I think I am possibly the only person who can be given a pay rise and not feel good about it. Today I got a salary increase, and my annual bonus was decent enough. It’s not that I’m greedy and was hoping for a whole lot more. I just didn’t feel happy about it.
At home this afternoon, I worked out the net increase and I was glad that it will have a small impact on our strained financial situation. It’ll make things just a little easier. But it won’t make them easy.
Maybe that’s what upset me. It got me thinking about how much more financially secure we would be if I hadn’t had a breakdown a few years ago. I started feeling angry about how this illness has taken that from me. And from my wife. In my recent performance review, I was basically told that it doesn’t matter how much I contribute, I won’t be promoted because I don’t work full time. I’m not massively ambitious, but it stings to know that because of my health I don’t have the opportunities I had before.
Work is demanding a lot of me at the moment. I’m contracted to work 5.5 hours per day, but I’m more frequently working evenings and weekends as well. Not because anyone tells me I have to, but because I want to appear competent and reliable. My workload is crazy and there is no other way to handle it. I’ve repeatedly raised it with my boss, who says all the right things and then a few minutes later hands me more work.
Things are coming to a head because I’m trying to manage a whole load of conference logistics for next week. This isn’t my job, but I was the only one from the team available to travel for it, so all the organising landed in my lap. It’s taking up all the time I should be spending on the pile of work I’m actually responsible for day-to-day.
Because I can’t keep on top of everything, it feels like I’m losing control. If things go wrong next week, it’s going to be on my head, and that’s making me nervous. It all got too much today, and I ended up having an argument with my boss over a meeting he wanted me to attend at 5pm – even though he knows I finish work at 1. I couldn’t face going back there after I was done today. Being there felt toxic.
Of course, a part of me is happy my salary has gone up. It’s a sign of being appreciated, and it will ease our money pressure a bit. Plus, while I was going through a stack of paperwork I should’ve dealt with months ago, I discovered that I have finally paid off my student loan. In fact, I’m so disorganised I’ve ended up overpaying it, which means that some time in the hopefully not too distant future I will get a rebate.
It’s been a complex sort of day. I’m trying to focus on the good news, and not the feelings of failure and inadequacy. But then I end up getting angry with myself for not being able to just simply celebrate the ways in which I am fortunate. It’s just really hard feeling overwhelmed and stretched and knowing also that I have no therapy for a couple of weeks. I’m struggling to get grounded.