I had a breakdown – a very private, very quiet breakdown – and it has taken time off from work, and a lot of reflecting to realise that it did happen. Usually R would be the first to know, and I know he will read this, but this time I have kept it quiet. The reality is that this is not over, I still have a long way to go to get out of this particular hole.
Work has been so busy. I mean insanely busy to the point where I have nothing left at the end of a 10-hour day. This has impacted my health in such a bad way – I am too tired to exercise, too tired to be around people, too tired for R. It got to the point where I was too tired for life. It is not a good space to be in. All of this resulted in a tear stained meeting between my boss and I a couple of Monday’s ago. I don’t cry at work, I will rather find a private spot and do my thing, clean up and then pretend it just did not happen. This particular Monday I barely made it through.
I suppose the previous 3 – 4 emotional Sundays should have been a red flag, but hey we are here to get a job done. To support people and to be productive. That Monday was my last straw, where over a simple innocuous sentence I started crying while talking to my boss. He’s a trouper and took it in stride and kept talking me off the cliff. We agreed that my vacation was now a matter of importance and he would ensure that no-one contacted me during this period. If they could not handle it, it would wait.
It was a good 4 days away, spent with R and the dogs in a beautiful part of the state I live in. Quiet, slow, forest and ocean equally 20 minutes from the town we were in. A place I could see myself living in as we make the adjustments to moving into a caravan and following our dream of not being stuck to one place.
I chose to do a photo shoot with my adult kids the Saturday we were back. 15 minutes is all I asked for, and I paid for the photoshoot (which is my mothers’ day gift) and 15 minutes was what I got. Ok, we fetched Ms24 so we had an extra 30mins in the car – of which I got short answers to any questions. I know they are doing their thing and once they settle into some semblance of their own family, the wheel will turn, but jeez is it too much to ask? Sometimes it is hard to hide the hurt when you are just doing your best to not lose touch. I hear that they say such good things to others about me, yet they can’t find the space to spend more than 30 minutes with me – unless of course they are getting something out of the deal.
I have been back at work for a week and I feel drained. I made a few decisions while on holiday that I was over jumping through hoops to prove my worth to certain members of our leadership. If they could not see and appreciate what I bring to the table, that is no longer on me. My worth is not built on them – even if they do control my salary.
Of course, no exercise in 3 weeks means that I have stagnated in terms of what I should be doing health wise. My diabetes will only get worse if I don’t bring the weight down. Now I am not one to really notice my body. I have an image in my head and my mirror confirms it. I have a belly, thighs and ass and I am a size 18-20. Big deal. Except last night there was a photo of me from behind and I swear it looks like my ass is 1m long. Yes you read that right! Yes I am getting older, things are not as firm as they once were, but man that is a confronting photo. I know I am a large woman with plenty of curves, and not enough self-esteem but I can see how body dysmorphia can and does become such an issue with women.
This all sounds so bad and depressing. Yet it is not on a level. It is liberating to be able to confront the issues that I have in front of me, to identify what they are, see whether they are worth my attention and moving on. What is worth my attention is my own self-care. I need to stop and breathe and realise that if I don’t look after me, no-one else can.
Work – I can only do what is in front of me and in the time allocated. Later starts, finishing on time must become priorities. Instead of doing others’ work, I need to show them where to find it and encourage them to look there first, instead of just tagging me. I know what skills I have and what I bring to the table and that needs to be enough for me. I can’t change another persons perception, and the truth is that it is their lack that gives them bias.
Family – I love them and they love me. This too shall pass. And R? I need to work on making up for the neglect and taking advantage of him just picking up my slack. It will take time and commitment.
Health – I need to prioritise exercise, no matter how much I loathe it. I need to build in those spaces where the only person I am catering to is myself. I accept that I have curves and shape and I need to choose better when it comes to clothing. Instead of cheap places that I know don’t have the shape right, I need to invest in a wardrobe that does fit properly. I used to have one, but I moved away from it. Clothing that fits better will let me feel better about photos and just general perception.
It all comes down to acceptance for me. I am in this hole, I am still super emotional and every day is a fight to get through. Every day is an hour at a time, and some hours are sheer minutes. It is easy to hide behind a closed door while working from home and to disguise pain as cheer. I accept it and I am moving to what I can do, even if that is absolutely nothing. So onto the next hour, and the crawl up the hole I managed to dig myself into. Part of acceptance is owning that this hole did not just appear, I had a hand in digging it through my choices and actions.
PS: I have a LOT of catching up to do here, so will spend some of my weekend reading all those that I follow. Thank you to my followers for being patient with my lack of output.
2 thoughts on “Finding acceptance”
First, thank you for sharing this. It’s good for you and and it’s good for other folks in the same situation who might not be able to write the words, but they can read them, and therefore they find comfort in the realization that others feel the same way they do.
Second, with a few variations, I was in the same place a few years ago that you are now. I was still at Verizon, and I was so fed up with the immense workload and the disregard for my dedication and contributions and the lack of time for personal well-being and health. I was miserable and something had to change.
So I retired, took an early-out package. It was perhaps not the wisest course of action (and my financial advisor still chides me about it to this day), but my mental state demanded a new environment. There is only so much one can take, and there is a point beyond which one simply cannot go.
Third, I obviously have no conception of what your options might be, financially and otherwise. And in my own situation, I have to seriously watch my pennies. Any unexpected expense throws everything off kilter. But even with that, I’m still happy that I walked away at the point I did. My life is smaller now, in regards to things I can afford to do, but my life is also bigger, in that many of the troubling elements are gone.
Bottom line, do what you need to do. Not what you think others expect you to do.
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Thank you. With a 1 income family, just stepping away is next to impossible. I am working on elements to change things, and hopefully at some point in the not too distant future I can look at alternatives.
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