Just call me Captain Cupcake

The past few days have been a little on the overwhelming side. Nothing to do with the eating disorder as much as it has to do with everything else.

It started with the realization that the COBRA health insurance I was buying from my old employer was $100 more each month than I thought, bringing the total up to almost $700/month. I had got a notice in the mail saying my account wasn't paid up, so I called the 800-number and talked to a girl who sounded all of 18, max. When she told me the reason why (I had been billed for the wrong health plan) and then told me the monthly rate, I asked her, point blank, "Are you shitting me?!?"

No. No, she wasn't.

I had been looking for a part-time job in the hopes that I could find one that offered health insurance. I really couldn't. Now with the cost of COBRA, I knew I had to find a full-time position. I had interviewed for a part time position at a local gourmet grocery store, and I called back to see if they had any updates. In my conversation, I realized that the store considered full time anything over 30 hours/week, and that came with health insurance. It was pretty much just the solution to my problem.

Anyone care to guess the department in which I was hired for said full-time position?

That's right: the bakery.

I'm not doing any real baking, more of a customer service type of job that happens to be in the bakery. When I thought about working around food, I felt no real anxiety or apprehension (it felt the same as if I were going to be selling sunglasses), nor did I feel a thrill of excitement like an alcoholic working in a bar. If things go to shit, I'll re-evaluate. Until then, I have a pretty okay feeling.

So just call me Captain Cupcake.

I also started work on my first official freelance writing assignment for a geology magazine, and played whack-a-mole for several days working on that, plus some even greater angst from another writing project that is driving me nuts. So with all of this happening, my anxiety has been off the charts. My foot might very well tap itself off my leg. I feel better today- still unusually anxious (even for me!) but at least I'm not wanting to claw out my own eyeballs.

I have to do my work orientation in a few, so I need to grab some lunch before I head out.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed (that's not ED or otherwise harmful)?

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Jane said...

Will get to wear your pirate cupcake shirt? Good luck with all your new endeavors, both writing and cupcake-related : )

now.is.now said...

I write down every thing that is making me feel overwhelmed. For some things, I realize it's really nothing to worry about. For other things on the list, I problem solve around them... thinking of something I can do about the situation. Then, with a plan, I feel more "in control" and calmer.

Also, (not to add to your anxiety, but...) I hope they have reasonably good health insurance! I took a part-time job this past year that claimed to offer health insurance. Technically, they did offer health insurance, but it was a "limited" plan and it covered about 5 minutes of any appointment. So, check out their insurance as soon as you can!

Kim said...

Writing out my anxieties does help me. Somehow, getting them out of my brain and on paper, where I can see what they are makes them less powerful.

Sorry about the COBRA situation. I've been in that situation many times. I was on COBRA up until a month ago (when my new company's insurance finally kicked in). It sucks. Health insurance in this country is just ridiculous. Don't get me started. Oops, already did ;)

I hope the new job goes well!

Lauren said...

A shot of fresh air always helps clear my head and calm me down and allows me to refocus. And if I have time for a long, leisurely walk, even better.

Lou Lou said...

good luck with your writing captain cupcake!!!!

Eating Alone said...

CUPCAKES,,,,, nope, just don't do it for me. Bake me cookies and I'll follow you for life.

And yep cobra does stink. Worse if you don't get it, then you have "pre-existing" conditions when you try and get new insurance so they don't cover anything.

Sarah said...

Hahaha, there are several ironies here.
1. You working in a bakery
2. The fact that I was reading blogs to calm my emotions, and you posted asking about how we calm our emotions.

SO. Blog reading. I'm also self medicating with a frappuccino right now, but if your emotion is "anxiety" it might not be the most helpful unless it is in decaf form. I also escape into a brainless chick lit book or episode upon episode of "Greek," play with my pupster, or take a walk by the water, or through a nature center for those not as fortunate as I am to live in Florida! Call a friend, phone my mother, make a collage...these are my suggestions.

Cathy (UK) said...

I'm sorry things have been overwhelming Carrie...

You asked "What do you do when you feel overwhelmed (that's not ED or otherwise harmful)?"

I hate to admit it, but it was really difficult for me to find something that was as 'effective' as my ED. I restricted and over-exercised for many years because it 'worked' (i.e. it helped me manage my anxiety).

However, I have found that various things help, and can prevent me from turning back to my AN. These include:

1. Talking to non-judgemental friends, who don't get emotional about the whole thing, but will just go out for a cup of coffee and a chat to take my mind of things.

2. Playing with my cats.

3. Cleaning my house.

When I feel really overwhelmed, which still happens quite regularly, I avoid anything and everything. It sounds like a 'cop-out' but if I turn to AN to try to cope, it becomes a slippery slope down backwards again... I'm better to 'lie low' and let it pass.

Cammy said...

Good luck at the new job! I have gone through the "finding and affording health care" nightmare this past year as well, this country's medical system is so broken in so many ways. BUT anyway I'm glad you were able to find a position with benefits, that's awesome.

To answer your question about strategies to get rid of overwhelmedness, my top choices are usually: give attention to the dog (cats would work!), play piano, or write. Keep us updated on how the new position goes. It's awesome that you're no letting the food-related part of the job bother you, which it shouldn't, you are total in the pilot's seat here and are going to be fantabulous.

Tanya said...

I draw but since graphically speaking drawing is making me want to rip out my eyeballs and my hair I listen to music and love on my dog.

I am not sure how I could handle working in a food related job but as long as you can handle it and you get the health insurance I think thats the important thing yes?

Tiptoe said...

Good luck with thw new job. I've worked in a bakery before but it was in a grocery working behing the scenes. It's definitely good you are working in customer service, because those people have insane working hours, going in late at night/early morning. It really messes up with sleep.

Anyway, I also understand the COBRA frustrations, so glad this job is allviating that.

Just hope you keep yourself grounded and continue to take care of yourself. Changes like this can be stressful.

What I do when overwhelmed, I really find talking to objective people helpful. Writing sometimes help and of course playing and training my pups. Leisurely, short walks can help. And sometimes just a cry helps too at times.

Stina said...

I'm glad you were able to find a job with insurance - $700/month is insane!!

One new thing I learned in recovery that has helped me lately with stress is mandala coloring. It's basically a circular drawing that you fill in with color, and I know it sounds like a third grade craft project and I resisted at first to even trying it. . . but it ended up being strangely soothing. You can find a lot of images online to try it out.

Adrianna said...

First, I think of all the possible outcomes of a situation. Then I determine their likelihood of occuring, how to deal with them when they come, and remind myself of all the other things I have been through. If I've been through those things, I can get through this.

I'm an avid writer and I'm in the middle of writing a musical. When something bad happens, I try to turn it into a scene in my play. Sometimes I even add comic relief. Having my characters go through what I'm going through and "talking" to them makes me feel better.

And then, I put them aside. It's hard, but after a while, there is only so much you can do. Worry is not preparation.

I'm not particularly religious, but I do like this Biblical quote: "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day is enough trouble on it's own."

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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