Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Losing my mind

Things have escalated in the last couple of days. On Sunday night I went to bed late, which meant I got up late, which meant I got to work late. At 9am I had my daily meeting with my boss and pretended that things were basically OK. Shortly after that, we had a team meeting - these are often a source of embarrassment for me because my boss asks each of us in turn what we've been doing in the past week and what we've got coming up, which for me is usually not a lot. But yesterday I had a smorgasbord of items on my plate so I rattled them off when asked, knowing full well most of them would remain untouched. After the meeting, time seemed to fly by: eleven, half-eleven, twelve, half-twelve, and I still hadn't done anything. I was constantly yawning. I ate a Subway at my desk, partly because I felt I was too far behind to take a proper lunch break, but mainly because I couldn't face sitting with the usual crowd and having to make conversation with people who are so jovial and optimistic and young and alive. Not that I have made conversation with any of those people at lunchtime for a while - I just sit there with the paper, if I can get hold of one (they're like gold dust) and do the crossword if the woman from Distribution hasn't already filled most of it in. There are a couple of ifs there so that means I often just stare blankly into space. Even though my concentration is impaired, I can still do things like crosswords because I've done them hundreds of times before. I've even compiled them on occasions. Anything new, on the other hand, and I'm screwed.

In the afternoon I tried frantically to find the one vital spreadsheet, out of those ten or so spreadsheets I had open simultaneously on Friday, that I needed to complete my most urgent task. I promised I'd have it done by the end of the day, which wasn't far away. A figure of eleven grand was bandied about that morning, but I couldn't find any figures on any of those spreadsheets that were even close to eleven grand. I called Brian over. "I've got a lot of spreadsheets open here, Brian, and none of them seem to be the right one." "Did you save it?" "Er, ah, I think so. Oh hang on, my computer crashed on Friday and I ended up crawling under my desk and turning it off at the wall. So maybe I didn't." "No worries," said Brian. "All you've got to do is change this and add in that and check the claims." "Thanks." Change what and add in what and check what?! I gathered this was probably a simple task but I had no idea what Brian was talking about. I went to the toilet and found myself writhing around in the corner of the cubicle, moving my head backwards and forwards, and after a while, laughing uncontrollably. Shit, I'm going mad. I must have been in the loo for twenty minutes. When I'd composed myself I went back to my desk and waited for the clock to tick round to five. Outside the office, nothing seemed real. The sunlight was almost intoxicating, rather like how it seemed when I arrived in New Zealand in 2003, having been accustomed to the weaker English sun. The walk to my car felt like a hike of several miles. I still hadn't sent off my assignment which was due at 5pm Sydney time. After a lot of faffing around (why do they make the process so damned complicated?) I got it sent off just before the deadline, not that it really mattered anyway. I can't see how I'll pass the exam. I haven't done any study for weeks now. I went to tennis - the boot camp session where you run around and hit balls and don't have to worry about scoring - for the exercise. I felt better after that, but then my mum rang. She's coming up from the South Island tomorrow; she managed to get one of those "grab-a-seat" fares. I was unable to talk coherently and had to hang up at one stage due to my inability to stop laughing. She's understandably very worried about me and I wish she could be up here for longer than just three full days.

I saw my doctor this morning. I was lucky to get an appointment at such short notice. I told her all my symptoms before again being overcome by uncontrollable laughter. I was told to take the next five days off work and to make an appointment to see a psychiatrist, which I did, in spite of the cost.

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