Thursday, 24 May 2012

If I could I would...

... disappear. 

Honesty time folks.  Boy...   Here I am again, hugely troubled by work.  It really bugs me this, it pervades the majority of my thinking, it makes me sick inside, I get snappy with people close to me, go distant and isolate etc. 

So what the hell is up?  Me - I'm "struggling" at work.  I seem to be using that word too much "struggling" - what do I mean by it?  See above this doubt, this taking over my conscious state too much.  I started here back in September last year.  There was/is a big reorganisation underway in my department.  Therefore when I started I was a little bit out on a limb, shunted to the left a little for want of an analogy.  I said to people then, I should relish this time to get to know stuff.  I've learnt some undoubtedly but I don't feel it is enough.  I picked up that there is loads and loads to do, actually more than realistically we can achieve with any real sense of completeness, this is the public sector in the time of the biggest austerity drive in known memory after all.

About a month back the new structures for half the department kicked in.  Suddenly the atmosphere has changed, my honeymoon is most definitely over and I feel more than a bit bombarded on several fronts for results and delivery but I'm afraid I've not learnt enough and I feel I'm flailing about.  In the water no life jacket no life boat kind of feeling.

Now here comes the know character defects I have... 

Impostor syndrome - Had this for years and years, today will be the day they realise I'm no good and kick me out. 
Self-Reliance - Belief that to be "worthy" in life you need to get on and do it all yourself.  This leads me to delaying on things when I actually don't know what to do etc.
Isolation - like all good alcoholics I know once the going gets tough my instant reaction is to retreat into myself, say things like "I'm fine", "It'll be ok", etc.  rather than honestly unburdening myself.
People pleasing - I don't like saying "No" to people, I'll give the impression of being able to take more and more on.

My friend put this on his Facebook feed a few weeks back - boy does that describe me at the moment

Grr Grr Grr  - See that is me angry about it and angry about me at the moment. 
What has really concerned me is that seriously this week a couple of mornings it has been a real emotional journey to get into work and I've seriously had two thought sessions about just walking away.  But I really don't know if that is the right thing or not?  My over expectation of myself based with my eagerness to try to please all people all of the time.

So finally I've blogged this, I'll hit publish now before I doubt about it.  I need to share and work it out - plus as ever the situation is far worse in my head no doubt than it is in any sense of reality.


  1. Furtheron, I wish I could say something helpful . . . I doubt that I can though.
    My advice would probably be to walk away and find something you enjoy; that's not so easy though in reality.
    You could start looking . . . Maybe?
    I just hope you feel better soon. x

  2. “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important," said Bertrand Russell.

    And I can see what he means. Because it isn't. Believe me, it isn't.

    1. I think that is one of my problems Nic - frankly I'm really not all that fussed about the work, I've figured out in my nearly 50 years on this planet that frankly we do little of value in work it is only with family and friends we achieve much of note.

      However the bunch I work with - you'd think everything was going to save the planet ... well to be fair some of it might but... they get so het up about it all... my slightly laid back appearance may not help either ... although inside the desire for me to be the "one and only best in the world" drives me nuts!

  3. I hope that you even just publishing this is a little help - part of the honest unburdening. I know it's a bit of a cliche and not of any 'practical' use to know but if it brings any reassurance just remind yourself you're not alone! (Coincidentally - or perhaps not, perhaps it's just the way of things generally for so many - I was reading another blogger's post just this morning which was incredibly similar to yours). Hope very much you'll work it out, go easy on yourself because you are not responsible for the way things are around you, I think the way you feel is sadly a symptom of a system that is already flawed. And, I know what you mean about self-reliance, but I wonder if you can try and simply let yourself rely on other people a bit more (and to occasionally say "no") it will be ok, and you'll find it liberating? Maybe give it a go, I'm thinking how much worse can it be, if you feel like this already? Lots of luck and thoughts your way.

  4. Panic thee not F. I've just started a new venture myself. It's only 3 days a week, but that was all I wanted. But the bottom line (I know, I hate the expression too) is the same - you get done what you get done. If they heap more on you than you can handle, you request help. Now.
    The squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that. Do it.

    Let me know how you get on.


  5. I know that feeling about the emotional journey to work! It used to really get to me a long time ago. Looking back, perhaps I should have pinned a sign on the back door that said YOU'LL FEEL FINE BY LUNCHTIME.

    I'm into identifying vicious circles. When one has identified one, one is usually half way to breaking it.

    1. DR spot on - shared this here. Rolled up my sleeves and typed up two documents. Held two important meetings where I made it clear what the strategy was to be (one person described one of them as "strangely productive") and then had a review with one of my bosses (there is a point of stress straight away - multiple bosses) and he admitted we'd failed to get funding for at least one of the major projects he's been jumping up and down about...
      Although I don't really believe - maybe God does listen when I speak...

  6. i know "Imposter Syndrome" well. and failure to delegate comes with it... "if i ask for help, they'll know i'm failing!". makes it hard to get out of the cycle.

    can you talk with your boss? clearly outline where you think the priorities are, try to get his/her concurrence on what is most important for you to focus on for the near term? it's hard, but it beats drowning. good luck... i'm sure i'm not the only one out here cheering for you!

  7. I wonder if it helps to know how often you help those of us out here in the blogging world? I come here and your insights bring me clarity and peace and a sense of calm. It may not help you right now, while your feeling turmoil about your work, I just wanted you to know that you make a difference here. Today. FWIW.

  8. Great that you wrote it here, it's a brilliant place to let it all out. Sorry you feel this way though, at least you know your what you are like and your reactions to situations - you are half way to solving things if you know yourself.
    Best wishes to you, it sounds an uncomfortable place to be right now and in the end quality of life is the most important thing...

  9. my I am putting my old manager head on here
    and I must say your self awareness is leaps ahead of most employees I have come into contact with.. which is half the battle
    chin up and well shared x

  10. I think many of us have been in a similar situation, but keep on, stumbling on, day to day.

    The most useful skill I learned was when to say NO, and even to say DEFINITELY NO, closely followed by, F*CK OFF, I SAID NO.

    It does make life much easier.

  11. Sorry, I've only just read this - I've been pre-occupied I'm afraid - and I'm pleased to read your next post about feeling brighter.

    I identify with all your 'character defects' so let's call them ... challenges rather than defects. Makes me feel better.

    Now, get bombarding them with your ideas and shake them up!