Thursday, September 20, 2012

"might" and "should"

Well, I write ... I can't say that word because I don't know how to spell it (don't worry, it wasn't a bad word). I write tiredly after a loong day at work. I wasn't really expecting my two afternoons a week to go past 8 hours total each day, but I was kind of wrong. The chances are somewhat half and half that I'll get out close to 8 hours or over. But I'm having a little trouble.

Today was over, but my boss apologized, saying I shouldn't have been there that late. Ahhh. That's nice to know.

But then what about Tuesday, when I also worked late?

My counselor suggested that I enact my back-up plan to ask to go back to just mornings, since afternoons are giving me a bit extra struggle.

The biggest issues? One, I hate making waves, and not working afternoons might mess things up, and a "might" is all I need, since I have OCD, to spike anxiety. The other? I was finally feeling like I was working "enough," like I wasn't working less because of my mental health. Admitting that the afternoons aren't working feels like admitting weakness, and I don't really like to do that in work situations. And remember that "might" word? Things "might" get easier. The afternoons might fall into a nice flow that would allow me to keep these added hours and feel like I'm working as much as I "should" be able to. And there it is, the "should" word. "Should" describes why I work two afternoons a week in addition to my long mornings. I "shouldn't" be making so little money, I "should" work more hours, I "shouldn't" go into debt any more than I have to, I "should" be able to work more hours. After all, I "shouldn't" need time for myself to relax and do fun things. I "should" be able to work all the time, transitioning from work to homework and back again, with just enough time to clean my house (which "should" be clean, but isn't) in between, and a half hour or hour of television while I eat my supper, well that is kind of spoiling myself, but we'll let that go considering all the "take care of yourself" and "it's okay to have fun/you deserve to have fun" speeches I've heard. (I "shouldn't" have fun because I deserve it, though, because I just might not deserve it).

Well, I took my mood chart from the last three or four months and averaged out the weeks so that I had a shorter, readable summary, intent on checking the trend of my mood this last month with more work. The results were mixed. I've been tracking my depression at its best and worst each day, so that I wouldn't have to pick just one number. Well, on the positive, my least depressed moment has generally gotten less depressed. On the other hand, my most depressed moment jumped down, then back up and is rising higher. So how's that for inconclusive? Add to it the realization that charting my mood at its best and worst misses the whole question of how much time the worst depression was around during the day. So facts? I don't know. The whole mood chart was supposed to create scientific certainty in my mind regarding trends. Instead, it is just one more questionable indicator. Oh, and there is the little problem of every day having to record things subjectively. So it never would have been solidly scientific fact.

Aside from the chart, I'm pretty positive my stress has climbed, and it makes working in the mornings harder. And the quantity of more depressed thinking seems to be growing. So I'm giving serious thought to my counselor's words. Tomorrow I see my Psychiatrist, so maybe he can weigh in on the matter.

Looking at the chart, during the last two months, my anxiety and my sleep level have been inversely related, my anxiety going down as my sleep increased and vice versa. Of course, the secret unknown is that I slept more when I was sick, and when I'm sick, sometimes it fogs my brain over so that I'm not as emotional and my thoughts are slower, which would lessen my anxiety.

Well, 'bye for now. I'm running late...


  1. Oh Abigail, you are SO hard on yourself!! You absolutely deserve to have fun time. No one can keep running on no rest and relaxation.

    1. Thanks, Sunny. Alas, it is so hard to change from being hard on myself.

  2. Abigail, I agree with Sunny--you DO deserve time for rest and relaxation.

    The "mights" and "shoulds" get in the way of my decisions, too. I hope you will be able to come to the best decision for YOU on the working hours.

    1. Thanks. Hoping my psychiatrist sheds light on the situation. My lower-than-I-would-like score in my first exam of the semester might also factor in. :)