Roll back to December 20th 2018.
I was not in a good way. I’ve said before that Christmas time is usually not the best time of year for me with my seasonal affective disorder and all but it wasn’t just that. My proverbial stress bucket had well and truly overflowed. So many stresses going in and not enough holes to let stuff go out. Throw into that the gaslighting that at this point I had initially challenged but was still entrapped in and had started to see the end of working there, recent holiday-gone-wrong (see ‘Coming Home’) in November resulting in coming home early, anxiety hitting an all time high because of being away from home, the gaslighting taking a real toll because of being like a puppet on a string for her, pulled left and right, not knowing myself what the truth really was about my skills and what I had allegedly done or not done.
I was and had been under pressure at work and had put myself under further pressure at work by expecting a lot from myself, not taking proper breaks and I couldn’t recognise what was going on with my anxiety because of the gaslighting. I was emotionally and physically drained and just about done.
That morning, I remember I really didn’t want to go to work. Not entirely unusual, and I’d not had the best night’s sleep either. The week leading up to the 20th , I’d been like I was when I was first diagnosed with anxiety, coupled with when I’d been diagnosed with depression. Basically really on edge, snappy, antisocial, tearful and, my god I could not, really really not take any word of criticism at all without snapping and getting angry. On the train to work, I remember thinking,” I can’t do this”, “what if people see me upset” , “I won’t cope with today”, “why am I upset” and things like that. I just felt so shaky inside, like I was about to break apart.
The old mask went on but even that only stuck blutack on the cracks. I got into the lab and something, I really do not know what this final straw was, even now, just went.
I finished the ‘conversation’ if you could even call it that, such was my level of anxiety that day, that I was having and looked at my paperwork and felt an absolute deluge of tears forming, so quickly walked out of the lab to just be by myself.
I had the thought of oh I’ll take a break and I’ll be okay in 10 minutes. Nope. My boss, the gaslighter caught me in the corridor walking off, asked me to pop into the office for something nice. She said three words “are you alright?” And guess what happens next.
Almost everything just spilled out and I was probably extremely emotionally unstable at that exact point. I was emotionally tired of everything, tired of hiding, the pressure overspilled and I cracked. In hindsight , had I stayed there much longer this would have been used against me in the gaslighting. And I would have and actually really wasn’t that far off having a full mental breakdown.
I was sent home because I was not in a for state to work but hilariously enough I was then asked I felt okay, though it was obvious that I was not okay, to go and put my things away on the lab. I said no I just wanted to leave. What I didn’t say was no because how will I explain to my colleagues why I’m leaving, what if they ask more questions than I can cope with answering, how do you think it feels to be in my shoes right now?
I phoned the GP on my way home, got signed off for a week. Somehow, I don’t remember at all how, I got home after phoning my mum, worked up a bit again , then I just slept for hours. It was a long way back but it is important to remember, recovery is entirely possible but it isn’t instant.