“This is a great opportunity”, “You will get a lot of exposure with senior management” my boss says to me as she tells me that I will now be taking minutes on a new committee at work.
For a normal person, she’s right. For someone with GAD, she’s wrong. But she doesn’t know that. She can’t know. I smile quietly and nod, leaving her office. What an opportunity, the woman in me says as I try to make a name for myself in corporate America. How am I going to do this, I think to myself as someone with GAD.
This meeting is in a different building than I work in, once per month, for 2 hours. 2 hours in a cramped conference room with several people. Before I was given this role, my coworker did it and didn’t bat an eye. Tomorrow is the first meeting and I’ve been sick about it since Friday.
Mondays are hard enough for me as it is, now add this. Add the unrest in our department and mandatory meetings with HR this month. Add my job description changing for the 3rd time in 6 months. Add being borderline bullied by coworkers who don’t like me because they assume I make more money than they do. Add a long commute into the office and a scary walk in from where I have to park. Add a meeting with the head of our department (my boss’s boss’s boss) regarding the new role he wants me to play. Add the fact that it’s a role that I haven’t played before. Add that I don’t feel empowered at this company to make any changes. Add the daily discomfort that I feel working at this place daily. Add GAD, depression and OCD.
What do I do? Start looking for a new job? Suck it up and do my best to power through it? Continue to hide in plain sight?
I watched the movie Me Before You this morning. I found myself bawling, not because he was choosing to end his own life leaving her heart broke (very sad, I know) but because I was thinking about how I would feel if I got in an accident and became paralyzed. Better yet, what kind of life am I living? Am I living this one life the way I want to? Am I living each day like it was my last? Am I truly happy?
The answer is no. I enjoy the intellectual part of my job but the truth is I do it for the money. I live my life in fear everyday due to my GAD. It wouldn’t matter what my career was, where I lived, who I was with, everyday I will wake up paranoid and in fear due to this mental illness. I love my husband and I’m thankful for the life we live, but does he deserve this, am I worthy of love or am I holding him back?
This is the type of shit that runs through my head constantly, each day, leaving me exhausted as I do my best to appear normal and get through the day doing my job the best that I can. It is hard. It is draining, mentally and physically.
But this is my life. We only get one. And despite this monster in my head that haunts me everyday I must keep going. I must make the best of it and not let it control me.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Breathe in….breathe out…