Friday, May 31, 2013

Recovering from jet lag gets worse every time

Ok, people, my body's inability to handle stress just keeps getting worse and worse. I hate to admit it, but I may be turning into my mother*. (yecch!) Thing is, my body does not do well with a cross-country flight, whether daytime or red-eye. It takes me days to recover. Ooof.

I have just finished up two --- no, wait, three? --- cross-country trips for interviews. Did I tell you about that one or just that other one? I can't even really keep track. But these are killing me! I have been back for a couple days now and still feel horrible and incapable of anything involving much movement or thought.

I know, I know, I should feel happy about interviews. Interviews, yay. But here we are going into a weekend, so I will have more waiting while knowing they will not call me to make an offer on a weekend, so all the nasty physical reactions will cross with the nasty mental stress reactions and make my life miserable.

I've said in the past that the panic attacks related to my food allergies are much worse than the actual food allergies (as proved by the times when I have had the full on fear of dying and that I am having anaphylactic shock *before* eating the potentially-contaminated food), and it is clear to me that these panic attacks are stress related, looking for some sort of physical cause, hence the food obsession, since I did this in a Burger King on the way back from an interview, after having eaten a fry. Sigh. Someday I'm gonna invest the time and money in a good therapist to try and undo this, but since the act of searching for a therapist and making calls about it *also* puts me into a panic attack, I am going to wait until my mind and body aren't in the fire-alarm mode before I consider it.

The trip out is usually ok, although I feel a slight bit of stress dealing with getting to the airport on time and making any connections. Then I have to pick up a fucking rental car, and then, ohgod, drive it ---- motherfuckers! Who designs these shitty little cars with everything automated the wrong way? I had to deal with a turn signal that wouldn't let me turn it off when changing lanes --- every time I tried to pop it back into "off" position it started blinking the arrows in *both* directions and then wouldn't turn anything off. Which of course means that I am swerving all around my lane while trying to deal with figuring out the damn mechanism, which is probably going against their intentions for it to be safe and "intuitive." Grumble grumble grumble.

Anyway, the day(s) of the travel are pretty fine, and the interview day is pretty fine, or at least I feel pretty fine, but probably in reality every little bit about this process is winding me tighter and tighter under the pressure, and I am just holding it together as long as I "have to," which, unfortunately for me, ends after the part where I am interviewing in front of strangers, and not after the part where I navigate the return travel trip.

My vision is going a little bit --- not enough to bother with glasses (I thought) but definitely driving into the sunset or twilight gloom is uncomfortable, and night driving has gotten worse (I probably *do* need something for this, now. will check when it is time to go to the eye dr's again). So the return, driving and navigating from a map while alone in the car, returning the rental car (must get rid of this huge source of stress!!!! Ahhh!!! Where the hell am I how did I get lost on the far side of the airport in this big city noooo!!!!!!) and then making it to and through several plane connections and lots of travel time in the air and all the physical stress the altitude and lack of sleep does to you --- it all combines to make me feel like I have a very bad hangover. Including the headache and the puking. The last time, I was recovering at my sister's house and so I did my puking there (sorry, sis! glad I didn't make too much of a mess!) but this time, I was hopping on the plane back too soon, so I did my puking in the air. God, that is another level of stress and misery I do not want while undergoing air travel. Why, why must my body do this to me? "You're almost home, just hold it together a little longer!" I kept telling myself, but alas, I do not listen to me.

In sum, I am at, what two? three? days back now and *still* feel like warmed-over crap. I still feel headachy and hungover. I have not felt up for anything besides sleep and sitting around doing mindless stuff. And I am not going to do anything besides those things until I feel more like a normal human being. I won't even go into all the weirdness of food that I had to deal with, but I have been eating absolutely unhealthy and fast-food heavy, off and on, the past few weeks, and I am sure that the shock of the switch from a mostly raw fruit and veggie diet to eating out all the time and back is not helping. Anyway, I am grumpy and feel like crap. And I still do not know what I am doing with my summer, or my life. Next I have to wait for about two weeks, and that, I am sure, will have its own stresses on me.

In the only small bit of good news, I discovered that I never deleted Plants vs. Zombies from my laptop, so I have been passing the time in a fog of computer gaming, and I expect that I will be wasting more of my time as my waiting continues. I have given myself permission not to think about anything at all until I feel like it (feel physically better, that is), so that is what I will do.

* I don't know if my mom had IBS or what (I think they never figured out what was wrong with her), but for about 10/15 years or so, she had terrible explosive diarrhea in public when she was stressed. I am sure this was terrible for her, but it was also horribly traumatic for me as a child being with her when she went through this. It was not something you could hide from everyone else in the room. I always said I never ever wanted to go through something like that, but that was before I knew what panic attacks/hysterics felt like. Now I am not so sure. Anyways, writing all that out like this made me feel better. Not well enough to start thinking about the future, but maybe better enough to eat a snack. I bought fresh cherries!


undine said...

Glad the interviews went well, and I hope you can wind down from the stress. One tip I just learned: if you have an iPhone and Google maps, you can make it read the directions to you as you drive. It works better than a separate GPS, and it's free.

JaneB said...

Aw, much empathy - my body also tends to attack me when I get stressed, it's horrible!