Still alive, of sorts

So, here I sit at a client site waiting for some necessary paperwork to be able to finish up my installation here. I’ve been waiting for the better part of 3 hours and have called about 12 people to get this info with no luck. The IT staff that I’ve been sharing space with just went for lunch, so I have a moment to update my blog.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve not been doing well at all. Work stress is a major contributor, or in technical terms as it relates to Bipolar, it’s triggering me. Regardless, I’ve wracked my brain to find a way to come up with some balance that has me home more along the lines of what I had signed up for with travel (40-50%) rather than the usual 70-75%. Aside from being away, it’s also draining. Long days, long layovers in the airport, constant flight delays and cancellations, etc. What I’ve decided to do is be gone 4 days every other week. Red eye it out at 6:00am from the airport near me (30 minute drive from home), which means I need to leave my house no later than 5:00am, be clean shaven, business dress and all of my stuff needed for such trips. Do a half day the first day in the city that the staff gives me the most problems, then a full day with them on Tuesday. Tuesday night, fly out late getting into Pittsburgh at midnight, provided things run on time, get settled into my hotel room around 1:00am, catch a little sleep and be at the office or customer location at 9:00am. Another full day in Pittsburgh, then fly home arriving at midnight (again, if everything runs on time), get up and be at my office (40 minute drive) or a client location that’s anywhere from 30 minutes away to 2 1/2 hours. That’s going to be my life every other week starting August 10th. Next week I’m Pittsburgh all week, then Ohio the next after a full day of cardio examination, then New York for 3 days, followed by 4 days off. I swear.. I need some amphetamines just to get through each day..

Anyway, working with the psychiatrist on the not doing so great part. She’s started me on some med called Latuda, that I’ve never heard of, but 3 days in, it might be working. I only feel really shitty today, which is an upgrade from the last couple days. So, that’s it, in a nutshell.

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8 thoughts on “Still alive, of sorts”

  1. Thanks for sharing! Let me know please how it’s going with the Latuda. I started Lamictal about four months ago, and have stopped feeling so damned pissed all the time, but I feel like I’m entering another manic phase. Too much emotion lately running through me, and too much stress on the homefront.

    1. I’m still on Lamictal. It saved my life. Worked well for over two years. Just need something extra, or a job that isn’t as demanding all the time.

      1. Hear that. I am lucky enough to live in an area with tons of great places to go outdoors and relax, but it takes a lot of practice to tune everything out.

    1. Baby steps. I had a good night with my lovely wife tonight. We went and had dinner at a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, then came home. I took the dog out for a run (he runs next to me on my bike at his pace), then dropped him off and biked another 7-10 miles at my own pace. I’m now tired, glad it’s Friday and am typing this reply comfortably from my own bed. Hopefully my wife will finish her movie that she’s watching and come to bed soon. Even after 6 years, my favorite part of the day is when she’s not working at night and we get to curl up in bed together. All the BS leaves my mind and I’m in the moment. Life is good then.

  2. My unsolicited advice 30 | which is out of care | is, let the Latuda do its thing and when you feel more able, get looking for another job. Your hours are going to cause a breakdown in a person without bp2, let alone with it. All the greatest help from tablets is still not going to work properly, whilever you are at this job.

    1. I appreciate the concern. I’ve been keeping an eye out for better opportunities. I’m in such a specialized role however, that my specific type of position opening up is a rare thing. At 37, I’m the youngest on the national team of 20 individuals. I’ve been given a couple of days off, off the books, so to speak. They are concerned about retention. I’m taking the 20th off to have a cardiac stress test and cardiac imaging done, just to make sure that the discomfort/chest pain that I’ve ended up in the ER with three times in recent weeks are only panic attacks. Not to minimize a panic attack – but if there’s nothing physiologically wrong with my heart, then the stress thing is more manageable. If we had another person in our region, that would take care of a lot. Candidates with the right skills are so rare that postings usually end up taking several months to over a year to fill. I have an ideal candidate in the Pittsburgh office. She’s currently a trainer, but knows enough to be an analyst. It would actually be less travel for her, which is good given that she has two infants, and likely a significant pay increase. That would cut my travel in half, if not more. Anyway.. Enough work rambling..

      The Latuda does seem to be helping a little. It was a very trying week on a number of levels. The one thing that I’m so, so thankful for is having a wonderful wife, my best friend, really, and a peaceful and loving home life. Though I’m an atheist, the only word that seems to fit relating to my marriage is “blessed.”

      One last note about the job… I’m on a beta blocker – medium dose. I’m also on Klonopin as needed, but given that the half-life of it is roughly 8 hours (1mg dose), I take one every morning before work. I don’t feel the stress or anxiety physically, but can calmly realize the impossibilities of getting everything done that needs to be done. Unfortunately, that wears off at the end of the workday. I go home, throw on some exercise gear, run the dog next to me on my bicycle for about a half hour to warm us, drop him off at the house, then ride an extra 7-10 miles at a much faster pace just to relax my nerves. I’ve been self-medicating with alcohol, which I know is bad. It’s not a problem, meaning I don’t crave or need it, but it’s a sign to me that something’s got to give. All that negative energy produces stress hormones. A body can only take so much of that before things start to go awry.

      I guess it’s back to regrouping and replanning. If we stopped pissing away money by going out to eat or ordering in so much and cut back on other splurges, we could be completely debt free in 6 months time. That would take away the high income need. I love my job – I really do, but the expectations are inhuman. I’ve been rather curt in my emails regarding my time and requesting it from other cities. My manager, his manager (senior director of our division, and several other senior managers and directors want to my problem market (one city is extremely problematic in relation to me and my time) and they laid down the law today. From what I understand they were very clear about how things need to work and that I manage my schedule, not them. This meeting of all of management and sales was at my request, and with travel cost alone for all parties, this visit was well over $10k. They want me to stay. We’ll see if they can keep their word starting in August. I’m still looking out for anything else in the meantime.

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