just kept telling myself it would be ok, and I could succceed. I know I can, but now I have to figure out if I want to wait around and see what happens, see if I can go back where I came from, or just move on. I had a mini-panic attack just now the bling about all I would be responsible, but I was again able to relax and tell myself it’s going to be ok.
Will I maintain this calm? I have no idea, but I do know that losing it now would not help. At all. So I’m going to try to avoid that if I can.
I met with my psychiatrist this morning. She was sad to hear of my recent panic attack and that I was on a downturn. She didn’t recommend any new meds, but we will keep an eye on it.
On the personal side, I have to deal with what I have. My boss is happy with my performance, so I have to believe him. I will try focusing on the positives of the team and keep “doing what I do”. I will throw myslef into the work to make the clock wind faster. I will keep the mask up so no one knows the truth.
I dressed up a bit today, and put on some cologne. I am thinking about my wife and texting with her. I will fight through the day and keep telling myself that I’m doing well and avoid dwelling on bad outcomes of things I can’t control. My kids are counting on me, as are my co-workers, and I have a lot of power to change the way I feel.
And, thankfully, I also have Xanex.
Today I woke up in a panic. Our business processes are in shambles. We are likely to miss our deadlines. As the manager, I feel responsible. I don’t feel like I’m getting through to them. Maybe I’m in over my head. I’m failing for sure. I wonder if my boss thinks he made a mistake bringing me in. Will I get fired?
This is not a great way to start the day. On top of that, my strength, my wife, is leaving town on an 11-day cruise with her mother. So I get to comfort myself. The pain is excruciating, and I’m tired. I wish I could sleep u tail she returns. I wish I could get through to the team. I hope my boss sees the good things I do. I wish I could stop thinking of easy ways to stop the pain.
I wish I was stronger. I wish I wasn’t broken.