My annual performance review came around today. Work isn’t the most important thing in my life, but I want to do well at it. I want to be respected and held in high regard by my colleagues.
We have this appraisal process that involves collating anonymous feedback from people you work with. We rate each other on various things and then receive a report with the overall ratings. It’s effective, but sometimes surprising.
What surprised me this time was that I’m obviously not as good at hiding my personal problems as I thought I was. The ratings reflected this. I was rated lower than usual for my enthusiasm and ability to inspire others. That was hard to read.
Going into the office when I’m in a low mood is really tough, but I do it more often than not. I do it because it’s good for me to be with people. And I do it because I am truly committed to my work and to doing a good job. I go into work and I put in a huge effort to appear OK. It’s exhausting and unbelievably hard but I push myself because I want to be professional and I don’t want to let people down.
What transpired today was that my effort isn’t paying off. I’m forcing myself to perform and I’m not succeeding. This makes me feel like all that hard work is pointless. It makes me want to work at home more and not bother trying to put on that brave face and deal with people. It’s frustrating and I feel angry with myself.
I also feel angry that all of this crap in my personal life is encroaching on my career. I’ve known that for a while, because I can’t work full time anymore and I’m not sure I’ll ever manage it. But I thought that I was managing to be professional and appear reliable. Now I know that’s not the case either.
It makes me furious that I didn’t ask for any of this. My life was on track two years ago, before my breakdown. It’s like all the while my illness persists, my arsehole brother has his claws in my life and in my future. I want to shake him off. I want to forget him. But every time I struggle, every time I have to fight even to leave the house in the morning, he’s there. The shadow of him follows me around and darkens all the light I try to create. And I really f**king hate him for that.