Last night one of my employees said I looked stressed.
I certainly wasn’t trying to project feeling that way. However, the look on my face must have given away what I have been trying to hide. Like my concealed depression, I have not shared my feelings at work. Well, almost never. And I was less than excited about the one or two times I attempted it.
Sharing at work not just what was going on with me, but how I was feeling about it, did not put me at ease.
In fact, in both instances that occurred years ago, I left the conversation feeling worse. It was not that I did not get to do what I felt I needed to do at that point. There was an understanding of my need for time off. But the impression I felt was of failure, guilt, and shame for failing myself and the company.
It’s possible that my feelings were blown out of proportion.
Depression can do that to me. Using “all or nothing thinking,” depression will fire up the unhelpful thinking and push me closer and closer to the edge of the abyss. It seems to know when I am most vulnerable and when it can get the most out of its actions. In the past 30 months, I have learned so much about my depression and how it uses any and every opportunity to get under my skin.
Last night, I must have let my guard down enough that my stress leaked out.
Getting through today and tomorrow, I will then have 5 days off. That’s five days of flying to visit my grandson. Five days of reconnecting with my 20-month-old grandson. And five days of de-stressing. We flew up in December and I was so relaxed after that trip. And the trip was a whirlwind 36-hour affair.
In December, we flew out Thursday morning and returned Friday night.
This time, we have five days with my grandson. I am so looking forward to this trip. But, unlike last month, I am not sharing my excitement. Instead, I am exhibiting stress. What’s up with that? I am not sure about what is happening to my positive, outgoing exterior. I should be happy about the trip, not stressing about work, Winter storm Izzy, or not being able to spend much time with my son and daughter-in-law who finally made it down to celebrate Christmas.
So, I am working on my attitude towards the past, but more importantly future events.
I have the washing machine going and will have most of my clothes ready to pack before I go to work. My wife and I got our KTN certification (Known Traveler Number) so we can go through TSA Pre-check, shortcutting what can be major waits to get checked into the airport.
Stress about the next 48 hours is on my plate, but I plan to change my attitude from stress to pre-travel anticipation.
I’ll let you know how that turns out.