maybe, you’re not so normal
I’m going to preface this by saying I am probably the most exhausted I maybe have ever been in my entire life–including the time I took care of my dying Mama and the time when I almost died and was recovering from surgery. We’re talking deep in the bones, soul-level exhaustion, y’all. Here’s the thing–when you’ve been unemployed for a while, you start compiling a long list of things to do. With COVID, that list got very unfocused and long. Staying inside, the house got messier. The pets seemed to do more bad things. We acquired hobbies and stuff. So much damn stuff. And we hadn’t ever addressed all the crap that happened when we moved here because we’ve all literally been going nonstop and then boom–this bizarre detour–that came with hefty mental health burdens.
Needless to say, a lot of the stuff I wanted to do while unemployed, I just didn’t do. They ended up being practical things like finally unpacking all the crap in our living room and organizing my bedroom–both of which have been incredibly stressful things for me, taking up massive mental real estate. Just the thought of them–things I have to step around on the daily–makes me want to hide or run to Aruba.
I don’t really regret how I spent my time, mostly because it’s why I’m probably still sane–but I do wish I had more time to address these practical things. That said–when it became clear that I was probably going to be getting a couple offers–and the time in process moved very fast–I tried to get a jump on these practical things–which was exhausting and I was also sick–with a sinus infection that I’m still dealing with. (It’s not COVID). Anyway, I kinda failed–miserably–and now, I’m in a familiar place of feeling extremely overwhelmed.
Here’s the deal: I just finished my employment law class on Sunday night (which has inspired me to look into law school for civil rights law after my counseling program ends–what??). I just started a really really really demanding job that makes my last job look like preschool; there’s a VERY high learning curve and high expectations–and the person I backfilled left a mess–and I’m still not trained–but doing the damn job. I’m 5 days into a 10 day antibiotic course for the sinus infection from Hell. I haven’t slept well in about 3 months because I was in a brief (and now defunct, but friendly) international relationship with an avoidant comic book artist. My damn ex who keeps coming back came back again. I’m back online dating and actually having better luck–imagine that. I’m dealing with my cat, as always, and transitioning her onto new treatments. (Going well). Trying to stay sane while California never gets its COVID vaccine shit together. Trying to clean the house and organize and finally make this place feel like home. Become a plant mother. Paint shit because I bought all the paint. And establish a cooking routine because I have no time to go anywhere for food because of this job. Oh, and in the course of all of THAT? I think I might have ADD.
Now, this is not necessarily a new might. My roommate–who has ADD–has suspected it for a long time, and a friend actually said he thinks I’m a fucking case study in ADD. (HAHA). But I have always unilaterally rejected the very notion…mostly because all the ADD folks I thought I knew were men, and I’m not like them in their ADD ways. But it was the damn executive function stuff that started me thinking–whoa–maybe I am. The thing is a lot of my supposed ADD symptoms are things that are easily attributed to my chronic illness and my mental health challenges (namely, PTSD and the anxiety that goes with it). Trauma is very rough on a brain. So, I always thought my shit was more about those things–not ADD. But I found out that my best friend has it–and she’s on medication–and talking to her–I was like–Holy whoa. That could be me.
My symptoms seem to most impact my executive functioning ability–and my ability to take care of myself–which has ALWAYS made me feel worthless and like a horrible failure at life. And man, is it ever impacting me right now. It’s gotten to the point where I know I can’t do it by myself the way I have been. My life is too chaotic now–even with a 2 month break from school. The thing is–I learned a lot of coping skills from being a female and from being a people pleaser. It helped that I had a very supportive mother who also was anal about routine and cleanliness–so mine never spiraled in the ways it has for my roommate, for example. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need help.
So, I am looking into finding a psychiatrist to get tested–formally–and hopefully get treated. It’s daunting and crazy for me to think about–and I have no idea if it will even help–but something has to change.