Up again at 3:30 in the morning. Even when I "rest", I can't seem to get any real rest. I'm plagued by nightmares, one after another; with themes varying from hearing my child cry for me and then waking to it, calling his name in distress, to being lost somewhere with my husband in a car and me asking him out loud, "Aaron, where are we?". 4 times tonight I've woken him up with my vocal responses to my dreams, even though I'm still dreaming, or I'm thrashing in bed. So I finally decided the safest and best thing to do for both of us was for me to get up and leave the bedroom.

The real world starts in about 3 hours. Getting my son up for school, making his breakfast and packing him lunch, driving him there, getting paperwork signed for the new position (I don't remember having this much paperwork when I worked for the school board as a full-time teacher!), then coming home and doing a First Aid class online for a couple of hours and then taking the test online as well. All for this summer position.

I know why I'm so stressed. I understand the reason behind the bad dreams. I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now by the job I'm taking on, layered on top of the very real possibility of needing major surgery, and then having to ask the Department of Education to give me a year-long extension to complete another college level course due to the illness I've been suffering for years now.

The sad reality of all of it is, that just 2 days ago I came to realize a big part of what's making me unwell. I'm really an introvert and empath (meaning I feel other peoples' feelings as my own, both good and bad) and I keep placing myself in jobs that are meant for an extrovert. I am putting a HUGE strain on myself mentally, and through that physically, which translates into illness and general unwellness. I don't understand why I didn't understand this before; it seems so simple that I should have seen it a long time ago. It took reading an article by someone else like me about this type of situation to bring it home though. So I guess the question now is, what do I do?

Do I stick out this position, which WILL change dramatically starting next Monday, because we won't have the afterschool kids ~ just the summer camp students, which will equal smaller numbers and there will be 2 teachers (including myself), each with a separate group of kids? Or because of the very strong likelihood of the upcoming operation and my reservations about this position being so draining on me emotionally do I say "Sorry everyone, but due to some issues on my part I think you need to find someone else"?

I've really stuck my foot in it this time. My husband wants me to wait until the summer camp has officially started so that I can really see what I'm dealing with instead of what the school year staff deals with (I'll only be there for the 3 months school is out), and not say anything about the likely need for surgery until we've done the final test. I don't feel right about that though.

I have no idea what's best. I know I need to do what's best for me health-wise, because I don't need to fall off the ever twisting and turning ride of bipolar onto my face again; it doesn't just affect me, but also my family. But then again, we need the income, and I have to do something! My mistake in all of this was forgetting who I really am and not understanding that what I know how to do and what is most fitting for who I am are 2 completely different things. I love working with kids, but they wipe me out completely. At the end of 4 hours with 45 kids and 2 teachers (the other one not doing much) I'm so exhausted physically and mentally and emotionally that I could just collapse and sleep for the next 12 hours. I come home with screaming headaches that pound for hours on end, regardless of what I take to soothe them. Starting next week, I'm looking at 9 hour days instead of 4! How the hell am I supposed to do it?!

I know I'm freaking out ~ I've been trying to meditate to stay calm…but I've got my own problems here at home to deal with. My son, who's only 8, is showing signs of definite depression, possibly bipolar disorder. I got him in for the next available appointment with his therapist because he keeps talking about wishing he could just die. I want to throw up and fall apart every time I hear something like that come out of his mouth; it shreds me into little tiny, bloody pieces. How do you make an 8 year old child understand that his brain is sending the wrong "signals" to itself, thus causing the depressive thoughts and feelings? I'm in my mid-thirties and STILL have a very hard time discerning what are my true feelings versus what are the feelings created by my illness. Then through the empath trait in and you've got a whole WORLD of trouble!

I'm so frustrated and tired and emotionally sick/drained that I just want to lie down and quit. But I know that if I do that, I might not get back up…and that's not a viable option for me. I have a son who desparately needs me right now, especially considering he might be going through the same illness that I'm dealing with but at a much younger age. He needs me to show him that we can get through this together, step-by-step, little by little, even though it's so damn hard. I want to cry, but I've buried it so deep down because I don't have time to deal with it that even in moments that I could, it's not reachable anymore.

These are my thoughts right now…and they won't stop spinning around my head over and over again…

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