I’ve been through a lot of stress lately, especially at work. I got to the point where I cried out my frustrations and allowed madness to take over me. However, letting in the negativity did not help. I kept ranting to a colleague, I kept making excuses to not take full responsibility of problems at hand. I wanted to escape.

Whenever I am faced with a trial, it is normal for me to shut the rest of the world off. It doesn’t always mean when I am not talking or not smiling at you, I am taking life too seriously. I need people to understand that it is my way to recharge, to take time to think and process whether all that I did and will do were and are the right things to do.

This past two weeks were probably the most difficult I’ve been involved with in terms of my job. I thought I’ve encountered the most awful ones in my previous employer but this one’s probably is the worst situation I’ve been in. Not to disclose any information on it though, but honestly, I felt so trapped – I did not know what to do. I had no one who can fully understand to share it with. Well, I actually do, but they are not physically present to empathize with me. What I did was I kept everything to myself, bravely thinking, “I can get through this.” until I realized that, “No, I can’t. I need help.. right now.”

And so, I e-mailed one of my superiors and openly expressed my vulnerability and told him how frustrated I am… since the beginning. I was sitting in front of my computer, holding back my tears, trying not to show any sign of weakness while I was typing my message. (Oh, thank God for giving me the courage to open my weak self and being too self-aware.) After I clicked send, there was some kind of relief.

After the receiver read my message, he approached me. Finally, somebody understands. Like a father, somebody finally told me words of encouragement I needed to hear. I cried, not because I am giving up. I cried because I learned that if I’d open myself more and not try to be self-reliant all the time, I can get any problem over with.

I regained the courage to face and accept the situation, slowly. I admit from the moment I wake up and right before I sleep, I constantly think of the stress work has been given me. I let it overpower me. I got too scared each time I see how our office is almost near when I commute every morning. It’s like telling me, “Hey, you’re gonna see and read e-mails again, receive text messages and calls, all the things you have been dreading to face today.” I want every one and every thing to shut up and disappear. If only I could put my headphones on the whole day, I would. If only I could cover my work space with a blanket and put a Do Not Disturb sign, I would. But I cannot… because I am an HR practitioner, I must not and I am not allowed to shut people off no matter how I badly want to.

However, shutting everything off doesn’t answer nor give solution to the problem. Instead of thinking about the things that aren’t at hand, such as my “what ifs”, I have learned that I should do the things I need to do within the bounds of what is right in front of me. And my game face turned on.

For two nights, I decided to go home late. I rendered overtime work. Those peaceful nights, I got so productive and were able to finish the most critical parts of my responsibilities. I got overwhelmed and even continued working at home. Clearly, I regained my motivation.

Today, I am halfway there. There are still bumps on the way, I must admit. But at least I got some baggage off. I let myself carry too much burden that I felt like the weight of the world were on my shoulders. That sounds exaggerated and cliche but it was entirely true. The weight was too much to carry, I almost felt numb.

I started to reflect tonight on what happened. None of the things that happened would have happened if it weren’t because of me. I should not always see others’ mistakes without seeing mine first. Had I tried thinking where I’ve gone wrong or had I tried reflecting whether I have done something that did not make matters worse, it would not turn too big of a problem as it is.

I almost gave up… and it was one of the wrong things I almost did. Have I forgotten why I was here in the first place? Did I forget the core purpose why I am here?Β Didn’t I turn to God enough and seek Him first all throughout the journey? Or was I too overwhelmed with my situation that I became too distant from Him? Was this His way to wake me up again?

I have to go back to theΒ very reason why. And that reason must be a passionate choice I need to stand for… and I must stand for the right reasons… and with all those right reasons lifted up to the glory of God.