Day 150: Trapped again

Hi friends!

I haven’t written because the only thing on my mind to write about has been work and I haven’t wanted to give the topic of work more space in my mind than it already has. But…today I don’t mind writing about it because today I have hope.

I took the morning off for a therapy appointment and a medication appointment and in between the appointments I ended up having a phone interview for a job posting in the District Attorney’s office. I would be surprised if they didn’t call me back for another interview by Friday. The phone interview went really well.

Work has only gotten mildly better. That’s not saying a lot. Now that I’m on my own, and my mentor isn’t hovering over my shoulder, I feel slightly less pressure. But I still feel really awkward in patient rooms. I never know what the physical therapist wants me to do, so I ask (which annoys some of them). I fumble around, not knowing what I’m doing. I hate touching the patients. When I help them get back to bed they are always crooked!

I hate the hospital and I don’t like being around sick people. I don’t like being on call (within my shift) and people all needing me at the same time. When it’s slow it’s soooo slow and I’m supposed to look busy (I do everything in the office there is to do and often there is still nothing to do). Some of the therapists have a bad attitude. Most of them ignore me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt invisible at a job before.

On October 11 I started looking for other work. I had just worked at the orthopedic hospital to train there, where patients aren’t as sick as my hospital. I had helped some of the therapists by myself, and this made me slightly more confident, but I realized I hated the actual work of my position. So I decided to look at other positions within my hospital which did not involve clinical care. I found a couple positions and emailed HR to find out if I had to wait a period of time in my role before I could apply.

They told me ONE YEAR in this position before I could apply! That’s 10 months and a week left, and I felt really despondent after they told me that. Because I don’t want to do this job for another 10 MONTHS! I can imagine a few more weeks, but not months. Of course, part of life is treating each day like it’s own separate day and trying to find some good moments in there.

I feel so much SHAME. So so much shame. Mostly due to interactions with my mom, I hate to say. I’ve called her up after work EVERY DAY so I can vent about my day and she’s tried to help me stick with it. I’ll explain why the shame here in a little bit.

What she doesn’t seem to understand is that I can’t do “miserable” anymore — I just can’t. If something is making me miserable and I have the option to not do that miserable thing I’m going to cut it out. I spent 6 YEARS stuck in my marriage after I wanted it to end before I could physically separate. I’m sorry — at 41 I’m simply too old for this now.

Now, I realize it’d not be wise to just up and quit this job. The primary reason being health insurance. I have enough savings to cover my income without working for 7 months. That is what we’ve cashed out of the stock money. I am extremely fortunate to have that money, and I might have access to more cash if I needed it. However, it’d be foolish to waste that as I know it takes several months to find a job. This last job took me a year (it was in the middle of a pandemic but still).

However, the issue is health insurance. Obamacare for us is very expensive. Yet…I hate my job so much I wanted to at least explore the options of quitting. So I’m currently finding out if I’d be eligible for COBRA, which is about the same cost as Obamacare, actually. And I’m tempted to reach back out to my old employer and ask for my job back (they haven’t filled the role yet, but they may not).

These are options. Bad options. Good options. Doesn’t matter — they are options. And I’m exploring them. My therapist says it’s a good thing to problem solve. My psychiatrist thinks it’s great that I applied for other positions if I don’t like my current job. My mom? Well, she didn’t respond well to when I told her I had a job interview elsewhere.

She said the following:

  • That’s not in healthcare (but I’m not tied to the healthcare field)
  • That’s not at the hospital (again, can’t apply for other positions for over 10 months)
  • That job would be stressful (like dealing with really sick patients in a hospital isn’t?)

She also told me when I told her that I wanted to find out what my therapist says, “You don’t want to rely on your therapist too much because you can only meet with her every few months now.” And I told her that it’s not possible to rely on her too much — it’s not like I’m calling her day (like I am with my mom). I felt a little insulted.

I just wanted to be VALIDATED and that’s what my therapist did today. She didn’t tell me what to do, what not to do. She gave me some tips on how to survive my job and tools to problem solve the issue.

Back to the shame issue…Look, I realize I’ve had a few jobs in the past few years and most people might have 1 to 2 jobs in that time period. But, honestly — and I don’t like to pull this card as an excuse — but I have BIPOLAR DISORDER. About 60% of people with this diagnosis are unemployed or underemployed at any given time. I think I’ve done pretty fucking well for myself considering: my moods have been stable; I haven’t made any rash decisions; I actually moved out on my own and have friends and social activities now.

I’m smart. I have a college degree, but I’m working at a lower skilled job. And I don’t mean to sound like it’s beneath me, but this isn’t the job of my dreams. And it’s not enough to pay my bills. I have an opportunity at a professional position that will actually pay my bills and that I possibly don’t hate as much.

I really liked the District Attorney and the prosecutors when I met them a few years ago (the position has opened up again). Even if I don’t get that job, I’ve applied for 7 others that are more professional and will pay my bills (and, most importantly, have health insurance!)

Shame. Because I’m aging (I’m 41) and I’m in this lowly place in my career (what “career”?) and I hear my inner critic telling me, “if you could just stick to something,” but the jobs I’ve been in have been in the past couple years have been in low-paying jobs with high turnover. It’s just been what I could get. And I’m sick of it.

I’m sick of being ashamed of where I am in my life. I’m still alive, damn it. I haven’t succumbed to my mental illness. I have a disorder and it is FUCKING hard to live a “normal” life, but I’m doing the best I can.

My inner critic/my outer critics can SHUT UP.

I just want to be HAPPY.

Part of that happiness is having at least one moment during the workday where I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Some part where I felt I did something good. Some connection with others.

I want better, damn it.

YES, I KNOW NOTHING IS PERFECT AND ALL JOBS KINDA SUCK.

Wait, why am I shouting?

I’m angry. At anything and anyone that’ll make me feel trapped. This does not mean that I don’t care, that I don’t have responsibilities BUT I DON’T WANT TO FEEL TRAPPED.

Is that too much to ask?

This again, Quix? I’m really sick of reading about your work struggles over the years.

Yes, ME TOO. Me too.

I don’t blame you if you are frustrated or want to quit reading. I’m frustrated too.

This is a venting post. After I hit “publish” I’ll feel better. Thanks for reading my rant.

One thought on “Day 150: Trapped again

  1. I would suppose the vast majority of human struggles are in accordance with somehow feeling trapped. Trapped by poverty, trapped by ill health, trapped in dysfunctional families, etc. Freedom is what everyone needs, but I feel it’s getting harder to come by with the particular mix of problems in the modern world. By all means, if you can find a way to not feel trapped, do so!

    The job market is experiencing a lot of flux right now, so I think this is a great time to pursue what you want and shoot high. However, it is my experience that life always contains some form of misery (it comes in so many flavors). Perhaps that’s just me though. So pursue your goals, but try to be reasonable in your expectations. I know, it’s hard to judge what is reasonable/too high/too low when it comes to expectations. It’s that fine line we all have to find.

    I wouldn’t concern yourself too much about what your mom thinks. Her generation came from an entirely different time and era….job hopping is pretty standard these days and is not the killer it once was. Many Boomers, through no fault of their own (as they happened to come of age in a time of unprecedented opportunity and success), have lived a different reality with a different set of rules. This makes for an extremely wide generation gap and communication can be hard. I’m sure your mom means well and loves you, but her career experience does not likely reflect the experience of younger workers.

    Liked by 2 people

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 7 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write about my mental health journey with bipolar disorder, my loss of faith (deconversion), parenting teens, reading, exercise/health, work-life, and my marriage separation/divorce.