personal

Dealing with Anxiety and Depression

I don’t know what changed, but something did.

Well first, I got sick. It was something that was going around the office. Nasty virus that eventually turned into a sinus infection. Super fun. But then the ear infection started, and after three rounds of different antibiotics, nothing’s changed. I can hardly hear out of my right ear and although I was doing better with the virus, I’ve started getting worse again. My cough has come back, my nose will still be stuffy from time to time. It’s a nightmare. I’m headed to the ENT doctor tomorrow to see what can be done about my ear.

But that leads to my next big issue. Work. I work in a call center, which means I need to be able to hear and speak. Typing has never been a problem, but I need to hear and sometimes these people have us on speakerphone or are just very quiet. I haven’t been able to work. But it gave me time to realize that I just can’t stand working in the public sector anymore. I’ve hit a big bout of depression, akin to my very first time back during my sophomore year of college. No appetite, I sleep most of the day and when I’m awake, I’m still tired and lethargic. I have no interest in anything, don’t want to leave the house, and I’ve had at least one bad anxiety attack over the whole issue.

It’s not that I don’t want to work. Sure, I can be damned lazy when I want to be, but it’s not just that. Working in the public sector, especially retail and ESPECIALLY sales, makes me anxious and I’m so unhappy. There’s a level of unhappiness I can deal with in my job, but I dread going into work every day. Sure, I have friends there, but when you work in a call center, you hardly see them. I’m in  my own little world for 10+ hours with no access to fun websites (all I ask is for Pinterest, really) and a book. That’s it. And trust me, I love reading, but not when I can hardly finish a page without another call coming in. Quite frustrating.

I want to write and do something that actually makes me happy. I need creativity, I need a freeflow environment. And without it, it’s stifling. So although Disney wasn’t super creative and I was dealing with people (sometimes very NASTY people), it did give me a bit of creativity and being surrounded by such magic helped keep me going every day. Sure, there were plenty of days that I didn’t want to work, but my crew was amazing and we all supported each other and had so much fun on our little boat ride. Star Tours I don’t miss as much (too hot, too crowded) but Living with the Land… I’d go back in a heartbeat. Though trust me, I don’t miss Florida ONE BIT.

Feeling like this for the past week is not only inherintly exhausting, but has drained me even further. I guess I didn’t even wake up to my alarm or Sean waking me up this morning. I got plenty of sleep, but mentally I’m so drained that my body is too.

I know people have it worse than me. Of course. And they’d love to have my job. Sure. But in my unique situation, I don’t know how much longer I can do this. Every time I’ve changed jobs, I’ve told myself I would never do retail, and I definitely never thought I’d do sales. But here I am, at the bottom of my personal barrel, trying to find a way out.

So in short, depression and anxiety suck. I’m depressed because I can’t stand my job and I’m anxious because money is a constant worry for us. So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. And I’m trying to find the best solution for me and for Sean, but it’s tough. The idea of moving back to Virginia near/with my parents has crossed both our minds, as has moving back to Florida so at least I can be close to Disney. I don’t think either are a proper solution, though I’ve entertained both ideas.

Right now it’s time to just get my mental health in order and then work from there. It might not happen tomorrow or next week or next month, but I’ll find something I love to do that can keep us afloat. And hopefully he’ll find a job that works better for him as well. Call center life doesn’t suit us.

katiesig

Being an Adult

It’s been fun moving to Colorado, dealing with lower income for a while, higher cost of living, etc. But at the same time, it’s been fun. We both love it here. We have some great friends, lots of fun in our town. Plus I just got a full time job in sales at the same company Sean works for, so it’s looking up.

But I thought I’d fill you all in on what’s happened since then, including pictures.

The drive out to Colorado was long, but not terrible. Two people, lots of stuff, and two cats in one cab was tight, but not uncomfortable, especially since Binx hid under the seats the entire time. Buddy, however, quite enjoyed the view.

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Yes, we shaved him and he looked like an old man. Quite funny.

Kansas was the worst. Eight hours of nothing but flat land and windmills, which were cool but got old after a while.

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The desolate barren wasteland of Kansas.

As you all saw in my last post, we are all moved in and actually have a bed frame now, so our bed isn’t on the floor. Much more comfortable.

About two months ago was Denver Comiccon, the first convention I’ve ever been too, and boy was it awesome! Though I do wish we had done the full weekend instead of one day, it was so awesome! Lots of vendors, artists, celebrities. And, my highlight of the entire thing…

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Stan Lee’s autograph on his graphic autobiography.

Meeting Stan Lee was awesome! Though it was only for a few seconds, watching him interact with journalists, kids, saying “Excelsior” and everything… definitely worth it. I’m so glad I got to meet him and get his autograph before he passes away.

But about a month ago, I got a text from my roommates saying that Sean was in the hospital. Now, he’s had really bad chest/stomach pain for a while, and we had gone to the ER four times total in Florida, where they did jack shit for him except manage his pain, never getting to the root of the problem. I got there maybe an hour and a half after he had been admitted, and they had already done scans, bloodwork, etc. Already, Colorado hospitals had impressed me with how quickly they work. They tell us it’s pancreatitis, and later discover large gallstones and have his gallbladder removed. He was in the hospital for about a week.

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The sloth is Steve, someone to comfort him when I wasn’t around.

He’s doing much better now, with an actual appetite. He has four scars on his stomach that will hurt every so often, but he’s come a long way since his hospital stay. Thank you to everyone who has helped us out, both emotionally and financially, in such tough times.

This will be my last week working for the Boys and Girls Club, which kinda sucks and kinda doesn’t. The kids are getting antsy and rowdy now that summer’s ending, and it’s draining. But at the same time, some of those kids are so cool that I’m gonna miss seeing them every day. Especially my D&D boys. They definitely helped keep me sane when I was having rough days.

If you’d like to keep up with my life, go ahead and add me on Snapchat, send me pics or messages.

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katiesig

Adult Life Begins

Well, my future has changed yet again.

I no longer work for the Walt Disney World Resort. Today I turned in my blue ID and officially resigned. Reason? I start a full time job with Verizon on Monday. I was offered the job officially a few days ago and I’m so ready! This position means that I get benefits, better pay, lots of perks, etc. The big kicker was getting my own health insurance. I’m turning 24 this year and I really need to get my life together, which means getting out there on my own. So this is a big step for me.

I’m going to miss Disney a lot, but honestly, I was getting a bit burnt out from it all. Guests are so rude and sometimes the hours are just ridiculous. I do plan on getting an annual pass as soon as I can, probably by my second or third paycheck, that way I can still go to the parks whenever I want. But I’ll definitely miss the cast member holiday discount. Oh well. Time to be an adult, I guess.

katiesig

The Long Road Ahead

So much has happened in the last few months.

During my DCP, I was working at Living With the Land, a small boat ride in EPCOT right next to Soarin’ (a ride which I now both hate and love thanks to the constant questions regarding said ride). I love the people I worked with there and I’m gonna miss them when I finally move in two weeks.

Where am I going, you ask? Star Tours! I am officially a part time employee of Walt Disney World Resort and am going to be working the most awesome galactic tour in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I start training on the 14th of June and couldn’t be any more excited. My inner geek is flippin’ out!

But I’m also moving physically. I have an apartment in Clermont that I’m moving into tomorrow with a wonderful girl named Meghan. We each get our own room and bathroom, so it’s much nicer than my stint at Vista, which ended up being one of the worst apartment experiences I’ve had, short of my freshman year of college.

Other big changes have happened in my life. Jon and I are no longer dating. We’re still very good friends and he’s flying down tomorrow night to start his own college program. I’m going to help him as best I can, but it doesn’t seem like our future is going to intertwine like we thought it would. But who knows what the future holds? Right now, I’m focusing on finding a second part-time job to help pay for rent and bills (and stupid student loans), working towards losing weight and toning up because I’m giving myself one year to get where I want to be physically so I can go for my personal trainer certification around this time 2016. After that, I’ll be able to move wherever I want to, preferably somewhere colder, so I can start planning for the future.

I’ll try and keep this more updated. It’s just been a very hectic year so far.

katiesig

Going Back to Disney

It’s official. I’m going back to Disney in January!

I accepted the position a few days ago. While Jon spends his last semester in Puerto Rico, I’ll be working in the most magical place on earth in Attractions, which I’m super excited about. I’m a bit apprehensive. Last time I went with my ex and a few other friends, plus I met my bestest friend ever, Megan. This time I’m going alone and it unnerves me a bit. But I have to keep my head up because I’ve missed Disney so much and it could open doors for a possible career. When I’m down there I’m going to ask about how to get my foot in the door for Disney Hyperion. You know, the same company that publishes Percy Jackson? Yeah, them.

In the meantime, I’ve come down with a nasty case of bronchitis. And it sucks. Thanks to the addition of asthma, I’m having a hard time breathing and it’s making me constantly dizzy and woozy. So all I’m good for right now is to sit down, watch FaceOff, write some, and maybe read a bit later. Basically, I’m a couch potato. A sexy couch potato!

katiesig

Dealing with Monsters

Have you ever felt so down that you didn’t want to get up in the morning? Or have you ever reacted to something that was quite meaningless but it seemed like your world was crashing down? I have.

For at least the last ten years I’ve been dealing with one hell of a scary monster: depression. It’s the first time I’ve come out publicly and said that I carry it around with me and lately, I’ve been feeling its effects more and more.

I won’t go into details of when I first noticed it or all the major times it has affected my life, but I realized last night just how far reaching its tendrils were. I will react to something that is mildly inconvenient as if it is earth-shattering. I get overly emotional at the little things and have a hard time keeping it contained in public. It’s not the overwhelming sadness or apathy that gets me. It’s the roller coaster of emotions that nearly take over my body and force me to rant and rave, cry my eyes out and act like the world is against me. And sometimes I really think this damn university is out to get me, but that’s a blog post for another day.

When Robin Williams died, I was definitely sad, but part of me was at least a tiny bit glad that from his death the door opened for the world to finally start talking about depression, about how it can affect anyone at any time. But of course different tragedies struck and people forgot about the dialogue they had started about depression and that it is never the victims fault.

People with depression carry a monster on their back. Some monsters are small and keep to themselves most of the time, but others are large and heavy, ruining everything we hold dear. Sometimes people with depression can’t eat, can’t sleep, and just can’t get out and do or enjoy the things in life that they once loved or that need to be done. It’s hard.

For those of you reading this who deal with depression, just know that there are so many resources out there to help you get through this. Talk to friends or a therapist, seek help. You may not want to, but connecting with at least one person can help tremendously. Use your support system to your advantage and don’t be ashamed of the monster on your back. You aren’t the only one.

And to those of you who do not deal with depression, never ever blame the person who has it. A lot of the time, it’s almost impossible to control. Imagine a weight sitting on your chest all the time. One you’re in bed or sitting down, that weight makes it impossible to get back up again. That weight makes you feel like all you should do is sit there for eternity until someone or something lifts that weight off and lets you breathe again. It is never the victim’s fault. Be there for them and let them know that if they ever need to talk, that you’re there for them. Never pressure them to get out of the house or do anything. And sometimes, a silent companion is all they need to get through another day. So just be a warm and welcoming presence in their life and when they can finally put that monster back under the bed for a while, they’ll thank you for being so compassionate and understanding.

If anyone out there has any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you.

And if you’re thinking about taking your own life, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Get help as soon as possible because there are so many people who love you who don’t want to lose you.

I’ll leave you with this fantastic video by a man named Sky Williams who sums up depression perfectly.

katiesig

We Ride Together

I’ve been back for a little over a week now. So much has happened this summer. So much.

The summer went relatively well. I ran the canteen which was amazingly fun and I loved it. It gave me a chance to have moments of peace and time to grade reports and just be calm, which was very much appreciated. I loved staff this year and grew really close with my teaching partner, Meggie. For the first time in quite a while, I actually made a close friend in real life and not on the internet.

I’ve gone through some tough times, too. Nothing I care to share with the public, but I’ve lost a close friend and have been hitting hard times personally. Luckily, music (folk metal, namely Turisas) have been getting me through it as well as a newfound belief.

I have turned heathen. Thanks to my friend David, I am now an Asatruar, a follower of the Norse religion. It’s new and sometimes scary and weird, but I’ve never felt more at ease and sure of my path. Every day I learn more and more and I’m slowly meeting people around the area who share the same beliefs and can help me in my journey. I love it.

School starts up in just a few days. It will be my last semester and I’m utterly nervous and excited at the same time. Here’s to hoping it goes well and I graduate in December.

Hailsa!

katiesig