Yesterday, I could barely move.
I spent the day worrying about going into work the next. And I tried to forget by watching films, eating bad food and being incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin.
And then my mother, who is the only one in the world who cares about me more than herself, said: “Why don’t you just leave? You’re making yourself ill.”
My eyes lit up for the first time in twenty-four hours. I thought about it.
“I won’t let myself quit. Because I’d feel like a failure.”
She sighed, open mouthed.
“It’s not failure. Just stay at home and rest.”
I’m glad I have a supportive mother, somewhat at least. Sometimes she will say things that people with mental illnesses do not want to hear. But yesterday she supported me.
With that, I began to think that I could not live my life as a zombie. That I needed to stop before it killed me.
And so, I asked myself for permission to take some time off from working a job. Do nothing for two or three months.
And today, I have woken up to feelings of guilt, but equally feelings of resolve, that I can finally quit my job, and quit the outside world for a while. And just write. I find writing therapeutic.
I haven’t actually had any time off. I’ve been either in education or working all of my life.
And now, in my 30’s, I think the time has come. Because I just can’t keep up anymore. My health is suffering.
As you may know, I’m quitting my dream job that I worked so hard to get, to rest. So, I’ve battled through the dark, thick smoke that is my doubt and feelings of guilt and quitting.
It’s becoming a bit clearer now, and finally I can say stop.
I made this decision a few weeks ago, then I went back to work. Then I was off sick again, then I said I’d go back to work. Now, this is my final decision.
And yes I worry about what people will think of me. But they have not lived with crippling severe anxiety since they were children, have they?
Self-care is the most important thing. And if you can, take the chance and take some time to yourself. In our society, we forget to rest. We are always on the go. We need the career, we need the house, we need money, we need friends, we need the spouse, we need children. NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF.
What you are going through is different to others. Just because that friend or relative of yours, who is younger, has a better career than you, or is married, doesn’t mean you failed.
If you’re feeling like you need to stop or else you’ll drop dead, then stop. Too many times we see people burning out.
Well, the way I feel I think I have burnt out… but, well I guess it’s either rest or commit suicide.
Everything in the world is waiting for you for when you’re better. Don’t believe that you have to GO GO GO all of the time. Even early-man slept through the day, when the sun was at its highest. They didn’t work themselves to death. Why should we?