I had to leave my job last month in a cloud of anxiety and stress. It was horrible and left me feeling worthless, useless and like some sort of sub-human who can’t function acceptably enough to hold down a part-time job.
For several weeks I couldn’t even think about it without it bringing on some level of panic. At best, I had to shut my eyes and take a couple of deeps breaths, at worst I would full on freak out again.
But more time has passed now and when my Mum asked me ‘Do you miss it?’ the other day when we spotted some of the company’s products in a shop, stopping to consider my answer didn’t make my brain white-out with panic.
I answered ‘sort of’ and, having now thought about it a bit more, that pretty much still stands.
I do miss parts of it. I miss the people I had become friends with, I miss being part of the overall team and the feelings that go with that, I even miss elements of the work itself.
I don’t miss the getting up at silly o’clock to get there though.
Unfortunately, all of those things were utterly overshadowed by my anxiety flaring up massively. I couldn’t deal with being in a factory environment. It felt like there was no air, that the walls were closing in, the lights felt so bright they hurt my eyes and gave me headaches and they provided the only light in the place. This made my social anxiety flare up and certain rooms became too overwhelming, there were too many bodies, too many voices, personalities, names, faces – everything swirling together in the unnatural light soaking away the oxygen and pulling the walls and the ceiling close in around me.
And I couldn’t deal with that every day. Not even for just a few hours.
Not deal with it and get anything done to any kind of professional standard.
If anything I tried too hard and stuck with it when I should have just said no. I pushed away the feelings of anxiety building up and fought through them up until the point where they completely swamped me and I broke.
So yes, I do miss it, but no, I don’t miss it either.
And those feelings I mentioned at the start of this post? They haven’t vanished away with the extra weeks, they’re all still there. Some days I hear the little voice in my head saying them, and I tell it shut up and go away. That I am a perfectly acceptable human, that it just wasnt the place or job for me right now, I’m still a valid person. I’m not useless.
Other days the little voice wins.
But now I can think about the job, can see the building as we pass it, without a jolt of burning terror flashing through my gut. Now I only get a crawling sensation of unease – and that’s progress.
For now I’m throwing myself into getting a better home routine. Cleaning, cooking better food for the family, getting The Smalls to clubs on time, teaching them new board games and spending time being more present in my own life and theirs (and Caius’s). I lost that when I was working and I feel it is important to claw it back, for my sake as much as anyone elses.
My job for now is being a Home-maker or whatever the modern PC version of House-Wife is (I’m quite happy with House-Wife tbh) and I’m trying my best to embrace this. To look after me, my family and our home as best I can, until I feel like stepping back into the world of work won’t immediately break me again.