A wake up call

Tuesday 18th January 2022

It’s been such a busy week, work has been hectic, now we are even more short staffed and I’ve had 3 nights out planned this week. I enjoyed all of them, but by Sunday, I feel wiped out.
Now at home in my comfy dressing gown, it feels like someone is crushing my rib cage. I have felt unwell for so long now, I don’t know if this is anxiety or something else. All the covid tests have been negative so far. I know I need to rest, so thats what I try to do.
My friend sends me a message saying “this is your task for the year” with a you tube link with advice on how to get your first book published, I listened and the thoughtfulness cheered me up.
The husband and I watch two episodes of the new TV series we are binge watching, Succession ( We are halfway through season one and loving it) I then decide to get myself to bed, a good nights sleep will help me feel better.
No such luck. I am rudely awoken by the sound of gunfire coming from the tv downstairs, the walls in this house are so thin! I am now aggy because I am awake but I am so tired. The husband then comes to bed and proceeds to snore on and off for the next four hours, I want to cry, I just want to sleep. I try reading, I try breathing exercises, I try listening to sleep casts, nothing. I toss and turn, knowing that I only have a few hours before I have to get up and log into work. How am I going to do this?

When my alarm goes off at 7, my chest is still tight, my throat is sore, my ear hurts. I can’t do it. I text my boss and tell them I am ill. I need to look after myself.
Later on, after another couple of hours of broken sleep. I go downstairs, the husband is pottering about the house, I burst into tears, it all feels a bit too much, I am physically and mentally exhausted. He sends me back to bed to relax, brings me a cup of tea and tells me to stop worrying about work and he will do what needs to be done around the house.

I spend half the day questioning whether I have done the right thing. I’m capable of reading and watching TV, I should be working, I shouldn’t have called in sick, I’m ok, they need me we are short staffed. The husband makes us some lunch and I feel myself going very rapidly downhill. My chest tightness gets worse, my body aches all over, even my teeth ache. This is fun.
I decide to take my mind of things and read some magazines. I notice the common themes across the January editions: “5 Good Habits” “skin resolutions for 2022” “Veganuary recipes” “Top 10 alcohol free drinks for dry January”. Its literally in every magazine I read, no wonder we all feel so overwhelmed and like we are failing at life, most of this stuff just isnt sustainable for some people. For example, I would love to get up and go for morning walks, but currently, due to having a shitty stressful job, I am barely sleeping, so I don’t want to be getting up an hour earlier than necessary especially when the next article is telling me “get 8 hours of sleep per night” then another article telling me that we don’t all need 8 hours. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” then “Only eat when you are hungry”. I have decided, after all these years of trying to take this advice, that I am going to just do what feels right for me. Do I want to go for a walk? Am I ready to go to bed? Am I hungry enough for breakfast? Every day is a different answer, there is no right or wrong and it doesn’t make us failures if we miss a day. I need to remember this.

On Tuesday, I call in sick again. I can’t face it. The pressure is too much, not only are we now short staffed, practically everyone is new and has a million questions about processes and procedures, which aren’t even up to date and I am terrified of getting it wrong, I’m constantly questioning myself. In addition to this, I am expected to do my job, cover someone elses work who has left and provide daily management reports, something which I was told 18 months ago should be done by a manager, yet still sits with me.
I had told my boss a couple of weeks ago that I was struggling and I only did that because I knew I was reaching breaking point, I was too scared to mention it for fear they would get rid of me as they had done to others.
So even though I have taken the day sick, to take time to rest and destress, I am doing the opposite, panicking about what to say, what to do. I decide that once the working day is over, I will message my friend, he is quite high up in his company and will know what to do.
To distract myself until then, I decide to write a blog post on my Tarot reading. I spend time listening to the recording Tanya sent me, writing it up and then editing. When I finish, I realise I have been doing it for 3 hours! It was the most enjoyable 3 hours I have had in a while.
When I finish, my brain starts trying to find things for me to do, I should be doing something. No I should be resting, why can’t I just rest!?
I message my friend and he calls me. He is really supportive and reminds me that it is the company that have caused me to feel unwell, I shouldnt feel guilty and my health is more important than anything else. He says I must call the doctors tomorrow and should get myself signed off for a while.
After the call I feel better than I have for a while, hes right, I haven’t brought this on myself, I am not being lazy, I want to work and I actually enjoy the work but the toxic environment and blame culture has become too much for me and I need some breathing space, no job is more important than my health.
Why do I feel like I have to justify myself? Worse still, I feel like an imposter, like I’m making it up.

2022-01-20 14:56:03

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *