Days 52 & 53 – What I’m Afraid Of (at the moment)

All this weekend I’ve been feeling very anxious. Usually by Sunday evening I will have calmed down, but not this time. I though I’d make a list of all the things I’m feeling afraid about and see if I could reassure myself a bit.

I’m afraid to tell my supervisor tomorrow that I need an extended leave for work. She might think I’m not fully committed to the work. She might start thinking about how to replace me. I’ll lose my chance for a raise this year–never mind how hard I’ve been working all year–because raises will be determined while I’ll still be on leave.

I’m also afraid of the burden of the work I’m leaving behind. I don’t work 50-55 hours a week on nothing! Others will have to pick up that work, at least some of it that really can’t wait. I know I’m not the only overloaded person, so I worry about both the effect on my colleagues and also the resentment that they will carry toward me.

I’m afraid I can’t meet my deadlines even for this week. I have so much work. I worked five hours today (Sunday) and don’t feel ready for the upcoming week. I have non-stop meetings from 8:30 to 5:00 tomorrow, so no opportunity to write more on the report that is due Tuesday. This makes me feel sick to my stomach.

I’m afraid I can’t keep up this pace until October 1, the day I have tentatively set to start my leave. I’m so exhausted, and my concentration is shot.

I’m afraid I’ll back down and not take the leave or not take all of it because of the pressure I’ll feel from my supervisor and colleagues. I thought about working part-time, 1 or 2 days a week, but I know that will just expand to take up time every day.

I’m afraid to tell my husband more about my abuse. I thought last week that I was finally about there. But I choke if I even imagine those words coming out of my mouth. I know he will believe me and support me. But I can’t do it yet. And I feel like not doing it is keeping a distance between us that I don’t want to exist.

I’m worried about my dad and at a loss for how to help. And anyway I don’t have any time to help. Not to mention that the more I am around him, the more I rely on denial to cope, which makes it even harder to imagine talking to my husband.

I’m afraid I am not being a good mom to my sons. I don’t tell them any of this. I try to protect them. I don’t want them to worry about me. But I’m also perpetuating the idea that abuse or mental illness is something to be ashamed of. I worry that I am doing what my mom does, what I hate: only talking about pleasant things, not fully sharing myself.

I’m going to need quite a pep talk from my wiser self, I can see. But I can’t rouse the energy right this minute. I would like to crawl in bed and read a book and fall asleep and forget it all.

5 thoughts on “Days 52 & 53 – What I’m Afraid Of (at the moment)

  1. I pushed myself and worked at a high pressure job. I believe it’s why my immune system is comprised permanently. Glands under my neck pop out with stress and I tire easily. I hope you can give yourself this break.

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  2. Sounds like a very difficult decision — all your decisions are difficult ones, actually.
    This is the worst part of managing mental illness and staying “integrated” and a part of traditional employment. I’m impressed at your ability to juggle it all.
    But it’s taking its toll.
    I think it’s natural to feel guilty about inviting flexibility into our lives when we have “obligations” but the cycle of mental illness–in my opinion–requires flex time.
    The danger is in order to ‘protect’ everyone around you, you are sacrificing your sanity.
    I’m not trying to minimize how difficult your decisions are. They really are. I just want to validate your absolute need to create boundaries–with your work–for example. I really want to see you well.
    One thing I’m constantly learning is that it’s OK to be assertive and tell others what we need.
    I tend to replace the word “selfish” for “thriving”. Others will have to deal with the reality that’s placed before them.
    If it’ll help you to feel prepared, maybe you could go over what could be done if you go on leave and your worst fears come true–how to protect yourself or what to do in case you don’t get the raise or are replaced entirely.
    I’m rooting for you and your healing.
    Lo mereces!
    LS xx

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  3. You’ll tell your hubby when you are ready. Telling him will make it all more real and you may not be ready for that yet. (Just speaking from experience.) I am an avid follower of your blog and your openness and honesty in your writing.

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  4. That’s a lot to take on at once. It is so important that you take care of yourself. Nothing else will matter, in the long run, if you don’t prioritize yourself. Easier said than done. Supporting you xx

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