I’ve been in a pretty bad place lately. I mean, there are parts of my life that are going great. I have a great boyfriend who is moving in with me; my ex-boyfriend is finally moving out (hopefully); I have some great friends at work. But even all the good seems tainted.
At work, they’ve cut our hours again. Unless a special project or a bit of “creative scheduling” comes up, I get almost no hours. Last week, because we had plannograms to implement, I wound up with 28 hours. This week, I have 9 1/2. Next week is 8 hours. The week after, when the boss has a bunch of shifts scheduled that go against our collective agreement (so, they may change) I have 25 hours. We lost one of our highest seniority casual workers to a full-time position, so we thought we’d be getting more hours once he leaves. Instead, they’re bringing in another high seniority casual worker, meaning everyone below her is going to get screwed on hours.
Things with the boyfriend aren’t all sunshine and unicorn farts either. We had a big argument a few weeks ago, and it’s created a big problem with me. I have a seriously hard time trusting him now. I’ve been trying to get some info from him (when he moves in, I’ll be in charge of all of our collective bills, so I need to know what he owes and what bills he has), and he keeps blowing all of that off.
And then there’s just the general job hunting I’ve been doing for what seems like forever. This week, Facebook was full of pictures and posts about people graduating, people getting awesome jobs (in their fields too!!), and people just generally doing awesome things with their lives. And I’m sitting here like, “Well, I have 2 whole shifts this week, so I’m not a complete loser…… I guess”. I’ve been turned down for more jobs than I can count, while everyone else around me just seems to be moving up farther and farther in life.
What’s the point of all this rambling?
Like I said, I’ve been in a really bad place lately with all of this on my mind. I wake up at 1 in the morning in a full-out panic attack, worrying about bills and lies and resume templates. I started drinking more than usual (which I didn’t think was possible for a while there). I was existing on microwave pizza snacks, potato chips, and cheap wine. And I started back up with some old, horrible, harmful habits.
You know what really doesn’t help at times like this? When people try to force you to cheer up, or “buck up” as I’ve been told.
“Don’t you know there are people out there who have it worse?”
“Are you really going to act like a child and mope?”
“Act your age, not your shoesize?”
What was so childish, so horrible, that I was doing? A little bit of self-care. No matter what people tell you, you are never too old for your favourite methods of self-care. I like to throw on music that matches my mood. Lately, that’s been a lot of 21 Pilots, some old emo standards, and a few weepy songs from back in my goth days. Sometimes I journal a bit. Some days, if I have the time, I’ll just wander aimlessly around the neighbourhood for hours. Day before yesterday, I scrubbed all the walls in my house.
No one thing will work for everyone. Hell, no one thing will work for one person all the time. Some days, I need to blast some Ministry and Black Daliah Murder and walk for an hour or two. Other days, I need to put on some old Prodigy and scrub the stove until it sparkles.
Your self-care is whatever you need to do to help you through your darkness, to keep away harmful habits, and to push you forward when you’re feeling healed.
And don’t forget: self-harm is not always physical. Self-harm is not all cuts and scars. You can’t always see self-harm. Don’t let others fool you into thinking that harmful thoughts, sudden dangerous actions, or a sense that you can’t be harmed (and acting accordingly) isn’t harmful to you. Just because you’re scars are on the inside doesn’t make them any less valid, just a little less noticeable to everyone else.
**if you have thoughts of physically harming yourself, feel suicidal, or start taking dangerouse risks (walking into traffic, jumping off high surfaces, cheating death in any way), please seek help. http://commongroundhelps.org/ has phone numbers, texting services, and an online chat for anyone seeking help.