No Space

It’s so hard to concentrate, lately. I will try to say an ordinary sentence, like, “Hey, I really like otters,” or “Goodness me I am concerned about that Gulf Coast spill,” and I’ll get about two-thirds of the way through before just AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH comes out in a long low keening wail. I’ve got work trouble, you see, and it’s all I can think about. The last two weeks my eyes have been rolling and my feet have been twitching and my shoulders have been shrugging because the only thing I can think, talk, sigh, moan, or cry about is work and there’s no room for anything else.

Work is hard. Work is difficult. Work is…work is hard and difficult.

I can’t write about it because you’re not allowed to write about work on the internet. I can sort of talk about it, a little, with friends and colleagues, but hey, you know, everyone’s got job problems these days and I don’t want to be a burden. I can write messy scribbly bullet-pointed lists in my paper journal of all the ways that it’s driving me insane but that just sort of piles up on itself and then I get sad. I can think about it—incessantly, inadvertently–when I’m on the bus in the morning and when I’m sitting at my desk and when I’m eating my lunch and when I’m talking on the phone and when I’m having afternoon tea and when I’m walking down Cuba Street but that makes me tired and even more sad. Basically the only time I have been free of this, the only time I don’t think about work is when I’m reading actual books printed on paper or doing yoga, both of which of course I am doing more lately; in fact I am going to stop writing this blog post right this minute so I can do a couple of low back twists and open a new novel. It’s almost the last thing I think about before I fall asleep and I’m not sure I haven’t been dreaming about it.

None of this helps in any way, on any level. It’s not helping at all as I try to figure out what happens next. I’m not even sure there’s anything to do about any of it, even though that’s the question that will not let me be quiet: What Do I Do? What Should I Do? What Will I Do?

That’s why I can’t write or talk or think about anything else, that’s why I’m sort of staring past you with my mouth slightly open and a dazed look on my face, and that’s why I’m not completely listening to anything you say. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be like this. There’s no space for anything other than those questions. They simply will not shut up. They will not leave me alone.



  1. That’s … actually pretty normal under what I understand are the circumstances. Your brain is full. That’s okay.

    Hang in there.

  2. Oh, honey. I know how this sort of thing goes, and I hope that things get better for you soon. This is not a fun place to be. Sending hugs your way.

  3. I guarantee you won’t be able to think about work if you come to the ceilidh on Saturday. Trying to figure out the Scottish dances will require full concentration — especially if I’m your partner!

    In all seriousness, I really think you should take advantage of a few sessions via your EAP or SEED or whatever your workplace has. It *will* help.

  4. I went to some counseling sessions through a state bar assistance program when I was having a particularly difficult time at work. I found it helpful to talk to a neutral person, as opposed to someone like my boyfriend or friends, who were so worried for me. I hope things get better soon.

  5. To echo everybody else, I got some much needed work survival help via EAP sessions some years ago. No idea if that would be good for you or even available. Love and miss you.