So here we are. 2017 is starting to draw to a close, there have been some really really good bits and there have been some really really bad bits. With a notable exception or two the last couple of months have been horrible for me.
At work a couple of weeks or so ago I found I was empty. There was nothing left. I had burnt out. I never meant to get into that position, but I had. I hadn't looked after myself; I hadn't allowed myself to be looked after. I had let work take over. When people asked me what I did outside work I struggled for answers, particularly as an ear infection has meant I haven't been swimming for a couple of months.
There are short, medium and long term causes for this. A day or two after LIANZA finished I woke up with what turned out to be the aforementioned ear infection and I haven't been truly well since. In fact the pharmacist told me this morning that she'd see me next time, which was slightly alarming. Illness has coincided with (another) period of transformational change at work. I think the final straw was going into work for a couple of hours on a Saturday or three ago. I wanted to support my team, I was going into town anyway, I didn't think it would matter, but it did.
Over the last 18 months or so, in a leadership role, I've let my work / life balance get way out of kilter. I've not been able to let go of work and I've not taken time to be me. Funny thing is that despite two states of emergency, one change proposal and a change of job title the last 18 months has been the longest period of stable (being in one role and one location) employment I've had in 8 years.
So what am I doing to get better? I'm taking each day as it comes, taking some leave, talking to a counsellor, working on letting go and not feeling so guilty all the time, and trying to reconnect with things I like doing. I feel like I need to relearn myself. I've spontaneously started knitting again after more than 20 years. Perhaps eventually I start doing amdram again, but in the meantime going to some theatre and digging out some classic Hollywood DVDs would be good.
It's still early days. Sometime I feel ok. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and terrified and am a sobbing wreck. I made it through the National Digital Forum earlier this week, although it was hard. I managed to introduce myself to some new people, which took courage but made me feel better.
Why am I telling you this? This is really personal stuff and putting this out into the world is scary, but I want to be honest. I hope this will help me, I hope this will help other people. I sort of feel that for the last couple of weeks that I've had something to hide and I don't think that's been helpful. I believe more and more in showing the join, the messy bits. Let me be a lesson, a guinea pig.
I should also thank my employers and hsband for being so supportive.