Corporate Potato Gettin’ Ish Done

There is this frustrating thing about mental illness for me, where I have the self-awareness to see many (not all, to be sure) of my flaws but not the energy to take actions to right them or at least proactively try to counteract them. They’re largely innocuous things. I’d like to believe I mastered the ugliest of my everyday demons and no longer do things like snark at undeserving people or actively self-sabotage.

But the simpler things I admittedly struggle with, and further admit it’s not because I don’t know how to address them I just… don’t want to. That’s the thing about depression and anxiety. Sure there’s the sadness and the worry and the existential dread… but often once those have wrung you dry of every drop of energy not otherwise spent on unavoidable necessities (commuting, working all day, not pterodactyl screeching at every inconsiderate troglodyte that inconveniences your day), there’s nothing left for the simple tasks: folding  the clothes in the dryer, emptying the dishwasher, actually making dinner and doing the dishes…

None of these are monumental tasks requiring herculean efforts. At least, not for normal people. But I’m not normal. I get exhausted by having to talk to people at work and often talk myself out of things I kind of wanted to do because of petty made-up potential pitfalls. And maybe it is just eight minutes of laundry to fold and five minutes of dishes to put away but that’s thirteen minutes of energy I would much rather spend being an apathetic couch potato. Unwinding from corporate potato mode will take it right out of ya, I tell ya.

The really dumb part? I’ve never done one of these simple tasks and been upset that I did it. In fact as a general rule I’ve never done any self-care task and then been like, “Man, I really wish I hadn’t just made my own life better by doing that.” (Painting my nails doesn’t count because I do regret doing that 10/10 times.)

Have you ever felt bad about having a clean, tidy space? Or feeling healthy? Or knowing exactly where what you need is? I haven’t.

Whether I ate a healthy meal I made myself, or am enjoying a clean towel after stepping out of my clean shower, or putting my dishes immediately in the dishwasher after breakfast because I haven’t left clean dishes sitting in the dishwasher for no real reason, I feel good.

These are such simple, basic tasks. They take very little time and honestly leave me so ridiculously happy and proud of myself.

So why do I fight them? Why do I stubbornly and patently refuse to do simple things that not only BENEFIT me but make me HAPPY?

Because my brain isn’t wired quite correctly. I lost the manual (not like I read it anyway), and it’s just kinda stuck this way, okay? BUT there IS an override.

I’m pretty sure motivation is like a fantasy or some shit. It’s snake oil. In thirty years I rarely see that bitch and she is always fleeting like a mirage. So what’s the override?

Well, it’s two-fold: it’s discipline and consistency.

I’m not gonna sit here and tell you either is easy to conjure up. Honestly you’ll have a much easier time summoning any demon of your choosing (oddly angels are less inclined to come when called, but I digress).

But that’s the secret sauce. I don’t care if your challenge is not getting to work on time, getting in shape, or brushing your damn teeth – discipline and consistency are the solution. You just have to choose them.

Choosing to do what’s best for myself has been a precipice I’ve tiptoed along for my entire life; it’s not been made any easier in the nearly two thirds of my life spent with mental health struggles. But the fact is and will always be that it is still a choice and still my choice to make. The only one who suffers for my choices to not do simple things that add to my overall wellness is me.

So long story short if you wonder what fucking cave I’ve been spelunking in that had me failing to share my brain-drivel with you all recently, that’s it – I’ve been lost to my own devices, trying to do a better job of holding myself accountable. I don’t have much to show for it except for generally feeling better about my life choices on a daily basis… and that’s more than enough for me.

Do you struggle with doing things you know you should do? Tell me your stories so we can ride the struggle bus together!

I quit.

By close of business of 3/28/19, I will be unemployed without any job offers. I do, however, have a million and one ideas, 13% of a plan, a strong and loving support group, and a sprinkle of motivation.  Do I feel free? Absolutely. Am I scared? Yes. Was this reckless? Perhaps.

I loved the job and have grown friendships with many of my colleagues; I was also doing more than stellar work according to my performance review, and the pay and benefits weren’t so bad. Then why, one might ask, would I sacrifice the comforts of steady pay and benefits?

Because I sacrificed sleep, time with my loved ones, my mental health, and even food; I literally starved myself. Months of sudden sickness that came and went, then a whole month of constant nausea and random vomiting, sometimes at 2 o’clock in the morning, along with numerous doctor visits, pregnancy tests and blood work that all came back negative or inconclusive, poking and prodding, weighing and analyzing – I was at the brink of insanity. Finally, my general physician and I combed through the last seven months of my life:

50- to 60-hours or more work weeks, often working through nights and weekends. Eating one meal or snack per day, only drinking coffee. Barely sleeping, if at all. Constant exhaustion.

After a long conversation with my GP, during which she pointed out that I had lost 20 lbs since August, it was clear I had unintentionally shrunk my stomach so that anything more than what I was used to, which was only an XL hot coffee, my body was rejecting.

The realization of what I had done to myself hit me pretty damn hard – I became a corporate potato, sacrificing so much of myself, only to ensure the wealth of a corporation. So, I had to make a choice, and I chose me with my one million and one ideas, my 13% of a plan, my amazing loved ones, and the little bit of motivation. I will conquer whatever it is I am meant to conquer. Perhaps I’ll start with everything I have left unfinished.

Corporate Potato

Do you work long hours in an open office that could best be described as a dystopian hellscape?

Have you forgotten what sunlight feels like?

Do the majority of foods you eat come from a wrapper, paper bag, box, or styrofoam container?

Would you consider exercise a four-letter word and the stairs your mortal enemy (unless the alternative is sharing the elevator with another person)?

Have you had a decent night’s sleep… ever?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you might be a corporate potato.

But don’t worry – you’re not alone. There is treatment available.

It’s called vodka. It’s made from our potato tears.

Stay salty, my friends.