Apathy

I’m done, y’all.

What Is Apathy?

 Webmd says: “Apathy is when you lack motivation to do anything or just don’t care about what’s going on around you. Apathy can be a symptom of mental health problems, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease. It often lasts a long time. You may lack the desire to do anything that involves thinking or your emotions. The term comes from the Greek word “pathos,” which means passion or emotion. Apathy is a lack of those feelings.

“But it isn’t the same thing as depression, although it can be hard to tell the two conditions apart. Feeling “blah” about life is common in both conditions. It isn’t sadness or anger, either. Rather than feeling these emotions, you don’t feel much of anything. Things that used to make you happy don’t excite you anymore. You no longer feel motivated to achieve your goals.

“Everyone loses interest in things at one time or another, but when it happens a lot, it can affect your relationships, your job, and your ability to enjoy life. Treatment can make a big difference, so talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to get the help you need.” Quoted from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-apathy

This is me right now. I struggle with anxiety, but now it seems apathy has come to visit. It”s unpacked it’s bags and doesn’t show any signs of leaving. I don’t want to let it get comfortable, and need to find a way to get it to leave before it takes up permanent residency. Anxiety and depression are on the back porch, where they hang out and encourage Apathy.

I hit a wall, y’all. It was a small thing that triggered it, as often happens. The straw and the proverbial camel’s back. I found out that I am going to have to start going into the office three days a week. I didn’t realize that they were in the process of establishing a brick-and-mortar office in my town, but apparently they did. They said to me, “Hey you get to go into the office now! Three days a week! Oh, and you get to greet visitors and answer the phone, too!”

Me:

My face: What’chu talkin’ about, Willis?!?!?

Y’all, this is not happy news. I haven’t worn a bra in a year, and the thought of getting in real clothes instead of t-shirts and lounge pants makes me want to hurl! AND, and . . . I am currently in a temperature controlled environment. One that is controlled to my liking, and it’s COLD. Eskimos would be cold. I am 1) post-menopausal and 2) overweight. My ideal temperature range is 68 to 70 degrees fahrenheit. Summer and winter. I will be sharing the office space with a co-worker, a lovely woman with whom I get along. She is delightful.

But she is skinny. She is older than I, but very thin. Very thin people generally get cold easier. I can’t stand to be hot. I will take my desk fan but likely I will be a sweaty mess by afternoon, especially in the summertime. The office windows face west, which means afternoon temps are likely to be sweltering, even with AC.

I am verklempt.

THIS!!!!!

What does this have to do with Apathy? you ask. I’m so glad you asked! I have three years to retirement, and I was told that this job would be fully remote, even after COVID. I was so excited because that’s always been my dream. To work in HR and to work from home. I thought I had it made. I was going to skate into retirement exactly the way I wanted to do it.

And then bam! That rug was yanked out from under me, and now I have to go into the office 24 hours a week. I don’t like it, y’all. Before you offer to call the whaaaambulance, I really do love working from home.

Call whine-1-1 !

I thought I had it made. I thought everything was gonna be great until I retired and now this. It just made me hit a wall. I just can’t take it anymore! Yet again, something I loved was taken away from me. I’ve gotten to where I no longer trust happiness, because every time, it gets taken away. I had the perfect little house that I’ve always dreamed of, and it burned to the ground after I only lived there three years. I raised two children by myself because their dad’s new wife didn’t want him to spend time with them and he let her. I had cancer in 2015. There are too many things to list here that have happened and I just feel like I can’t catch a break. As each of these things happened, I pulled myself up, stepped up and kept a positive attitude and kept marching forward.

Then yesterday in a virtual meeting, the owner of the company blasted the Leadership Team and yelled and said the “f-word.” He went from zero to 100 because he didn’t like that something hadn’t been done. I don’t know why bosses and company owners feel the need to blast their team and make them feel like shit. I don’t think he thought about how demoralizing and demeaning it feels to have the boss go off on us like that. He does this on the regular, too. He fusses about all the “red tape” we have to go through to get things done. He doesn’t understand that he went from a small 20 person company to a 75 person company and that there are rules we have to follow, especially in California and that’s why I was hired. But he doesn’t like it, and he often bypasses rules and regulations to hire someone he wants. And we can’t say no. He is the owner of the company.

I was furious when I found out I have to stop working from home three days a week. Then the boss went off on everyone in the meeting. I can’t anymore. I just can’t. I have a letter of resignation all made up but I need this job so I haven’t sent it. It felt good to write it, though.

I am now apathetic. I am completely out of f*cks to give. I feel like I’ve got a 100 lb weight on my shoulders. I don’t care about pretty much anything. Work asks me, “Are these forms fine?” I answer, “yep.” Didn’t even look at them. It would serve them right to get sued for non-compliance because they don’t like the answers I give. Right now, I don’t care about anything and I have absolutely nothing left to give. I’ve pounded my head on the wall so long I’m numb.

This will pass. Meanwhile, I’m just sort of numb.

Thanks for reading. If this has or is happening to you, you are not alone.

Cheers!

It Usually Starts with a Dirty Dish

I have anxiety. GAD, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I struggle with this daily. I hate to use the word suffer, but rather use the word struggle. Yes, it is a daily struggle. Well-meaning people will tell me that if I just tried hard enough, I could overcome it. But anxiety is like an internal war, battling with my inner voice that constantly tells me I’m good-for-nothing, stupid, fat and lazy. The fat part is true. I mean, fat is fat and I don’t fool anyone. But I am far from stupid, and my anxiety keeps me from completing tasks, which looks like lazy. Simple tasks, like doing the dishes, overwhelm me and I start to shut down. Anxiety is like slogging through quicksand. It’s extremely difficult to pull myself out of it while it is sucking at my energy, my self-esteem, and my motivation.

Anxiety makes me enervated, keeping me from being able to do, well, just about anything. I can have brief periods of positive energy. Usually that only happens when everything in my life is going smoothly — circumstances, life, financial, etc. But when I get a negative balance in my checking account,and payday isn’t until another week and a half, that can send me over the edge. If everything is going smoothly with my adult kids and my 90-year-old mom, I can skate on good vibrations. But the precarious perch upon which I emotionally sit can knock me off balance with just one simple thing.

Case in point: I know that I am sinking into another quicksand of anxiety when I see the dishes start to pile up. It always starts with one dirty dish. I finish a meal, and just leave my dirty dishes on the counter, telling myself “I will put them in the dishwasher later,” my procrastinator brain lies.

And then, the next dirty dish, and discarded containers of fast food because I just. can’t. deal. with prepping a meal. I can measure the depth of my anxiety by the depth of dishes and detritus on my kitchen countertops, the unwashed laundry, unmade bed, un-scooped cat litter box. It overwhelms, and my anxiety ramps up. So far, (knock wood) no panic attacks. Just mounds of dirty dishes and laundry, and everything.

I sink back into my recliner with my comfort food, my TV remote, my computer and try to pretend none of it is there. I can’t even read, because my ex-husband’s voice is in my head, yelling at me that I have no business reading when there are “things” that need to be done. Ten years divorced and his ugly words hurtle against my brain again and again.

Until it comes the time that my roommate is spraying the kitchen with air freshener because it smells. Until I don’t have any forks or spoons or knives to eat with, no clean plates, no more money for food delivery. This is the face of my anxiety and probably depression. And I do the dishes. Sometimes it takes me several hours, because the overwhelming anxiety causes me to stop and rest for awhile. Because, my brain screams at me, “WHAT IF IT’S NOT PERFECT???”

Today, my kitchen counters are full. My motivation is low and I am feeling overwhelmed. But soon I am going to have to force myself to clean it up. I just have to.