There were several times last week when I uttered the defeatist’s favourite words: “I can’t do this”.
I cried on a friend over cheesy chips (thanks Beck), stopped sleeping, eating and talking; and made my husband worry. Why? A stupid pointless project at work.
For the record, I don’t operate on brains, seek cures for disease or make political decisions that can make or break the nation: it’s a bloody website.
Work. Of all things, driving me mad. What is that about?
Where usually I am proud of how I work and what I produce, this fortnight I’ve been reduced to an (even more) over-apologetic lamb, worried about every decision I make, every potential mistake I haven’t even made yet.
That says a lot about the lack of real support we get as a department as much as it does about me. But I don’t see that changing any time soon.
I’m a creative goddammit being placed in a position of management (without the authority) and I never wanted that. I like tech without having the technical know how. I like learning new things but I need to be taught first!
Anywhoo, these last weeks have been a wake up call. I’m becoming all too aware of anxiety and stress. Work may have tipped me over but it’s not just that, it could be anything really – for a while it was a minor tax blip that kept me awake at night. Often I feel I’m about to lose everything and everyone, and I might as well walk into a river with stones in my pockets like Virginia Woolf.
My coping mechanism is rusty, I know that’s all it is. Close friends know exactly how I feel because they go there too sometimes and it’s not a rare feeling. Self-doubt is common but it’s also a little shit that needs to be disciplined.
I talk about self-care a lot on my blog but my main goal for the next few months isn’t ‘book a holiday’ or ‘lose 3 stone’, it’s ‘learn to deal’. I can’t let something so ultimately meaningless derail me, nor can I let the next big thing break me. I want to enjoy life.
Something Becky said over those delicious chips made me think. Maybe I should just do something okay that pays the bills for now, so I can do and pursue the things I really love outside of that, like writing.
That’s what I enjoy doing, what I’m good at and what I’m confident in.
Whatever that ultimately gentler/less taxing job might be, perhaps it’s time to start looking for it.