I had a very hard time sleeping on Monday night. I think I was nervous about my job interview Tuesday morning, but I was also just extremely agitated. I couldn’t get comfortable and I felt something that I struggled to identify. Loneliness? Grief? Sadness? Emptiness? Anger? All of the above?
I’m not sure.
When I mentioned it to my wife and we spoke about it, she said that she believed she briefly spoke with a part that she’s never talked to before. She guessed perhaps it was Scooter because this part seemed young, but also very angry, expressing intense anger at my therapist for leaving us (i.e. going on vacation). Interesting.
The interview went very well. I wasn’t particularly nervous for the actual process of being interviewed. My résumé is stellar and I have a charismatic, articulate, confident presence that tends to impress people. I also went into the interview knowing I’m a very good match for the company, so I was more or less scoping them out to see if it seemed like a good fit for my career trajectory. I ended up being quite impressed with the two interviewers. There was a moment when I could tell they switched from “interviewing” me to “selling the job” to me, which felt nice. I love the idea of being a prize candidate and I’ve worked damn hard for it!
What I did feel anxious about, however, was the reality of sitting for an in-person interview. I’m at the tail end of this particular HR process – in fact, I should know by Friday if I’ve been selected. Which is great, right? Well, yeah. Except it’s also terrifying. So although I felt calm and confident about being interviewed, I’m scared as hell to actually be offered the job!
I’m not ready to be an adult again. Being a student affords a sort of nurturing environment, where expectations are high but you’re also recognized as someone still in the process of learning. Being hired means you’re expected to do the damn job. I know this company values taking on new grads to “mold” to their standards, thus they heavily emphasize continued training and education. But still…the days of being the intern are over. From the moment I get a job until I retire, this will be it: 40 hour work-weeks plus some overtime, two weeks of vacation, federal holidays, a handful of days off for illness, personal time, and continuing education.
It’s so overwhelming.
I think part of what motivated (motivates?) my eating disorder is the fear of taking on responsibility. Starving myself holds me in a place where I feel like people need to pay attention to me, take care of me, worry about me; expectations are lower. I feel like a kid.
Anyway. I came home from the interview and I felt utterly exhausted. I called “Mom” to update her on the interview, but she didn’t answer. She called back about a half hour later, but at that point I was too low on energy or enthusiasm to talk to her (or anyone). Then I started to feel super agitated. I laid down on the couch and cranked up the air conditioning, cuddling into a pillow.
But I still couldn’t settle. I couldn’t find any comfort within my own body and it was agonizing. I kept trying to think of ways to distract myself or soothe myself: watch TV/movies/youtube videos, read a book or comic, listen to music, do something creative like draw or color, exercise, browse social media, anything. I made myself something small and comforting to eat for lunch, and then I started to feel myself transition into what I call my “foodmonster” state, where I’ll eat anything in sight. Luckily, Wife and I agreed to remove trigger foods from the house (for now) so there was nothing foodmonster-worthy for me to devour. Which admittedly pissed me off and made me feel very helpless. I wanted to numb my feelings, dammit!!
At this point I begrudgingly realized that I was simply inconsolable. There was nothing I could do to calm down the painful emotions I was feeling. I’m not even sure what I was feeling. I know it was related to the aforementioned concerns regarding adulting, but it was mostly linked to my therapist’s current absence. I wish I could somehow articulate what I keep feeling around this vacation – it’s familiar, but somehow I just don’t have language for it yet. All I know is that it hurts me on a very visceral level. The pain of not having her available to me, of not being able to see her or speak to her, of not having that space to unload and explore my emotions is tremendous.
So I gave in and decided I had no choice but to “ride the wave” for however long it may last. I made myself as comfy as possible, moving to my bedroom with the lights off, the A/C on high and the fan blowing gently on my skin. I tucked myself under a pile of blankets, including my weighted blanket, and snuggled into the myriad pillows and stuffed animals I keep on my bed. Then I just laid there and let myself feel whatever I needed to feel.
Eventually I feel asleep and when I woke an hour later, I was tired, but the feeling was gone. For a while. It creeps back in every now and then, but I’m doing my best to just let it be.