Daily Post 158: Saturday Burnout

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Writing from Saturday morning:


Work wasn’t awful yesterday. My FA was there for a bit in the morning but then had to leave to attend meetings in Lincoln. That left me with Float RN and New RN. We got everyone through their treatments and the clinic closed down on time. Go us!

I was dead by the time I got home. Sadly, the kids are here this weekend, so going to bed early wasn’t an option. I did crawl into bed with the lights off, but the TV in the living room was on and I could hear it. The kids kept running in and out of the rooms and chatting and being kids. It’s one of the pieces of friction with the home situation. I’m not able to have the solitude and quietness away from people when I need it, and yesterday and this morning were definitely times where I needed it.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I think I’m starting to fight off a cold again. I was congested for most of the night. I woke up several times even with using the Vix Vapor thingy we have in the room.

When I finally gave up on sleeping this morning, everyone was already up. The thought of having to cook breakfast and dealing with people being under my feet while I tried to do stuff or answering questions and just in general interacting with anything living that wasn’t a cat sucked. It all felt heavy. And that’s how my whole day was going to be; constantly surrounded by demands on energy I didn’t have to give.

The pervasive thought this morning is that it’s almost the three-year mark. Three years since mom died. Soon I will have to find another rose to add to her vase; a sign that I have once again survived to reach another year. A sign that I made it through all of the hard days, all of the good days, each and every day that ticked us closer and closer to “this” day.

It sucks. And knowing that I couldn’t have the one thing I wanted, to be left alone, made it worse.

I did end up making waffles for everyone. I used whole eggs this time instead of egg whites. I didn’t eat with the family, but I was told the waffles were good. I stepped outside with Ox for a cigarette after he had eaten. When I came back inside I curled up in bed under the covers with one of the cats. Mama Ox came to the doorway. Since the lights were off she couldn’t see me.

Mama Ox: Where did she go? It’s like she’s hiding. I thought she came in here but I can’t see her.

Right Brain: Um… yeah. I’m hiding. That’s sort of the point of hiding. To not be found or bothered.

Ox and I had some alone time. He let me cry. I had told him about a dream I had last night which might have added to the frustration I woke up with. I had been in the kitchen trying to do something, but there was trash everywhere that no one had thrown away. There was clutter and friction and all of this “stuff” that I had to work around or take care of before I could begin to do what needed to be done. It felt like I was the only one who cared and that made it all feel pointless. I can’t care for everyone. I can’t be the only one doing things all the time. That’s how people burn out and that’s what I woke up with; a burnt out feeling.

I’m glad to say that things are getting better. I’ve worked through all of the emails in my inbox that I didn’t get to on Tuesday. I’ve replied to posts and even an email from one of my uncles. I have a new niece. I doubt I’ll ever be very close to her, but I’m happy for my cousin. I hope she’s enjoying being a parent. I hope her daughter grows up to have a close relationship with her.

I proofread and posted my last writing. I’ve written this one, not that there’s really much to say. I feel tired. I feel emotionally drained. I still feel slightly confined though not as much as I was when I first woke up. I’m hoping to get through this weekend of rainy ickiness where the kids complain that they’re bored and how there’s nothing to do. I’m hoping one day I will have my dragon’s den and it won’t matter if the kids are here; I’ll still be able to sleep after an exhausting day of work. I’ll still be able to have my silence and solitude without interfering with everyone else’s life.

Today isn’t that day, though. Tomorrow isn’t going to be that day either. Right now I just need to breathe through the tension and realize this is a moment in time. Nothing is bad. Nothing is wrong. Everyone here loves me, it’s just not structured to the needs of an extremely introverted INFJ.

For today, I will be grateful.

I am grateful I had my mom in my life as long as I did. I’m grateful I still have her in my life in the ways that I do. I’m grateful that Ox loves me and tries as hard as he does to make me feel safe and cared for. I’m grateful for my life, even if it’s different than what I thought it was supposed to be.

Hopefully, I can remember those things when the tension starts to swell up again. I AM grateful. Even when things are hard and sad and I’m not alone like I want to be, I am grateful.



Written Sunday morning:

Today is off to a better start than yesterday. Granted, it’s only 6:30 in the morning, but already I have been equally as productive as I was for all of yesterday combined.

I woke up yesterday feeling out of it, and maybe that’s not the right way to describe it. I felt alright, just not up to the task of doing anything or socializing with anyone. It was one of those days where if I still lived in Orlando I would have slept all day and stayed in my room cuddling with Scarlet. Maybe if I had been feeling frisky I would have eaten something.

That’s not possible in the enviornment I live in now, though, and it most certainly isn’t possible while the kids are here.

I helped with breakfast yesterday, but I didn’t eat anything with the family. The bit of time I was in the kitchen with Mama Ox going back and forth and inserting her two cents on topics that didn’t matter and were mostly small talk that I had to fain instrest in had me frayed and feeling overwhelemed. It didn’t help that when I tried to go to the room to get away from it all, she followed me and commented about how I was hiding.

Yes. I’m hiding. Please respect that and leave me alone. >.<;

I wrote yesterday and continued with my posting for my leadership class. I have a handful of reflection sections left to post from the first book. I did buy the second book yesterday even though we won’t be working on it for the class until April. I figured since I’m going to be starting my Human Anatomy class soon that it would be better to try to get as ahead as possible. The next book is Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. I don’t know much about it, but the audio book is over 13 hours. I may start it up today depending on how things go.

I did start a load of laundry yesterday, but that’s all I did with it. I just switched it over before putting my roast in the oven, so both of those things are going. I’m trying something different with my roast. I used a Grill Mates marinade with it this time since I like how it turns out with chicken so much. We’ll see if it’s a success in about an hour.

Ox and I did go to the store here in town yesterday afternoon. We needed milk and eggs. Mama Ox wanted a new container of cashews. I wanted shredded cheddar cheese for the leftover chili that no one is eating. I got a small bag of the Reese’s snack popcorn that I like.

Other than that, I took a three hour nap yesterday and did a bunch of nothing. I haven’t cooked dinner all week, which I guess isn’t as awful as it sounds. There were leftovers for some of the days, and the others Mama Ox cooked burgers or other simple, quick things that the family liked.

This wasn’t really the best week for me to do much, what with working late and having to travel. Maybe that was part of yesterday; burnout from a rougher week than I had thought it was.

I told Ox last night that I feel like I don’t handle things as well as I used to. I don’t know if that’s me getting older or still being broken from the ordeal that was mom’s death. I don’t remember crying as much during high school, though. I don’t remember feeling as overwhelmed and bombarded by small, simple social interactions. I also didn’t have to deal with them very much for the seven-ish years I lived in Florida. I was able to have my own room and to avoid the world when I wanted to. I still don’t have that option here and so maybe I’m the same it’s just the situations are different. Different stressors, different coping behaviors… I wish I knew.

Ox, for his part, was himself. Ridiculously understanding, supportive, and reassuring. He let me sleep during the day. He dealt with my grouchiness. He held me, encouraging me to take deep breaths when the tension started to build in my chest. He said two months. He doesn’t want me to sleep in the addition with it being so cold. He didn’t want me to sleep in my car either for the same reason when I brought that option up last night. I didn’t want to be away from home, so the thought of a hotel room didn’t sit very well with me.

I just want a quiet space here. A safe space. A “my” space where I belong and I have my things with me instead of them being packed away still in a storage unit I haven’t seen in roughly seven months. I keep thinking in the back of my mind that I’m going to unwrap my china and all of the pieces are going to be broken because of how cold it has been. It’s a shitty thought that doesn’t help anything when my brain is already being a terrorist.

I don’t really know where to go from here as far as my writing goes. Ox said two months. I have my trip next week to see my brother and dad and Mother Earth and Sir. I don’t have a lot of time while I’m there. Maybe I should have tried to plan this better. I don’t think I’ll have time to visit my home clinic. I don’t know if I want to see Warren while I’m there. It will most likely be like pulling teeth and I doubt any headway will be made in regards to the money he owes me. I would like to see my therapist before she retires. I would like to go to the dojo, but I don’t know if I should or not. I haven’t been going to the one here, and though I’ve been better about the gym this past week, I still feel like I’m behind in regards to the workout section of my life.

It was rainy and misirable all day yesterday and it’s suppposed to stay that way for a while. The tempratures are supposed to rise, though. Hopefully spring is arriving and all of this snow will melt and it will be sunny once again. I hope so. I really, really hope that I’m almost at the end of whatever this is and that I do good in school and my yearly review goes well and I eventually get my safe, quiet place and all of this tension and stress and apathy melt away with the snow.

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Daily Post 062: A Self-Care Day

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Today is a day off. One which I’m grateful for. It’s 10:17 am and I have yet to do much of anything with the day.

Tuesday’s have a routine. I wake up at Big Bad’s. Usually, I wake up when he first gets out of bed, but I didn’t today. I have nebulous, fuzzy memories of movement, but I didn’t fully wake up. My first real memories of this morning where if him crawling back into bed, burrowing under the covers to tickle me with his freezing hands.

Today was the first day I’ve stayed with him where I didn’t feel well waking up. I was still insanely tired. I had a painful, sharp headache covering most of the front right side of my head.

It was the first time I didn’t feel ready for the day. On one hand, I did feel recharged, refreshed. We had time together when I thought I wouldn’t see him for over two weeks. A co-worker offered to switch days with me this past Saturday which meant even though I worked Monday I was able to leave early enough to have my evening.

It was fantastic. We watched Bad Santa 2 which was crude but funny and mindless. It was low-level stupid humor and really I think it wouldn’t have mattered what we watched. I wasn’t at work interacting with patients. I wasn’t studying for my certification. I wasn’t worrying about money or being frustrated with my roommates. Nothing was required of me aside from being present.

I remember being worried that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep, but I guess I did.

I was pretty sure the headache was from dehydration. I didn’t drink anything on Sunday because I slept most of that day. I don’t really remember the last time I wrote. I worked Wednesday, was off Thursday, which I guess was the last time since I’m pretty sure I wrote about therapy that day.

I didn’t feel better after therapy. I still don’t, but maybe that’s because in eight days it’s my birthday and that thought hurts. This season hurts. I don’t think there’s anything that will make it better, not even therapy.

Anyway, I worked Wednesday, Thursday morning, then did all of my obligations for that day, then turned around and worked Friday and Saturday. It felt like I was at the clinic four days in a row, which in a way I was. Even if Thursday wasn’t a “full day” at the clinic, I was still there and still had an extremely productive day afterward. It wasn’t a rest day by any stretch of the imagination. So by the time I finally got to Sunday I had nothing in me to give.

When I woke up Sunday I went back to sleep. The few times I actually got up were purely for bathroom breaks and food. I guess it would have been smart to drink something while I ate, but I didn’t. I didn’t really start feeling like I was “with it” until around 5pm.

I didn’t shower until around 8 pm and the only reason I did was because I had literally no food for work on Monday.

I knew I didn’t have the energy or motivation to cook so I bought premade salads, something I normally think of as a waste of money, but all I need to do is survive this week, and if not having to cook helps me do that then it’s a good investment.

I got a rotisserie chicken with coleslaw and instant potatoes so I could make meals with that as well as a veggie lasagna which I just got done cooking.

I worked my shift yesterday, Monday. It went fairly smoothly. The patient who was a jerk to me the other day complained to my FA. He pulled me aside and said that she was pissed at me and to not mess with her. He said he had been around me long enough to know her story was BS and that he knew I wasn’t disrespectful or rude to her the way she was saying. He said she’s like that to the people at her nursing home, too, and to just let it be water under the bridge.

It made me feel cared for that all of my team members who this woman talked to didn’t believe her story. It made it easier to not care about her opinion. If she wants a target to be angry at, fine. I’ll be her target. I have 11 other patients every day who need and want my help during her shift. If she doesn’t want to interact with me then that means I have more time and energy for those other 11 people.

Monday I helped mix acid again. Next time I’ll be the one doing all of the work while my trainer supervises me. I might want her to watch me twice just to make sure, but overall it’s a fairly easy process.

I also had to make a billion CVC kits. Ok… not really a billion, but I did 20 termination packs during my first break, which yes, I do catch a lot of flak for working during my break. I like doing it, though. The stockroom is always empty. Making packs is organized and structured. It’s one of the few times I can sit and listen to music and de-stress, and a lot of the times it’s too busy on the floor to step away and make the packs during the day, so yeah, I don’t mind spending 15 of my 30 minute break alone doing something mindlessly structured away from people. I’m ok with spending that time being anti-social.

Not only did I do the 20 termination kits, I also did 30 initiations and 30 tego packs before I left the clinic because ALL of the CVC bins were empty. That’s in addition to the 24 needle packs I made while I was on the floor.

Yes. That’s a lot.

At the moment we have a lot of new patients with CVCs rather than graphs and fistulas. On TTS days we have 18 patients with CVCs. That means almost all of the termination packs I made yesterday will be gone by tonight along with over half of the initiation packs. Packs need to be made, but there’s rarely downtime to do it. It’s annoying. It’s something that I’m going to bring up in our meeting along with organizing the drawers on the floor. I’ve been at the clinic long enough to have confidence in speaking up, and I feel I have earned the respect of my coworkers enough to be heard when I make suggestions.

Anyway, Monday was a pretty full day with little sleep and little recovery time from the previous week. I was glad to leave the clinic. I was glad I had my evening ahead of me, and I was glad Tuesday was a day off.

So here I am. Back at home. Today is a much different day than how my Tuesday’s usually go, though, and all of that has to do with being so tired and sick feeling this morning.

Normally I would leave Big Bad’s and come home to start chores before going to training. After training would be showering and eating before going to donate plasma. Once I finish with donating I normally go to my sports bar to eat and study. The rest of the may have a few more chores like finishing meal prep or some such, but those are the main things for my Tuesdays and Thursdays recently.

That’s not how today is going to go at all. The first thing I did aside from drinking water was cancel my training. I told L I wasn’t feeling well and asked if it would be ok to try to meet Thursday. She said that was fine and that she would message me tomorrow to see if I was feeling better.

With my first obligation of the day taken care of, I went back to sleep on the couch. I slept until 9ish. When I woke up my headache was gone, which confirmed it was most likely from dehydration or a combination of dehydration and tiredness. I had more water before trudging into the kitchen. I put the lasagna I bought Sunday in the oven, ate breakfast, then went back to sleep again.

The lasagna is done and now I’m left to figure out the rest of my day.

I’m not going to be donating today. I don’t think it would be a good idea and I don’t want to risk having a bad donation on the one day I have before going back to work. I’ve been going at life pretty hard. I want a day to myself that’s actually relaxing that I’m conscious long enough to actually remember.

There are a few chores I need to do, like cleaning the litter box, but laundry is done, food is taken care of, so aside from paying bills there’s not much else to do.

Rest. Not get sick. Self-care. Those are the things on my to-do list for today.

I took the practice test for my certification Saturday night. I got a passing grade on it, though it wasn’t as high as I wanted it to be. Since this is my blog, and I’m supposed to be honest here, I passed with a 75. You need a 75 to pass, so I barely made it.

Most of the questions I missed were from the chapters I haven’t read yet, so there’s a small amount of comfort from that. Some of the questions were about medications, which I don’t think will be covered. Those questions fall into the category of “what the actual fuck” for me since that content isn’t listed anywhere in the study material. If I knew I needed to know it, I would study it, thus why I got it wrong, because I didn’t have the information to study.

It’s one of the reasons I hate certification tests. There’s always bullshit questions that lower your grade and make you feel like a failure because you didn’t get a perfect grade even though you aren’t a failure.

So yeah, right now I got a barely passing 75 on the practice test, but I have a better idea of what I need to be looking at, mainly the stuff I haven’t looked at yet. I’m happy to say that for the 75% I got right, I was extremely confident with the material. I’m not scared of the actual test and I’m on track for having everything taken care of during the first week of January. It’s going to cost me an extra $50 to have the process expedited, but I’m ok with paying the cost to have it over and done with before classes start.

Pretty much the only thing I plan to do today is to go to my sports bar to study. I feel like having a good meal with some solitude would be beneficial. That way I’m not staying at home “wasting” the day away. I still progress even if it’s just a little bit, and it’s not a taxing or intense obligation that will deplete me for tomorrow.

I have two more days to get through at work. Wednesday, then two days off, then Saturday. Sunday there’s a meeting at the clinic, but it shouldn’t last too long, and once it’s over my week off begins. I still haven’t figured out what to do during my week, but maybe that’s something I can figure out today. While I’m paying bills I can sit and figure out how to divide up my $500 of birthday / Christmas money.

Kyle may have a job by the end of the week. His former employer got in touch with him. Kyle’s essentially hired, provided he passes the background, which there’s no reason he wouldn’t. That would be amazing. If he could actually start paying rent… My brain can’t even begin to process my finances improving that much. Having an “extra” $400 to put towards my debt… and if Warren keeps to his word and begins actually paying me back, not just making his monthly rent payments…

In the coming new year, my financial situation might not be the dark depressing forever nothingness that has been eating away at me for months. I’ll have my dollar raise from my certification, and people will be keeping their word, and things won’t suck, and might actually be ok.

I haven’t allowed myself to think of things “being ok” because it felt like such an impossible, foreign thing. But now there are actions and data to support the “being ok” idea and those thoughts bring such a feeling of relief that I want to cry.

It would mean I’m not the failure I feel like. I would actually be adulting well enough. I would be making progress to being able to live alone, to getting away from the dependency I once again placed myself in. Maybe, finally, I will have learned this lesson.

It’s something I talked about in therapy, and it might be the main reason I don’t feel better from having gone. I think my therapist is frustrated with me because I did the same thing with Kyle that I did with Warren, that I did with pretty much every person I’ve lived with.

We talked about boundaries and protecting myself financially.

I don’t want to stop helping the people I care about. I help people the way I would want to be helped if I was in a shitty situation. There is a point where it’s harmful, though. I’m not going to sit here and type about “how I’m learning where that line is” and other inspiration BS like that because I honestly don’t know if I’m learning that or not.

I know I am learning that I’m tired of people’s bullshit. I’m tired of being burned for helping. I’m tired of not being able to help myself because I’ve injured myself in my effort to help.

I don’t know if that’s gaining wisdom or becoming jaded. And right now, a little over a year and a half after my mother’s death, eight days before I turn 29, I don’t care which it is.

I know I am driving a stake into the ground, splitting the Earth beneath me as if I’m throwing down Thor’s hammer. I’m done being “here”. I’m done sinking back into this situation and feeling these feelings.

I WILL NOT knowingly do this to myself again.

Mom isn’t here to help me. There’s isn’t a bailout option for me. There isn’t the coping mechanism of a phone call to help me deal with the stress. There’s only me and if I want to be there for myself I have to protect and look after me.

So yeah… That’s about it. I’m tired but I’m hanging in there. I think things will get better soon and until then I’m not feeling bad about doing the things I need to do to keep going.

I’m going to keep fighting the fight even if that means some days I don’t fight at all.