Since my return from sick leave, I have been putting great effort into my work performance. I am also doing everything that is within my power to keep my health as good as it can be. Part of both, is my approach to life in general and trying to keep a positive spin or outlook. This can be challenging for multiple reasons. The main reason is feeling under the microscope.
My coworkers and managers are observing me closely, noticing every little thing. They tell me when my body is inflamed, when I look in pain, or when I seem to be struggling. Most are doing so out of empathy and sympathy. It’s coming from a good place. Others, I’m afraid are waiting for me to fail or are worried I will leave again because my health went back down. Sometimes I don’t even notice how bad I look, because I’m so focus on performing and keeping a positive view of my day. I keep getting reminded that no matter how hard I try, I am still ill and I am still struggling compared to my fellow coworkers.
The other reason why keeping a sunny persona is challenging, is that also suffer from mental illness. Even if I am on strong medication, the anxiety and depression still circle around me. It tends to peak when I’m driving to or from work. The safety and privacy of the car is the only place away from my coworkers and kids’ eyes. Sometimes I feel bad that my husband sees all the cracks, but that is what being in a healthy relationship is. We are supposed to be a team and be honest about our health and state of mind.
I truly wish I had a magical wand that would make all issues go away. I would use it on myself and on all who struggle for any reason. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. That’s why it’s so important to be grateful for what you have and to keep hope in your heart that it will all work out somehow.