I’ve referenced this a few times now but haven’t yet had the heart to admit in writing that I’m taking some time off work. It sucks, especially for a productivity-addict like me, but I had to do it. I was suffering and so was my work.
I’m incredibly fortunate to (a) have a job, (b) have a job that I consider to be The Perfect Job For Me and (c) have a job that will allow me the time and space I need to look after myself. I’m really lucky, I know that. But I’m plagued by feelings of ‘why me?’ and ‘why can’t I do this?’ Mostly the second one.
At risk of overdoing it again
I’ve been officially out of work for a whole week now and it was going really well at first. Things were picking back up. I was catching up on housework, I was getting writing done, I felt worthwhile again. But yesterday, after a previous day of too much time on my feet, I felt so sick all day. In fact, it reminds me of how I felt after my head-injury, the mystery illness that would then go on to be treated as post-concussion syndrome. It feels like being extremely hungover, which I’m sure makes it no surprise that I quit drinking after the injury.
Today, I woke up feeling better for sure, but my stomach is still a little bit unsettled and I’m mega-tired. Worse still, I’m full of dread because the next few days promise to be intensely busy and just a lot.
My brother-in-law is visiting today (we’re having a Tax Sleepover: a slumber party where we get food and treats and listen to music while doing our taxes in an attempt to make them fun) and I was supposed to drive to Dublin to pick him up but I definitely don’t feel up for that. I’ve said I’ll cover his bus ticket but the truth is I don’t even know if I’m up for having him over. I’m so worried about how low my energy levels are. And tomorrow I’m having two belated birthday celebrations with extended family and then the in-laws because I didn’t get to see them last week for my actual birthday. Then the next day I have to drive to Dublin again for a doctor’s appointment and run a bunch of errands. So… I’m just scared by how run-down I feel.
Ozark got me
I still don’t know if I’m going to cancel the sleepover. Yesterday I cancelled my writing date with Ben* (*long-term best friend, writer friend, guy who introduced me and Cat and then married us) and spent basically the whole day wallowing in feeling ill. I’m also catching myself in some really dark thought spirals over the last few days. Basically, I’m being very unkind to myself and I’m finding it really hard to stop. Yesterday I cried pretty hard at an episode of Ozark when Wendy said to Marty, “When all of this is over, if you want to leave, I’d understand.”
Marty asks, “Is that what you want?”
She says, “No, but I would understand if you did.” Or something along those lines.
Anyway, it got me. It got me because that’s exactly how I feel about Cat. I would completely understand if she wanted to leave me. I feel like I contribute so little. Especially now, when she’s the only one earning a living and also doing most of the housework.
I know it’s wrong to feel this way and I know she understands. She’s done nothing but support me. But I just have a growing fear that one day, once depression has really ruined me for good, it might ruin us too.