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Sorry to be so silent for so long, but I’ve been grappling with a huge chunk of depression and writer’s block. I was half-afraid to even try to come here, expecting that it would just turn into a clod of whiny crud that I would only end up deleting at some point, the sooner the better.

My daughter, who is wise, has been telling me for several months now that I need to quit my day job. (Or at least the main one.) Being at heart a Worker Bee and a Brave Little Soldier, I resisted. Then my desktop computer in my office blew, and so did something in my brain. It wasn’t that I was using it for immoral purposes or anything; pretty much anything I did on it I could do in the receptionist area. But there was also this petty political foo-foo going on–and I finally realized that I hated my job.

Not when I showed up, partly because since my knee blew (more on that later), I’ve been using paratransit and that entrance is the one that doesn’t smell like pee. No, it would hit later in the day, after I’d put out the usual fires (when you’re the boss, even a little one, there are always fires). I used to live to put out fires. What happened?

I think it was because when my computer blew and they didn’t replace it because of a completely different chunk of sheepness, I realized how little my employer (Huge Faceless Hospital) valued my job. That the only reason HFH knows I need a TB test is because the timer on their HR software went ding; not because I’m assdeep in homeless people all day and others with questionable coughing hygiene.

I realized that instead of being a valued professional employee, I am a paid volunteer. The last time I ran into that concept was when I was in another sheepish job similar to this one, and the local Girl Scout leaders were being paid to lead their troops. Having done my time in this particular gig myself as just another mommy, I was kinda furious. But it was the only way those little girls were going to get any scouting at all in that depressed neighborhood. So it goes here too.

Everybody talks about how little we spend on or care about mental health, and as a peer specialist I see it from the bottom of the sheep pile. We are only now beginning to be billable; i.e., major insurance and Medicaid/care is seeing us as a valuable and exploitable resource. We give provably comparable or better support, and because we “aren’t professionals,” we’re paid and treated accordingly.

Enough of that: I took the week off, and will go back after Thanksgiving for as long as I can hack it/until Christmas/or my knee surgery. Then I will slip into being JUST their webmaster and graphics person, where I don’t have to do any direct service, and can stay home, where the only shenanigans my computer gives me is turning off when I play WoW. (Either the Powers are trying to tell me something, or it’s a fan problem.)

Meanwhile, I walk with a cane now because I effectively no longer have a meniscus in my right knee. Time to be a cyborg! I was lucky enough to listen to the Second Opinion Club (thank you, all of you!) and found a doctor who is willing to operate on a fat person. I see him on the 9th of December and VERY hopefully will be scheduling the surgery at that point. No idea when, because he might well be booking two months out. More on that as it develops. I am already working out and doing physical therapy to prep the knee and the rest of me for the rehab period. (I already know it’s a bear, but I am Kidney Stone Lass, and have a high pain tolerance.)

Anyway, I spent the first day off sleeping and writing (NaNoWriMo time!), then went back to the writing today instead of so much sleeping–and I realized I am no longer depressed. Whoa. I need to pay attention to this. The reality about my recovery from Major Mental Illness (primarily Bipolar Disorder I) is that some things are more important than others. My brain has been saved through a combination of miracles and a lot of hard work, and I can’t soak it in the smell of pee until it regresses into illness again. That would be stupid.

Having been raised in the Protestant Work Ethic, this scares me to death. (There are no peer specialist jobs that don’t smell like pee, and very few of them are part-time.) Guess we are in Wait and See Land.

Doncha hate that?

 

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