Saturday, 05.04.2013 - 10:04 am.
I've spent a few days suffering from vertigo. I got a headache on tuesday at my boss' office because the lamps and the computer screen were too bright for me. I don't handle brightness very well and I had to fire e-mails the whole day in there. The next day was, thankfully, Labor's Day, a holiday, and I didn't leave my bed. I couldn't without swaying.
I've been feeling less and less dizzy since thursday. By then it came and went, along with quick headaches. Andrew was so worried that he hired a friend of his that does therapy with magnets. It's a weird thing that neither of us believed in but he thought he'd give it a shot (since, I think, he assumed I would refuse when he suggested going to the doctor. That'd be correct). I had a session last night and it was funny. Today I haven't had any vertigo but like I said, it had been diminishing on its own. I don't think magnets did a lot but they didn't hurt either. Look at me, trying alternative therapies.
I loathe making phone calls and that's been my job this week, besides writing e-mails. I call students and ask them to be interviewed for the project. I get a lot of no, and I get a lot of babbling kids that don't want to but don't know how to say it. I get students that figuratively shut the door in my face. When I finally had a student willing to come, and she did come, she cut the interview halfway through because she had to leave.
On top of everything, I was using one of the offices in Joseph's workplace in the university. A few of his coworkers came in embarrassed to interrupt me, needing to take some stuff from the office. I was the intruder, not them. Andrew says no one cares but I felt guilty over using a space that's not mine and feared his coworkers (who know me and are very friendly) would think I'm taking advantage of these resources just because I'm with him. He offered them to me because he's part of the project, too, and everybody knows that.
Still, I had a breakdown yesterday afternoon. I did reach my personal goal of securing four students to interview on monday (how I hope they'll show up). I started to cry and complain and snapped at Andrew for some things...in my head. Then I told myself to put myself together because the rejection was not personal and I was doing the best I can and Andrew has been nothing but helpful, lending me that office and a phone to make over a hundred calls when required. Of course, that had me feeling guilty, too, so I had to fight tears even harder. But I carried on and came home without him, though we'd planned on leaving together. But he was in a meeting and I just wanted to lie down and be done with this, at least for the weekend.
I got paid for the first time. I already used the amount to pay my half of the lease but it's great that I didn't have to touch my savings to do that anymore. Andrew is still carrying with most expenses in the house and helps me with some things (like skype credit so I can call home) on top of his personal expenses (say, it was his father's birthday and he sent him money so both his parents could go on a trip). He's very relaxed about it, for which I'm thankful. But I don't want to leave him alone on this. I'm getting a raise in june, maybe another one if the project gets additional funding and there's the other project I'm in. So I hope I'll be back on my financial feet soon.
So things aren't bad, I'm just tired and have to deal with the fact that I'll be doing something I dislike for a couple of weeks (or until I find 21 students willing to sit down for an interview. Come on, kids, it's just 20 minutes! You'll help improve the science of healthy eating). I worried that this vertigo episode was triggered by me working. I'm so not used to doing this, having been a student all my life. And it's not so different but the pressure and where it comes from seems to be.
But I insist, it was the lights. I'm not so bad at handling pressure in general. But the lights made me sick, I could feel the physical discomfort creeping over me as time went by in that office. I had to make rapid eye movements between Excel, Word, an e-mail and the keyboard, copying and pasting and typing. And eventually it was hurting my eyes and then my head.