She’s ALIVE!?!

  • Posted on May 9, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Wow, has it really been 3 months to the day since I last posted here? I’ll be curious to see if I even have any readers left after that kind of absence…

So, what have I been up to, one might ask? Well, let’s see. My work has been slowly but surely creeping into my personal time and is now up to around my ears maybe? Yeah, that sounds about right. My stress level has increased at an even greater pace and has now completely enveloped my entire being. I have gone through several bouts of stress-related health incidents. I had a sudden, severe onset of restless leg syndrome that left me unable to sleep until after 6 AM on the worst nights. That persisted for several weeks and was resistant to any of the medications that multiple doctors tried. It slowly subsided on its own and is thankfully completely gone now. Right as the RLS was starting to subside, we went through a 24/7 practice run of our software go-live plan for work and I experienced 3 major migraines (requiring my maximum strength prescription to kill) in a period of a week and a half.

I very nearly lost my mind during that time. Seriously. I’m still not sure how I managed not to snap like a twig. But I came really close. I guess my little mind isn’t quite as fragile as I thought.

I am extremely grateful for my network of caring and understanding coworkers and friends who have helped me to cling to what shred of sanity I actually have left. I was pretty upfront about my health issues while they were occurring and I was given a lot of latitude around what hours of the day I worked and from where. Meaning that since I didn’t get to sleep until 6 AM, I ended up working odd hours and from home. I am lucky that my job position afforded me to do such without causing any issues. I am even more grateful for a wonderful husband who has truly been sticking by me through thick and thin. He really picked up my slack around the house and continues to do so when my work hours get particularly out of control.

So, where does that leave me right now? Well, to be honest, I’m still clinging by my fingernails to a tiny little log in a tumultuous river of stress. But the rapids haven’t pulled me under yet. And I don’t intend to let them.

I made a very difficult decision this week. After the class I’m currently taking ends in the middle of next week, I am officially withdrawing from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division for several months. This massive project at work that is eating into my personal time so heavily will be implemented by the end of July (fingers cross that the timeline doesn’t slip). Terry and I are planning to spend our 10th wedding anniversary at Walt Disney World in late September. After that, I should be good to go back to school.

I think that I made the right decision. Something had to give and I prefer that it not be my health, physical or mental. I discussed it with my husband, I discussed it with my friends, I discussed it with my family and I even called my therapist and got his opinion. I am extremely unhappy that my work load has gotten so far out of control as to force me to have to make this decision, but it’s a done deal. Or it will be, as soon as my advisor puts through the paperwork. I made sure to let several key people at work know this week that I had to drop out of school, so my point has been made. And everyone so far agrees that it stinks. But, of course, no one can do anything about it.

I just have to survive the next couple of months and then the raging flood waters that currently dictate my course in life should stop threatening to overflow their banks and subside to their normal levels.

Then I should be able to start living again, instead of merely existing.

Is anyone still reading?

18 Comments on She’s ALIVE!?!

  1. Karin says:

    Good to see you back – hope things lighten up for you at work soon.

  2. Connie says:

    Yep, I’m here reading. Sorry to hear that you had to put school on the back burner, I have had to do back burner things at various times of my life too! This too shall pass!

  3. Daffycat says:

    Still here…
    Sometimes life just overwhelms us, doesn’t it? Glad you survived and hope things level out for you! ***hugs***

  4. Tracy says:

    Yep, I’m still here. Sorry to hear about all the stress…sometimes life is so overwhelming. Hope everything calms down for you! In times like these, I just keep thinking it won’t be like this forever.


  5. Dawn says:

    I am so happy to hear from you, Jenna!! I’m sorry to hear about all the issues you have been having to deal with. Hopefully it will get better soon! (((HUGS)))

  6. Christine S says:

    As someone else who has had a pretty crazy time at work the past few months, I can totally understand where you’re coming from. I think putting school on hold for the time being is a really good idea because you need to have some “you” time. I hope that you’re feeling better soon and that you have a wonderful 10th anniversary trip! Take care and it’s good to see you post again!

  7. Lee says:

    We’re still here, darlin’. And we’re pulling for you! Also, from our brief meeting, I really don’t think that you’re the type to rush into things, so I’m sure that your decision to put school aside for a while came after a lot of soul-searching. And it’ll all work out for the best.

  8. Anne R says:

    It seems as I’m not the only one who didn’t give up on you – but it IS very good to hear from you again!

    But remember these months in september, when you start thinking about what to do and how much – and remember to say NO before everything overwhelms you again!!! “Later”, as in “I’ll take care of me later, when…”, won’t be happening unless you say NO to some things. I think you made the right choice with school now, but don’t forget that life is also about doing the HAPPY things, not just the MUST DO things… 😉

    Lots of hugs!

  9. Jenn L says:

    Welcome back! You’ll get through all this. I completely agree with the decision to withdraw from school for the moment, and I know that once the work stuff settles down and you’ve had a chance to relax, you’ll be able to return with a new perspective.

  10. Barbara says:

    Yikes, Jenna! I was pretty sure things were busy, but I had no idea. Here’s hoping that all works out well and that you’ll be able to ENJOY school after this crazy period. You take care of yourself!!

  11. Cathy says:

    Still here 🙂
    Hang in there and try to take some time for yourself.

  12. sharon says:

    Hi Jenna! great to see you posting again!

  13. Michelle says:

    Hey girl! Glad to see you still alive and kicking! I know how hard it is to go to school and work fulltime at the same, and try to have a life, and spend time with your husband, etc. It’s hard! But, it sounds like you know what you need to do to get yourself back in balance. Good luck with everything!

  14. Von says:

    Of course, we’re still with you sweetie!! That’s what aggregators are for. 😀 Glad you’ve posted updates on FB so we wouldn’t worry too much, but could send kind, healing thoughts your way.

    It’s been a dreadful time for you, but stronger in the knowledge that you can make it through. Hugs!!

  15. Melanie says:

    ‘Course we’re still here 🙂 I hope things ease off for you a bit soon Jenna, you deserve a break, you poor thing!

  16. Tessa says:

    Hi Jenna – still reading 🙂
    Nice to see you back, hope you can find some time for stitching, it really does help with the stress, if you can find the time – Catch 22 I know.
    Sometimes it is helpful to take a little break, it brings things back into perspective.
    Great place to take your 10th anniversary too, nice to have something fun to look forward to 🙂

  17. Meari says:

    That’s too bad you have to drop out of school, and I’m really empathetic to your stress situation. I hope things lightening up in the near future. Disney World, woo hoo!! That will be fun.

  18. heather says:

    I’m still here, just slowly. Like you, life went kerblooy. Also like you, I’m having to decide to put off my next course, though in our case due to finances. But on the good front, we’ll be at WDW in late September too! It’s the only thing keeping me going some days at work… So hang in there, and know in the end it will settle down. It has to!

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