It’s been two and a half months since I got married. It’s also been almost two and a half months since I wrote my last blog post. I’ve come on here often, desperately wanting to write something, and then either not having time or losing the energy. Today I’ve finally made it my mission to just write. Here it goes.
Let me start from (kind of) the beginning. In April, I got a new job. I forget if I mentioned it, but it seemed like the dream. I was getting 20-25 hours a week, all the people I worked with were beyond awesome (including my manager!) AND it was in a tiny little bookstore that I used to spend hours in anyway. Still, I got the job only a few weeks before the wedding, And I started to feel STRESSED. Like, more anxious than I have been in years. I started feeling depressed because of all the anxiety. I assumed because of all the stress of the upcoming wedding, this was why I felt too overwhelmed to work. I cried for hours, worrying about how I would get everything done while I had to work 20-25 hours a week. I had massive panic attacks. On my birthday (a few weeks after I started there), I cried the entire day and hyperventilated so long that I almost passed out.
I finally told my manager howI was feeling. She was awesome. She gave me a few weeks off before/after the wedding so I wouldn’t have to worry about work. Still seemed like my dream part-time job at this point.
Okay, fast forward to a few days after the honeymoon. This is about 2 weeks after the initial meltdown. We were away for 4 days, and then had 4 days back at home before I started work again. Jeff (my husband, I think I’ve given up on code names ever since I posted about my published book) also started a new job at a church about 30 minutes away. When I looked at my upcoming schedule, I realized our schedules totally conflicted. he worked 9-5:00. I worked 5-9:45. We wouldn’t see each other. At all. Dream job? Not so much anymore. My dream job turned into a nightmare. Yeah, I was really anxious about it before the wedding, but I thought it was just because of all the wedding stress. Now, I was anxious again, but this time because of our conflicting schedules. What newly married couple doesn’t want to see each other almost AT ALL For 4 days a week?! Looking back, I realize it had less to do with the conflicting schedules and more to do with the timing of everything. But I used that as an excuse.
Now, the day before I was about to start back at work, I had another meltdown. This time, it was worse than the one before. Jeff and I carpooled with my parents to attend my cousin’s birthday at the Mandarin Buffet. I had been dreading going back to work since the honeymoon. It was weird, because I actually enjoyed the job. I love books. I love working in small stores. I enjoyed merchandising. I enjoyed all the customer interactions. And yet, whenever I thought about work, I felt that gigantic ball of anxiety well up inside me again. It was an indescribable feeling. Every time I thought about work, I felt depressed. I felt like life wasn’t worth living if I had to go back there. It made absolutely no sense.
So here we are, at my cousin’s event, at a table full of my extended family, and I can barely function. I’m not holding it together. Every few minutes, I feel the tears well up in my eyes again and I struggle to suck them back up. My mom nudges me and mouths, “are you okay?” I don’t even respond. I’m clearly not okay, but how can I explain that a simple part-time job is causing me this much distress?
So we go back to my parents house after a few hours of trying not to explode in front of my entire Dad’s side of the family. The entire car ride home, I cry. We get there, and I cry. I break down. I run upstairs, away from Jeff and my parents, and hide out with my younger brother in his bedroom. My brother and I are like best friends, and he has similar issues, so I knew he would be able to relate. He actually gave me some good advice that evening. Finally, after about an hour, I hear my husband and parents call me to come back downstairs.
The tears flow back. I’m embarrassed. What on earth is wrong with me? Why do I feel so overwhelmed? It’s just a job. I don’t get it. I slink back to the kitchen table, and sob. I can tell that my parents are actually concerned. They may not understand my anxiety, but they are used to it. I don’t usually see concern on their faces when I’m having a panic attack. But this time feels different for all of us. It’s not just anxiety. It’s something else.
I admit how I’ve been feeling. That I was so anxious and overwhelmed about starting a new job while also starting a new life with Jeff that I felt like I couldn’t manage or function. That the thought of getting into a car accident on my way to work seemed relieving. That having to go to the hospital and avoid being there felt like a better option. It was at that point that my dad, my mom, and Jeff all looked at each other and said, “You need to quit.”
And so I did. Sort of. Unfortunately, that day after the Mandarin wasn’t the worst to come.