Farewell 2018, Hello 2019

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It’s the last day of 2018 and I’m awake early, traumatised from my PTSD flashback last night and the subsequent nighmares.  My amazing human being had innocently put on a different show (because it was light and fun) after I had said what show I wanted, and I had spiraled into a panic attack and minor meltdown.  It was one of the first instances where I’ve spoken up and asked for the input to stop, and explained that I’m having a panic attack.

My amazing human being immediately stopped the show, grabbed my hand, and guided my other hand to my cat and stood with me until I was more settled, then provided chocolate.  Unquestioning support.

For me, 2018 has been a year of self discovery, self expression, and healing.  It has been hard, it has been upsetting, in some instances it has been straight up traumatising, but I come out the other end of 2018 a calmer, more balanced, and possibly even more confident person than I began 2018.

I must absolutely credit this back to my phenomenal friends, the closest of which have also (sadly) gone through narcissistic abuse, and who have been open and loving and who have shown me how to be open and compassionate with regards to my own mental health issues.  In one of my oldest friends I have found a role model for how to live with chronic illness, how to go through life unapologetic and dignified with disability, and how to allow yourself to be how and who you are.

In my amazing human being I have unquestioning support and consideration, and unending laughter.  He enables me in all things and throws his enthusiasm behind me, regardless of what direction I take.  He is constantly thinking of ways to make life easier and better, and reminds me that yes, I can do things the easier way, I don’t have to just suck it up and do it the hard way.

Yes, this year has been a hard one, but it has been a good one.  I am still glad to see it go, and look forward to what 2019 brings.

Pregabalin – Day Two

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My doctor has prescribed pregabalin for my fibromyalgia, at a low dose, for two months.  I waited until work was wrapped up for the hear, as side effects include dizziness and general space-cadet-ness, which wouldn’t be ideal for the last week of work.

I took my first dose of pregabalin on two nights ago.  I curled up in my favourite chair and knitted for a bit.  I found myself nodding off fairly promptly, so took myself off to bed and slept.  I woke up early.

That day I was dizzy and had visual disturbances – rather like the frame rate for my eyes wasn’t quite fast enough.  It was peculiar, to say the least, so I didn’t drive anywhere.  I felt drowsy all day and a wee bit spacey.

The second day, being today, was a lot better.  No dizziness and no frame rate peculiarities.  My pain levels have considerably decreased, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’m on holiday and so I’m pottering about more (because I don’t have to lie and rest for work), or if it’s already beginning to work.

So far it has been the least offensive drug I have ever begun to take.  There doesn’t seem to be any mental disturbances, and I don’t feel particularly spacey or dizzy anymore.  So far I’m impressed and vaguely optimistic this may work.

Workplace Bullying

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Specific words and responses in the past week have led me to understand that I am currently the target of an active bullying campaign from a colleague, and have been since I joined.

From the very beginning she made it clear through her body language, dismissive attitude, word usage and tone of voice that I am Not Welcome and she Does Not Like Me.  Which is fine, I’m quite happy to leave her be and do my own thing and not unnecessarily interact with her so she doesn’t get annoyed and I don’t get snapped at.  This is a simple solution.  I know I’m not everyone’s cuppa tea and I’m happy to leave people be.

Last week she commented in a meeting to the effect of “you’re not doing your job”, a comment she never would have made had she not been confident she would be backed up.  And, unsurprisingly, she was – three of my other colleagues jumped in with very pointed comments on the topic at hand directed solely at me, in a manner that made me feel very attacked (although I didn’t quite understand until after the fact).  She was elated after that display.  Positively beaming.  It made me realise a few things.

First, that I wasn’t going to let this slide.  Passive bullying, being an ass to me directly, not a problem.  I can just avoid that person and we’ll all go on our happy way, but this was active.  She was seeking people out and telling them I wasn’t able to do my job.  She was cultivating this belief in my incompetence among other colleagues.  No, this I will not tolerate.

Secondly, just how much the stress of bullying has affected my mental and physical health!

I’ve always had a peculiar disconnect between my mind and my body.  Prior to a few years ago, I just didn’t think, I didn’t contemplate, I didn’t look within and analyse my own thoughts, feelings, or behaviours.  I just did, and bottled it all up.  Super healthy, right?

Now I take the time to figure out what my body and mind are telling me, and everything is ringing stress bells.  My gastrointestinal tract became deeply upset.  My mind couldn’t settle.  I was restless and antsy.  My heart rate was high.  I had difficulties getting to sleep, maintaining a restful sleep, and staying asleep.  I genuinely did not think I would be this affected by bullying in the workplace, and yet here I am, my anxiety still twisting in my gut.

I’ve lodged a complaint, and I’ll pursue this.  I think I’ll let the higher ups handle it – I don’t think it will be good for my health to interact with her myself in any way, especially as I am very confident she will simply gaslight me and I will end up getting nowhere.  I’m only there for a couple more months, and if I really need to, I will leave.  Although that’d have to be pretty dire for me to leave, I often have a hard time doing what’s best for myself when it comes to work.

But I’ve got to look after my health first.