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blazingstar
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13 Jan 2020, 1:01 pm

I am stuck in a down place and am trying to wait it out, but there are steps I need to take and I feel like "I just can't take" them. This is ridiculous and I know it, but I am alternatively panicking, sleeping, trying to work, meditating. When I am really down like this, I can't pick up the banjo or paddle the canoe even though it would make me feel better....I think.

Many millions of little things I am screwing up. When this happens, I know I have to stop and regroup. I have missed deadlines for paying bills (and I am compulsively on time with bills with an out of the park credit rating, which I won't have if I keep screwing up.) I touch type and my fingers start crossing and I can't even type a word. I have run out of some of my meds. UPS is screwing up the delivery of my new Thinkpad. I still don't have it, in spite of many phone calls. I snapped at a client last week and got in trouble up to the Regional level. Not big trouble. But I didn't care, I told them to just write me up and I will admit to the whole business. The family is crazy and keeps demanding things that are not possible. And this is my fault. 8O I am way behind in my progress notes. Like back to November for some clients. :oops: I have all the notes in shorthand, but those will soon grow cold. Anyway, you get the idea.

The State is going to centralize my work and give it to major companies and get rid of small companies like mine. This could happen as soon as July 1. I knew this last summer, but then the tide starting turning, looking like this would not happen and I started planning to continue. I need to hire a new staff person in order to do that. But, if I can't hire someone if we are going out of business in July.

I have too much to do, so that my brain is fried and I am probably only millimeters from a real meltdown. I can recognize that and have taken off this week, in the sense that I am taking no calls and no emails requesting stuff. My office manager is handling that and will forward to me only the things that can't wait till next week.

Because I will not be hiring new staff, I need to reduce the client load for the agency. Some are going to pass away, based on their current health problems. I have a part time staff who will take some. But that is not going to solve the problem.

This is complicated by the rule that I can't refuse any current client. I am not supposed to "cherry-pick" clients. But, that is what I am going to do. So, I have to reduce. But who stays and who is encouraged to go? When do I tell people? What do I tell people? I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility to people and know I have to let some go. I can't fix or save everyone.

It feels like every step, each phone call, each note, is a big decision. Too many decisions per day and my brain shuts down.

I need a PLAN. I need one of Fnord's step by step list of things to do. Who to cut now, who to cut later. I know if I can have a plan, then the number of decisions are vastly reduced. Just go with the plan.

I'm meeting with my right-hand woman on Thursday and we will be discussing this at that time. She depends on me for her full time work. I feel terrible that I may let her down. Of course, if the State cuts us all off, there is nothing I can do. And as long as I can muddle through, I will keep her with me. I also have a full time office manager who I might have to let go. :cry:

Finally, who am I, if I am not this "savior" of all my clients? (tongue-in-cheek)

I am tired. I know I have to reduce my workload in order to preserve my health and sanity. But there is such as sense of loss.

This is largely just talking it out. And to some extent that helps. Any encouragement or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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Threnody, Dorothy Parker
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kraftiekortie
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13 Jan 2020, 1:07 pm

Couldn't the office manager serve as the "new staff person"?

It sounds like you have lots on your plate. But, at least, you have staff who can help you through the Mess.

It's good that you know that you must prioritize. And that you should catch up on your progress notes. Are any of your staff good at deciphering your notes?



blazingstar
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13 Jan 2020, 2:16 pm

Unfortunately, the staff I need to hire need to be certified, have college degrees, experience, etc per State requirements.

I am giving the office manager more of the day to day phone calls. I spend so much time on the phone.

No one but me can understand what I have written. Sometimes I don't know what I have written. :oops: I tend to jot down just one or two words for a whole paragraph. Also SOMEHOW all my December notes got
"lost". The program I use automatically saves everything. I might misremember taking computer notes for a visit here or there, but not for the entire month. Damn notes are not in the cloud or in any previous versions.

I have thought about dictating my notes and seeing if the office manager can type them out. I've sort of tried the dictation, but am not very good at it. I have always continued to invest in my agency, but now it seems pointless. Why should I develop new teaching tools if I'm not going to be around to use them.

There is some chance that we will still be working in the next fiscal year. It is the not knowing that makes this so difficult. :evil:

Thank you Kortie! You are so kind. :heart: :heart: :heart:


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Threnody, Dorothy Parker
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kraftiekortie
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13 Jan 2020, 5:42 pm

I know...the "not knowing" is very, very stressful.

I wish I could offer a practical solution. Perhaps consult with one of the computer experts here?



blazingstar
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13 Jan 2020, 8:22 pm

I don't think it is so much the specific things like computer work or whatever that makes this different from other potential meltdowns.

I am realizing there are broader issues here, such as the developmental change from being a "contributing" member of society to being retired.

Also, being in a position where I have to put boundaries on what I will do for people.

And then the accompanying feelings of being worthless, having all the things I have ever done wrong come swarming up from the depths of my psyche. Wondering if my husband will still think I am worth it, if I am not bringing in "my share" of the income.

Its an old, old cycle.

*sigh*


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usually shine brighter,
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usually hold tighter.


Threnody, Dorothy Parker
as modified by David Tamulovich


kraftiekortie
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13 Jan 2020, 8:28 pm

I'm sure your husband would think you are "worth it."



IsabellaLinton
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13 Jan 2020, 8:35 pm

Image

A blazing star for our Blaze. You're worth it!



jimmy m
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13 Jan 2020, 8:49 pm

Stress is cumulative in nature. You are under a lot of small stressors combined with one major stressor, the potential loss of your job. It has overloaded you system and you are out of balance.

I am going to make an odd recommendation. Read the following link and see if you can see what the action is?
This Is An Interesting Rabbit Hole!

When I was much younger, there was a young individual who found a unique way of assembling a hundred page report. This was back in the old days with stenography machines and mechanical typewriters, long before computers. He would take a tape recorder and brainstorm a report. It was often disjointed, bits and pieces scattered here and there. The stenographer took the tape recorder and put it into shorthand and then type it out. He would take the output and assemble it in chronological order using cut and paste techniques. Within a few weeks he had a completed report ready to go. Mine always seems to take five times longer. I would stand in awe watching this process.



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14 Jan 2020, 2:11 am

I can recall times in my previous career when things felt so overwhelming that for a year I woke up more tired than when I went to sleep. Total exhaustion is cumulative and it crept up on me. It was a devastating experience, but one I eventually learnt some valuable lessons from after I recovered.

IMO, a huge thing for we professional AS women in highly demanding jobs is that we (more than others) tend not to have trustworthy sources of emotional support, or not enough of them. NT women take these for granted. They cultivate people who might be useful to them in the future. We simply don't.

So we often try to cope alone, being our own supporter, our own encourager, our own trustworthy best friend. But when you reach the point where you are exhausted on all levels - psychological, emotional, physical, the energy to do that runs out. Your whole being needs rest.

Exhaustion is insidious and we often don't notice its gradual onset, being continually distracted by a demanding environment.

Please make getting rest your top priority for now if you can. Feel welcome to PM me too, if you wish. All the best for now. I think you are very courageous person. Not a mess.



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14 Jan 2020, 3:58 am

I'm very sorry you're going through this, I'm here if you need a shoulder or just to talk or a virtual hug.

I would definitely agree that getting some rest would be essential, although it's probably hard when you're so stressed.

It sounds to me like a burn-out caused by the work situation that's eating all your "spoons" and leaves you with no energy and resources for anything else.

Regarding bills: can you set up automatic payments or a reminder on your phone/computer for them? Could you also tell your family directly that due to the situation at work you're exhausted and drained and ask them to postpone even reasonable requests until you feel better and maybe even help you more with your usual tasks and responsibilities?

(Both my wife and I have cyclically very demanding deadlines at work. At such times, the other one chips in and takes over some domestic tasks etc from the other for a while. I've found that my loved ones feel a lot better if I ask for things explicitly and there's something they can do, instead of helplessly watching me going to pieces. You have many qualities that are obvious even just in writing and I cannot imagine that the man who married you is seeing your value through your income - talk to him openly about your fears and needs at this time and allow him to be there for you, I'm pretty sure he'll appreciate it).

Regarding work: I would write down everything you need to do and also make a list of clients with concise essential data of their situation. I would check (and consult your manager too) if some of the tasks on the first list can be assigned to someone else, even if it's small or routine things, anything easing the burden would help. I would also look at the client list in a moment of calm, trying to put aside feelings of guilt (this situation isn't your fault. When you can't do everything, doing something, as much as possible is not a failure, so try to focus your mind on what you can do, not on what you can't do) and prioritise based on the gravity of the situation. You're not cherry-picking, you're just trying to make sure that those with the most urgent needs get help first.

Something that I do sometimes when I have too much on my plate is to break down everything and make a calendar with what I need to do every day to keep things moving. This way I don't have to think about it much, just go through the list each day. This also gives me a more palpable sense of the progress I'm making.

Sorry, I'm probably not being much help and I apologise if I made assumptions about what you might have already done - you're someone I like and respect a lot and I wanted you to know I'm here for you to whatever extent possible.


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14 Jan 2020, 4:06 am

Blaze, i have to ask, if you don't mind, what is your ability to dial back your work life in preparation for collecting pension and social security/medicare?



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14 Jan 2020, 4:11 am

Right now you are overwhelmed, who wouldnt be...
Its seems like a very regular human reaction to the situation, mistakes will happen and that's ok, you arent supposed to be perfect, there is so much change about to take place. What would you say to another autistic person in this situation?

Hypothetical scenario... what would happen if the qualified therapist went off sick for a few months? How would you secure a short term replacement? Could temporary help for this situation be acquired in a similar way?
What about someone looking for a job share type arrangement, or a mum looking for part time work, ok yes they could jump ship for a more secure job, but till then it could buy you some time to recoup.
It could really be time to take some of that generous help you give to others and prioritise yourself until there is balance in your life again. Timing isnt great, but it usually isnt, in a years time it's your wellbeing that will matter most when considering the trajectory of your future options. That to me is the priority at this moment in time, the long term options you will have. No point in having them interfered with by Ill health.
Much :heart:



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14 Jan 2020, 4:15 am

blazingstar wrote:
I don't think it is so much the specific things like computer work or whatever that makes this different from other potential meltdowns.

I am realizing there are broader issues here, such as the developmental change from being a "contributing" member of society to being retired.

Also, being in a position where I have to put boundaries on what I will do for people.

And then the accompanying feelings of being worthless, having all the things I have ever done wrong come swarming up from the depths of my psyche. Wondering if my husband will still think I am worth it, if I am not bringing in "my share" of the income.

Its an old, old cycle.

*sigh*


I would suggest for starters that you do something (during weekends or evenings) to get your mind out of that loop: meditation, prayer, walks in nature or whatever works for you to quiet even for a little bit that nagging, destructive voice in your head. Doing this regularly seems to accumulate in time and to some extent break the circle - in my case.

Something else my wife taught me: while I was being extremely harsh with myself, she quietly asked me if this is how I would judge her if the situation was reversed. Of course I wouldn't. Generally speaking, while some of us will always be more demanding of ourselves than others, try to make yourself aware of the things you're doing to yourself that you would never do to a loved one. These are the moments when you should cut yourself some slack and remind yourself that you're not perfect or omnipotent. Everything you do matters and it shouldn't be dismissed as not being enough


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blazingstar
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14 Jan 2020, 6:14 am

Thank you all for the kind and useful replies. You have all given me much to think about today on my long drive to the dentist office for a root canal.

Again, thank you all so much. I will gather these messages together and hold them to my heart as I attempt to make my way through this morass. :heart: :heart: :heart:


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Eyes that watch the morning star
usually shine brighter,
Arms held out to dark they say,
usually hold tighter.


Threnody, Dorothy Parker
as modified by David Tamulovich


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14 Jan 2020, 9:16 am

I am not in a perfect shape myself so I can't write anything smart but I just want to give you a Big Hug {{{{blazingstar}}}}


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