June 8th, 2009


My final bellyache

I feel like I'm retreating further and further into some kind of shell.

The weekend was horrible, not least because I spent most of it doubled up with stomach pain. Had about 3 hours' sleep last night, agonised about whether to go into work this morning (illness is unlikely to be anything infectious and I'll be in just as much pain if I stay home and do nothing, possibly worse because I won't have things to take my mind off it), eventually decided that if I dragged myself in for the (mildly important) meeting at 9am I could always go home afterwards.

The first thing my office-mate said when I got in was "Good weekend?" ("Not really, but at least it's over now.") I know you're not supposed to tell the truth in response to that sort of question, it's nothing to do with information-gathering, but I'm generally too shattered to think of convincing lies. I suppose I ought to get into the habit of giving a non-committal "Yeah, not bad" no matter what.

Meeting was productive, but the boss thinks that the reason I'm ill is "stress" and thinks I "may be in the wrong sort of job". Yes, I am stressed; being in discomfort and pain a lot of the time tends to make most people less-than-relaxed, I would have thought. But now I'm worrying about getting fired for being ill as well. (Yes, I know they can't fire you for being ill, but in straitened circumstances they're less likely to make an effort to keep the flaky sickly people, & the effect is the same.) The boss probably sees more of my emotional angst than a lot of people, but that's only because I've trusted him enough to talk to him; we seem to get on well most of the time, I've come to see him as a friend as well as a colleague (though I'm wary of using the word because it suggests some kind of reciprocality & it seems presumptuous to assume that). Now I feel like I shouldn't have given that trust so readily, and I worry that it'll just end up being used against me.

When I get up in the morning, I don't want to go to work. (I always do, though, because I know what happens if that starts seeming like an option instead of a necessity.) When it gets to the end of the day, I don't want to go home. (See above.) I am so deeply and bone-wearily tired that the effort of context-switching is just too much. If you gave me a reasonably comfortable place to sit and a simple task that would take 10 years to complete, I would probably just sit there and complete it.

It's getting harder and harder to talk to anybody about anything (online or offline). I feel like I'm watching the conversations from the other side of a pane of glass. There are a handful of conversations which I can have on autopilot, mostly set-piece rants or hilarious catchphrase-trading.

I feel as though I still have something to say but no way to say it.

I'll take a quiet life. Retreating into my shell.