Posted by: pursuingsub17 | March 5, 2009

Wearing a mask is wearing me out


untitled-1-copyI don’t know whether taking a week off from injury last week has left me unmotivated or it’s just that I’ve felt too mentally drained from work to get excited about getting on the treadmill. Maybe it’s the weather but Monday to Wednesday have been rough days for me. Monday and Tuesday were the worst. I was down, irritable, and didn’t want to be around anyone. I work in a quiet office – there are only three of us here and it’s out in the suburbs on my boss’ lot but I still felt that everyone’s voices were getting to me. On Monday, I simply did not want to be here. I wanted to work from home. It wasn’t the work – just everyone’s personalities and voices seemed to be making me angry and unfocused.

Definitely not a way to be if you need to train – or race. Monday I bought a bottle of vodka. I had three ceasars and two beer. That’s not enough to make me extremely intoxicated but that’s still more than I should have. Tuesday I was better – one ceasar and a beer. Okay, yeah, I slipped up. I guess having a few shouldn’t make me so hard on myself – afterall, that’s a fraction of what I used to drink 5 years ago. But I am upset that I chose a drink to calm down instead of working out.

I just feel so exhausted when I get home from work. There’s this constant expectation to be the peppy co-worker who has it all together and cheers everyone on and can easily engage in meaningless banter with the rest of the gang. Well, sometimes I’m just not up for doing cartwheels and the splits and plastering a phoney smile on my face. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s the constant attempt to hide behind a mask and pretend to be someone I’m not. Not that I’m grumpy but I have values, opinions and interests that just don’t jive with everyone else here. Yet I feel compelled to be “one of the gang”. Why? Because I’ll feel left out if I’m not? Afraid of ridicule or lecture? I have a tattoo on my back that I’ve kept hidden for two years. Finally my boss saw it and it completely shocked her. She didn’t think I was the “type”. I have another I want to get after finishing a few triathlons this year – obviously something involving triathlon. I want to get it on my foot, tracing up my ankle like a vine but then my boss and her mother will see it. I’m actually concerned about them seeing it – no one else.

Obviously, there’s something here that needs work even more than the drinking – again, the alcohol is a symptom of something deeper – my desire for “fitting in” overtaking my need to have others accept me for who I am. I hate criticism so much that I’m willing to hide behind a fake persona. That’s what’s draining me. It’s wearing me out.

So how do I get out of this shell at work? I’ve been here 9 years – they should know I’m a good worker and loyal. How do I slowly start expressing who I actually am without creating too much shock and my co-workers and boss thinking it’s just mid life crisis? Just like training for an IronMan I guess – baby steps. Start small.

I’ll let you know tomorrow if I got the runners on tonight.

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