For many years my life centred on work, and as the kids grew more independent, more work. I had absolutely no personal life. Once I clocked out my attention was on home and rest, and conserving my energy so I could go back and do it all again the next day. Weekends were a blessing, a two day break, a chance to play catch up on errands and sleep.
I had been married for fifteen years, and I often wondered how my ex would have coped with my potentially debilitating disease, if I had been diagnosed before we split. I’m a cynic, and I figured if we couldn’t manage the stresses we’d already faced, this would have been impossible. To say I didn’t trust anyone to be there for me is no understatement. I didn’t let anyone close enough to give them the opportunity to let me down.
Work was my social life, my support system and the source of my self esteem and sense of well being. After eight years at this particular job, work had become a kind of family.
The kids were both living back in that small town, and I was alone. I could collapse on the couch when I got home from work and ignore everything and everyone. I didn’t have to talk to anyone, didn’t have to make a meal if I didn’t feel like it, didn’t have to do anything but rest for the next day.
It was not a life, it was an existence.