5 months ago I was in my own personal hell at work.
The situation had been gradually declining for the past year at work and despite subtle warning signs I did not take any action to advert the slump and would carry on regardless.
I had become angry, even though I knew this was not me.
Strangely out of work my life was brilliant, because of this blog I had set myself a direction and purpose and so:
- I was in the best shape of my life.
- I had an active social life.
- I was seeing women after a three year dry spell.
Perhaps this clouded my ability to not see the crash that was approaching, because although I hated my job, it gave me the money for me to do all the other amazing stuff.
But they say you need to hit rock bottom, before you realise what is going wrong and can start building yourself up again.
When it happened, I was emotionally upset and I could not shake the feeling that my brain had split in two from the stress at work. I walked by the canal in my lunch hour and wondered what that cold water would feel like.
Then my fight or flight response kicked in.
My fight response was the deepest, darkest pit of my mind. Fortunatley I understand consequences and if I had done that I would be in prison now.
So I favoured the flight. I drafted a resignation letter, which I was going to hand in the next day. I would walk from my job straight away, I felt I was at a point of no return where my relationship with the boss could not be mended.
I was giving up a nice goodbye, no leaving present, no speech giving the usual pleasantries about how much I’ll miss everyone. I would just throw the letter on my bosses desk and walk out.
Perhaps I would travel and get a job abroad, doing some bohemian lifestyle.
I would forget working in admin ever again, I obviously didn’t have what it takes otherwise I would never have got myself at such a low point where I was making so many mistakes.
Whatever came next, I though it was better than how things were, my stress made me feel trapped. I was under a boss who had some sort of mental disorder, why else was she constantly tormenting me in such a way.
If people wondered why I would consider such an action, it was purely down to the fact I felt powerless - I saw no possible future of bettering myself in that work environment. This thought had been validated a few months ago when – I’d been blocked from applying for a secondment elsewhere within the organisation a few months earlier by my boss.
To not work there would mean I was free to do whatever I wanted.
Yes, it would look bad on my CV.
Sure I would probably have a spell of unemployment.
And I may have to work part time again.
But to regain my power was worth it.
So I went to work the next day and despite thinking over a thousand things in my head for how I wanted to do it – an ultimate ‘fuck you’ speech I would make to my boss or an awkward scene that would cause her a world of shit, I began to bottle it.
I looked at the letter
I looked at my bosses door
I did this several times till one of my colleagues realised something was wrong. So I spoke to them in private.
I broke down in tears and she talked through the problem and explained the gravity of the situation – all the stuff I had already gone through in my head the night before.
I would be free, but I would broke.
And there goes the social life, doing what I want.
There goes going out with that girl you really connect with.
There I go further down the work ladder after 10 years of trying to be succesful.
My colleague and friend said that I was obviously not in the best frame of mind and that I should go to the doctors to get a sick note for stress.
I didn’t want to admit it was that, but I knew I didn’t feel right. I had never been sick like this before, it wasn’t an injury and I didn’t have a virus, it was all in my mind.
So I did as she said and got time off from the doctor for stress.
And so I sat back and began to re-plan my life.
- Was I going back?
- Was I going to quit?
- Was I going to escape my hell?
What was going to happen next?