“You should think about going down to 50% until September” Those where the words that spilled from my boss’s mouth this morning, during a meeting that I had to request, in order to discuss how I’m doing on my phased return.
They stung! You’re no good to me now Loopy, you can’t handle anything and it’s costing us too much, is what I heard. All I needed was a supportive, “you can do this” but instead the last remaining shred of optimism for my future was ripped away.
I’m a burden, I’m incompetent and I’m very nearly done.
Tonight’s little sleeping pills are the same brand as those I used in August. It’s the first time a pharmacy has dispensed the same kind, in all these months. It’s a coincidence that they arrived today, on a day when I want to consume them all. I don’t have enough though, so I’ll just have to settle for a slightly comatosed sleep.
I have no capacity for stress, no tolerance for the all to familiar stares from other commuters, no cut off valves, when my face decides to spontaneously leak and no hope that this will ever change.
I wish I could see my old CPN. She’d know how to make me feel a little better. God I wish she’d come back…..
Literally!!! Today I was bombarded with question after question. Today’s practical was on nerve action potentials. It was simulator based Tiny laptop screens, with an unfamiliar programme and the glare off bright sunlight bathing the lab.
It was too much too soon. Nothing quite knocks your confidence like the inability to field questions from 2nd years.
“I’m sorry, I don’t usually run this; can you ask T? I felt incompetent, insecure and fragile.
I ran! Left T and demonstrators to it, with no explanation or curtious good bye. Tears ran down my face uncontrollably at my desk. What the hell is wrong with me?????
Worse still I was discovered by a colleague. She was kind, but all I wanted to do, was ring for help. Ring to hear a calm voice at the other end of the line. A voice that’s used to dealing with meldowns. A voice that knows my story.
But she wouldn’t leave!!!!
Tonight I’ve got that horrible defeated feeling in my gut. Some people are meant to live until old age. Other’s, well others should know when to give up.
But I’ve got a little boy ….. . …
I’m completely wiped out. I’ve spent all day marking, which took twice the time it should have. I guess I’m a little rusty.
My phased return does feel a little fast though. I did pluck up the courage to tell my boss, but I’ve still agreed to do a little more than I feel comfortable with.
I’m also ridiculously emotional. I almost cried on the train home, fighting back tears the entire journey.
I guess I’m a little overwhelmed. On the bright side I shall attempt sleep tonight without my trusty sleeping pills. I’m that tired!!!
I’ve gone back too soon. I’m fragile and teary, and they’re piling too much on me. It’s too fast!
I can’t prep for practicals and lectures, and moderate modules and mark scientific reports
It’s too much to plan, to organise and prioritise. My threshold for stress appears quite low. How do I tell my boss to hit the brakes? How is my career ever going to survive this?
Myself and OH also had a family therapy assessment today before I went to work. I have no optimism in this regard. I can’t be fixed, nor can I speak freely in front of OH. The damage is too ingrained.
There’s too much stuff in my head, too many spinning plates. I’ve phoned and asked for more PRN, until then, I guess I just need to keeping breathing.
I’ve burned and I want to binge. I must not eat, I MUST NOT EAT!!
Today for the first time ever, I got to spend time with S, outside the confines of a hospital visiting area. Today was the first time, we both basked in freedom, drank mochas and laughed from the pit of our bellies. She has not yet been discharged, but her progress has been such that she is allowed accompanied leave. In her words; “It was boss!!”
She continues to inspire me, and although those days in a psych ward were some of my darkest, they brought me a friendship that was unexpected, and a friend who makes me stronger.
I couldn’t sleep, that part was true. I’m totally dependant on pills now. Audio books and zopiclone are the perfect combination, but without the zopiclone (or a prescribed alternatuve) my eyes remain open and my thoughts attack me.
“Did you do anything?” asked a caring NHS voice this morning. “No” I replied but in truth yesterday I was a little self destructive. I once again put straightening irons against my skin, until the flesh was white and leathery. The edges blistered immediately and now I’m dealing with the aftermath. I don’t really know why I did it.
In the evening myself and OH treated ourselves to a “Subway”; the chicken teriyaki on Italian herb and cheeses went down easily. Then the guilt took hold and I followed the ritual of drinking tea (to fill my gut with liquid), sneaking off to the bathroom, expelling some of the guilt, and washing my hands and around my mouth thoroughly with soap.
I don’t know why I lied this morning. I guess I felt like the truth would let him down. The truth would label me attention seeking. The truth would prove that I’m pathetic.
Today was huge!!!! gut wrenching, nausea inducing huge. After 6 months of absence, I made a lunch, adorned my lanyard, swallowed some PRN (lirazepam) and went back to work.
I’m currently sitting in my old office, albeit slightly rearranged. I asked my boss if I could have it back; and he said he’d think about it, but within 20 minutes following our meeting I was informed that its current occupant has been turfed out, giving me my space back. My office space is something that is important to me. I’m on the 3rd floor of the building which means that I’m not subjected to same levels of student traffic as the main teaching rooms are on the floors below. Being “hidden away ” in this manner means less ad hoc student drop ins, less ad hoc concerns, complaints or general chat, which can quickly eat away at time preserved for tasks. I’ll still get the occasional knock but with less frequency than staff on the lower floors.
Coming back to work has been very emotional for me and I’m still feeling a little shaky and overwhelmed. Colleagues have been lovely, with hugs and offers of coffee and no prying questions. I’ve just eaten lunch with a few but i really didn’t participate much in the conversion. I’ve lost that side off myself, lost all my confidence but it will hopefully come back.
A nice little work related task just appeared in my inbox this morning, not from my manager but from one of my previous students, who is applying for PhD’s. I was his undergraduate project supervisor and he wishes to use me as a reference. I am delighted to do that for him, and even more so because his email helped to ground me this morning. His email was my first interaction with any students albeit electronically., but it also provided me with an icebreaker manageable task to get my fingers typing and my mindset back to work. It was exactly what I needed. It also helps that he was a great student, and his reference will reflect that.
I’m now emotionally and physically drained, and really just need to go home. I shall leave soon.