I haven’t had so much as a single day off from ANYTHING in six months or more. And it was really starting to show. Over the summer, I don’t work because I need to be there to care for my developmentally challenged son, which is flat out exhausting when you’re doing it by yourself (for the majority of the time anyway) all day every day. Then when work started again in August (I work for our local school district) I was asked to take on more hours because we were going to be having 200 more kids added to rolls of the elementary school where I worked. The stress from work (being a lunch lady is harder/more stressful than you would imagine), stress from dealing with our son (who is going through a VERY challenging period right now) and trying to keep our house from looking like a tornado hit while also trying to be a good wife was just killing me. I would fall into bed at the end of every shift (around 2 pm) every day just exhausted to the bone. I would barely make it through dinner and bath time and bedtime routines because I was so tired. I would spend every weekend working my butt off all day on Saturday to clean house and do laundry so that I could spend all day Sunday in bed watching football and trying to husband my energy so I could make it through the next week.
It didn’t help that my boss, who was (and is) under a LOT of pressure from HER boss was taking things out on me that I didn’t deserve. When I’m stressed and scared I’m going to get yelled at every time I turn around, naturally I’m going to start slipping and making stupid mistakes at work which affect my performance. I was doing the best I could, but it wasn’t good enough.
I was stressed. I was yelling at my son and flying off the handle over the smallest things. I didn’t want to do anything except sleep and eat half the time. I became resentful over having to do all this shit BY MYSELF. And while my husband promised to help, it’s kind of hard to help when you’re never really home to begin with which is TOTALLY not even his fault. His job is rough and with him working odd hours and having to bring work home with him a lot of time, I don’t expect him to help because it’s not fair to him (in my opinion, make of it what you will) to ask him to take on extra responsibilities when he’s got so much on his plate already. He does help here and there when he can, but not on a daily basis. I quit smiling..at home and at work. My coworkers noticed and asked me if I was alright which I would grimly reply that I was even though I really wasn’t.
Everything kind of spilled out a couple weeks ago when the campus manager for our campus (she’s in charge of half the campuses in the district) came in on a routine check and saw me looking really haggard and stressed. She asked me what was wrong and we went into the manager’s office and shut the door for privacy. I told her everything that had been going on (which I will not go into detail here. Let’s just say it was NOT a good situation) and that I was going to go to HR that day and request to go back to just being a sub. The campus manager was alarmed and upset (as anybody would be) that I wanted to basically quit my job and offered me a position with less hours at another campus. I told her my mind was made up…I didn’t want less hours. I wanted to be able to work because I WANTED to, not because I had to. It would cause our household budget to take a hit, but we’ll get through it. We’ve gotten through hard times before and come out the other side OK so I know we can get through this too. I think the campus manager is still upset with me, but frankly I don’t care.
Today was the end of my first week of being a sub. I worked three days for a total of 18 hours and I realized on the drive home today, I found something I’d been missing. I found my smile again.
I’ve also been working hard this week to work the program, to do all the things on my Life Reboot list. I’ve started each day with 20-30 min of yoga. Two days this week I’ve gone out and run (ok, walked REALLY fast) away from zombies by listening to an episode of “Zombies, Run!” on the Nottaphone. I took my son trick or treating and it wasn’t the chore I anticipated because I didn’t have to work the next day and could take it easy. I’ve yelled less at him and at my husband and I’ve even yelled less at Mr. Tony Underfoot for being his usual overly curious self.
Before, I felt like the crazy train was going to fall right off the damned tracks and I was headed for disaster. I felt like if I didn’t do SOMETHING, I would end up back on medication which I didn’t want to do. So I decided to do what I had to, what was absolutely NECESSARY for my own sanity and survival to get thing back on track. And while they’re not totally back on track YET..they’re getting there.