I’ve had a nasty sinus infection. It visited, bought a couple of viral friends, took up residence, and has been harassing me for some time.
This eventually led to me missing:
- The last day of the training course work sent me on. I was GUTTED about this – not that ITIL is spectacularly interesting, but because it is Extremely Neat that work sent me on a training course at all, particularly one covering information like this. I did make it to the exam at the end, but it was a near thing.
- I missed Thursday, Friday, Monday and today (Tuesday) at work.
I still feel like crap, but I’m going into work tomorrow anyway.
Work aren’t fussy about sick leave. They have the usual requests for a doctor’s note if you’re away for longer than three days. And as I’m taking enough antibiotics to make a reasonable size elephant think twice, a doctor’s note isn’t difficult to obtain. But it bugs me, nonetheless. I’m not a slacker. I hate even the possibility of me slacking being considered by my bosses. I get really stressed out by it, in fact – not just because I love my job, but because the respect of my peers is important to me.
I grew up with Mum as my only real role model. And if there is one thing that NO-ONE dare contest about my mother? It’s the fact that she’s a bloody hard worker. Borne of necessity – with a child to care for and no-one else to rely on, Mum had no choice but to work. I’ve seen my mother physically crying as she left for work because she felt like such utter shit. I’ve gone to work with her, as a kid, when I was going through the usual kid bugs of measles or vomiting. She’d park me in a corner of the house she was cleaning, with strict instructions not to move except for the bathroom, and do her job. She worked nearly full-time as a cleaner with a fist-sized cyst on an ovary, in pain that left her crying on a daily basis – and six weeks after the surgery to remove said cyst, she was back at work again.
There’s nothing saintly about it. We needed the money, she had to work for money. End of story. But, as children do, I imbibed that feeling. Through school, through uni, through work, to now, if I am physically capable of getting up and going to work, I will do so.
I was fretting, as I tried to go to sleep last night, and it occurred to me that I have pushed on through things other people would have given up at. I’ve gone to work with severe acid reflux, so bad that I couldn’t eat or sleep. I went to work every single bloody day that I was struggling through a miserable unmedicated depressive patch (until I bit the bullet and got medicated). I’ve gone to work with the remnants of colds (I don’t share germs) time and time and time again. I went to work the day after my then-fiancee(of sorts) and I broke up. Hell, I went to work a day (possibly two?) after miscarrying, because it didn’t impact on my ability to work!
I am not a slacker. I am possibly a bloody idiot for pushing myself too hard. But not a slacker. I need to stop stressing out about it, take the time I need to actually recover, and THEN consider going back to work. The four days (six if you include the weekend) that I’ve taken off work? The most sick leave I’ve ever taken. Ever. Admittedly, I’ve mostly stayed home under Tobermory’s threats of tying me to the bed if I try to go to work. The endless coughing (and throwing up resulting from said coughing) being only secondary features…
Tobermory and I talked about this last night. And I think he finally got the message through my head that I don’t need to punish myself. Being sick is allowable. It doesn’t display weakness.
Have I ever mentioned that Tobermory is good for me?
Jobs applied for: 17
Jobs I’ve been turned down for: 3
Jobs I declined to take: 1
Interviews lined up next week: 2
People I’m waiting to hear back from: 3
OldJob emailed me today. My back wages have been paid, although not my holiday pay. That’ll be paid next fortnight, apparently. Technically, I don’t think they’re allowed to do that. Realistically, so long as I get it, I’m not hugely fussed. Unsurprisingly, I’ve not told them this.
He also offered me a few hours contract work today and tomorrow. I was most amused – he specified in his email that the customer had already paid for the work. Apparently he’s caught up to the fact that I’m not interested in “Money I Might Possibly Be Paid Later On We Hope”.
On the phone earlier this week, Mum asked how I’m coping with the whole “jobless” thing. Am I doing OK? Am I coping? How is the money going? Am I falling back into depression?
And honestly? I’m not. Of course I’m worried. I mean, I have no job, and there are bills to pay. But I couldn’t really do much more to sort things out. I’m applying for jobs, I’ve applied for the dole, I’m picking up whatever odd jobs here and there I can… what more could I do?
I have less than a week till Tobermory arrives. He and I are both nervebundles. There’s no backing out now, no changing our minds: not that we want to, of course.
I’m just playing the waiting game. Cleaning the little flat. Watching movies. Cooking too much food, refilling my freezer. Counting down till Thursday and that first hug.
I didn’t wake up till past 11am, this morning. Now, it’s something past midnight. I start work at 8am, but I can’t sleep.
I got an email from Nay, today. It’s amazing. Something is going right with her treatment, she’s taking a creative writing course, she’s got her computer connected to the ‘net, she’s learned how to use email.
She is, of course, upset. I was her only remaining friend in the faith. And yes, it’s been tough being her friend. Her anorexia meant I never wanted to weigh her down with my concerns. I merely tried to bolster her as and when I could. Anorexia tells her she’s not good enough to have friends. And I’ve tried to prove to Nay that, whatever else is going on, she is worthy of friendship.
And, to Nay, this feels like something of a betrayal. And I can understand that. For me to make this big a decision, and not tell her that anything was wrong? And what hurts, a little, is that… Nay apologised. For not being there for me.
But… maybe I was wrong. Maybe I should have told her. Maybe I should have asked her what she thought.
What hurts most? It’s nothing to do with Nay. But what I’ve realised – I didn’t trust her.
And that hurts.
She’s been my friend for so long. Knows me well, probably better than I realise. And after all these years… I couldn’t trust her? What’s wrong with me?
Nay was the first person I told about my depression. And I knew she’d understand. And she did, and she hugged me and let me cry and told me it’d be OK. A few months down the line, when I bounced over to say Hello! with my hair in a ponytail, long pretty earrings and makeup, she didn’t need to say a word. She just hugged me. But – she’s always had such a strong faith. I didn’t want her to waver at all on my account. Didn’t want her to try and understand. After all. There’s only so much one person can handle. Nay, surely, with her blindness and anorexia and depression and and and didn’t need my problems, too.
So I wrote back. Explained my choices. Explained that I never told anyone about my dithering, until I’d really (albeit unconsciously) made up my mind. Told her that whatever else is going on, I want to remain her friend.
Me? I need to remain her friend. I need to act like her friend.
I need to have more faith in people.
Mum and I have chatted on the phone a few times since the move. General settling in discussions. How are things? What’s rubbish day? What are the local stores like? Have you found some nice walking routes? How was the first trip to church? How are you coping?
And me? I am coping. I’m not just coping, I’m happy. I love this, being on my own. Free to come and go at will. Free to invite friends around, to watch four movies on a lazy Saturday, to go out walkyjogging for an hour and a half then collapse on the floor with aching legs.
Mum was worried that, on my own, depression would alter it’s agenda. That I’d regress to the point where getting out of bed required a marathon effort, where I could sit in front of the computer working, conscious of the tears trickling down my face, not knowing why I was crying.
But no. I’m coping, and coping well. Of course, I’ve had the odd blue day. Who doesn’t? Even Tobermory noticed, when he had to tell me, a couple weeks ago, that I was being Little Miss Snappy (go PMS). Oh yes, have I mentioned that mother nature has finally regained her hold on my anatomy, now that the injection has thoroughly worked it’s way out? Oddly enough, I don’t mind. Maybe it’s because I’m not sleeping with anyone. But it’s nice, in a bizarre fashion, knowing that my body is behaving as it should. I’m off the skin medication. I’m off the stomach medication. The only thing I take now are the anti-depressants, and I do eventually intend to come off them, assuming I cope without them.
I’ve been to the local congregation twice. They seem friendly enough, a few various ones have made their way over to say their hellos, including a couple of young women my age. I still don’t know where I want to be, what I believe. For now, I’ll keep going, confused as I am. This way, none of my family are hurt, for a decision I haven’t really managed to make yet. One of these days, I’ll have to make that call.
I’m settling into the work routine, too. The account manager at the server colo facility is gorgeous, and it’s always nice having eye candy around. Sadly, I’ll have no reason to work with him, and the network engineers (who I will be working with on the odd occasion) aren’t half so easy on the eye.
I like the life I’m building here. Could I ask for more?