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Back to work blues

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Returning to work after two weeks off is harder than I expected this year. All of my little self-improvement programs have been on hiatus for more than a month, and for some reason this year, I found the holidays rather depressing. I was not looking forward to the first day back, mainly because I have several important deadlines and projects coming up in the next 2-6 weeks and the stress I feel is coupled with a sense of complete inadequacy.

It may seem inconsequential, but the first day back blues were compounded by the fact that my closest coworker has taken a leave of absence to have an operation. There are over 100 teachers and other employees where I work, several of whom I get on very well with, but this one special person was my intrepid guide into the world of TEFL four years ago when I began working at my current job. We've taken busloads of kids to England together, celebrated and cried together. Just three days with her gone and I begin to feel rudderless.

At the same time I am trying to fight off an imminent wave of depression. What makes me so very angry at myself is that there is no objective reason for me to feel down or upset, despite pressure at work. From the outside, my life is going perfectly. I have everything. I'm happily married. I'm building my dream house with my husband. I've got a good job in a prestigious sector in the country I live in, and considering the times, that is quite a lot to say. I'm working on my PhD with funding from a private institution and with a topic that I should feel incredibly passionate about.

So why the HE Double hockey sticks do I feel so inadequate, depressed, fearful, anxious, listless, demotivated, disgusted and angst-ridden? It almost feels like I have been zapped back in time to a place I don't want to ever return, 15 years old. The same old insecurities. The same self-loathing. The same downward spiral.

At this point the only thing that occurs to me is to stick to what I know works to get me out of a funk - healthy eating, regular exercise, sunshine and vitamin D. Create routines and force myself to work and study rather than hide in a book or curled tightly under a blanket on the couch and hope that this, too, shall pass.
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