Monday, May 09, 2005

The Valley

I've tried, from the start, to make this blog as honest and true to my experience as I possibly can. I mean, if I don't do that, what do I have to say that is worthwhile in the first place? Why "blog"?

Yet I find that when things are not going well I am loath to write about it. The reasons are varied and complex.

First, what's the use? There is enough gloom and anxiety in the world without me serving up my teacup-full to the good people who stop by here to keep me company.

Second, how dare I? You have read day after day about the wonderful things that have happened to me - the supportive friends and strangers, the good luck, the excellent health care, the miraculous results... it feels in shockingly bad taste to even feel unhappy or depressed, much less to then whine about it on the weblog.

So, what I do when I am feeling bad is develop a kind of blog-aversion for a few days until it passes. I feel a bit guilty about it because on the one hand, I want to talk about the whole of my experience, warts and all; but on the other I feel it is appallingly self-indulgent to talk about feeling down.

Suffice it to say this has not been a uniformly easy ride. I am in a "valley" at the moment; work is not going well at all, this 20-hour-per-week deal is not working out for me; it's too disjointed and I am too "out of the loop" and the quality of my work is suffering for it.

And of course as soon as your discretionary income shrinks to nothing, that's when all sorts of extra expenses - the new ASL class, weddings, birthdays, Mother's Day, and so on - pile on to make you pull your hair out. The weather is lousy and cold and wet and I have a headcold.

And - and this is the thing that I think is pertinent to this blog - I suspect I am also feeling something a friend warned me about in email - a sort of post-event depression, when a hugely-anticipated and planned-for event (in my case, the surgery and the CI activation) is over and done. Interestingly, nobody on my professional team warned me about it - maybe they're not even aware of it. But one person, in email, mentioned the phenomenon and expressed concern for me, weeks before I hit the 'valley', so when it came, I recognized that is what it is. Which helps a lot, so thanks (you know who you are) . :)

It'll be fine, of course. It's just a bad spell. I am optimistic that I'll find a full-time position, and that in the interim, things will get better at work. I'm figuring out coping strategies to help. The weather will get better, I'll get over the cold, and the general feeling of depression will lift.

I guess I write about it as a bit of a warning for others who'll walk this path behind me. The CI doesn't solve all your problems.

It just makes coping with them a hell of a lot easier than it was before.



Anonymous Yvonne - in Ottawa - Squirrels outside where they belong... said...

You're giving yourself some very heavy messages, RonnieCat. This is your blog - so blog away with freedom.

Just like we teach young children the concept and practice of resiliency, keep in mind A) It's not all your fault. B) It doesn't happen all the time. C) It won't go on forever.

It's totally normal to have this valley after a big event (and I trust you'll let your professionals know).

Plus you have the added weight of job-seeking. Keep in mind that it normally takes 3 months to find a job. Look for work, but try not to make it a 24/7 task - enjoy your "gift" of time off.

And hey, you're in Fredericton - the weather will improve and the dog days will come.

Keep on blogging... please.

11:07 a.m.  

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