Ah bank holiday, the crack of leather on willow, the sound of birdsong, the laughter at the bbq and the tippy tap of fingers on a keyboard.
I've been working this morning. It's my choice I suppose but my emotional / mental bank account needs some reassurance that I have things at work in hand, that the plan is a good one and that I'm going to deliver it, hence the last 2 hours of tippy tap.
As well as the double trouble of anxiety and depression I suffer from presenteeism as well. Or more accurately because of anxiety and depression (and also having a lot of work to do) I suffer from presenteeism. This means I check my phone a lot when i'm not at work, i log on on a bank holiday and sort things out that can't wait to get ahead of the game and i find it very hard to switch off. This means my brain and body are regularly in flight or flight mode, thinking about what's happened, worrying about what might and struggling to be very present.
When i go back to work I might get asked if I had a nice weekend (I might not of course) and whether it was nice to have a three day break from work. I'll lie and say yes, but the reality is that when you think like I do you don't often get a break, you can come back from time away from work more exhausted.
People will tell you that work can wait but in this instance I don't believe it can. I have a huge deadline in 3 weeks that has to be delivered, it can't move, it needs to be high quality, it is reputationally very important and I have to make sure it's delivered. I have a team to support (who are also struggling) countless internal and external customers to keep happy and am delivering with the sword of damocles of uncertainty hanging over my head of what my job will be in 6 weeks time.
So why am I working all hours, why am I pushing myself?
It's because I am massively passionate about what I do. I want things to be perfect (another curse), I want to please people (another one) and I also want to make sure that anything I am associated with goes well and that I get a job at the end of it doing what I'm good at.
Q. Am i working too much and suffering from presenteeism?
Q. Why's that?
A. Well it's complicated, but uncertainty over future role, massive work pressure and brain wiring all play a part
Q. Am I ok?
A. Just about. But sustained working like this with uncertainty is not healthy.
Q. Am I coping / resilient?
A. Yep. Come and spend a week in my shoes and see how you do. I am amazingly resilient
Q. Why did I do this Q&A
A. Not sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time
Anyway, ramble over. I need to do some more work.....
Mr Paul Wyse