FMLA is over, and work has begun again.
I’ve forgotten just how exhausting working and going to school full-time is. I have classes from 12 pm to 4 pm, then work from 4:15 pm to 1:15 am and try to get homework done before and in-between. I knew that this insane work, work, work schedule was tiring, but I started to adjust to the exhaustion, to the point that I was so tired all the time that I couldn’t feel it anymore. After taking a full month off of work to focus on my health, I see why I got so sick (physically and mentally) in the first place. Trying to get my final projects completed for school while readjusting to a night-shift schedule as the ice, snow, and darkness of December closes in is overwhelming. Finding balance and pacing yourself is important- but it’s a skill I have yet to master.
I was supposed to see my therapist before I went back to work, but I missed the appointment because of class. Tomorrow I’m supposed to go in, but I’m so overwhelmed with homework and work that I don’t want to take the time to do it. Ironically, this tendency toward overwork and anxiety is one of the many reasons I’m in therapy in the first place. Mental health is fun, right? It’s not just the time therapy takes, but also the mental toll. Therapy isn’t easy. It’s difficult and it’s tiring- but it’s important. In time, as my mental health will improve therapy will become less taxing and exhausting, but to get to that happy state I have to fight through the trenches. As tempted as I am to cancel the appointment so I can do homework (or, more likely, procrastinate homework) or take a nap before work- I know that would be a terrible idea. A lot of my mental issues came from suppressing my emotions and refusing to deal with my problems by stubbornly pushing forward. I have tried going to therapy before and gave up after a few sessions. I need to actually see it through for a change.
So, where is my mental health right now? It’s hard to say. Overall, I think I am doing better. I haven’t had any seizures, I’ve been shaking off bad news better, and have been in an overall better mood. This is all well and good, but I’m still tense. I’m still anxious, and I still feel the lingering presence of depression ready to pounce when I stumble. I am learning to consciously correct pessimistic thoughts and mindsets when I catch them. I am learning to reprogram my mind away from the traumas that keep me downcast and afraid. I know I have a long way to go, but I’m headed in the right direction. I’m stressed with finals and work right now, but I also know that this stress is temporary. That realization, that I’m making progress and stress is temporary, is a milestone for me. I know I can do this- I won’t give up.