The following is a bit of a rambling rant. Please don’t feel any obligation to read it.
Today I’m sad. I have had an exhausting week up in Sydney doing training for my day job. The stuff covered was leadership, conflict management, and HR skills. Four and a half days of trying to work out what’s wrong with us and how to be better at our jobs.
At one point, about 3pm on Wednesday afternoon I cracked. I couldn’t handle it anymore, I just wanted to hide and cry and eat. I managed to stay in the room for the rest of the afternoon and even pretended to get involved in some of the activities but I’d definitely hit a wall.
I don’t remember exactly what tipped me over the edge, what it was that triggered an enormous rush of anxiety to wash over me. Maybe it was one thing, or maybe it was a culmination of things from the first three days of training but it was just all too much for me.
I had a similar experience today. I was out for lunch with a couple of people I’d met through my writers’ group. At one point I started to tell them about the stuff I was going through at the moment, about the dark place I’m in, and some of the stuff I’ve been trying to do in my life to get it sorted out. At one point one of my companions decided that I had a personality disorder; well first one and later he revised it to a different one. This is a man I’ve met only once before today. A man who has no qualifications in psychology or any related fields. At first I thought he might be right, but the more I thought about it, the less I felt like that. I felt like he was trying to fit me into a box, to invalidate my experiences by saying I was ‘just disordered’, not a response to some particularly challenging circumstances. It also seemed to me to be a bit of a cop out, as my understanding of personality disorders is that they are incredibly difficult to treat and hard to overcome.
I don’t want anyone reading this to think that I have a problem with anyone with a personality disorder, or that I am judging anyone, well except this guy. My issue is they way that conversation made me feel. I felt small. I felt broken. I felt dismissed. I felt like telling him to shove it up his arse. That he had no right to cast aspersions on my mental health. That he was not trained and that he suffered from the tendency of first year medical/psychology students to diagnose themselves and others with all sorts of exotic problems.
I guess I am probably particularly sensitive to shifts in my mood lately, and to trying to figure out the things which have caused the shift but I still think that it was out of line.
So I’m sad. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing really well, other times not so much. Anyway just thought I’d have a rant. I took a few photos while I was away, not as many as I would have liked, I’ll put some of the good ones up soon.