Knowing the difference

It’s been an up and down week.  Month.  Year.  Year and a half.  Life.  Same difference and none, really, whatever.

I don’t mean to sound blase, it’s just that after a while, you get used to it.  And you don’t.  Ever.

Things at the bookstore have been crazy.  Maybe they’ve taken the prozac out of the water supply, maybe it’s the full moon, back to school, Mercury really being in retrograde, something– the fact is, the customers at this particular store have always been entitled and after a slow summer they’re back in full crazy force.  And my own part in the store– well.  I’m not quite in a place to talk about all of that yet, except to leave it at this.  I’m transferring to a another store managed by someone in the management chain whom I know– a store that’s bigger and further away, a move slightly up the ladder, and I am very sad to be leaving the store.  But pushing and some shoving came about and lots of crying on my part– some in the bathroom stall, even– and I just decided.  I had to go.

The stress of making that decision, though, and the reactions of some of the people when I made it– a little passive aggression (hell, some outright aggression) and my own sadness and feelings of turmoil at leaving because I can’t help but feel guilty and responsible even as I did everything that I could– add to that coming off the one of my meds that’s been making me skinny and sick, but also not so depressed– and pile on top of that a (yeah, I’m just going to call it that) retributionist schedule of eight days of closing all in a row (but at least it makes it a nice round month of closings in a row)– and I’ve been coming home most nights exhausted and ready to cry– feeling some nights at the store ready to snap at the first customer really ready to push me, and doing the classic bipolar’s questioning dance.

How much is situational stress?

How much is the lack of the antidepressant and all that shit working its way out of my system?

How much is legitimate mood and reaction?

It’s hard to tease all that shit out– impossible, sometimes, and muttering the Serenity Prayer to myself in the corner does jack shit when I’m tired and overworked and depressed and feeling like nobody gives a goddamn because it’s lonely here inside my head, and I’m tired of analyzing my every aspect of mood just because I’m fucking crazy– I’d just like to emote and throw a temper tantrum like a regular human, not try to assess how much is too much, thank you very much.  But I know that I can’t.  So I check myself and do the self-tango again.

Letting myself cry in the appropriate place (i.e., not in front of the customers)– stopping myself from crying or yelling or saying the nasty and satisfying thing in the wrong place at the wrong time (or maybe the right time, but who knows whether I’m in my right mind to know it) and mourning the things that I couldn’t change but not letting myself be dragged down by it because damnit, management failures aren’t my fault and I took this job because … because I’d accepted that being a lawyer was too fucking stressful for me, not without losing my mind.

Nope, wait.  I lost my mind first and stopped being a lawyer after that part.  Right.  Got to get that part straight and stop revising history to make myself feel more comfortable.  But I did get better and put my big girl panties on, I did get this job, and I have held on to that and done well by it, so that counts for something.  It does.  I have to keep telling myself that until I believe it.

But I’m feeling a little less stressed and depressed about leaving– a little less like bursting out into tears every time someone gets shifty– a little less sad when someone says that they’ll miss me and seems to mean it.  Maybe it’s just because my new/old manager at the new store said how much she was looking forward to seeing me and I got excited, the first time I’ve felt that way about work in a while.  Maybe it’s because the brand-spankin’ new managers at the old store, the one who doesn’t know me from Eve,  said it was a shame I was going because I knew what I was doing– something I haven’t heard a lot otherwise lately, and a reminder again of why I am going.  No matter how guilty I feel, I know I deserve better.

I do.

Even if I have to tell myself a few dozen times until I believe it.


9 thoughts on “Knowing the difference

  1. sangue

    This move is so good for you but it’s painful saying goodbye and often that’s about things never getting ‘resolved’. Of course they’ll miss you – you’re amazing – and of course you’ll shed a few more tears. *hugs you* You’ve done so well turning things around, from what I can gather. I feel for you and hope it’s less painful each day that passes.


  2. JR

    I can’t possibly help untangle the is-it-me, is it-it for you, but I can tell you that workplaces, like families, create their own all-consuming vortex of batshit that makes it hard to judge fairly while you’re still in them. A month from now, you’ll know for sure.

  3. Diana

    Just the fact that you AREN’T biting customers/colleagues heads off bespeaks that you are in fact, quite right in your head. Change is a bitch, and you work with a quirky bunch who are jealous you’re going off to a bigger store and get a promotion. Fuck ’em if they cannot be happy for you.

    Still, the schedule is brutal and your manager is a jackass. But you are my friend and I love you.


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