Last Friday we had a ‘personal development’ day in work – a scavenger hunt followed by a motivational speaker. Surprisingly I really enjoyed it. The fact that this was surprising is pretty much why I’ve decided to start a journal.
It dawned on me that a lot of my current ‘problems’ aren’t going to go away anytime soon so maybe I just need to focus on finding a way to cope better?
The motivational speaker was a woman who spoke to us about positivity, mindfulness, positive psychology etc etc. And she couldn’t have have come at a better time. Recently I’ve noticed that I have become seriously bitter, negative and bitchy. More so than I used to be.
And whilst this helps me bond with my close friends who can relate to sarcastic comments and funny memes on Facebook, it has begun to bleed into other aspects of my life and I feel like I’m suffocating in negativity.
Admittedly, I have been going through a particularly shitty time recently: after weeks of intense pain I had an emergency laparoscopy and was diagnosed with endometriosis. Whilst the surgery took away the intense agony I had, I’ve been left with a chronic intermittent pain which seems to just suck all of the life and energy out of me some (most) days. As anyone with chronic pain will know, the sympathy dries up REAL FAST. People have all the best intentions but there are only so many times their hearts can bleed for you before it gets old and repetitive. So I hide it a lot of the time. It may not seem like it to those around me because I’m often showing pain symptoms or complaining but that is only the tip of the iceberg a lot of the time. I’m hoping that the treatment plan I’m on will settle the pain down but I honestly don’t know at this stage and it terrifies me.
Not only is it exhausting to live with chronic pain, bleeding, cramping, fatigue and never ending painkiller side effects – it’s also really tiring trying to keep up a facade.
Sometimes i don’t feel like cleaning the house or fixing my hair or putting on a brave face.
But I don’t think people around me understand that it’s not just laziness.
And on top of that, work has been especially challenging lately. Just last week I was told I hadn’t been considered for a higher acting opportunity because I am not a permanent staff member. I want to be but there are no permanent positions so I have been backfilling people on leave on/off for years now (left a few times due to visa/university/career moves). This contract has lasted since September last year. Being told your hard work will get you nowhere thanks to something that is outside of your control is upsetting. My close friend was told the same thing. So naturally we just bitched about it a lot. That’s why we’re close – a love of sarcasm and being able to speak freely without judgement. I love her for it. But I’ve noticed it’s really hard for me to talk about anything positive around her or anyone else. Why can’t I just say something nice? It seems so fake or contrived. I don’t feel like anyone wants to hear it. Must try harder. What do other people talk about?
So after finding out that I can’t progress in my area without being permanent (which isn’t likely to happen soon) we also got really busy and my workload has become a bit more than I can handle currently. Which also sucks. And to add insult to injury I’ve taken on the work of the person who was promoted instead of me. Ouch
I think I’m good at my job, or I try hard to be.
But when you’re sore and demoralised it is hard to stay focused and give a shit day in day out.
The good news is that I applied for another higher level job in the same department but in a different team and have an interview next week. I’m up against tough competition but I’m trying to stay optimistic. Maybe if I get out of the toxic work environment I’ll feel a bit better or will be able to get a new start with this new ‘be positive’ plan.
Even if I don’t change jobs I’m hoping to channel some more positive thoughts and appreciate my life a bit more. I don’t want to waste my twenties in a negative spiral just getting by.
I also need to put more work into my relationship. It’s our five year anniversary of being together next week but we’re hit a bit of a rut. We own our own house, work in the same office and have two gorgeous pups. But I think maybe I’ve become a bit withdrawn due to the pain. I have always been a bit withdrawn – not a person who is overly affectionate. It’s something i’ve learned to accept about myself – I used to force it to be ‘normal’. I think my partner remembers my affectionate self and thinks I’ve changed but really I just allowed myself to be who I am. But I can understand why that would hurt him.
It’s not at all that I don’t love him – I do. It still shocks me how much; I always wanted to be an independent woman but with him I just fell into this beautiful partnership that just made everything seem easier. He didn’t make me sacrifice myself, I can be myself but better. From the very beginning we just became an ‘us’ and everything was handled as a team. We went really fast in the relationship – moving in at 4 months, committing to a partner visa at 12 months, engaged at 18 months, some international moves and then we bought a house and got puppies last year. It hasn’t been perfect but we make it work mostly.
But recently we’ve been seeing less of each other and my libido has been struggling for a while. It was a fickle bitch to begin with, always linked intrinsically to my body image which has taken a nosedive in the past few years. Now I have a rebellious uterus and hormonal/mood issues. I really should do more.
A few nights ago he told me he feels like we just coexist, we don’t do thinks together except functional things. That hurt but I had to agree. We tend to go our separate ways after going home. We work together, there is nothing new to talk about. He plays video games and I watch netflix and browse the internet most nights. I go to bed early because I’m exhausted. He always said he liked how I didn’t demand attention, that we could do our own things. I think I took that too seriously and so became reluctant to ask for his time. I assumed he didn’t want to do things with me and just did them to be nice/out of obligation.
He’d ask me to go for dinner or drinks and I’d say no because I’m always trying to lose weight and save money.
Yet I’ve been going out more and more with a close friend because it’s the first close female friendship I’ve had in a while with someone who actually wants to do things together. My partner enjoys weekends in the house relaxing, as do I. But I want to explore more, go walking, sightseeing, adventures. We live in Western Australia – one of the most beautiful places in the world. I want to see more of it, as does my friend. We have a spreadsheet.
So of course I’ve been going places with her, I thought I’d found a way of seeing more of WA without dragging my partner to places he doesn’t want to be.
But I guess I didn’t think about how he might feel replaced. I feel terrible.
Yet despite this I can’t bring myself to be more affectionate, to ask to do more things. I think something deep inside of me is stubborn and wants to be asked. He doesn’t want to go for walks, to sightsee, to watch tv. He wants to play games together, which I can’t seem to enjoy much. I should try more, he’s worth it.
So I’m going to try to do more small things to make my life more positive.
One thing is list 3 things I’m grateful for. I’ll try not to make them all huge sweeping generalisations like “grateful for my family” etc cos that’s a given a lot of the time.
Today I am grateful for:
My burning love of Formula 1 – it was an unexpected injection of passion and gives me something to obsess over and fill my weekends 😀
My two gorgeous puppies who bring me a thousand moments of the most pure joy every single day (even if they challenge me twice as many times).
My electric blanket – for providing warmth and pain relief in my favourite places ever (bed and couch).