Attack of the panic attacks

My week seems to be going bad from to worse; work week anyway. 

I feel like I need to give you some background info before I get onto today’s shenanigans so, stay with me…

After working from home on Tuesday due to train chaos, I got into work Wednesday morning to find that my work pal had been moved to the back of our office. This is standard practice when you’ve hit manager – you move to the top of the class. 

I’d like to point out, so we’re clear, that I’m incredibly proud of her and she bloody deserves it! She carries the team a lot so I was all for her promo. 

The seat change however, meant that I was stuck on my own, in the corner, next to a concrete wall and no one beside me. 

My work pal, manager and 2 other members of the team however, have their own little huddle and so, you can imagine how easy it was for me to be left out in conversations. So much so that I plugged myself away with my headphones and got on with the work. 

Sadly, completing deadlines and getting shit done became a problem as I wasn’t entertaining team conversations or singing along to the radio and before the end of the day, I was called into a meeting room to discuss my mood. 

I was told (& I quote) that my “mood has bought the vibe in the team down”. 

He went on…

I’m “over sensitive” and “need to change my mindset”. 

He continued…

“The team have avoided talking to you because you’ve been very short and abrupt”. 

Here’s my rationale (which I’ve gone over a million times):

  1. You’ve sat me at the entire end of the office facing a door 
  2. The four of you sit facing each-other (& left me out of conversations) 
  3. When I’m too excited, you tell me I need to calm down but when I’m having a blue day, I “bring the vibe down” 
  4. I get paid to do work, not sing to the radio 
  5. I’ve not had a promotion or pay rise in over a year so yes, it’s hard to be happy all the time and motivate myself 

Of course, none of this matters. Fact is, he’s the manager and if he believes it’s all in my head (which again, he confirmed in our meeting) then he must be right. Right? 

So there we have it…part 1 complete. Well done for getting this far. 

We come onto today. 

Now, today, I hoped to be a better day. 

For the most part, it was. I put on my fake smile, laughed at the awkward kitchen jokes, did my eyeliner to perfection and looked the part. 

Sadly, my brain didn’t get the memo and decided to have a meltdown at 2pm when it couldn’t decide what soup to have for lunch. 

So there we are, middle of Waitrose having a panic attack in the soup aisle. 

It’s hands down one of the worst feelings I’ll  ever experience. 

I literally have no control of my body. 

I’m crying, hyperventilating, trying to catch my breath while tears and sobs are relentlessly coming out of me. 

I normally care what people think/say about me but walking down the high street, I didn’t feel embarrassed. 

I didn’t hide my face when people looked at me. 

I genuinely didn’t care. 

I don’t care. 

Why? Why should I care? 

I work (on average) 45 hours a week and rarely take my hour lunch break. I’ll work late – without being paid overtime or getting time back. 

I meet every deadline, I get on great with my clients and when I was signed off work for 1 month, I only took the 2 weeks so that I wouldn’t leave work in the shit. 

I don’t expect a round of applause or a “well done” every time I do something good but I’m tired of the snidy comments because, God forbid, I was in a bad mood one day. 

One. 

One day. 

Every other day I’ve been fine. More than fine. 

My management seem to forget that when I’m dancing to the radio or joking about some insignificant shit, I still have depression, OCD, PTSD & Anxiety disorder. 

It doesn’t stop. It’s not a flu or a headache. It’s a part of my personality now.

During my panic attack, my work pal took me to the river and while she was joking about Pringles (I can’t quite remember), all I kept thinking about was jumping in the river and being free. 
Free from the judgement. 

Free from being forced to be someone I’m not and told off when I don’t quote meet the mark. 

Free from feeling “sensitive” or like the party pooper. 

It’s exhausting.

I’m tired. 

I’m genuinely tired of people judging and telling me to “cheer up”. 

I should say (in case you think I’m sat here with river hair) that I never jumped in. The panic attack was bad enough…an afternoon in wet clothes would have been too much. 

I must sound like a broken record but I genuinely don’t know what to do about work. 

I’m meeting deadlines, clients wouldn’t have a clue I’m poorly, I do my job as is expected of me & I believe I do it well. 

Is it really the end of the world if I have a bad day? Should it be picked up on all the time? I sure don’t see them taking everyone else in a room when they’ve been moody? 

I feel like I’m just dumping words on here now so they’re no longer in my mind (again, kudos to you if you made it this far). 

If anyone has any advice or knows of ways to better my mood (I mean, if you know the cure & are just keeping it to yourself, stop it) then please do get in touch. 

All advice is welcome. 

I’m praying for a better day tomorrow. I’m praying for patience and as always, praying I can pull off the “ohhh, I’m totally fine” smile. 

I hope tomorrow treats you kindly, too. 

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