Every time I feel confident that my life’s getting better, it seems something goes horribly wrong — or rather, several things at once, just as I’m approaching my second anniversary in the job I supposedly love.
I’m still getting headaches, and while the dizzy spells have largely (but by no means entirely) retreated, I’m still worried about my health — for example, the fact that for no apparent reason I can wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep. This happened last night, and I felt a great depression come over me, almost wanting to give up on London entirely and go back to live in Worthing (yikes!). This was at least partly thanks to taking ibuprofen to combat the pain, and as you will remember, I’ve experienced this before, and know not to do anything “drastic” (aside from cursing), because the feeling will pass.
I still felt miserable when I managed to drag myself to work, having made several mistakes this week, and feeling like I was letting down senpai (the guy I look up to, for those of you who Nihongo o hanasenai). I was genuinely unhappy in the office, rather than my usual helpful, chipper self, and at one point experienced nostalgia by sitting alone in a small room, almost crying. However, that turned out to be cathartic (as in the subtitle of this blog), and from that point on I actually felt a lot more cheerful, and found myself more than willing to help people…
Right up to the point that “boss lady” took me into a side office for a talking-to, just like in mid-January 2016.
Yes, folks, it seems I’ve had complaints all over again, and have one more chance to sort things out — the difference from a year and a half ago being that this time I’m permanent staff, rather than an ex-temp now going through six-month probation, and feel like I’ve earned my job and so shouldn’t be on a knife-edge. It doesn’t feel any less dangerous, even though they’d have a harder time getting rid of me entirely now than they would have done back then. I guess I should have realised that she wasn’t just trying to keep me on the straight and narrow before, she was genuinely unhappy with my behaviour, and it’s all come to a head now.
Needless to say, this has increased my stress levels again, and brought back anxiety to accompany my depression — as you would imagine, anxiety and depression together make a horrible mixture. Thus, the stress I’ve been under, and the headaches and dizzy spells as side effects, has created a whole new reason to be stressed — but I daren’t take any more ibuprofen to combat the headaches, as it definitely brings my mood down and thus makes it harder for me to interact cheerfully with the users, thus exacerbating the problem.
Unfortunately she was unsympathetic to my situation, saying that I need to either manage this stress and remain perfectly polite to the users, or find a whole new line of work… it’s like it doesn’t matter how much good work I’ve done, or that she hasn’t had to talk to me like this for eighteen months, a couple of mistakes can bring everything down!
It sucks being back in this situation, but two things keep me going. Firstly, I got through this back in 2016, and recognise that it’s only since I came back from holiday that these things have been happening all over again; it’s a difficult spiral to break out of, but if I can conquer my resurgent depression and/or anxiety, or at least make sure to get a good night’s sleep, I’ll be better able to interact with others. Secondly, senpai is largely on my side here, and thinks that “boss lady” was out of line threatening me with “disciplinary procedures”, because although he knew I still had problems sometimes, we’re better off correcting each other as-and-when, instead of amassing evidence like this… and in any case, he agreed that she was unreasonable taking me to task over bantering with the bloke at reception via phone!
(Not to mention, she believed a lady upstairs who claimed I’d told her to “go away” and held up my hand, when this was blatant exaggeration — I’d just said I was very busy, and if anything had an anxiety attack, as she’d hemmed me in at my desk!)
Furthermore, although “boss lady” wants me to ask my team for help more readily, rather than rushing off trying to help users myself and making us all look “incompetent” by not knowing things (like the fact that one team had bought their own iPads while I was away), senpai reckons I’m not being supported properly by one particular member of our team, a gent he’s very annoyed with at the moment for palming off jobs to others, and making system changes without telling the rest of us. Sad thing is, I like that guy too, and at least some of the time find him useful and helpful, but I’ve been told that “boss lady” likes him a bit too much, and refuses to see his flaws… damn, what do I have to do to get that kind of quasi-nepotism?!
I just have to hope I can cope with feeling this way all over again, and that I can keep my head together (despite the occasional dizzy spells) and win back the users I’ve offended, at least to “boss lady’s” approval. I guess I should never imagine I’ve won her over again, and always keep one eye on her. 2017 comes three years after 2014 and 2011, both years in which I suffered during the autumn and winter months and, at times, wished it would all end; I don’t want that three-year cycle to be repeated, or for my 40th birthday to signal the start of bad times, like my 34th and 37th (and, to some extent, my 31st).
On that basis, only if I’m still in my job and earning the UK average wage by my birthday in October, will I even think of building a better PC!
— — —
P.S. I know many think of it as quackery, but my old yoga teacher (back in the country briefly) is planning to give me an acupuncture session, as he’s good at curing stress headaches — so, if I can make it to the weekend…
P.P.S. Maybe, just maybe, I should let my “second family” in Michigan sponsor me for a green card after all, even if the USA is an increasingly right-wing country these days!