Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In the Valley

They say that life is made up of a series of peaks and valleys.  I realize now that I am currently in a valley.  Even if on the outside, everything seems to be going my way, my insides are a complete mess.

Harry suggested to me two years ago that he thinks I suffer from Seasonal Depression.  I laughed it off at the time, just attributing my mood to my usual dissatisfaction with work.  Working at the Boys and Girls Club in Anchorage, Alaska gave me the opportunity to know that S.A.D. is a true disorder.  And for first time, I'm starting to think that maybe I do have a mild case.

Remember that "bad, nervous vibe" I mentioned while I was in Miami two weeks ago?  Well, it hasn't gone away.  It is still alive and well in the pit of my stomach.  It got so bad that last week I had a headache for four days straight.  On Thursday, I was so nauseous that I got sick twice at work and four times in the car as my mom was driving me home.  I feel like I am on the verge of having an anxiety attack at any moment, and every once in a while, I just start to cry for no reason.

I thought the culpirt was work.  Being in Miami for a week put me behind in a major way.  I've been trying to catch up ever since.  I thought that the stress was just too much for me to handle.  But this weekend, I never opened my work email once.  I refused to bring work home this week.  And I haven't gotten any better.  In fact, I feel a bit more on edge this morning.  It snowed last night.  Could the weather be what's really affecting me?

I do know for a fact that my life is completely out of balance.  I am in a constant state of worry over my job.  I don't ever take a break while I'm at work.  I check my work email at home.  It's not unusal for me to bring work home.  Lately, I've been having nightmares about work, and some nights I wake up in the middle of the night, nervous about something at work.  I hate it. 

As Harry pointed out to me when I tried to talk to him about how I've been feeling, I am just a secretary for a doctor.  It's not like I'm the one trying to eradicate malaria.  And he's right.  I'm a nobody here.  So why do a feel the weight of the whole Malaria Section on my shoulders?  Truth be told, they could replace me in a minute....and with someone who has far less impressive credentials.

Both my boss and my supervisor will be traveling for two weeks starting this weekend.  The first order of business for me will be to take a mental health day on Monday.  I need it.  I need to slow down.  I need to breathe.  I need to get my life back in focus.

Next, I need to start reading the Bible again during breakfast.  I took my Bible off the kitchen table while cleaning, and it's never found it way back.  It is still on the bookshelf where I left it a few weeks ago.

Then, I need to start taking a lunch break every day.  And eating at my desk while I work doesn't count.  I need to step away from my desk, maybe meet up with my mom, maybe read a little.  No matter what, I need to give myself a real break.  Daily.

Finally, I need to stop taking work home.  I need to make a commitment to myself and to my family that my focus will be on them once I enter our home.  My worries of the day should roll off my shoulders as I walk through our threshold. 

I once read in a book that God intends for us to work hard.  However, you should not be emotionally or spiritually exhausted from work.  If you are, and your priorities are in order, you may be in the wrong job.

I was contemplating looking for another job, but I think I need to get my priorities back in order first.  Right now, it seems like my priority order is: 1) my job, 2) my family, 3) God.  When in reality, that order should be completely reversed.

I need to get God back in the number 1 spot in my life.  I have to give my family more of my attention.  And I need to find some "me" time in there somewhere.  All of that must take precendence over my job.  And if my job performance suffers a bit in the process and for whatever reason, I am let go, I will know that God wanted me to move on.  And I will praise Him for getting me out of a bad situation.

As you may have guessed by now, since I am actually taking the time to blog, my supervisor isn't here yet.  She called me and told me she was going to be late due to the snow.  But as she is due in at any moment, I better start getting some work done. 

I hope you all have a healthy, balanced day.

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