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It’s Not Easy

The tough thing with any mental illness is that you (as the patient) have to make lifestyle changes much like a diabetic patient must make dietary changes. Bug needs to learn to respect her diagnosis if she is ever going to learn to respect herself. A couple very important things she needs to consider, are sleep patterns and nutritional status.

Living with depression, I have learned that no matter how much I may want to stay up all night and visit with friends and family; I need to go to bed at a decent time. I also need to make sure that I eat a well balanced diet. I’m nearly forty and don’t always do great with that one. What I do know is that when I am undernourished or malnourished I am much more vulnerable and more likely to make poor, irrational decisions.

As an alcoholic, I have learned to respect the fact that I am as little as one drink away from disaster and need to be mindful of the situations I put myself in.

Imagine if you will: I’m tired from not getting any sleep, I skip breakfast because I over slept, I am crabby because not only am I now hungry, but still tired; my heart is hurting because I think I am not strong enough to complete the task at hand, I am lonely because I miss my boys…and along comes a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Talk about a perfect storm.

People who have not been in this situation have no idea how difficult it is to be mindful and vigilant of how extremely vulnerable I am. They have no idea how difficult it is to fight the urge to give in to the wolf…(even though every fiber of my being knows better).

Nothing is worse than having to look yourself in the eye and admit that you are so vulnerable that you are not sure if you can trust yourself. I don’t look myself in the mirror anymore…I don’t like that look I give myself…I just know. I have not done anything in almost two years to give myself a reason to think I can’t trust myself…I just know I can’t take that risk.

I have guests who have become friends over the last year and a half at work. They spend more nights at my hotel than they do at home. It is only Tuesday and already I have been invited for supper twice. An electrical company (who sent me flowers last summer because they were so impressed with my customer service) and a communications company have both asked how they can repay the great service I provide their employees. I try to explain that it is merely part of my job to remember that one of the rooms prefers poolside, one prefers the back hallway downstairs, one needs to be by an outside entrance because they are a smoker, one wants to be upstairs facing the parking lot, one prefers a king sized bed, two prefer to have two beds in case their family comes to visit…little things.

Being recognized for the awesome job I do is humbling…and difficult. These people really think I have it all together; if they only knew. This is why for now, I need to keep my distance. I am fragile, I am vulnerable. Although I do not even for one second believe these supervisors and foremen are wolves, I know I can’t take that risk.

I had a group that stayed at the hotel last fall check in last night after I left for the day. Last fall they worked in the area for about 6 weeks. Of the nine person crew they had at that time, only two of the same workers are on this seven person crew.

Today, while on their break they came to the hotel just to say hi. They asked what time I wanted my Blizzard from Dairy Queen. It was an ongoing joke last year that the only way to get off my shit list if they pissed me off was to bribe me with a Turtle Blizzard…almost a year later and they remembered. I told them it was only day TWO for them…if they were already worried about Blizzards they’d best just save up their pennies and buy me diamonds (they are staying for about three months this time).

This is me, this is what I deal with. This is hard work. The Friend, her husband, and the Photographer have all said I am the best person for the job…at this time I will choose to trust them.

Bug will be home from work soon. I have made some decisions and I have no idea how she will handle them.

The first is to implement consequences of some sort. I am looking for her to have input as this will be an opportunity for me to not only gauge her willingness, but also her abilities.

The second one is that she will come home one minute early for every minute she was late last night. So her 11:00 pm curfew just became a 9:21pm curfew the next evening she chooses to go out. This will also gauge her level of commitment to this process. I do not want to make this an ongoing consequence as she needs to learn to respect the fact that I need my sleep at night. Waiting up until well past midnight for her to return home is unacceptable.

Wish me luck…I enjoy fireworks as much as the next person…just not in my living room!

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