Burned out, Frozen In.
It’s 36 degrees Fahrenheit outside today. It’s been cold and snowing all week, and last night was an ice storm.
I called out one day this week because I felt unsafe driving to work. My Prius spins out in normal conditions; I’m not going to risk driving on ice. I may need new tires. It’s probably how the car is. I drive safely and maintain it, and the mileage is about 69k.
I’m waiting on whether or not work will be open today. One more hour and the boss will give the word. That said, I’m leaning on staying home for safety because conditions haven’t changed much since 730am.
Today is a metaphor for how I’ve felt about my life outside of work. Frozen in place, surrounded by ice.
I’m thriving at work, getting attention for working hard, and pushing myself to do things that I’ve never done at any job before, and I’m proud of myself for that. Proud but exhausted.
In the past month, I’ve: written 4 SOPS or standard operating procedures for work and writing a draft for two more. I can do this now because of my strong relationships with my department lead, boss, and ownership. There’s mutual trust and respect. This is possible because I stuck with this company when times were tough earlier in the year. This is possible. After all, I bet on myself because I chose to respond to situations differently than I had in the past. I decided not to give up.
I’m in charge of planning a Holiday Potluck Party for next month. I’m excited about that while being worried about it being a super spreader covid event 1 year after I got covid at a Pizza party I threw at work. I’m so tired of being worried about covid… This time will be different. I will do everything I can to prevent this from happening again.
Along with this, I’m making friends at work! Didn’t think it would be possible to be friends with a boss and have professional boundaries.
I’m successful. Finally! Despite this long-ass journey to find secure work, I’m successful because I’ve worked hard in therapy, despite years of struggling to find that too. All this persistence is paying off. Next month will be 1 year since I became a manager. My time was short as a manager. However, I’m content being an assistant manager.
Long-term, career-wise, I don’t want to own my own business or manage people as a life. I don’t know what I want to do, and that’s okay. I could manage a small group of people in the future like I’m doing now, but I’d prefer not to. It’s not a strength, and my social battery drains fast.
Physically I can’t be a full-time manager. I can’t because of long covid. Next month will be a year since I caught covid, and I’m just coming to terms with the fact that I might have this for the rest of my life. Maybe it will heal on its own like some who have long covid. Possibly there will be a cure. For now, I have to live with it. I am doing better compared to earlier in 2022… But it’s a daily thing to manage.
I’ve been getting by this month, getting home, watching anime, and going to bed early.
I shouldn’t be dating right now.
I’ve had some time to reflect on how I’m living and showing up outside of work, and I don’t enjoy seeing how I am.
I go to work and come home to watch an anime show, tv show, or movie I’ve watched several times before for comfort while browsing Instagram and occasionally playing with Coconut or playing video games.
I’ve let myself go, and I’m over 240 pounds… The heaviest I’ve ever weighed. It’s no wonder, considering how unhealthy I eat.
At the same time, I have to acknowledge that I am a disabled person because of Long Covid. Next month will be a year since I caught Covid. I have a chronic illness that doesn’t have a cure and might never ever have a cure. Medicines and treatments might be on the way, but I can’t control that. I am hopeful that treatments and drugs will come because I don’t want to pray for bad things to happen. Until then, I have to accept that it is my life. I’ve become a different person than I was a year ago. I haven’t come to terms with that.
I was browsing DuckDuckGo, searching various phrases, and I found this article by Dr. Nerdlove titled “How Do I Date When I Have A Disability?“ that I came up with as a related blog post at the end of “5 Times When You Shouldn’t Be Dating”. The original article is helpful, but it didn’t nail why I’ve felt this unique frustration that I have felt this year and the past couple of years. I should be taking a date from dating, but I didn’t know why. I can’t change if I don’t understand the problem. Knowing why helps me challenge anxious or depressing thoughts that come up. Knowing why helps me set boundaries and be mindful of when I need self-care. The article is much longer and has a bunch of helpful gems in it, but for the sake of this blog post, I feel this portion nails how I feel:
“I wonder – and you’ll have to tell me if I’m wrong about this – if part of the problem is that you’re still in the adjustment period. I mean, come on, you just had your life blown apart in a way that’s changed everything for you. Yeah, it’s been three years, but that’s less than a tenth of your life; you had thirty years of living life one way, then suddenly having to change almost everything. That’s not a lot of time to come to terms, to mourn or to build the new systems that work for you. And while I have no doubt that you’re a magnificent badass with the heart of a volcano and the passion of a thousand burning suns in your soul, even Lucifer needed time to say “well…. fuck” after hitting the ground.
So it may be worth looking inward and seeing if you’re still holding yourself to standards – the “good working order” – that are literally impossible any more. Acknowledging your disability doesn’t mean you’re “not in good working order”, it means recognizing that you have a new reality and you need to adapt to it. Being upset at how your life changed and what you’ve had to give up – at least for now – doesn’t mean you’re not fit to share your life with anyone. Acknowledging that you’re lonely and feeling isolated and wanting more doesn’t mean that you’re not fit to date, it means you’re dealing with some shit.
So maybe… be a little easier on yourself for the moment and deal with that shit. Recognize that life is different, your operating rules are different and maybe your definition of “in good working order” needs to adjust as well.
“But it’s been three years!” I hear you cry. “Treatment and therapy hasn’t helped.”
OK… but are you sure that the therapy you’ve been getting is what you need? Is it possible that maybe you don’t have the right therapist? Or, hear me out: is it possible that you’re trying to fit into an able-bodied framework when you simply aren’t abled anymore?”https://www.doctornerdlove.com/how-do-i-date-when-i-have-a-disability/
I’m burned out from dating and need a break. I will feel much safer after winter, and I don’t have to worry about catching covid again.
Yay, I managed to grind out a post…