Yesterday was the kind of day that had me texting my friend and former coworker, Joanna, and saying, “I’m working until 7. Please come, and bring chocolate.”
Bring chocolate she did, and sat with me as I staffed our weekly HIV testing clinic, venting in between clients coming and going.
It was only a 4 day week for me, but holy god was it ever long. I was off all last week and this Monday, and when I woke up on Tuesday morning I thought I actually felt at least somewhat refreshed with regards to work, and was ready to go back. By 10:30 that morning, I was feeling as though I needed another vacation, and that feeling has stuck with me ever since.
“What’s going on?” Joanna asked yesterday as she unpacked a shopping bag full of snacks onto the reception desk where I was sitting. “Is it that bad?”
“Listen…” I unwrapped a chocolate bar. “Yesterday when I left here at 7:30, I was so disheartened that I called my mom and asked if I could go over. And you know that if I’m calling my mom–”
“Oh that’s bad,” Joanna finished for me.
“Yeah.” I laughed. “Exactly.”
I’m the kind of person who usually needs to verbalize stress and upset. I can let a lot of things roll off my back, but if there’s something really wrong, I can’t just swallow it – I need to talk about it in order to process it, even if it means vomiting all of my feelings all over the place. I sometimes get comically worked up, but I usually feel a lot better once I do.
So tonight I sat across from Dana in the food court at the mall, where we were grabbing something to eat before going to the movies, and when she asked how work was going, I took a deep breath with the intention of telling her what was going on.
But before I could speak, I felt all of the energy seep out of me. I let out my breath, a little deflated.
“I… you know what, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
I gave a tired laugh. “Honestly, I don’t have the energy for it. I can’t talk about it right now,” I told her.
It says something about the week if I don’t even have the words to talk about it. Thankfully it’s over, and I have some fun stuff to look forward to this weekend. Starting hopefully with a little bit of sleep – I got 2 hours last night, so I’ll consider anything more than that tonight a success.
Life isn’t all bad. It’s not like there isn’t anything good going on right now. I think it’s just that some days, the things that I’m struggling with seem way bigger than they really should.
And those are the days you call in the troops. The ones that bring chocolate, Doritos and a listening ear. After all, is there any better army?