So I’ve been doing this temp office job: I’ve talked about it before so I won’t go into it too much here but the key points to know about me are 1. I’ve been trying to ‘discover my purpose’ and find or create a career I will love for a really long time. 2. whilst I try to figure it out I’ve been drifting through temp jobs that just about provide a means to an end (i.e pay my rent) but which I’ve hated, for a number of years. And 3. this cycle has felt inescapable. It’s been tough.
I’ve decided to use this particular job to observe my physical and mental health journey more closely, treating myself like a scientific case study to discover the various ways that I personally am affected by doing a job that brings me no joy. Why? I guess I am building my own casebook of reasons why I cannot continue this way: although why I need that justification, and what I can actually do with it, I don’t yet know.
Could these symptoms be related to my feelings about my job? What do you think?
Cold Night Sweats
I’ve suddenly developed a sweating problem during the night. It’s horrible, I will suddenly wake up in the middle of the night, every night, absolutely soaked through! Even though I don’t feel hot! This is a completely new thing for me. I thought it might be a new and exciting PMS symptom as the older I get the more painful my periods become, but no that came and went and the sweatiness perseveres.
Nightmares are a pretty standard thing for me when I’m unhappy with work and it’s one of the reasons I want to create a career I love – I’ve been through phases of having the same nightmare (that I’m being chased and murdered, fyi) every single night for months on end. Waking up in a panic is frustrating when you have so much trouble just getting to sleep!
Because I’m spending 8-9 hours a day staring at one spreadsheet, and also presumably because I’m not sleeping much, I’ve started to have a constant headache from the moment I wake up to the moment going to bed, weekdays and weekends (note: it’s not because I need an eye test). It’s pretty relentless and it doesn’t exactly help when I am trying to work on having a positive mindset.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
I developed RSI a couple of years ago when I was doing a full-time typing job. I tried to persevere, I really did. I fought to get an ergonomic keyboard – and I did have to fight, how sad that they would value £30 over an employee’s wellbeing, even a temporary member of staff (the great thing is, though, that after I caused a fuss and got my keyboard, the permanent members of my team admitted they also had RSI but had resigned themselves to self-medicating instead as the company didn’t seem to care – so I encouraged them to fight and they won their own ergonomic keyboards too!). But the keyboard ultimately wasn’t enough and now I can’t type for longer than 5-10 minutes. Unfortunately, though, sometimes I have to do it anyway and my current job gives me quite a bit of pain.
I am ashamed to admit that I have been scratching my skin a lot lately, to the point I’ve had fingernails full of fresh blood. I have even been doing it consciously. It’s the need to make my skin smooth – I guess it’s perhaps a metaphor for wanting to erase imperfections and problems from my life, which I feel powerless to do but instead I can control the imperfections on my skin.
Panic attacks / Anxiety…..
My panic attacks and anxiety have also returned. I sit at my work desk with a racing heart and feeling of entrapment and this lasts for the majority of the day, even though I try my utmost to utilise the many meditative/deep breathing tools I’ve read about over the months and years of suffering with this problem. I even silently pray, or repeat mantras and affirmations to myself to flick the switch from anxious to positive and peaceful.
Or is it Low Blood Sugar?
I did wonder whether this could actually be low blood sugar instead, because I forget how but I stumbled upon a website which listed the symptoms in a non-diabetic and they include a racing heartbeat, cold sweats, drop in temperature which I seem to get every day around 10 AM and all of this culminating in light-headedness which I get on occasion as well.
I remembered that in my last job when I was getting [what I and my Doctor presumed to be] daily panic attacks I discovered I could alleviate them just a little bit by eating something.
So I bought some dairy free chocolate and pistachios to nibble on every time I notice my heartbeat racing to see if it’s made a difference.
It didn’t. So I think it might be anxiety after all.
I appreciate some people might read this and think I am overreacting / a moaning minnie / a hypochondriac.
But I can’t help how I feel or who I am. And chances are if you’re reading my blog it’s because you have a connection to the themes I talk about as well: depression, panic attacks, anxiety, dermatillomania, life purpose, dreams and ambitions, and loving your life and your career.
And if so, you will probably be able to relate to some or all of these symptoms in some way and I know you will be just as keen as I am to find a solution to them. By expressing ourselves openly we find connection to others, and in that spirit of community, we can hopefully help one another.
So what about you? Can you relate? Have you found yourself in circumstances that make you unwell, that you struggle to escape from? Have you found ways to deal with it that you can share to help me and others?
Thank You for reading xxx