Back in September I went to my counselling session after work and completely broke down. I couldn’t face going into the office. I’d used up all my holidays because on days when I wasn’t coping well, I’d book off the day after to get me through that day. Once I was out of holidays the panic came. I felt trapped. Just a regular day in work seemed like torture. I realised how much I couldn’t face being there and I just let it all out at my counsellor. She recommended speaking to my doctor about going off sick for a bit. I didn’t want to but I knew I needed it.
The doctor went to sign me off for a month but I requested two weeks. I spent the whole time stressing about what people thought, what I was missing and most of all what it’d be like going back. When the two weeks were up, I felt ready to go back to work with a fresh mindset after my time off. Boy was I wrong! It was horrendous. Three days later I was back in the doctors crying and got signed off another two weeks. This caused me so much guilt and now looking back for the life of me I can’t say why because it clearly wasn’t healthy for me being there. So… 4 weeks off, 2 filled with guilt and unnecessary stress and 2 more relaxed and enjoyable. Then I went back to work for 2 days, then galavanted off to the other side of the world…(3 week holiday in Australia!) You must be wondering why I’m complaining with all this time off!
On the day we landed back on English soil I reflected on how I’d felt during the trip and knew there was no way I could stay in that office that I was so desperate to be away from. I refused to get another sick note even though my doctor had offered it so I went and quit my job the day we landed. I worked a week’s notice and I’m so glad to be rid of that place where I’d had countless break downs, lots of stress and 3 panic attacks during my one year there. I want to put all that behind me now.
Tomorrow starts my fourth week of unemployment and I haven’t done much in that time at all. Why? Because I don’t want to. I’ve been feeling my happiest these past weeks and thought I was getting better. I even considered booking a doctors appointment to discuss coming off my tablets. This is silly anyway seeing as I’ve only been on these ones two months, after taking sertraline for over a year. But it gives a good indication on how I’m feeling.
It’s great feeling this happy and calm and stress free but then it dawned on me that the reason I’m feeling so good is because I don’t have to deal with work. Early mornings, organising travel, targets in work, being around people I don’t like, having to wear a mask for 8 hours a day, constant tiredness. I haven’t had any of that for weeks so yeah, no wonder I’m feeling better.
But as good old Theresa May said, “There’s no magic money tree”. Well in her case she’s a liar clearly, but for me it’s true. My money ain’t gunna last forever if I keep spending without earning.
I’ve signed up to an agency to be a TA. But I’m already feeling panicked at the idea of the unknown, the last minute planning with morning calls, the stress of keeping that mask on so no one sees how I’m really feeling.
So here’s my problem. Different work place but the same stresses. There’s no way I can stay unemployed (even though I’m absolutely loving feeling so stress-free – someone pay me to watch TV plz) so do I need to prepare myself to go back to the way I was a few months back? Because I can’t see how it won’t just go back to the way things were before, no matter the working environment. ‘Elp!