Originally published: September 14, 2017
As I walked into my overcrowded workspace, I felt the tears well up once again. I had engaged in a stern conversation with myself to ‘toughen up’ whilst driving to work. I made a hasty detour to the bathroom and had a quiet cry. Quiet because the other stall was occupied. They always are. There was no place at all to go to be by yourself to collect your wits. “It’s going to be alright,” I sternly told myself. Only six hours to go and you can go home. But the quiet, yet insistent little inner voice said “Its only Monday, you have to do this four more times … and then there is next week”. Steeling my resolve, I walked out into the noise and heat. But I knew it was not going to be alright. Something was broken that I could not fix.
I had not been sleeping well, my stomach was in knots all of the time and I cried at the drop of a hat. Every weekend was spent in dread thinking about going in to work. Work? Yes, it was work that was doing it to me. In fact, thinking about working was so depressing because basically I felt like I had come to the end of it. I had three serious chest infections in a row, and then three bladder infections. I was swallowing antibiotics like lollies. My back ached and I couldn’t lift with my left arm. People kept asking me if I was alright, and I didn’t know what to tell them. They could tell I wasn’t and if they were nice to me I would just burst into tears. The only comfort was that some of my colleagues were feeling the same way.