I’m sitting here in a cafe having run away from from work. I am sitting in the back corner able to see all that is going on, but hoping no-one notices me. At work I gathered all my belongings, locked my drawers and almost ran out of the building. My colleague who sits next to me asked where I was going. I lied; I haven’t lied about my mental health for a very long time. He expects me back this afternoon. I probably will not make it back to work today.
What happened? Why did I run away? My thoughts wander through the other times I have run away throughout my life; so many times. The first I remember is in Year 12 at school back in 1980. I was at a boarding school on Sydney’s north shore. I snuck out one evening, forged the house master’s signature so I could get a free train ticket and then went to Central and boarded a train that would take me home to Cootamundra. I didn’t make it home.
I should not think about my school days, they were dark days and I believe they have shaped my mental health for the rest of my life. Yes I suffered from bad social anxiety before I went to boarding school, but when I came out I was a mess.
So why run away from work today? I have been doing so well. I have even tweeted about how resilient I have been under extreme pressure at work. I feel like I am accomplishing things, good things, that will help people in the long term. What happened? I said farewell to one of my line manager’s. He is leaving today to take on new, exciting challenges in a different government department. I didn’t think this would affect me.
Support networks are important. I think I have taken mine for granted over the last 24 months. I have different networks. I have a brilliant network on Twitter and I know someone will DM me after they see this post on Twitter. To you, I am okay; I need some me time today; I do not need the work pressure today; I should be back to “normal” this evening. But another support network I have is at work. his consists of three people who I consider to be close friends. Why haven’t I gone to speak with them? The first left in June 2018, the second in October 2018 and the third is leaving today. My brain hasn’t been picking up on the fact that my support network is disappearing.
Maybe that is the reason, maybe not. Whatever…my mind and, as a consequence, body are not coping today. So I think I will have a mental health day.
Mental health is a daily struggle. Keep strong my friends and please remember your support networks. I took mine for granted.
A man who struggles each day