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About Dinah

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  1. Hi everyone, Haven't posted in a while (although I do lurk--bad, I know), but I'm seeking some advice as far as what career direction seems most circumspect for me right now. I'd like some good, analytical input. I'm kind of feeling stagnant at this point and I'm not sure what to do. Background: 24. Moved to a big city a year ago when my job relocated me to a new startup college campus (I'm an advisor/testing administrator and have been for about two years total). Campus has a lot of leadership issues (which are to be expected to an extent), and the system itself is known for being stingy when it comes to raises or promotions. Many well-performing employees never see upward mobility; it's just not something they understand as important. Most of my colleagues are decades older and while they complain about the low pay and prospects, they're in that stage where they're content with the relative stability. For me, I'm a lot younger, so I'm wanting to grow in my role and see opportunities in my future. I got an excellent performance evaluation this year, supervisors allow me to work with autonomy and acknowledge that I'm a quick and motivated learner, but a lot of my colleagues fit that profile too, and none of us will likely see an improvement for ourselves soon. This has even been acknowledged by those higher up (boo). While I like my job and I'm good at it, I'm uncomfortable with that notion of being stagnant, and my salary doesn't leave me room to save much money at the end of the month. I really struggle some months. I'm making a little progress with savings just because I started a pet business on the side (which could be more successful if I invested more in it, but I don't necessarily want to go in that direction). I applied for a handful of "reach" positions in the city, several of which were in higher education, just to see what would happen. Haven't gotten calls, and that's okay. It's competitive here and I need to start investing in things that will help me advance. I started my master's program this semester (nonprofit management) and it's going well, and I'm hoping that once I complete it, the skills I retain will help me in regards to going for say, grant-writing positions (starting salaries are better, and it's work I find stimulating). My ideal job would be a leadership position at an animal nonprofit, but I'm open to anything in the nonprofit field now. I have an internship set up with a local advocacy group that I'm currently blogging/volunteering for that is useful in terms of continuing my experience. Essentially, I'd like advice on how you guys think I need to move forward. Should I prioritize finding a different job, even if it's a lateral move, with an organization that sees the importance of career growth, or simply stay where I am for a while longer? For those of you with nonprofit experience, what would you recommend? Have any resume tips (I've been in higher ed, so I'm used to longer-than-average documents and focusing on stuff like my instructional experience)--how do I revamp it to ensure I get an interview in a different field? Just kind of unsure at this point. I was a first-generation student, so I don't necessarily have a lot of people close to me who can share insightful tips about this sort of stuff. Also, I'm an online student, so I have limited access to my instructors and classmates (wish I could just visit one of their offices or hang out with them during coffee...).
  2. So, I was recently selected for a job position in Houston (about 5 hrs from where I am now)--like, just found out today recent. It's an exciting opportunity that I'm really happy about, but my supervisor wants me to start my new job as soon as March 1st. Other people in the administration were telling me that I probably wouldn't relocate until this fall. I'm kind of stressed out about it. Any tips for this kind of situation? I haven't saved up as much money as I wanted to, but I still have a couple thousand. I'm trying to be creative and cut costs wherever I can. For instance, my dog rescue is letting me borrow their transport vans so I don't have to rent a U-Hual, and I'm also going to grocery stores and the like to pick up their old boxes so I don't have to buy those. Ahhhhh, man.
  3. I'm living in a bit of a cramped living situation right now with my SO and our pets, but we will be moving out in the next couple months (waiting on my supervisor's word on the job relocation start date). Because it's cramped, I feel like I'm more overbearing than I would be if we were in a bigger place and were able to establish our own personal zones. Also, it was just my apartment to begin with, so I get pangs of protectiveness whenever like, the clean bathroom has been de-sanctified by man fuzz or strewn clothes on the floor. I've progressively gotten better at just leaving things disorganized (from my perspective), because I've learned most of my friends and my SO function better that way. I'm very clean, sometimes to the point of being compulsive when I'm stressed. My animals look at me like I'm crazy when they see me going over all the carpet with lint rollers after I vacuum. I want to fix messes immediately (again, trying to relax here). I heavily depend on the other person's cooking abilities and allow my self-confidence to wither in this area. Never really learned how to do this mystifying craft, but I get by when I'm on my own. Still, pretty much everyone is going to have a skill set better than mine, so I get to the point of just getting all, "... You do it." For me, the more zen, the better. I like it quiet and serene. I don't want music playing in the background--I want silence. Didn't have internet or a television until the SO came in. I need complete darkness when I sleep. Soft lighting at other times. My apartment was deemed The Cave by some. As a visual person who is also compulsive, I get caught fixing silly details or moving objects that aren't hurting anything where they are. I'm the person who with straighten your DVD and game selection and fiddle with the crooked picture on the wall for 25 minutes until it's perfect. Where I am, chocolate will always be abundant. Most people who stay with me appreciate this.
  4. Because I've struggled with depression and anxiety I can better empathize, and I never feel like I can judge a case that seems "minor" to an outsider because I never want to worsen anything that someone is privately going through. Criticism on top of dealing with the condition is terrible. I rarely disclose my troubles to anyone and try to make things seem normal externally. There can be shame involved when there's no main event you can point to in order to justify it, like a death or a home foreclosure. For me, I feel like I have a relatively manageable case given my family history with bipolar, borderline, schizophrenia, agoraphobia and extreme depression. This goes back generations. My grandmother used to tell me stories about how she was always worried about her mother as a child because she'd disclose to her daughter that sometimes she'd just randomly feel like killing herself by driving her car off a bridge. My mother did the same thing to me and couldn't get out of bed for days at a time, among many other things. I just lose all motivation and energy. Things that used to bring me pleasure and self-satisfaction make me feel numb or frustrated because I can't perform like I used to. All I want to do is sleep; as soon as I get up I start panicking because I don't think I can actually get through all of the things I need to do that day. Being able to concentrate on or memorize something just isn't going to happen. I start resenting people's seemingly effortless and whimsical happiness and withdraw. Sometimes I'll have random crying spells. I've never taken medication, and I think I'll continue to opt out as long as I feel like I can keep a handle on it. What I do is eat healthy, make myself exercise, force myself to be social, listen to music and practice self-compassion. I try to view it as a transitory feeling state that I will eventually get over and take something from. I understand those who can't do this or seek out alternative treatments.
  5. I'm in an interesting place right now because I grew up extremely poor--old trailer park infested with rats, no money for clothes or food, thinking that eating at an Olive Garden ever was an unattainable dream poor. I graduated from college not even two years ago (first in my family) and was lucky enough to secure a full-time job in college administration. For the first time I have health care, dental care, prescription coverage, a retirement plan...things I never thought I would attain, and things I'm still uncomfortable using because they feel so unfamiliar. I went to the doctor for the first time in my adult life this past month and I was absolutely amazed that I didn't have to pay anything out of pocket. I had severe dental pain for years and constantly took dog antibiotics because I couldn't afford to get it fixed, and I finally did after my benefits kicked in. Despite all of the nice changes in my life, I still notice things about my mentality that clearly reveal my background. I don't have to live paycheck to paycheck like I did before I had my degree, but I still check my bank balance obsessively as if the money will disappear even though I haven't spent anything since I checked last. It's like my mind can't wrap around the fact that I can actually pay all of my bills and still have a decent amount of cash left. I'm always trying to think of creative ways to save money, and I often funnel significant chunks to my savings, but I still notice counterintuitive habits I have. Like, for instance, when you're poor you often have just enough money to buy exactly what you need in the short-term; you can't really ponder the long-term. Whenever I go to the grocery store, I always reach for the two-roll set of paper towels for $2 as opposed to the six-roll set for $4. I have a fear that the extra $2 will break me, even though I know it's entirely irrational. I completely understand what you say about the cultural differences. Some might not notice them because many things are subtle, and a lot of people allow micro-aggressions to guide their perceptions and behavior, but they're there. Even if two people from different socioeconomic classes are dressed in the same ratty clothes, I could still easily tell you which one is the better-off one. They'll hold themselves differently, their hair will be silkier because they haven't had to purchase shampoo from the dollar store that dries their hair out, their skin will be soft and glowing, their teeth will be fixed, they will have a certain relaxed grace about them. Poverty is stress, and one's body will tell that story. I'm sorry that you live under the circumstances you do now. I feel extremely lucky to have somehow broken out of that life, but I'm perpetually afraid all of it will suddenly vanish. I wonder if I'll ever be able to get rid of the anxiety, even if my social mobility increases.
  6. Not sure how closely in contact you can get, but if he's outside or if you're right at a window you can fill a soda can with pennies and shake it whenever he barks. Works at my kennel. When he stops, give him a treat. Also, I've never tried these myself, but a dog trainer friend told me about them: Outdoor Barking Control Indoor Barking Control Note on shock collars: I've used them before, but I pull them out only in EXTREME circumstances like when the dog is demonstrating aggression or his prey drive is out of control. Depending on the breed or background of the dog, it can be too much for them. You have to time the collar precisely or else the dog will get confused as to why the stimulus occurred, and this can cause MAJOR anxiety. Moreover, I never use a collar with just an electrical shock option; I always get one with a beep and vibrate tool and go up to the electrical shock only if those other two don't work. The vibrate option is typically sufficient. Your neighbor doesn't seem like the kind of person who could handle this, so please don't recommend it.
  7. Good Luck.

  8. My partner is Italian and says he refuses to go completely gluten free because it would cut great experiences out of his life... We're making slow progress.

  9. Undiagnosed food alergies lead me to a gluten free and milk free diet - why not stick with it ?

  10. That's great to hear about your family. As far as the social withdrawal goes, that could have been a prodromal phase. Some people start demonstrating symptoms that aren't pieced together as a disorder until full psychosis occurs. My partner hasn't visited with a psychiatrist yet, although my therapist is trying to find an individual he might be able to click with better, and locate a decent financial plan. I don't know if he'll actually go, though. Right now his positive symptoms aren't much of an issue. The negative symptoms are what stand out at the moment. I'm trying to push him to get out more or to find some kind of activity he can enjoy outside the house. There's a therapeutic equestrian center nearby that he expressed interest in.
  11. My only concern would be that the positive symptoms may return once you do stop your medication. Do you feel like the positive symptoms were caused or exacerbated by some stressor in your life that is no longer present? Have you talked with your psychiatrist about that? Do you have people in your life who could help you with that transition should your symptoms re-occur? When my partner has a flare-up, any kind of social interaction is off the table. I do the grocery shopping and other stuff. Could someone help you with that? In your experience, has anything helped with your negative symptoms? Also, supposedly gluten-free diets can significantly help people suffering from psychosis. Here are a couple links: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201103/wheat-and-schizophrenia http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/22/gluten-grains-cause-schizophrenia.aspx These were small studies, so skeptics might take issue with that, but gluten-free won't hurt you. Worst case scenario you eat some bland food for a while. My partner didn't stick with the diet long enough to see whether or not it would work.
  12. My partner has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and at the moment he's seeing a counselor who has been encouraging him to visit a psychiatrist and try some type of medication. My own therapist who knows about what's going on has also recommended that he try anti-psychotics. Right now he's opposed to it, mostly because of the reasons you describe. I understand, but I also don't know how to feel about it ultimately, because he isn't doing anything actively to improve his condition. I did research on vitamins and diet, but he quickly loses interest in whatever plan we devise. I know the ways in which the drugs interact with the body will be different for everyone, and I'm not sure at what point some consider their situations a worthy trade-off. You might consider seeing another psychiatrist or professional whose outlook is more modern, encompassing and understanding. A lot of people can be drug-pushers, but others are more willing to accept that their patient isn't interested in that path. Also, psychotherapy might be useful; it won't cure the condition, but it can surely help one cope better with symptoms and possibly have better action plans when they occur. I'm sorry you're going through this.
  13. When I was 13, a stallion bucked me off and threw me into a metal arena wall. It knocked me out and doctors said I had a concussion. I'm interested, but skeptical about how profoundly head injuries like that could affect someone. I worked with a girl who had a pretty traumatic car wreck and suffered from a concussion, and she claimed that it altered many aspects of her personality. She blamed her issues with depression on it.
  14. Speaking as someone who came from an abusive background herself, I'm guessing that he developed a dysfunctional attachment style early on, and this attachment style has carried into his adult relationships. If these patterns aren't brought to the individual's attention by say, a therapist, he or she may never truly figure out what's going on. It's possible that he has C-PTSD as well. Childhood trauma affects you forever. Even when people are cognizant of those kinds of things in themselves, it can be immensely difficult for them to change. He seems like he's seeking safety and security from the bond you share (a bond that you feel is mostly fantasy at this point), but he simultaneously pushes you away. His behavior is exacerbating his own fear of being abandoned again, which could be why you're getting such backlash from a course of action that makes sense to you. But, his head might be in an entirely different place, and in his world you are reenacting the torture his earlier years featured. Not that this should be your responsibility. His background isn't an excuse for his behavior, but it likely explains it. Some people, even when presented with all the love, understanding and helpful gestures in the world, still neglect to take care of themselves and to appreciate the few people who stick with them. I guess if I were you, I would lay out the bizarre patterns you detailed that took place over the years, and explain to him that none of those behaviors conveyed a sense of "I care about you and want to maintain the connection we share." It seems like he has come far enough to not repeat the abusive patterns that defined his upbringing, which tells me there's hope. He might just need someone to shine some light on a different aspect of himself.