I’m being encouraged on a daily basis not to concern myself beyond the here and now, yet this approach is very difficult given my predicament and it’s impact on my responsibilities.

My ongoing absence from work will continue  for the duration of next week with my return expected the following Monday. Whilst not the only cause of the current crisis my employment has nonetheless contributed considerably. The demoralising nature of what is demanded of me and the dysfunctional relationship with my manager are both stresses that I so desperately would like to keep distant.

I am unable to ignore that the prospect of my return to work is a looming eventuality due to the sinking feeling in my gut. Anxiety is building with each passing day.

Being asked to postpone my concern regarding the matter is like asking prey to ignore the hunter circling in the distance. The hunter may not arrive for a while but the threat is still there.

Negative automatic thoughts and reactions to an event may be triggered, at the deepest level, by core beliefs.

I came to this understanding in a rudimentary way many years ago through doubt and suggestions from loved ones. My understanding of this principle has been clarified recently as a result of the education I received during my hospital stay and it’s continuation through reference books. It is now clear and with no uncertainty that my thoughts and behaviour can be a direct result of the views I have of myself and the world around me, and that these views have developed over the course of my lifetime.

“I am a failure”

“I am useless”

“I’m not likeable”

“I must try harder”

“I’m a fraud”

My current employment, like the many professional and menial engagements before, eventually made me feel undervalued, unimportant and uninspired. Yet even when those feelings eventually surfaced they would drive my obsession to prove just how indispensable I was by producing work to the best quality in the shortest possible time (usually by working late and on weekends). Counter to the actions aimed at preventing these perceived negative events my behaviour when they occurred has frequently undone any benefit I may have gained. Furthermore, I can say with painful acknowledgment that over 90% of my employment history has seen me resign or be dismissed due to resentment, dissatisfaction and anger that were all fundamentally driven by my core beliefs.

The more I have become aware of this dynamic in my work life I have found it harder to determine the reasonable from the unreasonable. I question whether a problem is in my head or genuine. Yet somehow the devil on one shoulder always wins out over the angel on the other. I am sometimes even aware of the fact that my issues are projecting on to a situation but I simply cannot let my logic overcome the emtion.

This battle is tiring and soul destroying. It’s a battle I’ve fought so many times that I just can’t bear the thought of returning to it.

I may try avoidance and find another company to employ me. I may go to the extreme and leave this profession altogether. The likelihood, given my current mental health, is that I will return to work in just over a week with nothing but hope. 

A hope that it might all be different.

One thought on “Trapped

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