Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Meltdown. Again...

I thought that I was past this stage. That exhaustion could lead to a stupid mistake, which would in turn tip the scales enough to cost me another days vacation and leave me with a blinding headache.

(And seeing as I still have the blinding tear induced headache I'm going to try to keep this short).

This morning I found myself in Amsterdam, a month earlier than I needed to be (for some reason I had read July as June, and even now have the overwhelming feeling that I should be there now). On a tram heading to a conference that was not going to take place yet and almost in tears on the phone to Mrs Stace, trying to figure out how I had done something *so* stupid.

She suggested I write the day off, take a days leave and relax at home. I would've done that except that I could not get hold of my boss to discuss it. So I took the train to where I work, and not the train back to where I live.

He called me on the train, and again I was nearly in tears (with the complete realisation that I was in a carriage with about 100 other people, all of whom would be looking at me if I did). We had a chat and I said I was on my way there.  he did tell me not to stress about the mistake.

I grabbed a cappuccino at the station (believe it or not they make good ones!) and walked to the office, cradling my cup in both hands like it was 20 degrees colder than it was and trying to bite back tears.

Until I reached the office, then it all went to pot. Someone asked me how I was feeling and I broke down completely. She took me to a quiet room and we had a good chat.  I thought that I had calmed down and tried to get on with my work. Until I had to take something to HR and someone there asked how I was. And I was off again. We headed to a meeting room and had another chat, about how I should not push myself too hard, how everyone knows I am going through something huge right now and basically that I should cut myself some slack.

Even having that conversation made me feel a complete and utter failure. At work and with my transition - 3.5 years after telling Mrs Stace, and 18 months living as Stace and this *still* happens! I can do better work than I am doing, but at the moment it just isn't happening. I get scared that at some point people are going to realise that I am useless at my job and kick me out.  And here is me helping to prove that... I told her that and she told me to stop worrying, and repeated what she had said earlier.

We agreed that I should take the day off and try to relax, which I have managed to do somewhat. The weather here has picked up again, I took another run to calm my head (it semi worked, it wandered everywhere rather than emptying, but at least it didn't obsess), then had a cheese and pickle ciabatta, followed by a peanut butter and chocolate sprinkle one (seriously, one of the best comfort foods ever, the Dutch know their stuff!).

And reading, music and snoozing in the sun followed.

Am I recovered? No, not even close. I realised that I have not taken a week off of work since September last year (maybe even August) and that is part of it. The other is the uncertainty of the operation at the moment (I want to get organised) and the fear of being put under for it.

I have a chat with my boss tomorrow, and I am not sure he is going to like it. I'm not going to do what my therapist said and go on partial sick leave just yet, even though it may help. That is a last resort for me. First I am going to say that I need some slack. I am going to look at what is on my plate and ask for help in some of it. I already have an idea what can be the first to go. First two things actually. And I am going to see if that helps.

Either way, I want to do something to stop this!


  1. I know what I am like when things get on top of me and its not pretty. For you Stace you have the additional weight of you pending rebirth - the worry of which I can partially understand

    I get the impression that you are trying to prove something to yourself and everyone else - something that doesn't need to be proved. It sounds to me that there are a lot of people who care a great deal for you who are telling you to slow down and I think you need to listen. You run the risk of running yourself down and ending up with a illness because your immune system is weakened and where will that leave you ?

    Whatever the driver behind all upset, the one thing that seems to be clear is that you are under a lot of stress. Cut yourself some slack, you need to take care of yourself and let others help. I am sure that you will return the help when they need it in future. I think that you are one of life's kind and caring people .... time to receive some of that yourself.


    Ps Peanut and Choc .... Are you sure ?

  2. I just wrote to you privately, sweetie, but I want to tell you how awful I feel for you right now. My heart aches for you.

    It hurts to be so vulnerable, I know. You are an exceptionally kind, sensitive soul, and you don't give yourself anywhere near the slack you would give to anyone else in a similar situation.

    So... be good to yourself. Please? You deserve it. I suspect your boss will feel the same way. He sounds a lot like my boss (and just what did we do to luck out like that, anyway?!?).

    You have spent most of your life trying to be what you thought everyone wanted you to be; now take the time to do what is best for you.

    And if you don't, then no more eating pickles and chocolate sprinkles and peanut butter all at once for you!!! lol

    Mega hugs and love,

    P.S. When I was growing up we used to go to my grandmother's house for dinner on Saturday nights. We would always stop for donuts at The Big Dipper.

    For dessert, my Dad used to have two plain donuts - with a slice of American cheese melted on top of each. No, I am not making that up. And yes, his cardiologist was appalled years later when he told him! lol

  3. Stace, you do need to take a break.
    If after you have broken down twice in one day at work your boss doesn't realise this then he needs a good talking to from HR. If they put any value in you as a person and an employee then they will know that having you in the best of health, physically, mentally and emotionally, is in your and their best interests.

    Take care of yourself.

  4. Dear Stace, not a big mistake and I am sure your boss doesn't see it as one either. Take the time to get your head right.

    I too am beginning to stress about my upcoming surgery date but doing my best to plan and deal with my fears.

    Thinking of you.