Thursday, January 31, 2008

good times, but for real this time...

So, last night I went out and pretended like I wasn't depressed. It was good.

It was hard to go, I was anxious leaving the house (and it was bloody cold and windy, which makes staying home seem appealing). It was a bit difficult at first, but as the evening wore on I relaxed into it a bit. I'm sure that has something to do with the cider too, but still, it was nice.

So, I kind of felt normal for a while.

Although, when John told me that the bill was $200 for the four of us I nearly fell off my chair (figuratively, we were in a cab at the time, no chairs to fall out of) because I'd forgotten that included 4 meals and thought it was just the drinks for the 4 of us. I mean, I knew we'd had a lot to drink, but I didn't think we'd had *that* much, but then, I also wouldn't put it past us...

And on the birthday front, well, it was a good one. John came home carrying several bunches of flowers, which was really nice, and Brice and Courtney gave me a rude card, which was expecte, well, expected from Brice anyway... ;)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Segregated School in Toronto is a go

Okay, so last night the Toronto School Board voted in favour of opening an "Afrocentric School".

I probably shouldn't be writing about this, because I really don't have all the facts, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but...

It's my understanding that this will be a black only school. Which is segregation, no?

I think I would be okay with an 'Afrocentric School' if it were the same way as any other high school that has an area of specialization. A school that specializes in the arts. A school that specializes in science stuff. That kind of thing. A school where anyone can go, but there is a lot of programing offered in a specific area.

I might be way off, maybe this will be wide open to everyone, but that's not what it sounds like. It sounds like it will only hire black teachers (not sure if that's even allowed, and why would it matter for, say algebra, what the racial experience of the teacher has been?), and it sounds like it will only have black students.

How is this empowering?

All this does is sets people apart, makes people different, isn't that the fear that racism is based on?

Maybe if I were black I'd feel differently. Maybe if I were a parent I'd feel differently. Maybe if I were a teacher I'd feel differently. Maybe if I were a school board trustee I'd feel differently. The truth is I am not someone who falls under the label of 'key stakeholders' for this issue in any way. I am actually completely removed from the issue.

But, well, I don't know, it just doesn't feel right. My gut tells me this is a bad idea. I usually trust my gut.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Well, Jo pointed out the birthday thing, so I think I'll run with it.

Tomorrow is my birthday marking my 32 years on this, the only planet we know of that sustains life, earth. (Just so you know, you would have to be a really really big geek to get that reference, and specifically a geek in Ontario).

So, I'm thinking of doing something about it.

I'm thinking of going somewhere to drink with friends.

I'm thinking the Red Lion on Jarvis.

Who's in?

No, seriously, I'm thinking I'd like to spend a night pretending I'm not depressed and go out and celebrate my birthday over a couple of pints.

If you think you're going to come then let me know, 'cause I'll know how big a table to save.

So, 7ish, The Red Lion on Jarvis, just a bit south of Maitland.

There is one caveat that goes along with this. In the unlikely event that I find it too overwhelming or something because of my very annoying depressive state I may not be able to play anymore and may have to bugger off. In which case I know you'll all have fun playing with yourselves. (budumcha!)

So, come lets drink and flirt and be merry!

Monday, January 28, 2008

I wish there was something else I could write about...

Pretty sick of rehashing the depression thing.

Wish there was something else I could talk about.

Something that's a bit less of a downer.

So, perhaps I will just let you know that I really enjoyed Juno. It's a great movie.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Today I had a shower...

Since I seem to be using this blog to somewhat chronical my little achievements, I thought perhaps today I should tell you I had a shower, all by my lonesome.

I know, doesn't sound like much (other than a relief to those who must be near me), but the truth is, this is one counts as an achievement in depressed-world. I didn't wait until I couldn't stand it anymore, I didn't just wash my hair and hope no one would notice, I actually stepped into the shower and let the water rain down upon me.

Depression is a strange beast. I know I've said it many times before, and no doubt I'll say it many times again, but, well, it's true, it's a strange beast.

Sometimes I feel a bit like I'm under house arrest, only instead of a metal bracelet around my ankle I have anxiety and depression to keep me inside.

It's hard to describe, because you would think that you would have free will and be able to say 'fuck you depression, fuck you anxiety' but nope, no free will.

Yesterday I got in the car to go buy yarn (I've taught myself to knit, only one standard stitch, and I'm not doing anything fancy, but it passes the time). Seems simple enough, right? Leave house. Get in car. Drive to store. Park car. Go in store. Find yarn. Pay for yarn. Get in car. Drive home.

Only what actually happened was: Leave house. Get in car. Drive... around the block. Park car. Go back into house.

Good times.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Because it isn't truly a depressive episode until I've done something to my hair...

These all are pretty similar, 'cause, well, there's only so much you can do when you're taking your own picture...

And a kiss to end it with for all you out in blogland.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

music is a wonderful thing

i'm sitting here, listening to music, not even sure what it is, but it's bluesy with a lot of soul and as I rock back and forth in time to the music I realise it's making me feel good.

Music is magical.

I'm even thinking about going out tonight to see some live music. Not sure where I'll go, or even what's playing, and, lets be frank, it's likley not going to happen, but it's a huge step that I'm even thinking of something like that.

I've been listening to a lot of Tom Waits lately, which is perfect, but probably it's time to switch to a bit more upbeat...

Being home alone everyday is making me restless. I find myself wishing that I had something to do, but of course, the idea of leaving the house makes me frantic. bit of a catch 22 there.

On Wednesday night I went to a show, and then went out for drinks with people from university afterwards. It was amazing to feel like a normal person again, even if it only was for one night. But it was a strange set of events that made it all okay. It happened on the spur of the moment, I spent most of my time talking to new people, people with no previous experience of me, so I didn't even think about whether or not I was me.

Oh well, it was a good lesson that I can still do things.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

not sure what to write...

when I first started journaling 800 million years ago, one of the things that someone (therapist? helpful friend? book?) told me was if you can't think of what to write, just write "I don't know what to write" over and over again. The idea was that you would journal for a set minimum amount of time per day, so if need be you could write "I don't know what to write" for fifteen minutes.

It works. The most I've ever written it was five times.

Anyway, don't worry, I'm not going to do that to you here in blog land. Even though, really, I don't know what to write.

There's not a lot to update you on in the depression front. Although, I have made the decision (thanks to some prodding by several people, including my therapist) that I will take the full six weeks to heal and not risk putting myself forward earlier.

Every time I think maybe the meds are kicking in something happens that makes me think 'oh, maybe not'. It's weird. Most of the time I feel enveloped by depression, but sometimes it seems to retreat, to come in waves instead of acting like a shroud. Who know. It's a weird fucking disease.

I'm hoping that I have some time to actually recuperate before I go back to work. What I'm doing right now sure as hell doesn't feel like a rest, it feel more like a "doing what I must to stay alive".

I have been journaling (you know, pen to paper) in a place up the street called Jet Fuel. It's a great place, it's kind of one of those 'so hip it hurts' kind of places, but good god, they have the best latte I have ever had, and it's served in a pint glass. And it's only $3. So, yeah, I can force myself past the fact that I stick out like a sore thumb in a place that is so hip it hurts so that I can indulge in that divine latte. Not the point of this paragraph... No, the point of this paragraph is that I've been journaling on real paper, which is probably why my posts here slowed down a tiny bit.

Which, really, is just as well, because there's only so much ramblings of depressed lady a reader can take. So, now it will be *slightly* more selective ramblings of a depressed lady. ;)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Depression update - end of first week

Just thought I'd send you an update on the end of week one.

Bottom line is I'm still in hell. It's reasonable that the meds haven't kicked in yet, it's only been a week, it's usually a couple weeks before you see an effect, but dammit it's been a long week.

I had one day this week when I didn't cry all day, that was good, it gave me a bit of hope.

The rest of the week has been pretty tough. It's hard to describe what this is, it's one of those things that I think unless you've been depressed you can never really know, because, well, it just doesn't make sense. It's so outside of our normal concept of things. People think it's just feeling really sad. It's so not. It's feeling really worthless, hopeless, a waste of space, like nothing is ever going to change, like every single thing you do is wrong, like you live your life with this dark mist clouding you, all these things that you're supposed to be able to control, but you can't. Not one bit. No matter how much you logically tell yourself that you are not a waste of space, you can't internalize it. It seems so strange that a cocktail of chemicals in your brain can control these things. That an imbalance of the those chemicals can make you hate yourself and your life. It's weird because it's intangible. It's weird because it's not like if you break your arm and there you go, you can see the broken bone, or like with my hypothyroid stuff, I'm hypothyroid, so I can see stuff like really dry skin. For some reason physical symptoms make sense, emotional ones don't. And I know that all of these things make some sort of sense to me when I'm depressed. But right now, right now nothing really makes sense.

It's also hard on John, I can tell. He's not doing so well, it's hard living with a depressed person. I mean, he's okay, he can handle it, it's not something to worry about, but I can't help feeling kind of bad. And I try to not let him see how I'm feeling because I can see in his eyes how much he wants to be able to help, how much he wants to be able to fix it, and it's really hard for him that there is nothing he can do other that be there. And I know that feeling, I know it well. I have many a time in my life been the non-depressed person trying to be there for the depressed person. And I know from being in that role that it doesn't carry any resentment or upset, or feelings of wishing I wasn't in that position. But I can't seem to help feeling guilty that I have put John in this position.

On the plus side I seem to be eating again (without being cajoled into it). There was over a week where I just wasn't eating, I'd force stuff down because I would feel light-headed, but I wouldn't eat like a normal person. I do seem to be eating again. Partially I think because my mum went grocery shopping for me so that I would have easy food around (a bbq chicken, ham, lots of fruit, stuff like that).

As I mentioned, my doctor seemed to indicate that it might take six weeks, maybe even more, before I went back to work. I thought staying away that long was inconceivable, but I have to say, given how this past week has gone, I'm not sure, maybe not so inconceivable after all. I'm worried that I will go back to work too early. It's not the feeling beholden to work and feeling bad about missing it (well, okay, it's a bit about that...), it's about wanting all of this to be over. Wanting things to be normal. If I'm going to work then I must be better. It would be the same as the ignoring my depression that I did leading up to my breakdown - desperate to fool myself into everything being okay.

My dad thinks I should just say here and now that I'm not coming back for six weeks, then I won't have the opportunity to push myself to go to work earlier.

The thing is logically I know that's probably the right thing to do. But, well, I don't know what the but is. I think somewhere I feel like if I can't do this quickly then I'm a failure. I know, it's about the stupidest thing on the planet. And no doubt it is fueled mostly by my depression. And I guess I should ignore it and tell myself six weeks. If I have some miracle recovery I can always go back to work early.

One thing that is hanging over my head right now is 'what if the meds don't work'. It's a scary prospect because if they don't then we have to ween me off my current meds, then slowly build me up on new ones, which means a good chunk of time without meds in my system, and if this is me with meds in my system... Anyway, I know I shouldn't worry about that now. That's a discussion I'll have with my doctor Thursday, because, well, if the meds haven't started working to some extent by Thursday, I suspect that's the route we have to go. My mum suggested if they do that maybe I could be institutionalized for that part. I'm not if she was joking or not. I think she wasn't sure if she was joking or not.

Anyway, tomorrow morning I have more therapy, we'll see how that goes.

I will be back to myself at some point, I promise. I'm pretty hard to recognize these days, but it will come.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

random stuff

Okay, back to not sleeping, so my brain is a bit fuzzy.

I've integrated some people back into my life. Hung out with my mum yesterday, hanging out with my dad today.

Who knows, maybe next week I'll be up to seeing people I'm not related to.

I do feel like I will get through this. I mean, I'm not as convinced as I'd like that it won't be like this forever, but I am no longer completely emotionally convinced it will be like this forever.

The doctor intimated that I might be off work for six weeks. That terrifies me. I was thinking two. The problem is going back too soon can set you back. I get the sense that she wants to wait until we *really* know about the meds, which is 4-6 weeks.

Maybe in there I'll start feeling human enough to find a way to enjoy that time away and recharge and refresh.

We'll see. Right now it feels like I'm on the worst vacation ever, filled with anxiety and the inability to leave the house. Maybe by the last week it will truly feel like a week off, an actual break, as opposed to the thing I needed to do to survive...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A promise that will help with the recovery of my depression...

One thing that I have a tendancy to do when I'm depressed is to hibernate. Lock myself in the house, never leave. Not bother with getting dressed or showered or anything. Never leaving the house.

So, I'm making a committment that for as long as I am staying home from work because of my depression (my current guess is this week and next) I am going to leave the house, actually leave, not just step outside, leave, at least once a day.

Going out is hard, and sometimes there is a price to pay. Yesterday I went out for three hours and pretended to be normal. That used up all my energy and so I came home and cried for three hours. But the truth is, it's worse if I don't go out. It's worse because I end up in a cycle of beating myself up, and I detach myself even more from the rest of the world. So, even if it's just to go have breakfast or a coffee, I'm going to get out of the house at least once a day.

Today I took myself to this amazing water spa place that I've been meaning to try for ever. It's only $35 on Tuesdays, so it seemed pefect. Basically you languish in a dead sea salt water pool, and a green tea pool, while sipping delicious smoothie type drinks, and occassionally slipping into the eucalyptus infused steam room or the sauna. Honestly, the place is worth it for the showers alone. they are AMAZING. They're the sunflower head rain showers, but like nothing I've ever experienced before. And you don't have to bring a thing. They supply divine body wash, shampoo, conditioner, a robe, flip flops, towel, body cream, face cream, and so on and so on. You literally could go there on a whim. It's a woman's only place. Half the people wear bathing suits, the other half doesn't. It was worth every penny. Oh, in case you're a woman in Toronto and you want to check it out you can find it at Body Blitz.

It was bloody hard getting there, but I'm glad I went. I actually almost forgot I was depressed for a bit there. I laughed with the other women as we tried to will ourselves into the cold dunking pool. I didn't spend the time beating myself up, just observing everything around me.

I think soon I'm going to have to start seeing people, I mean, people I know, spending time with people. Just introduce them slowly back into my life. ;)

Oh, and I haven't cried once today. It's almost 5:30 and I haven't cried once. It's amazing. Damn near unheard of these days.

A (not so small) victory over my depression

Last night I slept.

Honest to goodness full night's sleep.

I couldn't tell you how long it has been since I've done that.

It's amazing.

I feel like I could take on the world (you know, as long as I don't have to leave my house or face anyone in person, or talk to anyone on the phone). It's amazing to have slept.

So, you know, score one for me.

Monday, January 07, 2008

made it through another day of depression

Well, today I went to the therapy appointment. It was, I don't know, it just kind of was. Very gentle, not a lot of intense self-discovery, just that first 'get to know you' appointment. One thing she suggested, that I've actually been thinking about for a while, is that maybe I should see about working with a psychiatrist who is a specialist in these kinds of things and can monitor my meds on an ongoing basis, as well as provide some therapy.

So, we're going to work on that a bit.

Today was a strange day. It was intense. A lot of crying. I was out in public for about three hours, three hours where I had to pretend I was okay. It took a hell of a lot of energy, and apparently my body made up for it with three hours of straight crying when I got home.

It looks like the people at work are going to be very supportive and it was the right decision to go the full disclosure route. Still kind of scary, still feeling a bit exposed, but it really is for the best.

I decided that after today's experience of being in public only a short period of time, and then being a mess that I'm really not ready to go back to work. So I have told them I won't be back this week. I'm going to see about next week.

I actually made another doctor's appointment today. I don't know what it will accomplish, but she said if I was feeling like maybe things were getting worse I should make an appointment. Today they felt like maybe they were getting worse. It does mean I can work on the psychiatrist search/referral thing, and get a doctor's note for being away, and talk about next week.

Anyway, it was kind of a relief somehow. I think part of it is breaking it into chunks. I just need to get to Wednesday then I have a doctor's appointment. then I just have to get to Monday, I have a therapy appointment. Then I just have to get to Thursday I have a doctor's appointment. Lots of little milestones over the next couple weeks.

baby steps and all that.

Fear is fun, wait, no, that's not right...

Okay, I have my first therapy appointment in a little over 45 minutes.

I'm terrified.

Not sure why. But, oh well, there you have it.

Also, scared about going back to work tomorrow, scared about how management will react to my letter, scared scared scared.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

a letter to my management

So, this is a letter I sent to the managers and my director in my work area. Hopefully all will be well. I just decided it was going to take way too much energy to hide it.


Hi guys,

Some things have been going on in my life that I need to tell you about.

I am chronic depressive, I was diagnosed with depression about 14 years ago and as chronic depressive about 11 years ago. I am medicated for depression, but unfortunately sometimes the medication stops working, or needs to be changed, things like that.

Which is where this letter is going. I am in a highly depressive state right now. My doctor called it “an acute crisis state”. It’s been building for a while, who knows how long.

The good news is that I have been to my doctor, she has prescribed some changes in my medication and some other things and I should be on the road to recovery. The bad news is that it will be two weeks at least before we even know if this medication is going to take effect, but if it does then I should in theory have my life back in a month and a half or so and be back to myself.

I told my doctor that I would really like to continue to come to work if possible. She said she wanted me to take a few days, but agreed that if I felt up to it, I could come to work during the time we’re waiting to see if the new meds kick in, but that I had to make sure if I felt I needed to leave I just get up and leave, and that I don’t work late, and that I generally take it a bit easy on myself (in all aspects of my life, not just work) for the next month or so to make sure that we can get this dealt with.

Exacerbating this is that I am dyslexic. My dyslexia gets far worse when I’m depressed and/or stressed, and of course feeds the depression because I feel like an idiot and fill my brain with negative self-talk.

Unfortunately, that effects the work that I’m doing. I am working on strategies to deal with both these issues, but focusing on the depression first because until I have dealt with it I won’t be able to effectively deal with the dyslexia.

I will be returning to work on Tuesday January 7.

I am also going to take a week of vacation time from January 14-18 so that I can work on getting better and on seeking professional help for the dyslexia, at least finding out options.

I know that this may seem kind of out of the blue, I waffled about whether or not to say anything about the depression because I worry about burdening people or making them feel awkward, but I decided that the truth is, full disclosure is probably the best thing, because I think that having as much information as possible is always helpful.

The bottom line is that I am not in good shape right now and because of that I’m not myself, not performing well, in any of the aspects of my life. Once the medication has stabilized and I am back to myself I will be in a position to perform better, be myself again, and work to address gaps and work towards continuous improvements. Some of that I will do with the professional help I am seeking regarding my dyslexia, as well as independent work in terms of planning and identifying what things I can work to improve.

This is not an email I need a response to, I just wanted to let everyone know of the situation and I hope I can count on you for ongoing support as I work through this. I’ll see you Tuesday.

Friday, January 04, 2008

And Monday I have a therapy appointment...

Okay, things are ticking along.

I may still randomly cry. I may still feel anxiety when I really shouldn't. But last night I slept. And today I made myself call my work's 'Employee Assistance Program' and I have a therapy appointment set for Monday morning.

And I emailed my work to say I wouldn't be in on Monday. I just don't know what first appointment is going to bring up, so I'm not pushing it.

And so, progress, actual tangible progress, is being made already.

If I had the capacity to feel proud of myself right now (instead of the 'i'm a fuckup' mantra) then I'm pretty sure I would, because as debilitated by the depression as I feel right now, I'm still finding a way to force myself to do something other than sit in the corner and cry (which is what apparently I'd prefer to be doing).

So, you know, yay me. (hmmm. interesting. typing the words 'yay me' just made me cry. depression would be totally fascinating if it didn't suck so much)

Last night I slept!

thank you little white pill I dissolve under my tongue. thank you. last night I slept for the first time in I couldn't tell you how long.

I don't think I even dreamed about work.

Will wonders never cease.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

An update on the depression side of things...

Here's an excerpt from an email I sent to 'coach' at work today after my doctor's appointment.

Hi Coach,

I won't be in tomorrow.

The doctor's appointment went well. John came with me, which was good.

To give you a bit of an update:

My doctor is a bit concerned that I seem to be in a bit of an acute crisis state with my depression and has instructed John to watch me carefully, but she said that since I don't have a history of suicidal behaviour and I haven't been hospitalized because of my depression before I will likely be okay.

We're changing my medication which will hopefully take effect sometime in the next couple weeks. In the meantime she has given me Ativan to deal with the anxiety attacks until the new meds kick in and has instructed me to take it really easy for a bit. She wants me to stay home from work tomorrow, but said that I can probably break the cycle of the anxiety and insomnia (I basically haven't been sleeping, which is one of those fun symptoms of depression that makes depression worse) with the Ativan, so as long as I promise to take it easy next week I can go to work next week.

She made it very clear that I was not to go into work early and/or work late for the next while, that I really do need to be very careful, at least until the new medication has had a good long time to take hold.

So, I told her about my plan to go into work next week and then take the following week off to do some self-building things. She thought that was a reasonable idea, and that I would probably be in a better position to help myself by that time, because while I'm still in the throws of 'crisis' depression I'm not likely to be able to accomplish as much, but by the week after next the meds will have kicked in more and so on.

On a totally personal note, I would be more comfortable with the week after next because there are some things I would like to be there for next week, and it will mean I can see the status of things and effectively hand them over to someone to care for the week I'm away if need be. I know it may sound crazy, and I know no one is indispensable, but it will just make me more comfortable.

I don't think I want to get into the specific details of the depression with BLANK and BLANK, so I think I'm just going to ask for the week off because I have some personal things to take care of. That said, I'm not actually someone who keeps my depression secret, so if they need to know that's okay. It's just that everyone reacts to mental illness differently, and sometimes it's hard to tell what the reaction will be. So, for now I'm just going to keep it vague, I have some stuff going on that I have to deal with.

We talked about the dyslexia and my doctor said that probably it has been compounded pretty intensely by the depression and that it absolutely is something that I should work on in the way I had already planned, but that I need to realize that is a long term thing, it's not something that is going to be 'solved' over night, and that it may take a while to get into somewhere that will do a full assessment and be able to make specific suggestions.

She also intimated that probably I wouldn't be able to very successfully deal with the dyslexia stuff if I didn't deal with the depression first, and I think there is some wisdom in that. Anyway, bottom line is that I'm kind of in hell right now but that things will be getting better from here on in because I've take the first step of going to the doctor.

She wants me to come in for a follow up meeting in two weeks, so I have an appointment on Thursday January 17, the week that I will be out of the office. In my previous experience (although every time seems a bit different) I should be mostly back to myself, including having some semblance of confidence, in about a month and a half, maybe two, once all the meds settle down and I feel like I have the power to affect change in myself again.

I'm not sure how I would have done any of this without your support. You really are an amazing woman. If there is every anything I can do for you just let me know. I really am usually a very good person to talk to, help figure out solutions to various issues, things like that. I'm just not this particular second, but in a couple months I'll have that ability back, and so if you ever need anything I'll be there, the way you have been for me.

I hope you have a good weekend and I'll see you Monday.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I lied (to myself), I am depressed

Okay, it has become abundently clear that I'm depressed.

Full on, no holds barred depressed.

I think I'm going to have to take a leave from work kind of depressed.

Which (although I know it shouldn't be) is completely embarassing.

And maybe I don't, who knows. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. There is no way I'm going to work tomorrow. I had to leave early today.

I broke down at work, started crying over an hour ago, since then I've talked to a collegue in the bathroom, walked all the way home, done some email, and still crying. So fucking typically depressed.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Dyslexia as an Adult - the beginings of a plan

So, maybe I should write out a bit about what my plan of attack is going to be.

STEP ONE – Figure Out What is Wrong
Well, the first step was figuring out what was wrong. It took me a very long time to figure out that it could be my dyslexia. I think just because I have always been able to pull through despite it, find ways around it, that kind of thing. But I’ve never had a job that relies so strongly on the skills dyslexia impairs for me. Long before I figured out it was my dyslexia I was beating myself up for not being able to do it, for being stupid, for not finding a way to learn the things I needed to learn.

I’m not sure what made me realise what was going on, but suddenly one day something clicked.
So, I started researching like mad. I admit that I didn’t know much about dyslexia before, I have sort of avoided it in the past. I talk about it in a joking way, I bring up the fact that I flip letters, I talk about how I always write ‘reslut’ instead of result and did so on a white board in front of a big group of colleagues before. Because when I’m joking about it then it’s not a problem, it’s not serious, it’s not something to worry about, just something to tell anecdotes about. So, off I set to do some research. Well, by “off I set” I mean Google and I had a long talk that night.

I found out some interesting things and I saw myself in a lot of the literature. It didn’t really mollify my feelings at all, but at least I have a bit clearer idea of what’s going on.

STEP TWO: Get Documented
So, these steps are not as linear one might like. Once I figured out what was going on I knew I needed to get assessed and documented. There are several reasons to do this. The first is from a purely practical level – if I’m going to be going into my workplace and telling them that I’m dyslexic and need to be accommodated and get help dealing with it, things like people to edit my work, someone to help me develop an outline, maybe different types of work, whatever the accommodations may be.

I made a doctor’s appointment. I was supposed to go on December 19. Unfortunately my doctor was sick and couldn’t come into work that week, and was away the week of Christmas and is away the week of New Year’s. So, my appointment is January 3rd.

The point of going to a doctor is to get a referral to a specialist who can do the assessment and maybe help me. There are other options for referrals, but testing runs in around the $800 - $1000 mark I think, and I’m going to need a doctor’s referral to have any of that covered under my benefits.

So, steps have continued before step two has finished…

STEP THREE: Disclose at Work
I have to say, this is something that terrified me. Terrifies me still, because the disclosure has happened with one person, but there are still two more key players to go, and I honestly don’t know what to expect as the fall-out from this. Bottom line, it still keeps me up at night, we’ll have to see how this plays out in the next couple weeks (my manager is still away next week)

STEP FOUR: Figure Out What the Fuck is Next
This is a bit of an iterative process, so I’m not sure what the next steps are.

I think I need to make an inventory of the things that I have challenges with so that I can do a direct link in developing coping mechanisms.

I will talk to the psychologist who does the assessment to find out what kind of tools are available to me.

I will try and figure out how to build up some semblance of confidence at work again.

I will develop a plan that I check in with on a regular basis. I will assess my progress to see if what I’m doing is helping or not.

I will learn to accept that there are some things that I just won’t be able to do well. I’ll be able to do them passably, but not exceptionally. And, that I don’t have to be good at everything in order to be worth something.

Which brings me to a last point. It’s time for me to get my ass back into therapy. Not because it’s going to help me with the dyslexia, but because somehow I need to extricate my self-worth from my work life. I need to know that I am worthy, that I try my hardest and sometimes that’s okay, even if it doesn’t result in the best product. I’ve got some definite feelings of worthlessness going on here and it’s time I got to know those feelings and politely ask them to please vacate the premises.

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