So I'm turning up at the office, a partial zombie, self conscious, slightly erratic and detached from the once familiar surroundings. But I'm there and trying very hard to readjust to being back in the workplace. There is nothing like a large dose of reality to help you measure your recovery and level of wellness. Being well at home on the sofa is a mile away from being well amongst the chaos of office politics. Everything and everyone feels complicated and awkward.
The team I work in is like a jigsaw puzzle. Roles and behaviours are embedded and even when we all pretend to change our behaviour or try something new, we all end up reverting to type. I'm trying to find my place again, and have the fear of relapse or not being able to get back to working the hours I used to. I'm also feeling the perceived and probably erroneous pressure from a range of personalities, but mostly from myself. So many people say that work is just a means to an end, a place to go to change activity tokens into shoe tokens, but on deeper scrutiny, people get to be the person they aren't at home. They can be flirty or sarcastic, they can moan or feel powerful; it also gives people a sense on belonging and a place in the universe. I often wonder if we were all told that work no longer existed, what we would all do. Die of boredom and feel completely lost most likely.
And I am as inconsistent and the as the wind. My mood swings erratically throughout the day, and I am easily contaminated by negativity. The energy and noise are so immense that I have to keep ducking out of the office just to catch my breathe. There is an endless clamouring that seeps into me and I feel burdened by it. When its time to go home I breathe easy again and rinse out the flotsam and jetsam of the day. I'm hoping I can readjust and that every day that I go in, like exposure therapy, I'll finally not even register the excess mood baggage flying around.
And there is always one person that is your nemesis. A person that pushes your buttons, triggers your shame, infects your positivity, and consciously or not, makes your life a misery. These people are normally thick skinned and with guile, gently stomp all over your cotton soft soul, and muddy your waters. Oh yes, and they tell you its not them, but its you. You are at fault, emotional cripple. I'm just doing it the best way so get in line or disappear. Toughen up jello pants you're a loser. These people can masquerade as friendly, funny and helpful - remember the popular club at school. I try and see them in a more honest light. Is parading with grandiosity a reaction to low self esteem; is the criticism really aimed at me or their own insecurity. Analysing the arse out of it gets you nowhere though, so I have to learn to ignore it or challenge it. But I hate conflict, especially when I'm mentally fragile, so I have to bide my time and stay in hibernation until I can summon the courage to wither the dark beast with the light of truth.
Oh yes and I'm meant to be doing some work too. How the hell am I going to do that in amongst the circus of bedlam?