It’s been a bad week. I hit a new low, crying not only in the office but in front of my boss, and I did quite a few things wrong individually as well as missing several other people’s mistakes (noticing mistakes is my job). By the end of the week, with an overrunning project, stressed colleagues and the daunting task of making a plan to ensure this doesn’t all happen again, I had just had enough.
One of the last things I did at work today was attend a retrospective meeting. This is where all of the people involved in a completed piece of work discuss its good and bad points systematically and find solutions for the problems and ways to perpetuate the positive things. Usually I love doing this because it’s so beautiful and logical, and every problem gets its own fix, but today I heard every negative comment as a veiled accusation of incompetence on my part.
I spend a lot of time applying the retrospective approach to my life – I note things I did, whether they were good or bad, why they happened… and that’s it. The good things were coincidences so I can only pray for them to happen again, and the bad things are because I’m rubbish (I literally stood in a bin today rather than moving it out of the way, because the image of myself as something worth crumpling up, stomping on and throwing away is so compelling) and that can’t be fixed. So I just get stuck in the process and never reach the end.
This in itself isn’t stressful like financial worries or a seriously ill friend (both of which I have), but it is utterly exhausting. I really want to curl up under my desk and hide, with no more words from others that I have to interpret or tasks that I can fail to do correctly. I’m so used to the despair that instead of wanting it to end so I can get on with my life, I want the social interactions and projects to end so I can let the despair take hold. Beating it down is so tiring, and until the depression ends I can’t have a retrospective to work out whether beating it down is worth it or not.