Yesterday was a bad day at work. I had a row with my boss because she was being rude and unreasonable which sadly is all too common. I can usually ignore it and let her vileness bounce off me with a smile, but my defenses were down a little yesterday and I suppose I just didn’t have the strength to take it on the chin like I usually do. I won’t go into the details as they are irrelevant, however words were had, she asked me what the matter was (in her very best, delightfully insincere sneering voice) and so I just came straight out and told her that she was being extremely difficult and unpleasant today, to which she flustered and flapped a bit and said some ridiculous things which I successfully ignored (rather than escalate the situation) and finally I got ‘the apology’, which she only does to make the point that she is the better / more grown up person because she has apologised. Everything is a mind game with her. The fact that she will make me pay dearly for that apology, over at least the next 2-3 weeks is never lost on me.
So I got home last night and tried to take my mind of the days unpleasant events by watching a movie and sinking myself into a much needed glass or three of red wine. This morning I woke in a bad mood, and the realisation that I was in a bad mood, set off the fear. I needed to be strong today to get everything back on track with my boss as quickly as possible. The last thing I needed was for me to take her on if she decided to be a total bitch again today (which was a definite possibility). I got on the train and a dreadful, familiar feeling settled in: Anger… preparation for a conflict… arming myself for a showdown if she started trying to bully me again… if she says this I’ll say that… if she does that I’ll do this… who the f*** does she think she is?… why the f*** should I put up with that… oh boy, this is not good. I had to stop myself thinking like that, I had to be calm and together today. But it was too late, the storm had already begun to rage inside my head. Out of control.
I knew I had to try and stop this self-destructive, internal tornado that had erupted in my head… I had to try and take control of my galloping raging thoughts. Fear crept in, mixing with the rage. I started screaming to myself in my head to stop… STOP! But it wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop it. Then from nowhere, I suddenly remembered a comment someone had left on a blog I was reading yesterday (the blog was by someone who is plagued by suicidal thoughts (@suicidaholic)). The gist of the person’s comment was this: when it all just gets too much to cope with and you feel you feel totally out of control, concentrate on breathing. Nothing else, just concentrate on breathing in, then breathing out and push all other thoughts out of your head. In… out…. in… out……. I wasn’t feeling suicidal, but really negative thoughts were running wildly out of control – I would do anything to stop it. So in that moment, sitting on the train on my way into work, I tried it – I focused all my conscious thought on breathing and pushed everything else out. It took a little while to work, but I did succeed and the rage, and the panic left me – the torrent of confrontational thoughts subsided and an uneasy peace descended in my head.
By the time I got to work, I was in control and calm. Thank you to the anonymous commenter on someone else’s blog (@suicidaholic), you’ll never know how much you helped me this morning. It’s a neat trick and one I will definitely remember for the future.
Things are a little ‘sticky’ with my boss today, but my defenses are back up, the anger and rage is gone…. and my head is no longer about to explode.