Saturday, 18 March 2017

301-1/365 The Pressure Cooker

It's Saturday morning and I am lazing relaxing in bed at 10am, make of that what you will. Some of you early risers will be worrying I am wasting half the day.  I have had a stressful week, well few weeks, well months really. Life is days and days of 'all is well, everything is working out for my highest good, I am at peace' rapidly followed by 'the sky is falling, the sky is falling, panic and run for the hills'  I kid you not, I am all over the place.

The reason for all this angst is work. Our company has won a tender to be the sole provider in our area for certain courses. We knew going in how much the contract was, we won and now the staff lose. The company made a big deal about how we won on merit and reputation, I just found out that the other provider said they couldn't meet the contract requirements unless the budget was increased by another two million! So we didn't win on merit, we were the only ones who said we could do it for the money. We now have to lose 60 employees!! There will be no redundancies!! The plan is cut everyone's hours (therefore pay) in half and tell the "Hooray, we have avoided making any of you redundant. We are doing this to keep you all employed. We are fabulous employers"

The thing is I am not alone here, I need every penny of my full time salary, half pay is not an option, I have no cushion, no fall back, no family to help out. I am part of the majority at work and we feel it is the most underhand dealing ever.  I have been stewing and simmering away, struggling through headaches and upset stomachs due to stress and worry. I manage to come home decompress, remotivated, try and get back into the mindset that everything happens for a reason, all will be ok, it's always darkest before the dawn, every cloud has a silver lining (please add your own expression in comments) and by morning I am centred and calm. I drive to work purposely listening to my favourite uplifting music, I arrive happy and then as soon as I walk through the door the collective anger, depression, fear and resentment hits me and I become engulfed in the maelstrom of emotion. I spend my morning riding the wave (I'm sticking with the water based analogies) of bitterness and by afternoon I am mellowing out and accepting once again that I have no control over the situation and just have to keep going until a path becomes clear.

I thought I was aware of everything I was feeling and how much it was affecting me. I have had anger, sadness, regret, worry and allowed tears to flow several times, acknowledging the feelings that I am scared and feel powerless.  I thought I was dealing with it until last night, my daughter ended up being the detonator and I was the bomb. What started out as a pleasant exchange about our respective day ended in me going cataclysmic and actually screaming/growling at the top of my lungs <flood of shame> I literally sounded like a grizzly bear. At which point I promptly grabbed my bag and keys and exited stage left. I was raging, ashamed, embarrassed, furious, distraught, adrift (I am using up all the emotion adjectives in this one post) I was shaking, how dare my daughter do this to me, how can she be so thoughtless. I know even then that I am just looking to assign blame and not take responsibility for me, my action, my behaviour but in that moment all I want to do is lash out. I want to make the world sorry for how it's treating me, I want to........... I KNOW!!!! I want to DRINK!!!! That's what I'll do! Yes that's it!

I don't drink. I see how stupid and futile that would be. I think of the last (please let it still be the last) hangover I had, the pounding head and 20+ times I threw up, the shame and regret I felt and the knowledge that nothing had been achieved, solved or made better by doing that so why would this time be different?All the same shit will still be there tomorrow morning but with a hangover on top. I am starting to calm down stood in the aisles of the grocery store, realising I have felt this coming and that I knew the pressure was building up. I knew it was going to happen and I also knew that I still haven't found the safety valve, the steam release that spins around frantically letting out all the pressure before the lid blows. I am still exploding when things go wrong, I haven't worked out when I tip over from being stressed and need to relax into I am rattling around on the stove and some how we've got to get the lid off. It's a fine line I can see now I know has been crossed only once it's too late. A friend offered some very good advice about what I needed to do but in my head I imagined me punching her right in her face, cartoon style with stars circling her head. Today in my calm state I look back and can't believe I let myself get so high on stress, so high that I cannot get myself down, so high that my daughter must think I am insane. Maybe I am a bit insane, aren't we all but I can't help wonder if people will read this and think I must be slightly psychotic. In truth I probably am since I temporarily lost touch with reality, albeit very briefly.

I am delighted I didn't drink, I can't help but think if I made it through that ring of fire I am pretty strong in my sobriety but I also feel similar emotions to when I did drink. Remorse for how I acted, shame that I was out of control, a desire to be a better more in control version of myself. It seems a little harsh that the harder you work on yourself the harder you have to work on yourself. Is there ever a day you can just "be"?  This is me warts and all and I am happy? I'm not there yet.

This Ginger is still under construction.