Emotional Regulation. in Mental Health

  • July 25, 2020, 6:41 a.m.
  • |
  • Public

I ain’t got none.

Kinda lost my shit at work today when I didn’t really need to but had no control over it. Like none. Zero. In an instant, my heart was racing, I was trembling, all the air had been sucked out of the room, my head was pounding, and I had tears in my eyes. I snapped at multiple people and walked out, smoked a couple of cigarettes and hit my vape a couple of times, and did not calm down hardly at all.

Went back inside and told my prep partner I was going to finish the thing I walked away from and then I was out of there. “Otherwise I’m just going to end up curled up in the corner, crying, and I don’t get paid enough to let it get me to that point.” I actually finished up what I was doing and then several more tasks, working another 40 minutes or so. As I worked, I calmed down

There’s a reason I’m a prep cook and only a prep cook. I am capable of hyperfocus on prep work. It’s almost mindless for me, so repetitive, with it’s own rhythm. I just fall into a trance and dice shit or julienne shit or portion shit, stuffing potatoes into bags and weighing them to 8oz., yeah, that’s my happy place. When people intrude on my happy place, I get highly agitated, overly agitated.

My employers don’t know jack shit about me, really. They only know what they’ve seen while I’m working, which is a 99.9% picture-perfect prep person. Only twice in the year and 9 months I’ve been there have they seen even a hint of mental disorder from me. This job has been my longest-held job in… well… ever. I mean, I worked years ago, seasonally, for many years, but it was seasonal. This is the longest full-time job I think I’ve ever had. I function here better than I’ve ever functioned in any other job, but my ability to function so well here is in danger.

And that’s how it always happens for me. I do okay at a job for awhile, some months, maybe a year. You know, you can’t really say in an interview, “I’m all kinds of fucked up mentally, but hire me anyway, k?” Eventually I fall apart. Every time. I maintain for awhile and then something happens that throws the whole thing out of whack and then I’m just awkward and self-conscious and… well, lately, paranoid. I recognize it as paranoia. But sometimes paranoia is justified, you know? Maybe? Everything is just all out of whack now and I have no idea how to bring it back around or if I can even be bothered to try.

As I’m working every day, worrying about being exposed to covid and dying, the thought that just keeps running through my head is: If I die, they will just replace me. They will not raise my children, they will not pay my bills, I will cease to exist in their world.

I’m struggling so much with an increase in symptoms, especially anxiety. Getting out of bed every day is hard, working is hard. I’m in physical pain a lot. I can feel the awfulness returning in my neck, I’m so tense and nothing I do seems to help. I have a dull headache a lot of the time. I have to force myself to function and it costs a lot and I’m feeling wiped out, mentally and emotionally. I just need a fucking break. I need to stop feeling like I’m living in this sick, dystopian society where we all just plod through our days, our only purpose to keep the money flowing into the accounts of the wealthy, no fun, no vacations, no breaks from the monotony of making money and avoiding each other like the plague because we are literally the plague. It’s fucking depressing. I mean, stay away, please, and wear a mask, but… goddamn. So fucking depressing.

I just wanna know how to function in a world that doesn’t care about anyone. There’s almost 150,000 dead, over 4 million infected, and entitled motherfuckers still taking vacations like it’s a normal July. Cases in my county have nearly tripled in just a few weeks. We’ve got several possible exposure points in my town now. And they just keep coming, more and more of them every day.

I want a vacation. I want to travel and see the people I love. I want my life back. Just not at the cost of, you know, my actual life. Or the lives of the people I love and miss and want to see so desperately. But you vacationers don’t care about none of that, do you? My employers don’t care about that, either. We are just cogs in their money making machines. We’re overworked, understaffed, and underpaid, but we gotta keep going because entitled fuckers want cheeseburgers with their beer.

I spend a lot of my time self-evaluating, you know? I have to, no choice. “Why do I think that? Why do I believe that? Why do I feel that way?” Because I’m on this constant quest of self-understanding and acceptance. Fix what I can, find tools to mitigate symptoms, control what I can and let go of what I can’t. I know why I feel the way I do right now. I know why I’m angry, I know why I’m ranting. Regulating my emotions is the most challenging thing I face on a daily basis. It’s fucking exhausting. And sometimes I just can’t anymore.


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