Yesterday, Thursday, I missed work because of a flare-up.
I wasn’t able to write because of my health.
It’s been a year and about two weeks since I caught covid, which became long covid. I have been fortunate that I have been slowly recovering. Recovery is being able to do physical tasks at work, grinding weed, and making joints on the knock machine, for hours or in a shift. Both of these require you to be on your feet and move around. While primarily small movements in a small space, the exercise adds up. I would compare it to cooking professionally.
Before covid, I could do this work a whole shift, and while I would be tired, I could go home and do other stuff without being completely wiped out. These days, my body feels like a cell phone with an old battery. I’m alright with average tasks, but I do something straining and need to rest (recharge). The past few times I have pushed myself, I had to take days off work to recover and sleep. The exhaustion and fatigue don’t match the activities I did to cause it. I have discovered that too many mental activities can cause the same exhaustion.
Even though I am recovering and can do more, I must stay home and rest some days.
When I wake up, my body feels heavy, and it’s hard to move; I can’t think clearly, and I feel exhausted despite getting 8-9 hours of solid sleep… I know I have to stay home. It’s like being high and drunk without any benefits, and you’ve just come home after a 16-hour shift and went to the gym for a hard workout. But right as you woke up.
I have reached a point where I can go to work some days despite not feeling the greatest. I’m debating that now, Friday, as I write this post.
I’m struggling to put words together because of brain fog. Concentrating is difficult, and the harder I do, the more my head hurts, and I become spacey. I don’t have as much full-body inflammation as yesterday, and my joints aren’t painful, but it’s enough to feel like I’m dragging an anchor around just doing my regular routine.
I am like an older cellphone with an old battery, like my current phone. Some tasks, such as watching videos, will drain the battery quickly, and some things cause it to slow down or freeze. While I’ll be able to install a new battery on my phone and change the charging port, I can’t do this with my body and this chronic illness.
So, I’ll continue managing my energy, eating better, getting extra rest, and making adjustments with the help of my doctor and specialists.
Maybe I’ll recover by next year at this rate? I hope so.
Tomorrow after work, we’re having a Potluck Party.
A Potluck at a pot company. Couldn’t pass up this pun. Lol.
This is a a party that I’ve been leading as I proposed the event. It started as a holiday potluck, but changed to a general potluck after rescheduling to mid January so everyone could attend, and to limit the risk of spreading or catching covid after the holidays.
I’m bringing two dishes to it, which will be recipe posts next week. One: Twice-baked Alaska and braised greens. I also wanted a 30-day advent calendar with weed as the prize each day, but… I’ve been too tired after work and spread myself too thin organizing the party. My duties at work have changed in the past month and turned to much more physical tasks of knocking joints and, much more often, grinding weed.
Being able to knock joints or grind weed is a massive step in progress. For long stretches last year, I would not have been able to do these for half or more of a shift. I would compare it to the physical and mental focus that working as a cook in a restaurant requires. One needs physical energy, being able to stand on your feet for hours of the day, attention to detail, checking for quality and speed, and focusing on repetitive tasks for hours.
Despite the tight time before and after work to cook this week, despite my worry about catching covid in a small space –though it will be required that everyone take a covid test and have a negative result–, despite the stress and exhaustion I’m feeling… It will be all worth it once it’s party time. Then I can relax and enjoy myself like I did at the company Halloween party.
I’ll be doing my part to see that not too many people are in the trim room getting food to mitigate exposure risk.
Well, this short post is all I have time for this week.
This week marks 1 year since I caught covid, which became Long Covid.
Song of the post: Virus by Del The Funky Homosapien · Dan The Automator · Kid Koala on Deltron 3030.
Lat year in 2022, during the Omnicron Surge in the middle of January, I caught covid at work.
It may seem strange that I am giving my catching covid an anniversary… The concept is most known for getting married, being at a job, or being a marker of success for relationship longevity. Since I have read The body keeps the score, I’ve learned that those under the effects of PTSD can hold up traumatic events. Between catching covid, living in a pandemic, and still randomly suffering from long covid, it’s no wonder I’m feeling off today.
I caught covid at a pizza party I threw after my first week as a department manager. While everyone then was wearing masks, and to my recollection, the majority wearing kn95s… I could have been safer and limited how many people with masks down were getting food in our small breakroom. Masks are useless if they are pulled down when people are eating. It didn’t help that the space where I set up the pizza was in our work breakroom, which is tiny and has poot airflow (still). I probably should not have brought the leftovers home and eaten them later. (Even if I did reheat and store them properly, that was too risky.)
I should have been more persistent in getting the booster shot then. I was not boosted because demand was so high in my area.The new covid booster had just become available in December 2021. Nowhere I called or looked had open appointments. The only way I could have received it was to drive to every pharmacy and wait until it closed, after work, for there to maybe be an extra shot.
Now that I think of it, I could have died if I did not have the original vaccine series.
Other factors that didn’t help:
A) I was exhausted by keeping up with safety after 2 years;
B) I wanted to treat everyone at work to pizza (people pleasing);
C) to that point in time, we had not had a work party, and I had barely socialized with anyone outside my immediate social circle.
20 minutes with my mask down/off to eat pizza in a closed space with many people, during peak covid infections was all it took.
This short post below I wrote in the middle of it when I was home sick.
Since it’s going on year 3 of the pandemic, let’s review what catching covid feels like
To begin with, I am not a Doctor. I am a blogger. This list is from the CDC:
I would add symptoms: Feeling so tired that you can’t focus or do anything but rest, confusion, rapid or slow heartbeat, and the worst fever you have ever had.
If you are sick and suspect it is covid, STAY HOME. The U.S. government is giving away free covid tests here. If you test positive, stay home for 14 weeks. 5 days with a mask is not long enough. Even going to work with a mask on is like having a loaded gun where your mouth is. even if the safety is on, it’s still loaded. A loaded gun that is pointing at others. Your mouth doesn’t have a safety switch, and people make mistakes.
Don’t risk your health. Take your time to recover and prevent the spread to others, please.
Do you really want to put your health in the hands of the American healthcare system?
A reminder on how to properly wear a mask:
This is what the symptoms of Long Covid are
AS is currently understood by science and those suffering from it. Research is underway to treat Long Covid and how it attacks the body.
“Long COVID (sometimes referred to as ‘post-acute sequelae of COVID-19’) is a multisystemic condition comprising often severe symptoms that follow a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. At least 65 million individuals around the world have long COVID, based on a conservative estimated incidence of 10% of infected people and more than 651 million documented COVID-19 cases worldwide1; the number is likely much higher due to many undocumented cases. The incidence is estimated at 10–30% of non-hospitalized cases, 50–70% of hospitalized cases2,3 and 10–12% of vaccinated cases4,5. Long COVID is associated with all ages and acute phase disease severities, with the highest percentage of diagnoses between the ages of 36 and 50 years, and most long COVID cases are in non-hospitalized patients with a mild acute illness6, as this population represents the majority of overall COVID-19 cases. There are many research challenges, as outlined in this Review, and many open questions, particularly relating to pathophysiology, effective treatments and risk factors.
Hundreds of biomedical findings have been documented, with many patients experiencing dozens of symptoms across multiple organ systems7 (Fig. 1). Long COVID encompasses multiple adverse outcomes, with common new-onset conditions including cardiovascular, thrombotic and cerebrovascular disease8, type 2 diabetes9, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)10,11 and dysautonomia, especially postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)12 (Fig. 2). Symptoms can last for years13, and particularly in cases of new-onset ME/CFS and dysautonomia are expected to be lifelong14. With significant proportions of individuals with long COVID unable to return to work7, the scale of newly disabled individuals is contributing to labour shortages15. There are currently no validated effective treatments.”
Long covid is considered a disability under the ADA:
“This guidance explains that long COVID can be a disability under Titles II (state and local government) and III (public accommodations) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),3 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504),4 and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1557).5 Each of these federal laws protects people with disabilities from discrimination.6 This guidance also provides resources for additional information and best practices. This document focuses solely on long COVID, and does not address when COVID-19 may meet the legal definition of disability.
The civil rights protections and responsibilities of these federal laws apply even during emergencies.7 They cannot be waived.”
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.
“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?”
The image above is previous weeks fantasy football score
This post’s title is a play on the movie Any Given Sunday. This movie is alright if you like American Football. This speech delivered by Al Pacino, who stars in the movie is pretty good.
The picture above is week 6 of our works fantasy football score between a coworker and me.
I was ahead in points 107.92 to 86.26 and won because the running back he has waiting to play, Jamaal Williams, is on the NFL injured list. He has one other player who is not playing -Tight End Darren Waller- whose team is on a Bye or a week off this week. These are choices… In this case, my intention was not to do anything by my co-worker. He was asked to participate in the fantasy football league because we needed at least 10 people. So, he was there for the draft and set his roster back in September before the NFL season. He is 1-4 after 5 games, and I am 4-1 after 5. His registration is decent, and he had a good chance of winning against me this week, but he did not because he joined because my coworkers and I were more invested in playing Fantasy Football this NFL season.
If he had changed J. Williams and Waller for another player, he might have beaten me. I ended up squeaking by with the win. That gap in points at those roster spots was small enough to hit.
What is Fantasy Football?
From Sports Illustrated:
Fantasy football … That thing everyone talks about around the water cooler. Well, fantasy football is a game that allows you to be the owner, GM and coach of your very own football team. Competing against your friends, you draft a team made up of NFL players and based on their on-field performance in a given week, you score points. For example, if you have Lamar Jackson on your team and he throws a touchdown, your team scores points. Add up all the points and the team with the most at the end of the NFL week is the winner. Not too complicated, right? Well, maybe, maybe not.
In addition to drafts at the start of the season, there are also auction leagues. This is another league type that will be further explained later. As the game has grown, the complexity has grown along with it. But at the end of the day, your team competes in a league typically composed of 10 or 12 teams. Each week, you go head-to-head against a different team.
If a player is struggling, you can release him, just like in the NFL. You can trade with other teams. And if no one has a player on their team, they are available to be added to your roster from the waiver wire.
Just like the NFL, your league has a postseason as well. The fantasy playoffs are usually played from Weeks 14-16. In the final week, a champion is crowned! You can play for fun, you can play for money. Either way, that’s fantasy football!”
It’s a way to connect with people. I am connecting with people at work who like the NFL or want to be part of a group activity. I like stats, things that require attention to detail; I grew up in the Moneyball era of baseball, and I love fantasy sports-themed manager games such as the Out of the Park Baseball Series and Front Office Football 7 (Between these two PC game series, I have probably have played about 6000 hours over the past 13 years… When I had problems finding consistent work), so this is right up my alley. And I get to play against other people around work. A needed boon for my social life and deepening relationships with others at work. I wouldn’t be surprised if this resulted in friendships later on.
Suppose you have a competitive streak like I do. In that case, you can have an edge on your league mates by reading NFL news, watching videos on Youtube by long-time Fantasy Football channels, reading blogs dedicated to the different styles of leagues, or subscribing to services such as ESPN+ to get expert takes.
Nobody really is an expert in this. The stats estimate each player’s value, or what they feel based on observation, past experience playing this game, or making decisions based on team and player news; in a nutshell, it’s gambling. Some Fantasy leagues are gambling, others for the fun of it. As the season continues, however, you start to get an idea if players can succeed after enough stats have accumulated. So, if a star player goes against a poor defense or a poor defender, you can assume they will produce points.
Naturally, I did research before our league draft was held.
How are points scored?
“In a standard league, the eight players on a team’s active roster earn points based on the statistics they generate in actual NFL games. These fantasy points are added together for a weekly team score. Statistics from bench players do NOT earn fantasy points. The winner of an fantasy football game is the team with more points earned for the week (two weeks for playoff games). In the event that both you and your opponent accumulate the same number of points, a tie will be awarded. No playoff game can end in a tie (see the Playoffs page for more information).
Offense: Quarterbacks (QB), Running Backs (RB), Wide Receivers (WR), Tight Ends (TE) 6 pts per rushing or receiving TD 6 pts for player returning kick/punt for TD 6 pts for player returning or recovering a fumble for TD 4 pts per passing TD 2 pts per rushing or receiving 2 pt conversion (note: teams do not receive points for yardage gained during the conversion) 2 pts per passing 2 pt conversion 1 pt per 10 yards rushing or receiving 1 pt per 25 yards passing
Bonus Points 2 pts per rushing or receiving TD of 40 yards or more 2 pts per passing TD of 40 yards or more (note: the player must score a touchdown to score the points)
Penalty Points -2 pts per intercepted pass -2 pts per fumble lost
Kickers (K) 5 pts per 50+ yard FG made 4 pts per 40-49 yard FG made 3 pts per FG made, 39 yards or less 2 pts per rushing, passing, or receiving 2 pt conversion 1 pt per Extra Point made Penalty Points -2 pts per missed FG (0-39 yds) -1 pt per missed FG (40-49 yds) (note: a missed FG includes any attempt that is blocked, deflected, etc.)
Defensive/Special Teams (D)
3 pts per defensive or special teams TD 2 pts per interception 2 pts per fumble recovery (Note: includes a fumble by the opposing team out of the end zone) 2 pts per blocked punt, PAT, or FG (Note: a deflected kick of any kind does not receive points) 2 pts per safety 1 pt per sack”
Each play in an NFL game by players who meet these requirements are given points based on the above criteria.
Who is my team?
Starting Fantasy Football lineup:
Quarterback (QB): Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City Chiefs. 5th overall at his position, but can be the best in the NFL when he’s on.
Running back 1(RB): Joe Mixon. Cincinnati Bengals. 14th overall in points at this position.
Running back 2: Raheem Mostert. Miami Dolphins. 27th overall at his position. I picked him up on waivers September 21st. Been solid since.
Wide Reciever 1(WR): Justin Jefferson. Minnesota Vikings. 5th overall at position, and was the 5th overall pick in the first round in our initial draft.
Wide Receiver 2: Amon-Ra St. Brown. Detroit Lions. 28th overall at his position, but has been injured a few games this year. When healthy is one of the top 10.
Tight End (TE): Hayden Hurst. Cincinnati Bengals. While a waiver pickup, and my backup or Flex Tight End, and 11th in points, Hurst is my starting player this week because starter George Kittle is on Bye (or off week). One of the better waiver pickups I’ve made thanks to information by ESPN.
Flex spot 1: Allen Lazard. Green Bay Packers. 36th overall at Wide Receiver. Before the season when I chose him during the draft, I thought that he would be higher up based on being on a team with legendary QB Aaron Rogers. He has been solid, but not a top end player I expected. Oh well.
Flex spot 2: Khalil Herbert. Chicago Bears. 20th at position. Picked up on waivers on Monday…. Started him today, and he didn’t do well.
Defense (DEF): Buffalo Bills. Each fantasy team chooses one NFL team defense to have as a starter. 3rd overall at position.
Kicker (K): Daniel Carlson. Las Vegas Raiders. 5th at position, been great all year.
Fantasy Football Bench:
Bench 1: George Kittle. Tight End. San Francisco 49ers. 12th overall in points, usually my starting TE. Is on a BYE week.
Bench 2: Garret Wilson. Wide Receiver. New York Jets. 32nd overall at position, a rookie player, but is looking good lately.
Bench 3: Romeo Doubs. Wide Receiver. Green Bay Packers. 40th overall at position. Got him on waivers, but I’m not sure with his team offense being strangely inconsistent this year.
Bench 4: Alec Pierce. Wide Receiver. Indianapolis Colts. 49th at position. Another wavier add.
Bench 5: Pat Freiermuth. Tight End. Pittsburgh Steelers. 9th at position. On Bye, a great waiver add.
Bench 6: Isiah Pacheco. Running Back. Kansas City Chiefs. 66th at position. Waiver add. From what I’ve read, he could be a good late season pickup as The Chiefs like him as their top RB.
Bench 7: George Pickens. Wide Reciever. Pittsburgh Steelers. 51 at position. Wavier add. But looking to be the top Wide receiver on the Steelers.
Injury reserve: Jameson Williams. Wide Receiver. Detroit Lions. Has been injured all year with an ACL injury, but is looking to be back in in December. Was the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft by the Lions, and was known as a really good WR in college, so hes a gamble pick for December.
The team name that I chose is a reference to the anime One Piece. It currently has 1,039 episodes and has been published as a manga or comic in Japan since July 1997. It’s an epic fantasy set in an ocean punk world, and the story is maybe 70-80 complete. Only the author knows.
The name is specifically the devil fruit of the main character Monkey D Luffy. Gomu gomu no mi, or Gum Gum fruit in English is a magical fruit that gives the person who eats it in that story a specific magical power. In Luffys case, he becomes a rubber man with the properties of rubber.
My teams current overall record is 6-2 on week 9. Which is 2nd place in my division, and tired for 2nd best record in the league. That might change after today as I am in a close match with a team who has a record of 5-3 with a good roster. We will know after the 520pm game.
Update: it is 511pm and my opponent is ahead 140.42 to 140.2, and we both have a star player left to play. If I don’t score at least 0.43 points than my coworker, I will lose by the smallest margin this season. I am wishing that my Star player, Patrick Mahomes and his team The Kansas City Chiefs defense can stop Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. It could go either way, as Henry is the focus of the Titans Offense.
This will be the first part of two posts, maybe 3?, about this Fantasy Football Season at work. I haven’t written much in the past few months due to my health, and had to prioritize that, so we will see how many and how often I post. I am hoping for at least 1 post a week for now. Finding time while working a full time job, and dealing with long covid, the smokey weather, and self care has been tough. The forest fire smoke has been gone for a couple weeks, its finally cold, and I am starting to feel healthier again.
Another small covid outbreak at work… I know there’s another surge, but come on. Enough is enough. The timing is not great. My boss was nice about me notifying them about the doctor’s note I gave them about missing two days’ work. I went to urgent care on Sunday because I woke up with chest pain and had trouble breathing. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I got up, focused on breathing, got some water, and waited to see how I felt and to look up my symptoms on duckduckgo. I did get the vaccine two days earlier, the Moderna booster ( the previous two shots, the Pfizer vaccine series), so while I was concerned, I decided to see how I felt in the morning. I had similar but less severe symptoms, so I played it safe, called the nurse line for my healthcare, and sought advice, which was to go to urgent care. Thankfully after a series of tests, I’m okay. I can’t relax because I suspect this bill will be a couple of grand because of our shitty healthcare system in America. I have the best plan I can afford. I’m glad I’m okay on the typical tests, and this is likely a combination of panic attacks and mild booster symptoms, but ugh. I’m tired of the coronavirus and the pandemic… Tired of long Covid controlling my life. Ugh.
I’m already dealing with post-verbal warning emotions; I assume I was under close watch after my big mistake last week. Coco had to go to the emergency vet last Wednesday because there was blood in her urine. It turns out to be a UTI after tests. She’s been peeing in my room on clean laundry and my bed, even after I did all my laundry. I’ve had to use a spray bottle with water on Coco to stop her from peeing everywhere. We haven’t had to use this to correct her behavior for a long time. I had no choice. I take her off my bed, then she leaves the room, comes back, and tries to pee again. Thankfully it’s only a handful of drops, and I’m not seeing blood or pink-colored urine. It’s still gross. It’s frustrating because I don’t want her to suffer from pain or a UTI. It’s frustrating because I still have to deal with this while not doing great emotionally or physically. Thank goodness mom offered to help do laundry.
Radical acceptance, one hour at a time.
Life’s been so stressful lately. I have to focus on what’s going well. I’m killing it with boundaries, values, and communication. I began from a Pot Hole and am choosing effective responses. The past seven days started with boundary mistakes and adjusted. I’ve been standing up for myself, what I believe is correct, and accepting feedback from others. The blow to my ego and shame from breaking my values at work is lessened. Sending an apology message to my bosses helped. Now, I have to have faith that things will work out for the best. I’m doing everything I can.
I’m not letting anxiety take over completely. Thanks past, Reilly! Because you didn’t give up on working on therapy, on yourself, or the problems you learned about Radical acceptance. I’m participating in life. I’m feeling everything. You did that. I’m filling my tank. It’s okay to ask for things you need. For help from others. It’s not black and white.
It’s not arrogant to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself when life’s tough. Or any regular day, for that matter.
Maybe this is that quote on self-improvement Instagram accounts that goes something like: “This situation is showing you what you can handle, and that you handle much more life that you think you can.”
This week is showing me that I’m ready for more. Soon as my mental and physical health recovers. I’ve been kicking ass at life, finally, despite long covid. Remember the good stuff. The small stuff. I am getting better, slowly. I am becoming a better adult, slowly. Slowly forward.
Made a classic rookie mistake… Overshared an email.
Song one of the post: Shame, Shame by Foo Fighters:
This week I made a big mistake at work. It is my fault, and I accept the consequences. I sent an email about an issue and sent it to too many people. I am breaking the chain of command. As a result, losing face with upper bosses due to the timing and content of the email. This message should have been limited to specific people, and I overstepped the lines of my job. Thus, I had a verbal warning meeting (from context, I believe this is the case) about how and why I messed up. This is the first time in my working life that I have had this happen to me. A conduct meeting about my actions as a manager (This being my first manager job) and the consequences of my efforts on the company. I am working on drafting an apology and prepared to make amends for anything my supervisors want me to do or not to do. I know that the best apology is changed behavior. Hopefully, this can be an excellent first step to repairing this relationship.
Coincidentally, I was off work yesterday and today because I scheduled the Covid booster for April 14th, about what I assume is three months after I first caught Covid. This time off couldn’t have come better with things hot at work. I have been thinking hard and reviewing past mistakes to see if there is a pattern of behavior that I need to improve.
I originally had a paragraph focused on past job mistakes that I deleted. I was in a writers knot and decided to catch up reading blogs I follow, and this gem of a post by Anthonia’s Blog was perfect timing:
So flagellating myself online and shooting the second arrow at myself isn’t productive. That is not who I am anymore, and I have had enough of hurting myself and others this way. By staying in the past, in pain, I am not growing, I am not healing, and I am not living in the present.I am not moving forward.
Everyone makes mistakes. It is an unavoidable part of life. All I can do is choose my response and choose my behavior.
Learning Boundaries by example.
Boundaries and communication is a skill I am working on. It’s been a life journey.
This situation has me feeling cautious about how to proceed to communicate. I think I’m on thin ice and need to be careful how I respond. On the one hand: I want to demonstrate through words that I understand what I did, take accountability by apologizing with amends, and how I will proceed going forward at work. On the other hand, I want to respectfully stand up for myself, ask follow-up questions, and respond. A core of this problem is miscommunication. For now, I’m sad and mad.
Though I am upset and let down by myself for my mistake and the verbal warning, what hurts most is finding out that my job is different than what was initially told to me. My company made this new position, I assume, for me after I was moved after three weeks at my previous post. I was told I’m better suited for analytical work and that this would be a lateral move. It’s not. It’s to a lower position, a clear step-down, essentially what I assume is an assistant manager role. Which is not what I was told and not explicitly said. This was after I asked for clarification from my boss since the job description was light. I feel irritated and misled as I think this should have been crystal clear. Now I am underneath the department in which I was previously manager. That is something that should be said at the beginning. I’m disappointed because I can’t trust or see those above me the same as before.
This situation has its upsides. It allows me to see how to set boundaries and fairly communicate them to others. It has shown me my job and not what I assumed it was. It has made me ask myself: What do you want? It reminded me of what I am at this job for. It is a job and a place I enjoy working at. It is a conditional relationship. Therefore…
I am staying, but I am adjusting. I am refocusing my energy on my job duties and life instead of work. I will do the job to the best of my ability as I currently am, but I will use that excess energy on things in my life that need it. I have neglected important aspects of my life to focus on work, and I have pushed those thoughts aside. I did need that time to master this new position, but that time has passed. From now on, I will only do what is in my job description, nothing else. That is the impression I get from work, so that is what they get.
Soon as I recover from long covid (gotta stay positive and wish for the best), I need to move. It’s been a goal of mine for years. I haven’t due to my mental health and constantly being in survival mode for work. A mix of Murphy’s law and things not working out. Life…
That’s settled in the past. I feel stable and confident with life again. (It’s been a long time since I felt like this. So long it feels unusual but familiar). I have work concerns, and I’m anxious about the managers’ meeting, but that’s normal, even for a good job. I like where I’m at—finally, the right thing at the right time. There’s a rumor that the trimmer crew will be moving up to the farm, which is about a 90 minutes drive (or longer during rush hour). That includes me in this new manager job. I’ll find out this week. I don’t want or like a long commute. I want to keep working at this company, so it’s a condition I am willing to accept. It will give me the motivation to go forward with moving.
(I had a playlist, but it looks like its only showing a preview. So… I had to redo it on youtube.)
A change of scenery
It’s long past the time I move out. I’ve felt this way before. I couldn’t do anything about it because of not have work I could emotionally rely on. This is the only home I’ve lived in. The only place I’ve lived. I need to be on my own. I’ve been here too long; I don’t feel like I belong in this neighborhood. Seattle feels stale to me too. There are many other places which would be better. Rent will be expensive, but I am capable of making it happen. It’s going to hurt leaving the family cat, Lucy. I’ll miss Lucy so much. It’s going to be painful to break her heart. I will have to split up Lucy and Coco. I will miss mom, but I can come to visit. Not sure if Lucy will forgive me, being a cat. Eventually, I want to adopt a second cat for more company and a (hopefully) buddy for Coco.
I have to do this. I’ve noticed that when coming home from work, I feel progressively worse as I get closer to home. I’ve seen a constant low depression/anxiety/ and uncomfortable feeling being home with no reason to. I can be myself there at work, outside here at home, not. It’s simply not the place for me any longer. Nothing wrong with that. I don’t feel I can be the best version of myself here. Or live the life I want. I’ll still be me, and wherever I go, there I am. I’ve changed, and the neighborhoods changed. We’re on different paths.
With the covid situation here improving and my health improving, I can finally start toward this goal. It’s been one setback or letdown after another over the past four years. I can also have a social life and become more comfortable with the autistic pieces of me. Some things are not the same over zoom versus in person. I’m already experiencing this at work as I open myself up to others and feel safe.
This was the first Saturday where I felt an average amount of exhaustion. We did deep cleaning at work on Friday for a couple of hours, which was necessary. Once again, my boss showed up ready to do the dirty work with supplies and lunch—mad respect for that. I think the detailed cleaning triggered physical fatigue. So, while my physical condition is improving, and the day to getting boosted is close, I still got to be mindful.
Damn you long covid!
I haven’t been able to forgive myself
For the relationship war crimes, I committed to a former friend. I’m guilty.
I don’t want to feel like this. I like this pain to be over. After two years, the pain has slowly lessened, but it comes up if I’m triggered or have flashbacks.
I don’t like hating myself for how badly I let my feelings get the best of me.
I’m tired of this loop replaying in my mind.
I don’t like being stuck in the past with this.
I have and am doing the work to being a better human and working on myself, communicating my needs, listening, and being mindful of others’ needs and addressing the grief, the ruminating thoughts, and fighting back against it.
I’m not a victim. I’m human. I make mistakes. I learn from them, at my own pace. This is due to me. I am responsible for that.
I can’t change the past. I can change the present and, therefore, the future.
I want this suffering to be over.
This is my mess, my journey. My choices led to this point. I have to remind myself to keep moving forward. Let me face my feelings and experience each moment. This is the consequence of my actions.
That relationship is broken and can’t be fixed. It’s far too late for that. All I can do is continue to change my behavior to be a better human in the future. I have since and continue to be, better.
These shame-powered flashbacks are setbacks and not full-stop roadblocks. I must remind myself that these triggers are happening less and less as time goes on. It’s factor that I’m vulnerable to this rumination because of my body fighting long covid. It’s a rarity.
I watched Rocky Balboa recently… Kind of the perfect movie for my mood at the time, and not feeling physically well. This scene is an excellent speech about life.
Just have to keep getting up and moving forward. Lots of good is happening. It’s challenging because it’s inner growth. That is progress. I am grateful. Noticing “good” is just as important as seeing “bad.” Keep moving forward.
I need to practice self-compassion and be kinder to myself. Having long Covid has been difficult. I’m not over it. Being mindful of my health has been a daily, hourly thing. Today has felt long, and I’m tired as I type this at 10:27 pm Wednesday. Yeah, you don’t have all life mastered or figured out. That’s okay. It’s okay to live one day at a time!
Life lately has felt like being in a foggy blizzard. Piercing cold, hard to see around you, challenging to traverse, and slow trudging through knee-deep as snow. (Not that my sheltered ass knows what this is like… It just felt relevant. Such is creativity.)
Long Covid as a foggy blizzard
Since I last tested positive for covid, I haven’t fully healed. The worst has passed, and I’m grateful for that… But covid hangs on. Fatigue, brain fog, occasional dizziness, and shortness of breath rarely.
I suspected I had long covid, seeing as it’s been seven weeks. This explains why I’ve felt fatigued so quickly. Why was I briefly sick last week (a cold or food poisoning?)? Today I had it confirmed at a doctor’s appointment. Any symptoms after a month post-infection are considered long covid. It takes an average covid infected person like me three months to fully recover. All I can do is continue to focus on healing. I believe this is the longest I’ve been consistently mindful of daily. I’m slowly walking through the grief from getting covid, despite doing everything I could all through the pandemic, from the suffering of (likely) catching up at work. My past hard work of going to therapy and improving myself is paying off. A massive silver lining to surviving covid is that I’m not paranoid-terrified of covid anymore. It is still wary of social distancing and any place filled with people. I’m alive. While the pandemic isn’t over yet, hopefully, the worst is over here in the US.
One upside to this is that I stopped smoking weed while sick. I might have to stop because I physically feel worse after permanently. I do enjoy pot, but not the smoking aspect. I don’t enjoy being way too high. I certainly abused it in the past. It was and is helpful sometimes, but I don’t need it. So, a better compromise would be edibles. I can control the dose and responsibly enjoy it.
It’s frustrating that I likely caught covid from buying lunch for everyone my first week. Tight quarters with poor ventilation, lots of people in a small space with masks off… Even though everyone is vaccinated. Even though we distanced while eating, I’m lucky to be alive and fortunate that nobody else got infected. Shit… What a colossal mistake I made. Probably pandemic fatigue on my part, still… It’s my fault.)
The foggy blizzard of Long Covid will soon pass too. Not if I fight back. It doesn’t feel like it; we’re all frostbitten and weary. But this will give. Progress.
Here comes the New boss, same as the Old boss. 🎸🎶
I didn’t realize until today that I risked my life for my job. Why? Because they treat all of us well. As a lead, though, I have a different perspective. I’m grieving the loss of the old and processing the grief of failing. Oh, and figuring out my new job.
I failed as room lead, and it’s my fault. After three weeks (interrupted by having covid) and a month of training my coworker-replacement, I was moved into a new role at work. I’m still in management; now, I’m not overseeing employees much. It makes sense. People skills aren’t a strength of mine. Before I knew I was autistic, I assumed it was inexperience. That is part of it… It’s the recognizing emotions in myself and others that trips me up.
I did everything they asked. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, or another person is better suited for the role. This became a learning experience.
Rule with an iron fist, lead with a velvet glove.
Learned how to manage quality problems when a disaster happens before you touch the product, then how to get the most out of it.
Starting a new job where I’m learning on the fly, having to lead people as a manager when I was previously an employee,
Met the future production goals most of the weeks I was lead or co-lead under my watch.
I created a production tracking sheet.
I learned how to navigate relationships with other managers by practicing communication skills and how to receive feedback on my actions.
Need to work on my communication skills.
I need to work on managing my emotions.
Understand the company “setting” before trying to change the “mindset.”
In short, my inexperience and weaknesses created this failure—this learning experience.
The life long inner journey
It’s time to return to therapy.
I can’t ignore or procrastinate on being autistic any longer. I feel it became an obstacle in my previous position. I couldn’t learn about this the past few years due to the pandemic and the lack of social situations necessary to grow. Well, maybe there was a handful with all the zoom therapy groups I did. A time or two at the jobs I had. Nothing consistent. Because I couldn’t relax and be comfortable that I would be working after three months, I had the Neurotypical mask on. This is a psychological “mask” autistic people put on to blend in with nonautistic people.
Along with autism, I still have other issues to work through with a therapist. I needed time after work with my previous therapist to give myself a break after all we had accomplished together. And I needed time to iron out significant problems, such as finding consistent work. It’s time. I loathe navigating my health insurance plan for mental health coverage. So far, it’s useless and doesn’t cover shit. It’s all I can afford, and other programs aren’t better in this price range. Fucking greedy, selfish billionaires.
I’m the only one who can change myself. I’m responsible for myself, and nobody is going to stop me. I have to stop myself. I have to save myself.
Last weekend, I got the news nobody wants to hear… A coworker came into work positively and spread it. They didn’t know they had it. I was feeling off on the 15th but was well enough to go about my weekend. Monday, I woke up and felt like shit. As I’d done the entire pandemic, I stayed home because I was sick.
Tuesday morning I still felt like shit and took the at-home test shown above. Results: positive. Fuck.
So, I’ve been home this week. Fever, chills, muscle weakness and pain, runny nose, head fog, dizziness, fatigue, occasional confusion, coughing, and trouble breathing sometimes.
It sucks. Thank science for the vaccine.
This after the previous week, I was promoted to department lead. That week, we did well, and I was blown away by all the positive feedback… But that’s another post. (On the way, been on hold)
I’m waiting on the PCR test results I took yesterday. Driving to get that and treating myself to Taco Time wiped me out.
Thankfully, work immediately took action, and the owner immediately bought take-home tests for everyone, and they tested everyone. Also, they finally increased our safety requirements which have been a bit lax so far. It seems more tested positive recently, so I hope it’s not too bad. We require everyone to be fully vaccinated and have for months. This incident goes to show just how dangerous the coronavirus is.
I’m only not boosted because my previous two appointments were canceled due to illness. (My doctor, then me.) I couldn’t get a booster appointment because it’s been so in demand in Seattle. Welp, I’ll be getting it eight weeks after I recover. (8 weeks after because that is the best time for your immune system to recover.)