My voluntary leave is up on Wednesday, so I go back to work on Thursday. My anxiety has started. I haven’t really had to deal with much anxiety since I’d stopped drinking. At least… until COVID-19 began rearing its ugly head.
The week before I went on voluntary leave, I installed two news apps on my phone with notifications enabled and every time a live press briefing came on, whether for the POTUS or local government, I was watching. My hands had gotten to a point where they were flaking away because of how often I was washing them. When I ran to the store during lunch at work, I had chest pains and was so anxious that I almost vomited in the store. I had to get out of there. I felt like the world was crushing me. I am not looking forward to work because a lot of people were joking about social distancing. And the people joking about it always seemed to be near me. In my space and even touching me. I felt like everything and everyone was infecting me. It took everything I had not to scream, “GET THE F**K AWAY FROM ME!”
Sure, maybe things have been blown a little out of proportion by the media (when are they not), but there are some people out here *raising hand* who really have been staying at home because they are fearful of this craziness.
My leave started March 19. I have left my apartment three times since then and that was only because you can’t get cigarettes delivered. I’d run up to the gas station, grab smokes and head back home. Probably gone a total of maybe an hour in all. Groceries and other necessities were delivered. It wasn’t until I got home on March 19 that I realized just how debilitating my anxiety had gotten (blog here).
My anxiety is absolutely controlling me right now. The fact that it’s already kicked up this far ahead of return is not helping anything. The fact that the quarantine order is continuously being extended is not helping anything. The fact that the voluntary leave that I signed up for because of the fact that it would not be considered against me on my employment record will now be counted against me if I’m not back before xx/xx date and am being encouraged to come back earlier than that is absolutely killing me. I literally just want to sit here and cry because I’ve got six in one hand and half a dozen in the other. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Either my mental health is going to suffer greatly or my job is going to suffer greatly.
This is one of those moments where I just “want to go home”, but I’m 37 and am at home. Here. With me. And the cats. And no alcohol. Damn I need an escape hatch right now. I feel like I’m running away from a madman while running towards a cliff. And now my parents are going to worry. I can’t win for losing.
Also, does anyone else notice they obsessively post to social media on days they’re feeling especially sh!tty?