So, this week I realized something about myself. It’s something I should’ve known much earlier in life, but I guess I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Or maybe I didn’t want to wrap my head around it.
This week has been a bit off for me. This may seem off to you, since last week’s post was so positive and uplifting. And I do feel positively about things… most of the time. But sometimes, some weeks, I go a bit sideways. This week, in particular, went more sideways than most.
First up, Monday and Tuesday, I got two more job rejections. This put me in a bad mood to start. Then also on Tuesday I realized how little I know of how to moderate a panel (or of my panelists) and started nervously sweating about it. This “not knowing things” made me feel unprepared, and as my fellow Oolie managers can attest, I like being “secure”… or in different words, I like to know what I’m doing and what will happen. Wednesday was an upbeat in the week. We had Ooligan Press manager training—which gave me some things to think about and added onto my ToDo but probably in a good way—and I went out with friends for quite the fun trivia night.
Now, backtracking a bit, since Sunday I’ve been finding bites on my skin. Very random bumps, mostly on my arms and legs, sometimes skin colored, sometimes more red and sometimes more white. I find a few more every day. No big deal, right?
I hate bugs. I mean, I loathe bugs. I abhor them. I wish they would all curl up and die. (Of course, that would be horrible, since we need bugs in order to keep the world in check, but whatever.)
So it’s a very big deal when I keep finding bites on my skin and I don’t know where they came from or what the hell bit me.
On Thursday morning, when I woke up and found even more freaking bites, I went to the SHAC (the school heath center). After getting some pretty weird looks for going to the doctors for a bunch of bites, they basically told me it could be a myriad of things, including bedbugs or fleas. Well, that pretty much set me off. Fleas? Bedbugs?? I went got an Einstein bagel, Skyped my mom for a bit, and then went into a frenzy even I didn’t know I had in me. Fearing I had bedbugs, I searched everywhere for the damn little things.
So, why do you care? Well, here’s where the personal part takes root.
After searching for over an hour, I went into the bathroom… and cried.
Now, this wasn’t the dainty one-tear-running-down-my-cheek kind of crying. Hell no. This was the whole-body shaking, gasping for breath, hot tears scorching my face kind of crying. It was ugly. And loud. And my cats, who had been diligently helping me search for the past hour, tried to comfort me. (One curled around my ankles and the other flopped over on the floor.)
And I didn’t know if it was because my week was overall kind-of crappy or because I thought I might have bugs that bite me in the middle of the night living in my apartment that made me cry (looking back, I’m pretty sure it was the latter though), but cry I did.
Later on when my sister called and I told her, she said in a very nonchalant kind of way, “Well, that’s how you deal with stress, Kel.”
“That’s how you deal with stress.”
And thinking back to when I was seriously overstressed—like that anxiety attack over Thanksgiving a few years back or when my old job took a toll on me—I realized it was the truth.
I’m a stress crier.
And that’s not a bad thing.
I felt better afterwards. I don’t know why. I just did.
And you should have seen how productive I was. (I had to stop my giant search party at 1:30 in the afternoon, because I had other things to get done today.) I went to the store to buy groceries. I evaluated a manuscript and edited a chapter for Desert Palm Press. I researched my panelists and made notes on them. I developmentally edited a manuscript for Ooligan Press. I copyedited my first two articles for the Vanguard. I even wrote this blog post. While I didn’t get the bites resolved, I still feel like it was a productive day.
So, am I still terrified of bugs living in my bed? Yes. Am I going to sleep on a cot in the living room to see if that makes a difference? Of course. Did I have a giant cup of black tea with milk and honey with lunch? Hell yeah.
But am I as stressed as before? Not particularly.
I don’t know what will come of this weird skin situation. I hope it’ll just resolve on it’s own, but I doubt that’ll happen. I seriously hope to high heavens it’s not bedbugs. (PLEASE DON’T BE DAMN BEDBUGS!) I doubt that it’s fleas because my cats haven’t been acting weird. But if the bites continue onto next week, I’ll probably get some sort of official bug investigator out here. And I’ll probably take my cats to the vets just to be sure.
Until then, I’m going to continue working. These stupid little bites won’t stop me. (Much.) And if they do, well, I’ll just cry a bit and move on.