Two weeks ago, I was just starting this new job as a postdoc. It was exciting! I was very optimistic, with high hopes for getting a running start.
Transitions like this are hard for me. I’ve managed to forget that over and over. Seems like I seriously underestimated this one. Getting set up with both of my universities has been proceeding extremely slowly. It’s been a tough couple of weeks.
Last week was alright – challenging because I felt I was getting nowhere and just trying to find my way. Then the damn womanly hormones kicked in and totally wrecked this week. I always get at least a day of non-functional from PMS. Sometimes a week or so. This appears to be one of those months. Monday went alright but it was all downhill from there.
Little things made me lose my temper; frustration and irritability have been constant and overwhelming. I’ve made a different wrong turn on my back-road route to the office every single time I’ve taken it. My aging 2007 MacBook Pro has been choking on Lion big time, slowing me down when I’m at the office. Lack of tangible progress on practically everything makes me feel hopeless and anxious. It quickly becomes a negative spiral.
Let’s just say I’ve managed, yet again, to massively underestimate the impact of a major transition. All the stress is kicking my brain in.
Tuesday through Thursday were a total loss, work-wise. Crying on and off all day has been a feature of most of the week. The longer this goes on, the more distressed about it I become. As I was driving home from the office on Wednesday – about 5 hours early, because I just couldn’t function – I even tried to use DBT skills, but I couldn’t remember what the acronyms meant. Half-smiling made my lower lip quiver. Deep breathing made me yawn (seriously, every time!) and then the tears welled up again.
Once those overemotional tears start, there’s no end to it. Everything makes me feel bad. I don’t want to tell Mr. Chickadee how bad I feel because I don’t want to make him worry. To be honest, I’m embarrassed that I can’t stop crying. I’m ashamed not to be in more control than this. I share my mood scores on Moodscope with him, though, so he has some idea of how bad (or good) I’m feeling without my having to say something when I should but wouldn’t. If that makes any sense.
My therapist suggested calling the psych and trying to get an emergency appointment, which surprised me. No, I don’t think it’s quite that bad yet. His main recommendation was the same as everyone else: just take it easy until this passes, as we know it will. Don’t even try to work, as that seems to make things worse, and I can make up for the lull when I’m feeling better. Hippie Dude said I should go to the mountains, take a hike, and leave behind all my worries and stress. It’s a good suggestion – I’ve been looking at Adirondack trail maps all week – and something to look forward to usually helps pull me out of these moods.