It has been a MENTAL week. And I don’t use that word lightly. I also realise it’s only Wednesday, but I’m talking about the last 7 days which makes it technically a week.

So, it was my birthday last Thursday. Those of you on facebook might have picked up on that thanks to the efforts of a lovely friend, but honestly, that was pretty much the only good part of my day.

This appeared on my timeline. Thanks T xx

As a rule I don’t like my birthday, but this year was an epic fail, even by my standards. Why? Because it was also the day that my occasional profound inability to focus at work caught up with me, big style. I knew it would sooner or later, and I knew it wouldn’t be pretty when it did. I was right. I fucked up, big time, and I can pinpoint the majority of it to two periods last year when I really wasn’t well – the first was when I was off meds and pretty much out of my mind, and the second was around October/November when I just wasn’t feeling awesome. A huge part of the problem for me when I’m not feeling great is that my already questionable memory goes out the window. If I don’t do something as soon as I think of it, it gets forgotten, or else I do it, but I do it arseways. Unfortunately I don’t tend to notice that either of these things have happened until I go looking for something else and find a mess, at which point I freak out, back away, and hope it’ll sort itself. It never does.

That was the first part of the problem, which led directly to the second part. Feeling like I’ve done something wrong, like someone is disappointed in me, is a massive trigger for me. Cue overwhelming levels of guilt, shame and self loathing. I managed to keep it together in work, but lost it on the way home with Hubby, who had to make an emergency pitstop in McDonalds to try and remedy the situation (I was so worked up I’d forgotten to eat). I was beyond angry with myself for letting the situation happen, particularly when I find myself working for a manager who has gone out of his way to accommodate me. My folks had come over to spend the afternoon, but by the time I got home I was pretty much monosyllabic and not pleasant to be around. They tried, they all tried, for which I am so grateful. There was cake, Mam cooked, but I couldn’t enjoy it. The same lovely friend I mentioned earlier came down that evening armed with wine and creme eggs to try and bring me out of myself, but it just wasn’t happening. Since then, I’ve pretty much been working my ass off to try and fix things. I’m almost there. There have been some really long days at work, and a couple of squirmy conversations with my manager, but at least I’m now on my way to putting things right. We also now have a strategy in place to make sure this never happens again.

So there was that. But also, in the middle of it all, was the start of a new project I’ve taken on at work, Please Talk. It’s a mental health awareness campaign aimed at both staff and students, and I’m one of the lead partners. Yesterday we had our first public airing of the initiative, and I spoke at a briefing session to try and get people on board. It went well, I think. It’s always hard to gauge the response to something like that. But today? I’m shattered. I feel like my feet have barely touched the ground for the last week. Emotions have been running really high, and I had to cancel Therapist as it coincided with yesterday’s presentation, so I haven’t had that outlet either. I also had a massive knee jerk reaction to last Thursday and decided I was going to stop blogging, stop writing, walk away from Please Talk, I’m making an unholy show of myself etc etc etc…………thankfully I didn’t make any rash decisions like deleting the blog, but honestly the way I was feeling last week it wouldn’t have been beyond me.

I want to say lesson learned, that I have it in hand now. I think I do, and I really, really hope I don’t ever find myself in that situation again. I could probably do with slowing down a bit. I’m really tired. Mostly I’ve just realised how disjointed this post is which says a lot. Shutting up. Going to bed.

This article has 4 Comments

  1. So glad you got through that in one piece. Sounds pretty horrific alright!

    Normally I would feel patronising to say something like this but I'm guessing since you've been absorbed in dealing with this you might not have been able to take a step back. Fucking things up isn't great of course. However, someone who can identify their own fuck ups, take ownership (cliched jargon I know but sometimes these things do have a meaning) and put in the work to fix the problem and then go on to prevent similar mistakes in future is worth their weight in gold.

    Some level of mistakes and problems are inevitable and as a manager I'd far rather have to deal with someone who causes the occasional big problem and then fixes it than the person who continually does lots of small stuff wrong but doesn't seem to be aware of it or is incapable of improvement. That's my opinion anyway, and I think it's a healthy, productive, good business kind of one but I don't always see that sort of thinking reflected around me so who knows?

    I can't help with the second problem, alas, since I do shit like that too. It doesn't affect me to the same extent as you as I don't have what you've got to deal with or anything but I also haven't managed to develop the amount of good things going on either.

    I was reading about this and while I was sympathising with you and looking on the bright side of the situation and trying to offer a bit of comfort, I was simultaneously seeing myself in what you've had going on. I think reading your experience probably helps others look at themselves in an easier light. Like, if I'm telling Fiona to go easy on herself why the hell would I be giving myself such a hard time for something similar? Maybe that isn't an insight for you at all but it sure made me think and I imagine it may have that effect for others too..

    1. Thanks so much Shaun, and so sorry for the slow reply. Thankfully since all of the above work is back on track, although I've gone into a bit of a tailspin in recent weeks. It'll pass no doubt.

      I'm really glad to hear that in offering comfort to me, you were able to do the same for yourself. It's always so much easier to put perspective on someone else's situation than our own! I think it's probably something we could all do with working on.

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