Modern Toss

Back to Work

Image courtesy of Modern Toss

I’m back at work. Full time. Having tried the phased approach a few weeks ago, all it did was drag the dread of responsibility out over two weeks. It did help, in a way, in that the deeply formed misanthropy I’d developed began to peel back somewhat, though the incident with my boss I mentioned, vaguely, here set me back. Yesterday was my first day, and I was back on the tranquillisers on Sunday night just to get the slightest bit of sleep. By the time I’d driven to the office, the stomach churning and biliousness had overcome the Omeprazole and begun to consume me from within. The coffee I had on the way was probably a stupid idea as well.

As for coming back in, it wasn’t so bad. I had a better meeting with my line manager, and although he wasn’t particularly sympathetic, I managed to steer him into what I needed from him. Some support and some structure to my re-integration. It’s exhausting having to coach someone how to help you, when they are literally saying to your face, ‘I have no idea how to deal with this situation.’ Well, look it up. Get some bloody help. As I mentioned in the last one, it’s infuriating. However, it’s something I’m going to have to live with, just like millions of other people do every day.

So I had a pretty good day all told yesterday. I had a few blips, and a couple of moments, but anxiety dissipated once I had a decent task list to gnaw through. I was in a pretty good mood when I got home, cooked dinner, took the dogs out, chilled out with Claire, and went swimming. I went to bed tired and happy.

Fast forward to this morning, I wake up in some kind of advanced panic. Completely nondescript and without target. For some reason I was fixated on the time, I don’t know whether I had some kind of dream that triggered it off. Not a sausage. Claire helped calm me down, and off I went to work again, but since I got up I’ve been a shaky ball of nerves, again with no discernible target for the anxiety.

This is where it all falls down for me. I have the kind of brain where I can’t bear not to know how something works, and I can’t bear to see something broken. Be it a bike, a door hinge, a calculator, a computer, or whatever, if it’s not functioning as it should, I have this insatiable drive to repair it. If I don’t know how to, I have to find out. This spills over into people as well. I think one of the main sources of the anxiety, and this has built up over probably decades, is that if someone is upset, or something is wrong, my brain tries to take responsibility for fixing it. If I can’t, then it starts to fester in there, like penicillium on an old yoghurt, growing to consume my subconscious like a furry, green carpet.

Now, the broken thing is me, and that insatiable need to be able to understand a thing, pick it apart and put it back together so it works is overwhelming. The problem is, I can’t see how it works. It has no logic to it. It’s nebulous, intangible, like trying to catch a fart in a butterfly net. Trying to understand what part of my brain is broken is like trying to sing the smell of the colour blue.

I’m not enjoying this journey, but then I guess no one does.

6 thoughts on “Back to Work

  1. The “fix things” approach is fairly typical male behaviour, and certainly something we have in common. Anxiety and depression, however, in my (non personal, but close) experience, don’t work like that. There’s not a simple, analysable, fixable thing to attack. Good luck, and keep going, you are doing well, especially considering your workplace could be more helpful.

  2. Thank you. You’re right, it isn’t a simple as ‘fixing it’. I’m having to come to terms with the fact that it might not be fixable. That’s the part that’s most difficult to sink in…

Leave a Reply