Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guilt And Other Emotions

I just heard from a co-worker saying how much I'm missed and asking when I'm returning. We're friends so I know that most of the reason he sent the message is because he really does miss me as a person. However, knowing him as I do, I also know that he's sick of covering assignments for me in my absence. He and I normally work together as a team, so I realize that me not being there has been especially hard on him.

That said, I'm still a little annoyed by the message, especially since similar ones have come up before, like when I've been on vacation. But in this case, it's not my fault that I broke my leg. It's not my fault that our company wouldn't let me telecommute, even though I offered to do so. I feel badly that my co-workers are having to do extra work on my behalf, though I've been told that several of my assignments have been put on hold, which definitely lightens the load. And to be fair, my salary has been seriously slashed since I've been out so it's not like I'm being paid to be "on vacation." Quite the opposite, in fact.

I hate the fact that I feel guilty about this in the first place. I like everyone at my job, but the job itself hasn't always been good to me. I've always worked really hard and I just want to be able to recover without having to stress about work. Now that my leave of absence is almost over, I'm having to think more about juggling things in the "real world," like physical therapy, doctor's appointments and well, my job. Frankly, my recovery comes first. If I have an assignment that needs to be handed over because I have physical therapy, then tough. My health is the priority.

I've been a wimp at work in the past, but I've already decided that one of the first things I'm going to do is have a long talk with my boss about my various concerns. This way, we can openly address them and come up with a plan for dealing before things get too crazy.

My therapist ended up calling me in the middle of my writing this post and suggested that my accident and everything following it will give me the chance to finally stand up for myself at work. I suppose it will. If there's one thing that this has taught me -- and I know I've said this before -- is that I'm stronger than I thought. I've dealt with pain, having my bone popped into place and surgery, and have lived. I can't say I've been brave because I've been worrying and crying at every obstacle, but I haven't had a choice in having to deal with these things. And yet, I've come out OK, and even better in most cases, once the pain was over.

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