Saturday, October 29, 2005


So I thought I should post today because there are undoubtedly a few regular readers out there who are a little bit...concerned right now.

I am OK. Really. I just took a little dip in the deep end for a while. Had a little disagreement with whatever small bit of sanity I posses, and we had a little trial separation. We're back together now, though.

Last week was...brutal. And it wasn't just the car accident. Heck, if that were all it was, everything would have just been peachy. But it was lots of things. It was the fact that I was forced into captaining our incredibly losing effort for the scavenger hunt at work. Even though I had no control over whether we won or lost, I still felt guilty that we didn't make a better showing. Heck, after all the work I put into the stupid hearse, we didn't even have one of the top three boxes. I hate being forced into doing things I don't want to do, especially something silly like that.

Then my boss made me take Tuesday off. That meant I had all day Tuesday to sit around the house and think. And when I have too much time to think about's a dangerous thing. Because I don't just think. I dwell. And I replay. And I rehash. Mainly, I just obsess. It's one of my many personality flaws. I can't help thinking that if I had ignored my boss and gone to work on Tuesday, things wouldn't have gotten that bad.

Then I kept getting requests for hospital information at work from account executives. And not just for one or two hospitals. Sometimes, it was for every hospital in a state. It isn't hard to download the information, but it is boring and incredibly time consuming. And since it doesn't require much thought, it was just more time to think about everything that is wrong in my life. That kinda sucked a whole lot.

Then on Thursday, I got an impossible request from someone outside our department, but within our division. There's certain report I've been asked to do for him every six weeks. It is easily my least favorite part of my job. It is time consuming (to do it right takes 3 days), tedious (I have to run the same information for 80 agencies), and frustrating (because people are stupid). I have no idea why we still have to do the report when the initiative has been moved to a different department but...oh well.

Anyway, because the guy I do the report for is stupid, he told the agencies that if they entered a certain code for particular patients by 5 p.m., they would be given credit for those patients. And, if the agencies didn't show growth in this area, they would lose a particular piece of technology that really sets them apart from other HHAs in most areas. That would land the directors and the account executives in a world of trouble.

Well, the time factor was bad enough, but then the system went down. Now, I'm not really crazy about driving at night right now, and I told my boss as much. She said that if I didn't think I was going to be able to get all the reports run in time to meet the deadline, I needed to call her and tell her. I called her around 6:15 for the first time and left a message on her cell. I called her home phone 10 minutes later, and sent her an e-mail. She called me back at about 7 and yelled at me. She said that she was very clear that if I didn't think I could get things done at a decent hour, I should call her, which I did. What I didn't pick up, and perhaps I should have, was that she wanted me to go home then. I thought I needed to wait for her to tell me to go home. When she yelled at me, fragile as I was last week, I sorta kinda really lost it.

Now, I will be the first to admit that my judgment was really off. I hadn't been sleeping well, and I had had too much time to dwell on every failure I had ever had in my life (and believe me, they are numerous). I just felt like if I didn't get that report done, it would just be one more thing to add to the list. I know it was irrational, but you have your neurosis and I have mine. Mine just happens to be a crippling fear that nothing I do is ever good enough.

Anyway, the boss called me into her office on Friday morning, ostensibly to go over what she thought would be a quicker way to do this report. Well, we did talk about that. But she also told me that I had to call our EAP to get some help. I didn't do that, but I did make an appointment with my doctor. I know I have a tendency to fall into funks way too easily. Maybe I do need to be medicated. Of course, I couldn't get an appointment until December, so I have plenty of time to cancel if I change my mind.

I was better on Friday. Except when I was in her office, I didn't cry at all. I wanted to one other time, though. Friday was the company Halloween party. I didn't dress up, but I did write obituaries for the other folks in our department. They were cute, but there was nothing really special about them. Nevertheless, everyone in our department gushed over them. I think they were only doing so to make me feel better. My boss went so far as to say that I was in the wrong field (was that supposed to be comforting?).

I should have been basking in the glory of someone praising my writing, but instead, I was a little offended. What I wrote for those obituaries was not anything that anyone with a little bit of talent and a lot of obscure knowledge couldn't have written. It wasn't real writing. It didn't have substance, and heft, and meaning. It bothered me that based on little snippets of fluff, someone could declare that I needed to be a "real" writer.

That's so stupid when I read it in retrospect. But it still bothers me a little bit. I want nothing more than to be a serious writer. But the only writing anyone ever complements is stuff so basic a high school student could have written it. I know it shouldn't bother me. People in general don't realize that there is so much more to writing than clever word play. But it's aggravating, nonetheless.

I guess it all plays into that fear that nothing I ever do is good enough. That's why I never finish anything I write - I can't stop editing. I don't know where that particualr neurosis came from. I can't blame my parents for that one. They praised even minor successes as the greatest things since sliced bread (cliche, I know). I guess it could have something to do with the fact that I never seemed good enough for my peers. I was always just on the outside of the circle. I never had the right clothes, never saw the right movies, never listened to the right music, never went to the right parties. But gosh, I wanted to be on the inside. I had enough self respect and enough familial backing to not do anything stupid in my quest to belong, fortunately. But I have never been able to shake the belief that I'm just not good enough.

{sigh} I suppose that's enough soul-baring for one night. I'm going to crawl back into my introverted hole now.

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