November 6, 2015

Work, distractibility, and mood fluctuations

The last eleven days at work have been extremely difficult for two reasons.

First and foremost, my moods seem all over the place.  Honestly I can’t tell what I’m feeling half the time.  In the morning my mood is high and I’m extremely distractible.  So it’s very difficult to stay focused and concentrate on work.  At some point in the afternoon my outlook and energy plummet.  This may be related to me taking 30 minute “lunch naps” which are almost always a bad idea.  Toward the end of the day I usually panic as I’m certain I didn’t get enough done that day.  Finally, by evening I feel restless, hopeless, irritable, and agitated.  Nothing seems to help this.  I end up leaving the house to go to Target to buy odds and ends we don’t desperately need.  Scratch off lottery tickets are usually a purchase.  I’m worried I’m replacing the attempt to self-medicate with alcohol with the compulsion to gamble.

Second, I think my supervisor’s opinion of me might be slipping because of another much more ambitious worker who is on our team.  He is knowledgeable in areas I’m not, assertive with other co-workers, and organized.  I find his attitude abrasive.  As usual with someone who I perceive as aggressive I do not assert myself.  I think this looks bad to my supervisor, like me deferring to my co-worker’s expertise and therefore not looking nearly as strong.  Of course, working from home, I have no idea how much of this is just in my head.  All this contributes greatly to my anxiety.  The anxiety in turn makes me restless, hopeless I’ll catch up.  All of my efforts and obligations just seem so stupid.  Feeling like I’m not measuring up also creates anxiety about my job security and how I will provide for my family if I got laid off.  I feel like I have “high salary handcuffs” in that we have a standard of living that requires my salary (if not more).  I’m trying to chunk away at our credit card debt and thus we live paycheck to paycheck.

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