Tag Archives: the carrot

Thirty More “One More”s

This week I am turning 30.

The last couple months have been an interesting ride, most of the people around me have been unsure of how to go about addressing this birthday (or not) since I tend to be swept up in an emotional cavalcade a lot of the time. Suggestions ranged from ((psst, don’t mention it!)) to let’s jump out of an airplane!!!

Finding myself in a position to try to discern how other people feel about me turning 30 (or how other people interpret my interpretation of turning 30) has been confusing, and initially didn’t leave a lot of room for my thoughts and feelings about the situation.

How do I feel about turning 30?

I think the general consensus is that most people have been concerned that turning 30 would plunge me into some kind of existential crisis (hello 25th birthday) where I would be confounded by the meaning of life, the universe, and everything and self-implode.

In actuality, once I had some time to be alone with the idea of turning 30 I would say my biggest emotional reaction has been one of relief.

I felt similarly when I turned 20. The mental breakdown I had in my late teens left me unsure about my ability to maneuver my way to my 20th birthday.

This time I have spent the last decade experiencing similar mental implosions multiplied by 200, 300, maybe even 400%. I don’t mean to be morbid, but there were honestly times I wouldn’t have bet my money on reaching 30. But…

Here I am! (Deal with it, sukas!)

I’ve heard many people say that their 20’s were the hardest decades of their lives, and that things became significantly more stable in their 30’s. Obviously there is no way to know what my future holds, but knowing that the life lessons I learned in my 20’s (how to live on the quarters people drop under vending machines, how to deal with a boss who is sexually harassing you, surviving the deaths of friends or family members, learning not to treat my doctors as gods, ending toxic friendships, etc.) are not things I will ever have to do again for the first time. So many difficult situations that I have learned how to cope with and come through the other side that it gives a person a sense of strength and comfort, knowing that if I could live through the things I lived through in my 20’s, I am significantly less inclined to be afraid of my 30’s.

Apart from relief, my other dominant feeling is a celebratory one. Every once in a while, I need to let myself eat that carrot that has been hanging on the string out in front of me prompting me to move forward, and this is one of those times.

A lot of my bipolar symptoms have left me in a position where it is very difficult to look forward, make goals, or plan for the future. Living in the moment and from one day to the next is one of the few things that helps give me relief, so despite reaching 27, 28, and 29, reaching 30 has been a bit of a shock really. Like 20, when it was a detached number on a page I can’t say I really expected to reach it.

At any rate, reaching 30 has felt a lot like reaching a new save point on a video game I’ve never played before. I find myself both delighted, relieved, and ultimately a little shocked (because who knew I had the skills to make it past that last scaly-faced fire-breathing boss?!?). Though I don’t know what comes next, it has been important for me to take a much needed moment to pat myself on the back because ultimately… I don’t do it as much as I should!

Behind & Ahead

I don’t know about you, but for me 2012 went by ridiculously fast.

I woke up this morning realizing I had no clue of what I have accomplished this year, or even what I set out to do, so my mind began something of a mad scramble to look behind me.

I’m terrible at looking behind. My memory has become increasingly patchy, and it seems like every time I try it it takes longer and longer for the past to come into focus. Maybe I need a pair of prescription glasses to help correct my hindsight? I can say with some certainty mine doesn’t come in 20/20.

It doesn’t help that mixed states, mania, and even depression seem to work against my ability to look back. Timelines are full of holes, and ripe with delusional inaccuracies. If I let it (and didn’t probe the past) it would almost be as if it didn’t exist at all. So… I can’t say I have any miraculous lessons I can attribute to this reflection, just the comforting notion that I feel more at ease with myself now than I’m sure I did a year ago. That is something I am happy with, and I don’t think I even need to ask for much more.

Looking ahead is much easier. I have plenty of goals and dreams and things to accomplish, but probably the biggest news I can give you is that I am applying for SSDI (social security disability insurance).

This is something that has been on my radar since my last hospitalization (April 2011) but I haven’t felt like I was able to take on the enormous task of applying until after things finally ended with my last employer (due to the episode with delusions and paranoia at work).

To be honest, I haven’t been able to keep a job since that hospitalization, (which isn’t to say I was the most consistent employee before that) but my symptoms and my ability to withstand stress have both gotten considerably worse.

I am sincerely hoping that waiting to apply until now will mean having enough medical evidence, (I’ve been seeing the same psychiatrist for almost two years now, which is kind of a miracle for me) and that I will be more inclined to fight the long fight, since I’ve had the time to decide that this is what I need (and want) to do.

As I said, I have a lot of dreams and goals and aspirations, which isn’t something that is changing. Applying for SSDI will at least give me a chance to survive while I figure out if there is something more that could be done with medications, or by other means, and how to twist those goals into something tangible. For these reasons I am looking ahead to 2013 a little terrified, but ultimately ready to do what I need to do.

When Any News is Good News

Well, things with my last job have finally come to a close.

If you’ve missed some of what happened up to this point, here’s a quick rundown:

I started working at the corporate office of a large clothing company as a technical designer at the end of July, despite having the feeling that full-time work was beyond the scope of what I was currently capable of. I got off to a rocky start, but seemed to excel for a brief time before the anxiety took hold of me. Very quickly, panic attacks began happening at work (more frequently and severely as the month progressed) and paranoia crept into the equation until I had the unyielding feeling that my boss was not only trying to sabotage me, but also the company. These paranoid delusions (which I took to be real) led me to begin an inquiry against my boss with the HR department, only to find that she had done nothing wrong.

At that point the mixed sort of episode of paranoia “fun” morphed into a mixed episode weighing heavily on the side of depression, and I pulled myself out of work to go on a leave of absence. A month ago I was cleared to go back to work, but only for three days per week. I put in an accommodation request form with my employer, asking to be reduced to part-time status.

I had been waiting for almost an entire month to hear back (which has really been stressing me out, I have been dying for any news at all), but Monday the wait finally ended. My employer got back to me and they decided not to make my requested accommodation. They gave me a few options to consider, none of which really made any sense for my situation except for “separation” [that’s the polite word for termination] from the company.

I can’t say that I am surprised, and I am almost a little grateful this is how things turned out because it was a very chaotic atmosphere to work in and I have been very nervous about the prospect of being thrust back into a group of people that I’d just had some of the most intense paranoid delusions of my life around. Needless to say, I felt a little self conscious, and I know many of their attitudes toward mental illness are based on ignorance alone, making it something of an uncomfortable potential reunion.

Don’t get me wrong -I am definitely sad to miss out on the great wages, medical benefits, a position where I could learn new things, working with a team of excellent people, but this job also had a lot of downfalls. That, and I’m simply not surprised at their final decision, I genuinely expected it after the way things have gone with my previous employers.

Admittedly, I’ve secretly been planning in my head for the occurrence of this situation, so I have a plan already, and some money saved to help limp me through to the next phase of… whatever. Life, I guess. Once the moves I’m making become a little less immediate and anxiety producing I plan on sharing a bit more with you. 

What I’m left with, and what I expected to be left with when I started this job, was to find out just how realistic (or unrealistic) full-time work is for me. And if the paranoid delusions have anything to say about it, the verdict has me leaning toward unrealistic. Unfortunate, but again, not a surprise, and in the last two years I’ve had plenty of time to accept it. 

That acceptance has left me walking away from this whole situation calmly, in good spirits, and even with a little bit of grace (if you can imagine that). As much as I fantasize sometimes about leaving a job and wreaking havoc upon my evil employers, this way (with understanding) has been a lot easier, a lot less stressful, and subsequently with a lot less erratic mood behaviors.

And any time there are less jagged-shaped mood swings I have to say, “yay”!

The Denial Relapse

Denial, they say, is not just a river in Egypt. It is also said to be one of the most difficult things to overcome in accepting a notion we don’t want to hear, anything from the death of a loved one to a mistake we may have made, or even an illness we’ve been diagnosed with that might have a particularly harsh connotation. Bad news, it seems, is easier to ignore than accept… and for those that have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, denial is often the first roadblock that springs up.

What interests me most is a time further down the line. After acceptance has happened (which can take anywhere from days to months to years for those with bipolar disorder) there often seems to be a relapse into that same denial at a later time. What I’ve been thinking about the last, well, couple weeks to be honest (I’ve been trying to write about this for a while), is this question:

What makes the notion of bipolar disorder so difficult to accept?

What is it that makes it so easy for someone with bipolar disorder to slip back into denial about having the illness? It is one thing? Is it many? I don’t think anyone really knows the answer, but I’ve brainstormed a few ideas of where it might come from.

Invisibility – Unfortunately, there is no easy, straightforward way to diagnose bipolar disorder. Something that is seen by one doctor might not be seen by the next, and diagnosis requires a certain amount of perception; on the part of the patient (perception of their symptoms), the doctor (perception of the patient’s symptoms), or on a third party (a parent or friend’s perceptions of the patient’s symptoms).

Since these symptoms may be entirely internal, or happen when others aren’t around, or the doctor may have only seen the patient in a depressed state (without having seen anything else) -well, the whole thing can be messy. I know many people (including myself) who were initially diagnosed with depression or another illness before bipolar disorder, and the information required to make a bipolar diagnosis may take years to show itself. Even if a doctor picks up on it at that time, it could take years before a patient begins to recognize it in themselves.

And, after so long a time, finally receiving a bipolar diagnosis might leave the patient questioning themselves and the doctor that diagnosed it. Is the doctor’s perception correct? Why did it take so long to come to this conclusion? And what if my own perceptions of myself are incorrect? Maybe it isn’t bipolar disorder at all.

Perception of an invisible thing (which isn’t even a thing but a series of feelings and actions) is a tricky business. After all, is a completely un-knowing person more likely to be convinced of the existence of wind over the existence of something that can only be perceived from time to time over a long period by one or two people?

The Norm – There is no guarantee that there will be enough evidence for those apart from the patient to perceive bipolar disorder, and unfortunately there is not a guarantee that the patient will even perceive an issue.

I would say that most people are so used to how they function and how they were raised that they don’t think twice about how they think or function. If you are living with bipolar disorder and have been for a long time, your actions may not seem odd, your thoughts or thought process might not seem odd, they may be familiar and comfortable. When that is the norm, it can be difficult to see why there is any problem. If there is no problem, why change anything?

Blinders – I don’t know if this happens for everyone with bipolar disorder, but I’ve spoken with several people who have experienced this (as I have). The emotions I experience are so intense and convincing that I feel perpetually stuck living from one moment to the next. Each moment is so intense that it becomes its own entity, completely cut-off from the other moments I have had/will have. It is as if each episode comes with a set of blinders, and when depressed there is nothing but depression. When euphoric there is nothing but joy. It becomes very hard to see the “bigger picture”.

This element in particular is the main reason I would guess so many people stop taking their medications suddenly, or suddenly deciding that since they feel amazing, they must not have bipolar disorder.

Mood charting is one of the few things I have found that helps with this, and will let me see a long period of time with no immediate mood affiliation. If anything, it has helped me accept the fact that I have intense mood swings because what I see on the page both shakes off all blinders from mood to mood and the invisibility of bipolar disorder by making something tangible and visual.

Ambitions – This isn’t relevant to everyone, and many people with bipolar disorder are able to hold steady jobs or reach the goals they wish to achieve. Unfortunately, being ambitious is one of the main reasons I have experienced a denial relapse (and have several times) because I don’t know when to pull back.

My expectations for myself are the same as before bipolar disorder was an issue, and though that isn’t realistic for me (as things have not only worsened but I have no supportive medications) I have a hard time knowing what I can and can’t do. Nothing makes me believe I can shake off bipolar disorder like a good challenging opportunity, especially if there is a chance I will make good money off of it.

I am in a situation where I need to set some limitations for myself, but that isn’t the norm for me. Failing to make a change here will probably ultimately lead to continued relapses in denial.

Existence Stigma – Denial relapse can be particularly easy when someone who is ignorant, but important to you, tells you that mental illness doesn’t exist, or that it is something that people “make up”, or that being stronger, talking less, and thinking happy thoughts will eradicate all of your symptoms.

It could be anyone, a relative, significant other, maybe even someone on TV, but being told that your illness doesn’t exist enough times could potentially leave you believing it.

I am someone who is all for looking at different types of treatments or philosophies around mental illness, but encouraging people not to get some kind of help and denying the issues entirely is something I can’t stand.

This is something I have come across, and I can sadly say that at one time in my life I totally dodged treatment because my boyfriend at the time told me that there wasn’t anything wrong with me and “love” would make everything better. When young and manic, that made perfect sense to me, and I found myself back in the denial relapse.

Flaw Stigma – There is also the belief that having something like bipolar disorder means that you have a large character flaw, and you can probably see how that might make one second-guess a diagnosis. If being told that having bipolar disorder made you un-likable, you may not want to admit to anyone, not even yourself, that having bipolar disorder was a possibility.

Treatment Stigma – Sometimes fear of treatment deals the ultimate blow, and there are so many misconceptions about what treatment means for mental illness that the notion can be confusing and overwhelming. Some might believe that treatment involves being locked up, or being given medications without consent, or being shocked without consent.

Usually the view of treatments for mental illness are that they are hell. While many people have absolutely no problem at all, it is true that other people struggle. Unfortunately the alternative tends to be a worsening condition, requiring more treatment once that denial relapse wears off.

So what makes the notion of bipolar disorder so difficult to accept?

I think the answer is a little different for everyone. In the last ten years, I’ve been guilty of falling victim to at least half of the things on this list, if not more, and that’s what troubles me I guess. Somehow, after ten years I still find myself slipping into a place of denial… and to claim that I haven’t would be an almost bigger lie. I thought by considering the reasons, I might find a clue in avoiding another relapse.

Did I miss anything? Have you ever found yourself believing that there is nothing wrong, that you suddenly woke up and don’t recognize the illness you’ve been told you have? What has brought about a denial relapse in your life, if you’ve had one?

Patience doesn’t feel like a virtue to ME…

Patience is… difficult for me, to say the least. Anxiety makes patience agonizing both physically and emotionally, and I’ve yet to find something (apart from being very distracted) that helps with it.

To let you in on what has been going on the last week; I applied for a job.

It wasn’t something I decided to do easily, in fact when one of my friends suggested I apply I said no. It wasn’t until the third or fourth time she confronted me about it that I finally gave in and said I’d apply, with no real expectations.

You see, I have a degree in fashion design, and though it is something I have been able to excel at, the fashion industry has proven to be not only the cold hearted bitch everyone said it would be, but also that it is not able to withstand the shattering of the American economy. Six months after school I was working in the industry, and within two years of that, everything collapsed. Needless to say, the scrambling that happened with the collapse made for a rather intense atmosphere, and it wasn’t particularly fun.

I had come to the conclusion a long time ago that I didn’t really want to work for another big fashion company, but the accounts I’ve been getting from the inside of this particular company have really defied everything I’ve come to know within the industry. This place could be different, it could be an oasis among a stilettoed desert, but that is yet to be seen.

When nothing happened for almost two weeks after applying, I shrugged the whole thing off and was attempting to move on with my life when I was contacted for an interview. 24 hours later I found myself in what was actually more like three interviews, and then I heard nothing on Friday leaving me with a long weekend of anxiety and “patience”.

Last night I had a nightmare that I didn’t get the job. I woke up, shook it off, and went back to sleep -only to have a nightmare that I did get the job. Either way in my dreams I lost, both held enormous consequences, with awkward repercussions.

This morning I’ve found out I have a final interview tomorrow, so by the end of the week I should have some kind of conclusion either way. The conflicting feelings I was having last week continue as my mind spins with notions of what I am actually capable of, if I can handle something big like this again, and how long I could potentially last before having a big breakdown.

Essentially, this is a carrot the size of a city, and I already feel like I’ve made up my mind to hold onto it -because how often does one come across a carrot the size of a city? It has been four years since I’ve seen one, and at this point it seems essential to eat away a house for myself in the middle of that carrot and at least live there until the thing begins to rot.

I don’t feel like I have much to lose right now, and the list of things to gain (including medical benefits) is a long one. There may be some big changes up ahead, and I haven’t really been able to think through (entirely) what that would mean for this blog, for my free time, and my dog. Corey has been very supportive, however, and has expressed that he is willing to make whatever changes necessary to help make this a good transition for me if it is what I want to do.

Consequently; I don’t really know anything right now, and that’s what is so difficult. Hopefully I can distract myself with Swedish meatballs and videogames.

Sunday; Coming Out in the Workplace

The continuing saga of being employed while having bipolar disorder.

I have been working for two days per week for the last 4 months or so now as something of a glorified secretary slash hostess slash personal assistant aiding in  selling real estate. In that time I have been told constantly that the position is really below my abilities (particularly by my boss) but I have avoided glomming on to any additional responsibility because the low stress level I have at my current job has been key in keeping me at least half-sane.

I’ve been living as openly as possible in regard to having bipolar disorder since October now and I meant to talk with my boss about it right away, but things keep popping up. Little things that would divert my intentional conversation, like customers or having a particularly bad day. Somehow I’ve been working 4 months without talking about it, and it was filed in the back of my mind’s “do this eventually” folder. I knew it would come up eventually, but I had actively stopped trying to have that conversation.

In the meantime, I’ve talked with a lot of other people about this.

At what point do you make something, like having bipolar disorder, known to your employer?

Do you ever? Is it safe?

Do you wait until you have a problem or need accommodations? Or do you start by laying it out the first day?

Should you wait for your co-workers or boss to get to know you a little first?

The general consensus of bipolarites in my life have expressed that they are in firm belief that:

Loose lips sink ships.

But how much of that is just fear, really?

I admit I am young, and I have seen my fair share of discrimination in the workplace, but maybe it is because I am young that it has been like water rolling off my back.

You see, I really believe that if I am meant to be somewhere, hiding my needs makes me feel more weak than strong.

I have stopped feeling like there is only one job or one setting that is more than willing to take what I have to offer them, so if I don’t fit in a job because my peers don’t get along with me or they don’t like me, I’m not meant to be there. Just the same, if they are going to persecute me for having bipolar disorder, then I’m not meant to be there either.

When I look back on jobs that I lost, I genuinely feel that if I had asked for more help, or been more open with people about what was going on, things might have turned out better. If co-workers don’t know that discrimination is happening, they can’t always see it, which means they can’t say anything about it either.

Anyway, I refuse to work somewhere where I am treated like shit.

And if that means self employment, fine. I am willing to go that far.

Heck, I’m self employed now.

Anyway, my boss now is a really remarkable woman who I find to be a rockin’ female role model. I’ve haven’t met too many strong, female career types, so I think this made me think twice, in a way, before opening up about having bipolar disorder.

What finally pushed me over the edge was being offered a 3rd day per week to work.

I’m an ambitious person by nature (though I’m working hard on getting my ambitions and realistic abilities lined up with each other) so my immediate thought was that I could take on a third day no problem.

But, enter the anxiety. Enter the fear. Enter the looming word that my therapist said to me over the phone last Wednesday, that word nobody with mental illness ever wants to hear;

hospital

I don’t think things have been overwhelmingly bad lately, just severe enough to cause some concern with my medical team I guess. Mania, or rather being conscious of mania is new territory for me to some degree, and the current hypothesis is that I am not fully aware with just how bad things were getting in that realm the week before last. I am the first to admit that, sure, I could be a little blind to the severity of potential mania, but when I had that “h” bomb dropped on me (hospital, not hydrogen) I had to take a step back from everything.

Are things as ok as I thought? Is more stress really what I need right now -adding a third day of work to my week?

Actually, I said to my boss on Saturday, can I have 24 hours to think about it?

Like a Guy Ritchie movie, those 24 hours passed in a flurried montage of mere seconds, and I was standing in front of her desk again, yesterday.

I might as well just tell the whole story then, I thought. It is probably time.

I asked her to consider all of the things she thinks about me, my intelligence, my common sense, and my accomplishments (because this woman seriously thinks I am really cool… through no fault of my own), and then I told her I have bipolar disorder. That one thing doesn’t make any of those other things untrue, does it?

No.

In my experience, the manner in which the subject of bipolar disorder is broached with someone for the first time will have a significant effect on how the aftermath of the conversation pans out.

A guilty, shameful admittance of mental illness is likely to be met with the recipient feeling as ashamed of the idea of mental illness as you’re acting.

Likewise, confidence is usually met with confidence.

When most people hear something serious, they gauge the level of seriousness based on how the storyteller is acting. Mirroring those actions and emotions are an easy way to know how to respond to something these folks may not otherwise know how to respond to.

She knew I was dealing with a serious medical problem, as I’ve talked in limited amounts about things like doctor’s appointments and medications very generally, and the fact that I have been working only two days per week was a pretty good tip off too. She’s not stupid, that’s for sure.

Overall the conversation went well, despite the fact that I got a little turned around in the end.

My intention was to tell her these were the reasons I couldn’t work a third day a week, but instead I felt so confident and comfortable by the end of our talk I told her I would take on that third day. I did, however, tell her that I am being very conscious about stress, so if things get too overwhelming I wont hesitate to let her know.

I did, after all, meet the stipulations I initially set for myself in regard to taking on more responsibility in the workplace. I made it past February before taking anything more on, and I am hoping the sort of low-stress environment I work in will be conducive to keeping a level head.

I am meeting with my therapist again today, and hopefully I can help put some of that fire out from last week. She isn’t quite desensitized to a lot of my ranting and raving yet, I may just need to be a touch more gentle with her.

And work? We’ll see. I’ve set a ping pong ball in motion in a room full of mouse traps, so I’ll be curious to see how things play out this time around. My part in the menagerie, however, is pretty much over. What my boss decides to do with the information I’ve given her will ultimately decide my fate.

At this point, I feel I’ve really got nothing left to fear.

Whatever happens is out of my hands, so I will continue to show up, do my job, fix the printer when it breaks, and make people laugh.

Really, there isn’t much more they’re asking of me.

Gift Wrapped Carrots

So you may know that I have a problem with carrots.

For those of you unaware of what that means, here’s a quote from the linked post from October,

“The carrot is the concept of something desirable being placed in front of you (like a carrot being held out in front of a horse), making you strive to attain it.”

These sorts of carrot situations usually arise in places of employment. The boss waves something new and exciting in front of an employee to either increase productivity or to entice the employee to become fully committed to their particular establishment.

One might see the problem there for someone who has bipolar disorder. The biggest trouble I have with this disorder is that my energy levels fluctuate quite wildly, so I am in a constant state of flux.

Sometimes I am an extremely high-functioning individual who (somehow) comes off as being intelligent, competent, level-headed, and hardworking. This is the girl who is usually hired in any given situation, and she is also constantly being pushed to be promoted. I usually hear something along the lines of, “you’re being completely underutilized” -so whatever boss I have is usually looking to use these talents more fully.

But then… there’s the other side of the spectrum. I become extremely lethargic, I have trouble putting thoughts together, and the level-headedness burns off. My actions might suddenly make very little sense to the people around me, and I am quickly reprimanded for not keeping up the pace I originally set for myself.

I have come to despise carrots because I usually do genuinely want them. But somewhere down the line, either in the stretch to achieve or in the moment of glorious achievement, I know I will lose them.

This weekend I was offered a huge carrot, I guess I am in the high-functioning phase again as of late, and it frustrates me to know that I really should not say yes. It is true that half of me is being underutilized, but the other half of me is being over-utilized. Taking the carrot means that if the scales suddenly tip (and they usually do around February) I will undoubtedly lose my job.

So no, getting a real estate license to have a full-time job handed to me is a terrible idea.

I just really miss being high-functioning all the time, but I know better than to think that’ll happen. Unfortunately that is not the nature of my brain. Trust me, it is a really shocking fall to go from constant effortless success to the opposite (unyielding failure?) in the space of a few days or hours. I really do understand the concept, but when it happens it feels so baffling and surreal.

It is like having a gift -say you can play guitar, and sometimes you are amazing at it. When you’re amazing, it is effortless, you just rock out and people admire your talent. Then, suddenly, there are times where you can’t play the guitar at all. You go blank on all the notes, and you can only remember one line at a time of any given song.

Wouldn’t you be upset? Wouldn’t you be frustrated, and think that maybe somehow you were “going crazy”? Would you be bitter toward God, or you genes, or your parents, for potentially instigating this phenomenon?

This is the biggest frustration I’ve had to handle because I have bipolar disorder. My success seems to be based on nothing more than a flip of a coin at this point, and either I will rock out or forget all the cords.

I know that my moods appear to be equally as random, but the problems I have with them are tiny in comparison to the bigger picture. If I could rely on myself to produce the same results over and over again, I would gladly deal with the sporadic moods.

But I do have periods of time when I can be successful, even if they are getting shorter and further apart over the last 10 years. At least I do have moments to look forward to where people think I am intelligent, competent, level-headed, and hardworking. Brief moments where I can pop my head above the surface of the water and take a deep breath before diving back down.

So now is the more difficult part, turning down the carrot. In the past I’ve gotten some seriously rough flack about turning down promotions and things because people honestly just don’t understand where I’m coming from. I was really hoping to keep this work relationship as uncomplicated as possible, but I guess that is an impossible task.

I’m going forward with the plan that I wont even consider a full-time position until February at least when I can get a better idea of where I’ll be (depression wise) at that time.