This week’s challenge was about looking / noticing the kind things and finding a way to express your gratitude for them. If there was ever a week that I needed kindness, this was it.
Work was beyond stressful. This is a season that is normally high stress and long hours. However, this time was especially difficult. Even worse, it was as if I kept making mistakes, which caused more work and longer hours. I didn’t feel confident at all, and I found myself back to being weepy, sad and helpless person. At a certain point, I cried at my desk while trying to clean up my work. Another time, the feelings of defeat were so strong, tha I had to retreat to the Mother’s (pumping) room to sit in the dark and calm down. It was as if PPD and PPA had taken complete control of me, and I was no longer a functioning person at work. I felt like I didn’t belong and that it would have been better if I was just let go.
My coworker saw how badly this affected me. She talked me through some of those moments. She picked up some of the work I couldn’t do. She tried to suggest solutions when some of my work didn’t make any sense. It was her idea to sit in the dark room to collect myself and breathe. In retrospect, this helped so much. Being older, she has worked through tough environments, serious challenges and stressful situations far beyond or similar to what I was experiencing. She let me know it happens to all of us. We are only human. We can make mistakes, but we can learn from them. And it’s ok to take a break…in fact it’s necessary in these situations. Her kindness helped calm me and get me through some difficult moments.
My work stress affected my personal life. A few nights, I didn’t spend time with my son. Worse, I lost track of dates, so my dad’s death anniversary completely slipped my mind. It wasn’t until a relative asked me a question that I realized what the day was. I was overcome with immediate grief and again, began weeping at my desk as I worked. I mentioned it to a few friends, and they were comforting. They didn’t say much, but the simple “I’m sorry” actually helped.
The work stress will continue for a bit longer, but I’m thankful for the people who have shown kindness through it. It definitely shows that simple kindness really helps us through those tough moments.