Hurricane What’s-Her-Name

Every day, I am learning the perils of a shitty work/life balance.

I have very little time or energy for my husband or my friends.  I find myself withdrawing from social interactions, where I normally used to thrive.  Now I obsess on the consequences of potential social events – tomorrow I have 3 meetings, I need to do my chores, when will I fit in a workout…?

OK, so if you know me, the workout thing is probably a whole other obsession, but it still plays in to this.  I turn down dinner invites so that I can work out and save calories.  If I eat (too much for) dinner, then I can’t go out afterward.

It’s so very, very fucked up.

I forgot my nephew’s 4th birthday this week.  Sort of.  I ended up sending a card and gift card (from Aunt Meri and Uncle Eric) SUPER early, because I am a dippity-do and get dates confused.  So the card went out about a week before it should had.  But when his actual birthday came around, I was too busy working a 10 hour day with no break to remember.  Then I came home, cried and crashed, like I usually do.

That is also very, very fucked up.

I am lucky that I have a very kind sister who is very understanding, and is not mad.  But I can’t help but beat myself up for this.  I can’t help but beat myself up for cutting out early from a housewarming party.  I can’t help but beat myself up for backing out of lunch plans last minute, because I’m too slammed at work to leave.  I can’t help but beat myself up for turning down dinner out with my husband because “we have stuff in the house that I can eat and I need to go work out.”

I am trying to be Superwoman and I am failing miserably.  I feel the need to continually prove myself.  I want to be a person that everybody loves.  I want to be a person that people are proud and happy to know.  I want to be thin and beautiful.

I want…a decent night’s sleep, quite honestly.  My brain never stops:  Do this, Do that, Feel guilty, Feel inadequate.

I’ve got a referral for a shrink.  I’ll be making an appointment soon.  Maybe I can get my head sorted out and my priorities straightened out.

I need to learn to set boundaries (ugh, as a people-pleaser, that makes me CRINGE) and learn to say “No” (AAAAAAGH), without convincing myself that I will be seen as a “slacker” and lose my job.

Can I cut back without appearing to have lost my work ethic?  I have no idea.  I’m very adamant about work ethic.  Do your job and do it to the best of your ability.  Suck it up and DO IT.  I’ve seen too many people who don’t, and it pisses me off.

I show up to my office usually between 645 and 7am.  730 at the latest.  I usually am not able to leave the office for lunch.  And yet I feel guilty for leaving at 430, or even 445, in order to beat traffic as best as I can.

Part of the pressure I put on myself is the $25K debt I have.  I got myself into this mess, I’ll get myself out, come hell or high water.  I can’t afford to lose my job.  So you best better believe that I’m going to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to prove myself indispensable to this organization.  I’m living paycheck to paycheck with little wiggle room.  So lots of nights out…not in the cards.  But I continue to feel guilty for saying no.

Am I fucking jealous of those who are able to coast by, and of those who are able to manipulate the system – you bet your ass.

And I’m terrified that BECAUSE I’m trying to do the right thing, I will end up losing everyone loved one I have, plus have a heart attack and die before I’m 40 due to the stress.

So how am I supposed to balance this all out?  How am I supposed to be okay?

(I did manage to write and post this during company time, though, so…yay me? Slacker? Multi-tasker?)


EDITED TO ADD: A video for “A Dozen Roses” by Braid.  This post’s title comes from a lyric in this song (at about 0:35)

About meredithelaine

forty-something. jersey girl in texas via california.
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2 Responses to Hurricane What’s-Her-Name

  1. steweger says:

    i have felt (and still do but less so) exactly this way. for me, the catalyst was absolutely crushing postpartum depression, though as i worked through things i realized i’d been in this dark place before many times, i was just always able to get out it. not this time.

    i fought the idea of seeing a pscyhiatrist and fought the idea of taking meds, but both were a lifesaver for me. having someone to talk to who had NO emotional stake in what i was saying was unbelievably freeing. getting it out of my mouth and in to the light of day and seeing that i was still standing was very empowering. the toughest thing for me was my brain. does. not. shut. up. the meds helped with that – just allowed me a little cognitive perspective so i could trip myself out of that negative, incessant, hopeless, exhausting circuit. just weaned off the meds recently actually, and doing well.

    i don’t know the answer for you, but i hope very much you find it. in the meantime, see the shrink and don’t stop writing/talking/emoting. it’s the healthiest thing. and know that all those things you wish for, you already have. even those of us who haven’t seen you since high school (eek!), think you’re lovely and fun and beautiful and want to be around you. 🙂

    • meredithelaine says:

      Thanks, hon! I made my appointment with the p-doc for about 2 weeks from now. Funny that the woman who scheduled my appointment sounded like she was the LEAST happy person EVER. Um, isn’t that sort of bad advertising…? 🙂

      I really appreciate your comment. Glad to hear all is working out for you. ❤

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