Shannon’s Imaginary Therapist: Holy Panic attack Batman!
Shannon: Shut up.
IT: Denial is a lovely place.
Shannon: Well I didn’t have one.
IT: Nope, but it was close, huh?
Shannon: If you count frustration an anxiety reaching the point of crying in the bathrooms at work, sitting at my desk for four hours straight sure that nothing in the world would ever be right or good again, and being unable to even imagine ever being happy again….
IT: I do.
Shannon: Then yeah.
IT: So… looking back?
Shannon: It’d been building up for a while. You know. Stressiness, trying to find a new job – without the internet, realising how much I’m not feeling the current job. Feeling like I’m going backwards in my career. Moving. Worrying. Realising I’m not having fun at Taekwon Do at the moment. Missing my old fun workplace. Not exercising. Not taking my meds. Worrying.
IT: So how’d you manage it?
Shannon: Took my meds. Went for a walk. Left work early for once. Decided that despite the fact these dudes don’t really have fun shouldnt stop me from coming to work and celebrating appreciation of dinosaurs day. Dressed as a T-Rex. Went home and actually completed a full illustration for the book. Snuggled with the cat. Wrote to Becks and Jasmyne. I didn’t tell them how shit I felt, but just reaching out made me feel better. Oh, and I remembered how funny it is to work with people who manage buildings and things.
IT: Why’s that?
Shannon: They say erections with a straight face.
Shannon: They mean things being built. Doesn’t stop me from smirking behind my laptop.
IT: Did you say dressed as a T-rex?
Shannon: It’s just an idea. I need something ridiculous and fun to champion. I thought appreciation of dinosaurs day might work. I could sneak into work early and turn the print room into a dinosaur den.
That or telling everyone we’re doing a Splash Mob to support kids learning to swim. Everyone shows up with a pool toy to donate – preferably something large and inflatable – and leaves it in the CEO’s office. Nobody tells the CEO what we’re doing… I thought that one might not be the way I first meet the new CEO though – whilst being fired.
IT: Well. Ok. So you pulled yourself out of it then?
Shannon: Sort of. I’m still not feeling great. Work is more of a trial than it should be, and I know people are starting to notice that I’m not smiling as much as I used to around the office.
IT: And how does that make you feel?
Shannon: Defeated actually. I feel like they’ve broken me. I used to love work.
IT: Is there anything you can do to fix it?
Shannon: If there is then I’m missing it. I spend my 40 minute drive every night to get home thinking of ways I can get back to doing what I love in this job. I keep looking and looking for something I can suggest to my boss to put me on… But there’s just nothing, or for some reason I’m not seeing the possibilities.
I’ve mentioned stuff to him before and ultimately the answer is ‘thanks, but we have an external relations team for that’ or someone else is doing it already, or he needs me free for important minute taking or something like that. He hired someone for basic admin. There’s just no real challenge for me here. I’ve talked to him about this stuff too, but I think I was too diplomatic. I didn’t want to get myself fired by telling him I hate admin – I mean I took the job, after all.
I feel defeated, because I just can’t find any opportunity to do what interests me here.
IT: Well you know what you have to do then.
Shannon: Yup. The job market sucks, and it’s going to look bad on my CV, but I’m the spin queen, so it’ll be ok.
IT: Good. And just before you take off?
IT: Stop fucking around with your meds.