Sunday, 9 August 2015

The one where she said "I'm done"

I didn't know there was truly such as thing as a 'nervous breakdown', until it happened to me. For years, I thought I could muddle through all this stress indefinitely, allowing myself to have a cry and then move on with it. I never expected things to build to the point, where I'd explode and break down and then wake up the next day STILL shaking and say "I'm done". 

It happened one weekend, about 6 weeks ago, when I was at work. At work. The place which has long been my haven, the place I go to have some 'me time'. In hindsight, alarm bells should've been ringing the moment I started considering an acute psychiatric in-patient unit 'respite'. Especially when I'm often the person in charge, with minimal support from those in the Senior management stratosphere. I love my job, I have someone/s yelling at me all week and by the weekend, I'm ready to at least get paid to be someone's punching bag. 

On this particular weekend, I was brain mushed by the end of my Saturday evening shift. Nothing major, just the cumulative effect of arrogant doctors and benign interruptions every 3.2 seconds. I'd been awake since 630am (a sleep in) and I just wanted to crawl into bed to scrape a few hours of sleep in, before I had to get up and do it all again the next day. But the sleep fairies weren't kind that night, the sleep fairies put in an epic combined effort and gave me precisely one hour of unbroken sleep. And nobody helped. 

I contemplated calling in sick that morning. But I didn't. There was no one else to be in-charge and I didn't want to disappoint my boss. Instead, I skulled cold instant coffee, whilst Max screamed and screamed, begging me not to go to work. He cried so hard, he vomited. He's never cared that much about me going to work and it concerned me, that he was suddenly so anxious. I think I cried the entire way to work. 

Most of my colleagues were kind to me that morning and so were our patients. I needed that. I needed everyone around me to just be nice or at least kinda nice. Because I felt completely broken. I was so tired, I was confused, and felt almost drunk. But I tried (gosh darn it, I tried so hard) to keep myself together, so I could finish off the shift. Not everyone was understanding of the fact that I was struggling. It continues to surprise me, in a profession where we care for those with mental illness, there are people who think it's ok to be a complete dick to their colleagues. Especially when their colleague has begged them repeatedly to ease off. It was those people, relentless in their complete dickness, who pushed me to snap. I was late getting home from work that day, and I got in trouble for that too.

I snapped so hard that day, I was still crying the next day. And the day after that. My heart wouldn't stop racing,my hands wouldn't stop shaking and the only words I could find to explain myself were "I'm done". I'm done with being abused. I'm done with accomodating people's dickness. I'm done with everything being so god damned hard. 

6 weeks later, I wish I could tell you that I'd fixed every single problem and resolved every single stress, but it's still a work in progress. I'm finding simple things completely overwhelming, because it turns out, rock bottom isn't an easy place to climb back from. 

But we'll get there. 

1 comment:

  1. I've followed your journey since nearly day one from across the globe. You are loved and cherished by so many people. I, for one, can't believe you've gone this long without having a complete meltdown. As a former health care provider, we are so indoctrinated to taking care of everyone else's needs, we ignore our own until it kicks us in the proverbial arse. Guess what? You are human. You have needs, and the right to have those needs met. You aren't a trash can for everyone else's emotional garbage. (Things I still need to remind myself of more often than I'd like to admit) Life is always a work in progress, and know that your friends will be there to support you through all the ups and downs. Love you!