Why I need a break, and where to find one?

I thought I should provide my 3 delightful readers with an update before I go away for Christmas, but let me tell you that so much has happened in the last week that I can’t even keep up anymore. It has been stupidly crazy, with me bravely running after all the life things to try and keep up, and just having to end up cancelling lessons and making idiot mistakes as a consequence.

Earlier in the week, I actually sat down and wrote a little bit on my ipad, which I’ll share with you now. It catches you up a bit, and maybe also explains my current state of being run down.

This morning I had a dark start to the day. For someone who’s now got a full taste of depression and anxiety behind her, this was awful but not as super scary as it could be. So I don’t want you to worry or interpret my description of what I felt or did as a sign that I need help. You may recognise it, I don’t know, I don’t know who reads this. These days or moments pass, fortunately, and believing that they do pass is part of soothing them.

Anyway, so I found myself sitting on the steps while waiting for the kettle to boil and I just felt tears welling up. I’ve been worrying a lot about my work situation – as a private tutor for adults it may sound all right, but I’ve just not been feeling the love. Teaching languages in this country is neither easy nor appreciated, and certainly not desirable. Add to that the economic aspects…etc. My own mind has been hatching doubts for a good few months, but recently I researched and started debate among colleagues and it’s not been encouraging. So there’s an underlying, ongoing uncomfortable feeling.

And this week, the week before Christmas, has hit a friend hard. She literally woke up to finding herself in a sudden personal crisis, complete with a sense of sadness, hopelessness and inner turmoil that is painful to behold. I was there to try and support for a bit, and it seems my natural empathy had me reacting particularly strongly to the terrible situation she was going through. I’ve not experienced before how heavy it is to help someone else carry their pain, and my own strength of reaction has given me an even deeper appreciation of the Samaritans and those working in mental health. I certainly cried with her, and it seemed to knock my equilibrium just enough.

So this morning, I was in tears by the time the kettle boiled and did my best to just ‘cancel’ the day. I phoned a few friends and my ever supportive fiancé, tried to watch TV, avoid doing any work and rest up.

Well, that was Thursday. By the time the evening came along, I had started forming a plan in my head of what might come next. I think I’m not on a course that is 100% right for me in my working life at the moment, and working from home means that this is difficult to escape from. I enjoy parts, and worry about a large part of what I do. So it’s fair to say a change must be made, but more about that another time – after all, I had the builders coming in, I wrote a blog article, worked on Friday and also suffered through the whole thing with a cold and having to pack for our trip to Germany to see the family.

And yesterday, the whole thing came to its next peak: Another sign of the situations you can get yourself into when you have too much other stuff on your mind. We set off on the journey which involves catching the Eurostar, an international train from London to Brussels, about halfway through. Queuing up for check-in, I realised I did not have my ID card on me. Man, this is still so stupid and embarrassing I can barely type it. Absolute crisis! What was I going to do? What about all the presents we were carrying for my family, and lovely fiancé C, and my family, and the trip and the money?! I don’t know what it is, but somehow I manage to keep just calm enough to sort things out when life turns to chaos like this. Within the hour, I’d decided to send C on his way, go back home to get my travel documents and then catch up with him in Germany by flying down on the next flight. I was in tears most of the way back, completely stressed out and exhausted when I got home, but still somehow this all worked out. Aren’t humans odd? How can we keep our calm and fall to bits only when the immediate chaos has left?

Well, that brings us to today. Let me re-cap the week for you: a friend’s terrible disaster, a few days of work, a trip halfway across the country and back, another trip to Germany today, 3 out of 6 days with truly emotional rollercoasters. Oh, and a cold causing physical discomfort and zapping my energy. I don’t even feel like I just want to go to bed, I feel like I just want to sit somewhere and find new things to smile about, enjoy a different view and stop everything talking to me.

I’m sure it’s not uncommon and I’m not rare in experiencing this. Have you experienced something similar to this feeling? What about the creeping sensation that work doesn’t satisfy you how it should? What can I do about this?

Next blog post: Daydreams about working in warm countries, in a treehouse.


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