Hmm, these are all interesting thoughts, and many to consider!
Sky: I wish you the best of luck in working things out with your Lovely Man and new living arrangements, and as I said previously on your thread, doing what you are doing is very admirable. I was thinking that you could still keep in touch with him via Skype, email, Facebook, or even letters. I know it isn't the same as seeing him, and it's pretty difficult to have a relationship over the phone and Internet, but perhaps something will happen. I guess you never know!
You're correct, I feel pretty invincible at the store. It feels safe, the people make me laugh all the time, and I love that I am basically the "top gun" there. I get the hours I want, the raises I want (well, to a point), and the jobs I want. Even when I err, it's not a big deal. Today was so hectic and I managed to ram a cart into a lady's vehicle by accident when it started rolling down the hill outside when I bumped it with the lady's cart (she was driving up to the store to get her groceries loaded). My manager was sputtering, and then she yelled out the door, "GET THAT CART!!!" But it was too late, the cart hit the car, and the lady was none too happy. I went back in the store, and the managers teased me the rest of the day about hitting cars with carts. We also celebrated someone's 30th birthday today and created a gift basket of "senior citizen" items: wrinkle cream, laxatives, prunes, denture cream, fiber cereal...It was a lot of fun.
I wish I knew how to transfer that "me" into "me all the time." I know there will be other jobs and other opportunities, but these people that I work with are so unique, and I know there's not other people like them. Everything is just so casual there - even mistakes. I like that. It's a tight-knit group that can take a joke (or many jokes - there's frequent practical jokes going on - I start a lot of them haha) but also get work completed. They're good people, just a little odd.
I do also agree that I think to find out the whys of my distress. I like to think it through and try to get help for it if I can. I don't do the whole "suck it up" well because every time someone tells me that, I feel worse because I can't just suck it up. I also don't believe that lots of things in life are unpleasant, as stated earlier. You find a way to make them pleasant. Or they have reason. When everything is unpleasant, I don't think that's normal.
Hoiski: My condolences to you for suffering through such traumatic times. I feel that abuse is one of the worst things a person can go through, so kudos to you for making it through and finding a way to move past it! I'm glad you had a brilliant therapist - I think that makes all the difference sometimes. I wanted to ask: When you say dissociation, do you mean like Dissociative Identity Disorder or a different type of dissociation? I've heard that is something very challenging to overcome. You should be proud!
I also know shoving emotions down and not confronting them can be worse than having them. I have been told that emotions do love themselves, but if you never allow yourself to identify them, they just well up inside of you, making everything worse.
DancingArabian: That is a wonderful technique! It makes such perfect sense, but yet I have never thought of it that way. Every time I think someone is judging me, I am going to try to replace that niggling thought I have about me screwing up with the one you came up with. You're smart! Thank you! Oh, and yes, tweaking meds does take forever. I am not a patient person normally, but what other choice do I have?
Byklem: I wholeheartedly agree with that. When I got kicked in the face this summer (for the last two summers, I've always been injured twice to some scary degree!), EVERYONE was so super concerned and worried. I went into work the day it happened and got told that I was crazy for coming in when I was hurt. For the record, I just had 6 stitches in the chin and a sore jaw, nothing major, but scary. Everyone was so awed by my supposed dedication and bravery, same when I busted my lip falling off my horse earlier in the summer - that looks like it hurts! When I got my finger slammed in the safe a year before, I actually got sent home, and almost to the hospital (just a badly, badly bruised ring finger). I went to the ER when my horse jumped into my calf causing a hematoma, just to make sure there were no blood clots. I missed work once for that because I couldn't walk the next day.
But depression and anxiety? You're weak, suck it up, there's something wrong with you, you aren't normal. Let me ditch you while I go support my friend with a twisted ankle because they're obviously in pain and need help, while you're just wallowing. I don't understand you, you aren't fun anymore, you've changed. <---- That's what I feel my friends think about me right now. I wish I had their support, I really do, because I had their backs when they were experiencing trouble. My one friend had a depressive spell and went suicidal. We weren't on the best terms at the time, but I stayed up talking to her over the phone that night, telling her that I cared and wanted to listen, telling her all the good qualities she had and why she should keep going. I gave her ideas and options, told her that she didn't deserve the way her mom treated her (and she didn't), and made sure to help her out and check up on her. But now, I don't really get the same warmth. She doesn't ask, and I don't tell because I'm not sure I should. She's short with me and tends to point out most of my negative flaws (talking too loud, being a little dippy at times [my words], bad driving, etc.). We're fine when I'm not depressed. And the other friend I used to work with. She was so shy and a lot of the girls talked behind her back, called her dumb, made fun of her. At first, I admit I did too to an extent, but after a while, I started talking to her and became her friend, despite her awkward overture right away when I didn't know her, begging me to take her horseback riding. I included her in on jokes within the store, gave her advice when she asked, made her laugh. Now she's off to college in another school, and she doesn't understand my problems and talks to me less and less. I'm glad she's come out of her bubble, but I'm afraid she doesn't have my back in quite the same way.
Alas, I know somewhere that once you hit rock bottom, you can't go down any farther, so the only place to go is up. With the holidays, I hope to feel a little bit more cheery and to start the new year on the right foot with the right ideas forward.