Monday, July 13, 2015

There is hope

There are sometimes in life when you fall down and you feel like you don't have the strength to get back up.

"There comes a time when the blankness of future is so extreme, it's a blank wall of nothingness. It is horrible to contemplate a futureless future. The monstrosity of being alive overwhelms you."

This is how I have been feeling lately. I am angry, I am tired, I am feeling just hopeless. Friday morning I woke up afraid to leave my house (I have a anxiety and paranoia about being in public). I called in sick. I asked Logan to not go to a movie yesterday because I got overwhelmed about being in public while we were at Lowes. I am having serious doubts about myself and my future.

So why is that?

Sometimes I am so frustrated with the situation I am in with DOE/LANL I want to scream. I seriously just want to walk outside and get it all out. The most recent update in obtaining my security clearance is that OPM shut down the EQIP system, which means I can't even sign my paperwork to continue forward. They shut it down the day I was so supposed to sign the papers. REALLY?! I mean REALLY?!

It makes me wish I never got diagnosed. This is interfering with my career and my path forward. I can't continue to move forward with this not progressing. The problem is that I am a nuclear chemist, which means there are only so many places I can work. I am highly specialized and pigeon-holed in this field. It is pretty much government or bust since academia is NOT an option.

I WANT TO SCREAM. I recognized their concerns. I realize I made stupid decisions when I was younger and I realize I should not be drinking with bipolar or with the meds I am taking. They are right in that respect. And this last year of not drinking has truly been eye opening. BUT - it is the wait that is killing me and I feel shattered. It is making me regret my decision to become a chemist. I wish I had decided on something that is more employable. It feels like a waste of 9 years of my life. I could have enjoyed my 20s instead of being stressed. All for a PhD that is beginning to feel worthless.

SO what is the path forward? This is the first time in my life that I don't know what is next and it is terrifying.

How can I cope? As I mentioned above, Friday morning I was afraid to leave the house. I was having serious doubts about racing Saturday. I didn't want people to see me and I have been feeling extremely vulnerable. I was most definitely giving in to the blankness. So I started packing my race gear. I opened my front door and panicked a little. I was leaving the safety of my isolation. I loaded my gear into my car. I put my race wheels on my bike. I loaded my bike. I got in my car and started it and drove. I was digging myself out of the blankness one mile at a time. I was making myself look forward to something - in this case racing. This race was my "hope" on this particular day. I was going to do something that I enjoy. And I had a good race, especially after doing a half ironman less than two weeks prior. This day, I had won the battle against my mind. Another day moving forward. So while I am feeling like there is nothing, I am also finding small things that give me hope. The fact that I left my house gives me hope (I know some of you may find it silly, but I am giving you insight into the bipolar brain) and I have not given in to the blank nothingness that I am feeling.

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope" - MLK

At least I can still smile during my low moments.


  1. Dr. Lani, you take on big challenges, and you accomplish them. It may be very difficult at times to face the future - even day by day - but keep up the good work. Also, you did not waste 9 years of your life. No way. Keep searching your heart. Be patient with the government, but also look at other things that might make you happy. Arthur posted a quote from Seth Godin - "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from." Since you are reflecting on making changes, consider what kind of life makes you happy or brings you the most peace. When I read this quote the first time, I thought of how happy and peaceful my life is on the ranch. I also recently read Burt Shavitz's quote, "A good day is when no one shows up and you don't have to go anywhere." He was the founder of Burt's Bees products. I understand what he is saying. I love spending my days on the ranch and in my garden and in nature. I absolutely would not be at peace in a city or suburbs. I don't like crowds or traffic or clocks. The sun is my clock, and my body tells me what time it is. I live a far different way of life than how I was raised and how most people live, but it brings me happiness. Keep doing what brings you happiness, even when you have to push yourself. What a great reward for attending the Bottomless Triathlon. I am not talking just about your winning your division. A greater reward is how it brings you more strength and fulfillment. Love you, Lani.

  2. Thank you Aunt Janet! I just have to look at this as another challenge. At least I am able to do triathlons and vent all that anger. Love you too!

    1. If you ever want talk, call or contact me. Come take a break on the ranch. You might love it. Open invite. :)