As weeks go this was supposed to be a pretty important one. It’s almost as if this was the week in my life that was going to define how things were going to be moving forward.
Firstly, as I mentioned in my previous blog, I was going to be travelling up to London on my own to meet with other fans of reality TV behemoth Celebrity Big Brother and several key members of the production team. Despite a last minute change of location from Shepherds Bush to Elstree Studios, and all the hassle of adjusting my travel arrangements I was still totally psyched for the journey and experience which lay ahead.
Sadly though thanks to the incompetence of Great Western Railway I only managed to get as far as the next town to here before being forced to turn around and head back the way I came. As it stands at the moment I am still £130 out of pocket with no sign of any genuine response from the train company concerned. More to the point, I missed out on a once in a lifetime experience through no fault of my own, and then spent the rest of the day feeling low. Thanks a lot GWR!
The other main event in my life this week was my return to work after what for all intents and purposes has been a year away.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of being back in a work environment after such a long time. I guess the first word that comes to mind is overwhelming. Being back there is massively overwhelming and exhausting. I’ve gone from essentially spending my days in my own company, completely safe and comfortable, to spending a few hours each day in the company of other people. Each of whom have their own little niggles and personality traits. To go from such a safe, peaceful and introverted environment to one where I am surrounded by all sorts of different personalities and voices, all fighting for my mind to process them at once is hard. It’s really bloody hard.
It doesn’t help that I’ve changed so much in the year that I’ve been off as well. When I was last at work full time I would have described myself as the life and soul of the party. It was always me that would be ready with a witty remark for each and every situation, never fighting to be heard. Now though I feel like I am the exact opposite. I’m just one small, quiet and largely insignificant voice drowning in an ocean of larger than life personalities. I am but a team leader in title only. In reality i’m just somebody with a lifelong mental illness that would be happier curling up in a tight ball and not having to deal with any of this shit. I don’t feel like a team leader at all. I feel like a failure. Weak, hopeless and barely able to scrape through 3 hours a day of administration work. I feel like something has been lost over the past year of so-called recovery. The spark of enthusiasm that I used to have for my role seems to have been extinguished somewhere along the way and I don’t know where to find the lighter to reignite it.
I’m just struggling to connect with the whole concept of paid work and the people that come with it. I don’t know what to say to people any more, and I guess people don’t really know what to say to me either in case they accidentally say the wrong thing. My mood has sunk back to levels seen during previous episodes and my mind is struggling to dig its way out. I can’t cope with so many people at once. It’s all too much for my chemically addled mind to deal with and I can’t see that ever changing.
I want to be able to work though. That’s the thing. I want to be able to go in to the office and do my job and have a laugh and a joke with my team. I don’t want to go in and feel isolated and lonely. Over the past few days when I’ve been at work I’ve felt like a stranger amongst my own colleagues. I’ve had so much negative mind talk to contend with since Monday that the only thing I really feel like doing most of the time is climbing into my shell and hiding away.
I’m exhausted. I’m so fucking exhausted, and I’m struggling to cope.