Thursday, January 29, 2015

The First Step

Hello all,

    If you read my last post you know that I am currently going through a breakup. After nearly three years, my fiance and I mutually decided to break-up. As of Friday (1/23/15), he left and went back to Maine, and I am here in West Virginia alone. The idea of being alone sounds really frightening, I was worried about it, and sometimes it still bothers me. I'm not used to being alone, especially since I've been in a relationship for five out of six years. You can imagine this is going to be an adjustment for me.
    Fortunately, work is somewhat my savior. My ex-fiance left Friday and I worked Friday through Sunday night, which kept my mind off my empty apartment. To ease this new transition, I will be rearranging my apartment, switching bedrooms, packing up his leftover items into boxes and putting them in the closet of my guest room.

    Now I know this all sounds like a drag, and it kind of is. I know my ex and I made the right decision by breaking up, however that doesn't mean the decision to break up was easy. The right thing to do is usually never easy. Instead of focusing on the downer part of this situation, I am trying to look at the bright side of things. I will be able to focus on me for a while. Allow myself some time to heal and some time to deal with my issues that have come along in the course of my depression and anxiety. I've read several articles about "self-love," how you can't really love someone until you love yourself. Now I certainly loved my ex; we shared some really good times together, so I am not 100% convinced that you can't love someone unless you love yourself. However, when you don't have self-love, self-confidence, and have faith in yourself that leads you to put the responsibility on your loved one to fill those voids for you. Sadly, I put those roles on my ex. I left it up to him to make me feel confident, to feel beautiful, and those are things only I can control. That was very unfair of me to put such an impossible task on his shoulders.

    I am going to start learning to believe in myself, to love myself and to feel confident in my own abilities. I also need to let go of things I can't control, to let go of striving for perfection. I have spent many years convincing myself that I am not allowed to make mistakes, and that mistakes are signs of my own personal flaws-not just a part of being human. I need to be easier on myself and be okay with giving my best. My counselor explained it to me in this way: strive for excellence not perfection. He told me that perfection is trying to take away all the bad traits, all the flaws (which I have spent many years doing) until one gets to 0 imperfections, an impossible task. Whereas striving for excellence is a matter of adding onto the good traits one already has.

   This is going to be a long process, it took me probably 20 years, at least, to get to this point. I want to turn that around and convince myself that I am good enough. I want to accept my flaws and embrace them, and ultimately I want to be happy with myself. That way I can live my life to the fullest, as cliche as that may sound.

    Like the Dalai Lama once said, "We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Beginning

Hello all,
     As some of you may know this is my second blog. My first one was kind of a failure, but I have a good feeling about this one because it is more personal, therefore easier to write. I am writing this blog for 2 reasons. Reason 1 being a way to vent, reason 2 I'm writing it so maybe it can be a way to make others who may be going through a similar situation feel like they are not alone.

     To begin I will share what has been going on to bring me to this point. For the past year my life there have been many changes. Especially within the past 4 months where my life has taken a 180 and flipped upside down in a short amount of time. After graduating nursing school in May 2014, and passing the NCLEX (the National Exam to give nurses their licenses) I struggled finding a job. I wanted to work in a hospital to get my experience but very few hospitals were hiring the new graduates. I was fortunate enough that I landed a summer camp job that financially held me over until September, but even then it wasn't quite enough.

     September is when things hit the fan. I had applied to a job in Morgantown, West Virginia in August. I got the interview, then I landed the job at the end of the month. I was hired as a RN on a Cardiac Step-Down Unit, which was so unbelievable and I still am grateful for that opportunity. However, I moved over 700 miles away from friends and family with my only $2000 I had to borrow from family. I packed everything up and moved within 2 weeks of learning I got the job. I didn't even have an apartment lined up and I lived in a hotel for about a week before I was able to find a place to live.

    I moved down here with my (now ex) fiance who also dropped everything to be down here with me. Things were so very difficult the first 2 months. Financially we had to make the left over $1000 last for nearly a month because I wasn't getting paid for quite some time. Even when I did receive my first pay check which was around $500 and I had to make that last for 2 weeks, when we had groceries to buy, a power bill to pay, and internet bill, a water bill, etc. To make matters even more stressful, during this time I was the sole income, what I made was what we had.

     During this same time not only was there financial stress, but I was extremely emotionally and mentally distraught. Work was starting to get more difficult and stressful and I was getting so mad at myself for not having the knowledge of a nurse who had been practicing for 30 years. I simply hated the fact I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, I felt like I was disappointing my mentors, and all that pressure I put on myself, drove me into a depression to the point I wanted to kill myself.

     I was miles away from anything I knew, dealing with things I wasn't prepared for and I felt so incredibly useless, worthless, and weak, and I wanted my life to end to make the pain go away. My suicide ideation lasted for about a month before I finally went to the emergency room followed by a two night stay at a psych ward. I was finally diagnosed with the depression that I had felt off an on for over a year. I have to admit that was such a weight off my shoulders, knowing that someone took it seriously and understood that I was not okay. I started medication the first day I was at the psych unit. I also set up counseling appointments so I could continue to get help that I need.

    Once my depression was under control my anxiety spiked, work started making me more anxious than I have ever been. Taking on the responsibility of someone's life was and continues to be quite challenging. To this day, I continuously fear that something horrendous will happen and someone will be harmed or even killed because of a mistake I could make.    
    Fast forward a few more months, to now. I have started to get the hang of work now that I work overnights and don't have someone watching me. Financially, things have certainly improved because of budgeting, consistent pay, and my ex-fiance has been working as well. But now, I am faced with yet another challenge. After almost 3 years and a year long engagement my fiance and I are breaking up. He's going back to Maine and I am staying in West Virginia, completely and utterly alone. I have no friends down here, I have no family. I have coworkers and that's about it.
     For some, making friends is a piece of cake, for others, like myself, it's more difficult. I don't want to reach out to people for fear of being rejected, or judged, or whatever. I have a hard time letting people in. I want to, but I'm scared. I'm scared of being hurt; it's as simple as that. Could I work on that, of course, and I will. I will try a little bit everyday to allow people into my life while I am down here. Finding friends is not the only thing I need to do, I need to find my happiness and my peace.

   This is where the journey to finding me begins...