When my son was hospitalized, I was on my 4-week AFK at that time. In Automattic, we don’t have dedicated day offs, but we can always ask for day-offs/AFK (Away From Keyboard) whenever we need it. The company asked for at least 25 days of AFK per year, so you can ask for day offs whenever it’s statutory holiday on your country or your religions/belief or even when you need a break.
I applied for 4-week AFK for moving purpose from our old apartment to our new apartment. Our new apartment is non-furnished, while the old one was fully furnished as we rent it. We took care the furniture shopping, but the deliveries definitely super tricky! So at that time, I thought I can use the first 2 weeks for intensive House Moving Errands, and the rest to adjust and familiarize ourselves with the new apartment — and hopefully, to rest.
But, yeah, things happen — and I spent 3 weeks at the hospital while my husband took care the moving and our youngest child. The last 1 week was me trying to start my motor and brain properly with some disruptions as we need to adjust with my son’s doctor visits and still some occasional hospital trips.
I actually felt, and still feel, guilty about it. I asked for 4 weeks of not touching anything related with my job with hope of a well-rested individual when I came back on November, but what happened was a more frazzled version of me. As supportive as the company is, I still feel, “I can and want to do more, but I don’t know how!” For the whole November and the start of December, I felt like a headless chicken — ran around and panicked on what to do and how do I adjust myself. I found myself constantly tired and irritated. There are times I wish I could just passed out because at least you don’t have to do anything or feel anything and you just… passed out.
I think there’s a term for it. Stressed because of stressing out. When you found out you are stressed out, and you got stressed because you are stressing out.
I found my shoulders getting really stiff and painful. I also deliberately avoiding some tasks such as journal entry or recording my daily expenses because I feel like being chased down. I feel angry for no reason. I found myself devouring self-care or feel-good contents on the Internet but getting more and more frustrated as I do so because I keep comparing myself. I try to regain “control”, futile as it is, by cleaning and tidying the house but I got myself so angry because I feel like I’m doing a worthless and thankless job.
My emotional cup is empty.
What do you folks usually do when you feel that way? Currently, I’m trying to take a breather, revisit my daily bullet journal, and disconnect myself from anything digital by reading books (I really like Neil Gaiman’s works) and self-pampering. I try not to think about work, but it feels like a paradox. It’s like I’m telling myself, “don’t think about work!” and it’s, uh, making me thinking about work.
If you have any ideas, insights, or maybe if you want to share your experiences, feel free to do so!