Recipe for disaster?

Minimal Sleep, Bad Dreams, and possible neuro-chemical shifts.

There is a small chance that today might be my last day at my current job. It’s actually probably vanishingly small, but right now the little voice in the back of my head that warns me about such things won’t let me forget it. (No, I don’t mean I hear voices, I mean I have a recurring doubt. Excuse the turn of phrase/hyperbole.)

Anyone close to me knows that I’ve got a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication, something I’ve been taking for a while, to help deal with certain things in my life that I’ve had to accept that I can’t change. I could get into them, but right now, they aren’t overly relevant to the matter at hand.

They were costing me around $300 a year, because of my medical deductible. My family doctor, being aware of this, recently switched me to a different medication. I’m not entirely sure this was the right idea. I’d been offered to switch over to the generic, which would have saved me a fair bit of money, but instead I switched to something else. In the same family apparently. In theory, I should have done more research before consenting to this switch. I should have at least asked a few people I know who’ve done some reading. I didn’t bother though. A few weeks back, my supply of the generic had been used up and so I started on the new stuff. I’m not sure if there are any practical differences, or if I’m just being paranoid if there might be. Either way, that’s one ingredient in this recipe. The possibility of neuro-chemical change, and the associated Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

Next we have the dreams. I dreamed that I was going to a conference on sexuality, with a pass provided to me by Reive. He’d given me one of the ordinary guest passes to get past the door. This is in fact pretty standard, when I’m volunteering, I don’t usually bother getting the volunteer ID. And in the past, this hasn’t been a problem. Usually the fact that I’m pulling my weight means that security, venue staff and other attendees understand that we aren’t bothering with the formalities, that there is an “arrangement” or an “understanding”, there just isn’t paperwork for it, because there usually isn’t a reason for it. In the dream, I was feeling pretty alienated, partially because I was being treated as one of the gawking rubes, or as a wannabee, rather than someone who’d been part of things. Partially, this relates to my own fears of alienation and exclusion, and partially this is something that I’ve seen happen. And partially this is my ego and my vanity, seeing myself as a part of something when I’m probably not all that vital to the enterprise.

In the dream, when security had “stamped” me, they’d included notes that I was a security risk. In the dream, it had been done with yellow highlighter that was visible under the black light, and somehow I hadn’t noticed. When I’d been trying to catch up with people I’d dealt with in the past, either security would check the notes and bar me access, or I’d get blown off. When trying to network with new people, similar things. I caught on eventually and was in the process of trying to find Reive to get the matter sorted out when I woke up.

I woke up about an hour before my usual alarm time. I’d fallen asleep roughly 4-6 hours after my usual bed time. I’ve had about 3-5 hours of sleep, and I suspect I’m probably going to be in that state that I’ve come to refer to as sleep depraved. It’s a higher energy, highly impulsive state. Not really a good state for a call centre job, though it’s served me well in certain tasks in the past. How long I’ll be able to maintain functionality, I’m not sure.

It would probably be wisest for me to call in sick today, except I don’t feel that that is an option. There isn’t really anyone able to cover for me at work, not without someone taking on a fair amount of overtime. Like 5-8 hours worth. A few weeks back, after I’d had a cavity filled, I’d taken the night off, as I’d been unable to talk for a bit and then more pain than I’d expected. I probably could have worked part of the shift, but didn’t. I feel guilty about that.

So, that’s the recipe. Combine it with the events that I obliquely referenced yesterday, and you’ve got something interesting. Something the voice in the back of my head is telling me might be a disaster. Maybe that’s just pessimism. Maybe it’s fatalism. Maybe it’s my fear of failure motivating me to turn possible failure into a disaster, as a form of ego defense. I’m not really sure.

And I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it, beyond a cup of coffee and a hot shower.

24 hours later, I’m considering whether or not to post this. After I wrote it up initially, I hit the draft button, so I’d be able to post it later, after I’d reviewed it, as I wasn’t sure I trusted my judgement at the time.

In fact, that’s a big part of my concerns, is that I constantly question my judgement. Part of this is being aware of consent culture and how some of the assumptions that have developed are toxic and dangerous. Part of it is probably just paranoia, though the difference between paranoia and situational awareness is a debate for another day.

As it stands right now, I survived the day, didn’t get into any conflicts, managed to function reasonably well, and I am feeling much more functional today.

With regards to posting this, on one hand, there is information in this post that could be used as ammunition against me, such as my mental health status, and some would say it’s foolish to post such things in a place where people can easily acquire it to use it against you. On the other hand, I don’t think there is really anything here that would surprise anyone who knows me, so I don’t really see a reason not to post it. At the very least, I can at least claim the virtue of honesty in this case.

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