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I have never been very good at writing here when things are going well. I’m just not quite sure what to say. I’m not the biggest fan of my own posts about how awesome everything is. I either find them kind of boring (or at least not very compelling) or toeing humblebrag (if they aren’t knee deep in it). I don’t do them well; they are not my most interesting posts. 

I have always come to this place to exorcise my demons. But then I got called out on that, more than once, and so I’ve tried to temper pretty much everything I write. I suppose that is growing up. One might even call it perspective.

I read the blogs of a lot of women, extraordinary women, who are wading through incredibly difficult lives. Their problems are real, with a capital P. Their shit is legit. These women have to navigate divorce, marital affairs, chronic illness, resolving IF and loss childfree/less, stillbirth, infant death, children with severe health issues. These are really intense, life-altering issues. These women write eloquently about their situations, putting up posts that teach me what resilience really means, what it looks like in the day to day.

After reading posts like that, I am loathe to come here and write a post about how I can’t find another job, even though I have a fine one that pays the bills, where I’m treated fairly and with respect (at least by my colleagues and direct superiors). I am weary to publish something about my marital issues, or my own personal challenges in parenting my kids, because it all feels so…pedestrian.

Yes, these issues are relateable. Yes people see themselves in my struggles. It’s not that I think there is no place for posts like mine in the world, I just doubt mine are insightful enough to do those universal topics justice. I don’t have a thoughtful lesson to tie it all up with in the end.

What I am learning about myself is that I’m not all the resilient. I mean, I knew that, but it’s humbling to be shown evidence of it over and over again. My thought process tend toward anxiety and depression, I am not someone who bounces back from adversity, stronger than before. Instead I have learned a fraction of the lesson, so that the next time I am slightly better prepared. And yet I keep making the same mistakes. I keep stumbling over the same cracks in the sidewalk, instead of stepping over them the next time I walk down that particular block.

I never managed to get the job stuff out of my head this weekend. It was infuriating, because I really and truly do not think I’m going to get the job. One of the schools that never contacted me for an interview, even though they extended their application deadline indicating they hadn’t found a suitable candidate, finally responded to my confirmation email (because I sent it again). Evidently I am not being considered because they want someone with high school experience. I hadn’t even remembered that not having high school experience was a weakness of mine. I was so focused on not being a native speaker than I forgot my real fault was being a middle school teacher.

They are interviewing five people for the position at my high school. Surely someone has high school experience, or is a native speaker, or both. And yes I know, in the workplace people can hire applicants for any number of reasons, but in education, people generally hire people for a narrow range of skills and experience.

And of course teachers right out of school get hired. It does happen. But high school Spanish positions are not as plentiful, and in California a lot of people speak Spanish.

I mean, if I could move to another state and apply to Spanish positions I’d probably have a lot better chance of finding one than I would here.

Or if I were able to work part time for a year or two, and then be in a position to request a full time position when one opened up. Except I’m not in that position, and I never will be.

So I really and truly do not think I’m going to get this position. And yet I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve tried every strategy I know of, but the thoughts just keep popping back into my head. And even though I know, deep in my heart, that I will be okay next year at my current school, I can’t seem to avoid the stress. In fact, if I start thinking really positively about next year at my school, I start getting stressed that I will be offered the position and won’t know if I should take it!

It’s crazy making!

Sometimes I hate myself so much. I hate the way my brain works. I hate my tendencies to spiral into anxiety and depression. It seems no amount of self-awareness or self-compassion will ever change what actually goes on in my head. I just have to learn to ride out the storms.

And yes, I have gotten better. I my coping skills are more refined, more effective. But I can’t seem to avoid myself, and I suppose I never will have that ability. I am who I am. I need to accept it. To accept me.

I hope as I get older, I chill the fuck out a little.

(I guess I ended up writing that post anyway.)

 

3 Comments

  1. What would you tell your children? Ought they to judge their insides against what they see of other people’s outsides? I think not.
    All the feelings you have are valid … except those you attribute to others. We are not bored by things going well, successes and joys. Nor ought we to be judging you for having your own down times. We all do. It is not a contest for who has survived the worst of times. You can hold your upset and their terrible horrors at the same time. They are not in competition.
    Of course you are feeling your feelings. You should be. Just like you need to be (and are), keeping on keeping on despite things not being ‘perfect’. We all need to remember we are our own hero, we are our successes and failures, and we keep trying.
    You are terrific.

  2. Firstly, I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. And, I realize you may not be in pain at this moment or many other moments when you’re not writing your posts, but I feel compassion for you and what you’re going through.

    Also, I think we’re in a very difficult time in the world. Waiting for Comey’s testimony on Thursday and Manchester and London terrorist (assholes) attacks are leaving many of us feeling we’re in very uncertain times whether we’re focusing on it or not. I mean, any asshole can go out one day and commit those atrocities and there’s very little that can be done about it even when the police arrive in only 8 minutes (which is not to criticize them – they are fantastic in my opinion).

    And with the Comey thing, there’s sort of a hope that things will come to light. But, there’s also the recognition that it may not be much or enough to begin to turn the ship.

    All these things are chaotic. And on top of any personal issues or tendencies toward low mood levels dipping at inconvenient times, I can see where it could feel absolutely unbearable at times. And some people tend to turn that on themselves, whether because of upbringing or biochemical issues or both.

    But you bear it. And you get your bearings, time and time again.

    And if meds or a different med could bring that base level up a bit so the dips are less caustic to your well-being or so your fluctuations could be less severe, in the face of hormonal fluctuations, and challenging and frustrating events, including your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors… well if meds or a med change could help that would be fantastic.

    I’m not calling you out for anything. I think your writing is fantastic and you’re thinking is deeper than many people’s and you’re more aware and sensitive by nature (which can be powerful assets and can also slam you at times). I’m just hoping you’re not unnecessarily handicapping yourself or suffering more than necessary. I know drugs are not a panacea, but the right can make things easier – mine is Cymbalta and omg it makes things so much smoother for me… and easier to problem solve and follow thru on self care, etc., etc.

    I don’t need to tell you about self care, because I just read your first 2 posts under that heading and boy oh boy, you made some profound statements in those posts.

    If you cannot do the light version of self care now, it sometimes can mean an AD can help. In fact, in The Mindful Way Through Depression, it’s stated early on that if you’re feeling very depressed you begin professional help/ treatment before trying to instate a practice.

    I know it’s a major pain in the ass to find someone and I lucked out this time, but it’s so worth it because everything else became easier after awhile. I found a psychiatrist who’s wonderful and because I was tired of dicking around with my body chemistry with non-specialists for something that seemingly had been around in me for a very long time and never adequately treated.

    I also found a psychologist who I went to for almost 3 years… again I was tired of dicking around with MSW’s and the likes. I needed both people to be very smart, intuitive, analytical, experienced, and able to remember what I said from one meeting to the next, among other things. (I’ve heard some MSW’s can be excellent, however I was never lucky enough to find one of them.)

    Anyway, probably way too much to write in response on a blog. I don’t even know you. But I do feel for you and relate to you… and know that whatever anyone types here, you’ll do what’s right for YOU and in your own time. I wish you as much love and comfort as possible as you traverse this road and hope you know that a lot of us feel angst at what’s going on in the world and that’s not making things any easier for you right now.

  3. Having tendencies towards depression and anxiety sucks and it really affects one’s quality of life. Unfortunately, I have those tendencies also. I do think it’s possible to change, though. I feel that I’m much happier and more resilient than I was 10 or even 5 years ago. But it’s not easy, and I’m not sure if it’s just the aging, or does the mental work I do helps at all.
    But I think it’s completely OK to complain even though others have it harder. It’s not like only the most horrible problems in the world should count. More minor problems matter too.
    I hope you’ll feel better and that things get easier soon.

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