It’s been a bad day.


Oh my word. Oh my woorrrrrdddd.


I am still struggling to process what has been going on the past two months, and I’m not sure what hit me. It feels like a brick. In the face.

I reached my physical limits quite a few weeks ago, so I have just been riding things out to the best of my ability until now, because I got myself a week off to try and recover.

I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t read a book, I couldn’t think. I am not really sure who I am any more and what planet I am on. But a few days into my week off and I am already feeling slightly more human. I have hopes that I can enter society again at the end of the week and be handed back my certificate as a member of the species.

I think in many ways, I am just not cut out for the mainstream world. My physical and emotional reactions to some things are just so different to many peoples’. I am fairly certain most people would not need a week off to recover from what has been going on. Actually, as I found out, most people around me have been going through far worse, and they haven’t taken a single day off. And here I am going through full on adrenal fatigue, just utterly wiped out, from something so relatively insignificant. But hey, I can’t change who I am, this is my biological make up, and I just need to learn to cope as well as I can.

Hmm, I have a way to go still.

While I have been going through a bit of a physical and emotional short circuit, other people I know have lost loved ones, or experienced the serious illnesses of loved ones, and once again I am whacked over the head with perspective. What I have been going through is nothing, just nothing, in comparison. I know it and am grateful. But as I say, I react a certain way to certain things, and I am finished. Kaput.  I need a holiday from EVERYTHING.

The stressful situation at work, well it got more stressful. And of course, when something in your life is stressful, it will be at least partly or even mostly because of your own reactions and attitude. It’s hard to see that at the time you are suffering, but it’s true.

Eventually after taking what I felt to be a lot of stress for two months, I wrote a far too blunt and forceful email to the person involved. I didn’t even attempt to edit it, I just couldn’t. I had been suffering the consequences of misscommunication for two months, and I couldn’t bear another minute of it.

Uh, yup, I really wish I had edited that mail now. Scratch that, I wish I had never sent it.

Anyway, I did and it led to an “interaction”  on Friday that was good, it was decent and respectful on both sides, and led  me to see that I had overreacted, or read the situation incorrectly.

Now I think I was just plain selfish  instead of understanding that not every situation can be perfect, and that my superiors endure far more stress than me. It’s just that I was having a physical meltdown, I was so tired from not being able to sleep that I could barely work any more, never mind deal what I was dealing with.

I even lost weight! Um, thanks, superiors, for that. However, I think, on the whole, I could have done without that and gone with peace of mind instead.

As I said before, normal people would not react to the situation the way I did. But I was not coping well and that was that.

Then on Tuesday, my last day at work before my week off, things just imploded. It’s a good thing I booked the rest of the week off, or I probably would have collapsed after Tuesday!

It was our visitor’s (the person I have been working with every day for the last two months) last day, and I had to deal with the emotional intensity of saying goodbye to her, the tears, the photographs, the last minute organising,  and singing, lots and lots of singing (um, don’t ask about the singing, it was fun but it was also partly responsible for my strung out state. It’s not something I would choose to do, in my workplace, in a serious institution. But hey).

Right then, my superiors called us into a meeting and dropped a bombshell that was just the peak of the whole insane two months.  And put everything into some perspective.

And now, knowing what I know, and understanding how much stress, trauma, sadness and pressure they have been under, I really really wish I had never sent that damn email.

I managed to apologise to the person involved, but I still feel like crap.

Things are not easy any more, they are not the same. I feel so bad so bad, for my two bosses. They are so good at what they do, and work so hard to do their best for all of us, and they have been treated so badly. I really care for every person in the group I work in, I love them all. It was a really bad day for all of us.


And I wish I hadn’t sent my stupid email.

After Tuesday, it took me 24 hours to be able to unclench my stomach muscles, I was just so strung out with all the emotions of saying goodbye, hearing the bad news, apologising and trying to finish up all my work in time.

I am a strongly introverted person. For the last two months I have been forced to live my life in a completely external, extroverted way. Confrontation, apology, emotion, all of these things  exhaust me.

I need some time alone, and I am taking it!

It has not all been bad, I have had fun too. I’ve been travelling and seen the sea, had some amazing weather, I’ve seen movies, and posed for a million photographs and sung, sung more than I have ever sung, although I must admit I could have done without some of the singing. And the posing.

I taught a small Chinese student how to sing the entire South African national anthem, and she is amazing, she can sing it better than any white South African of my age or above that I know. She is a legend. I will really miss her.

I am sure this post doesn’t make much sense. Right now I don’t make any sense. I need to reboot.  And sleep. And eat. And read a book.

On Wednesday I woke up at 1.45 pm. It was a good start.

This song is for my lab members, for Tuesday. And anyone else who found these last few months to be a nightmare, for personal or work reasons. I know there are a lot of you out there!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tiah
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 09:30:39

    I’m not sure if other people really do handle things better. Some do, I suppose. But I have discovered that many are not so well once you scratch the surface: drink a bit more, yelling at loved ones more, eating too much, using ‘medical aids’ and so on.

    To quote a Julia Robert’s movie, ‘Take care of you.’
    As in… be nice to yourself.
    And that’s about the only advice I have along with a thousand e-hugs.


  2. paula
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 10:27:47


    My dramatic side is on a high so my friend. It is at this point I shall comfort and advise. I find that when I need to confront a situation (I’m VERY passive agressive)

    [in writing] I put on an accent- any accent… my one of choice is an upper class british girl, I put on my bob haircut wig, I light up a cigarette, write and EDIT. Wait a day and then send.

    [In person] I get mad. And I am surprisingly calm (you could say cold) when I am angry. But I need to be right over the edge, no actually WAY passed the edge. I must be FUMING.

    BUT it’s okay to be mad and have after-act-remorse. It’s so natural. It’s a passive agressive/ introvert side effect. The thing is you need to realise that you did what was good for you at the time pudding. You needed to send it, you needed to be blunt, you also realised that you needed to show yourself that you valued yourself. Not so bad. In fact good.

    The thing about bitches is they get what they want. I like bitches. Not the dogs though – I am not a dog person. I am a cute, clean dog person but a big dirty gruff dog- hell nah. OOOOH except German shepards and Labrador (Excuse me spelling) but they are usually clean noble dogs. I don’t like old, dying dogs either.

    So just inhibit your inner bitch. And BE selfish. Otherwise everyone will push you over. And there is nothing sadder than a push-over. Oh wait, yes there is – a melted strawberry milkshake (when its been made with ice cream… because who wants a flat milkshake)

    You know the other day I was reading Alice in Wonderland and like that girl freaking rabbit trails in that book. It’s annoying. So sorry I rabbit trail so much. And so sorry about spelling errors, this computer is NOT correcting me so I’m just going on and on.

    But it’s a crappy time of year generally. So pat yourself on the back- you are so totally over it all now.


  3. Tamara
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 12:53:51

    Oh, Po. I hear you. Strongs, my friend. I hope the grey misery lifts soon, the fog clears and things start to come right.


  4. poseamonkey
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 20:26:21

    Tiah: hmmmm maybe you are right? I don’t use any medical aids at all…. yet, although some wine would go down well right now, maybe I should turn to substance abuse for support. I used to do the getting mad at loved ones thing, but I have done my best to stop that, it’s just not on. I just go into a coma once in a while. I have no idea what is a better coping strategy.


  5. poseamonkey
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 20:32:08

    Oh Paula, wise words, wise words. To edit. To not send. The thing is, when I decided to send, I wasn’t all hyped up, or tense or emotional or anything, it was this kind of cold, calm clarity. I was saying to myself, British people dont do this, they dont say exactly what they feel or think, and I dont usually do it either, but sometimes, I need to unleash my inner honesty cudgel. And then I said to myself, if you send it, you are going to regret it, no doubt. And then I thought but I am just going to because if I dont then the worry will hang over me while I am away and my attitude at work will get worse and worse and I could end up living in an ugly passive aggressive situation for ages and I dont want that! So I hit the damn send button. It probably would have taken me weeks/months/ turned me into a shaking mess to say what I wrote, but that send button is just too damn easy. And I was prepared to deal with the consequences and I did, which include me being a 5 year old emotional overreacting idiot. Sigh.

    PS I am having issues accessing….. you know. I don’t know why?!


  6. poseamonkey
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 20:34:07

    Thank you Tamara, so much! Why oh why does this time of year feel like a murky bog sucking people down? Anyway, I already feel much better, not sure about the people at my work who don’t have the luxury of taking time off.


  7. tiah
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 10:11:12

    To be clear: I wasn’t advocating drinking / drugs etc. My point was only that when you are comparing yourself to others you may not see the whole picture. Their lives too, could be a mess.



  8. poseamonkey
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 10:24:17

    I want alcohol! I want drugs! Just kidding :) Don’t worry, I knew what you meant, but you reminded me of why I used to wonder why so many grownups drank so much when I was young. I think now I know.


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