I was awake before the alarm went off this morning. Again. My boyfriend tells me off for this clock-watching. The trouble is, once I’m awake, I’m dreading every ticking minute until the buzzer sounds. Even after a good night’s rest, I feel exhausted, drained of any spirit, and I’m not sure it’s entirely sleep-related.
There’s a constant dialogue in my head: the Battle of the Monday Morning Blues.
I’m exhausted, I’m too unwell to go to work today.
Have a shower. That’ll perk you up.
I don’t want to get dressed, I want to go back to bed.
Just get dressed and then see how you feel.
Don’t make me get on the tube to work.
Get going early, then you won’t be stressed about arriving late.
It takes so much effort to force myself to set off. Excuses run around my head, trying to legitimise not going in. I’m coming down with a cold. It’s too cold. I’ve got a headache. It all comes down to one thing, though. I don’t want to.
Having set off early, the journey is much better than expected. I still don’t get a seat, but nor do I have to stand contorted, like a gnarled tree. When I pop out the other side the sky is beautiful; pure cornflower blue. The Millennium Dome comes into view, fountains glistening in the blinding morning sun, silvery slivers of glass and metal buildings.
All this cheers me momentarily, until I realise that I am heading for a cold, airless, windowless room in the bowels of a more nondescript building. It may be a beautiful day, but I will miss it, not emerging back up for fresh air until dusk is drawing in.
Almost instantaneously that big fat kicking and screaming toddler of a headache rears. Punching my forehead relentlessly until the working day is over. I’m bored of this. Bored of popping pills and downing caffeine in an attempt to beat the beast into submission. I wonder if I’d be like this in any other job, then shake my head at myself.
Getting more anxious with every step closer to work I get? Getting a pounding headache as soon I approach the building, which leaves as soon as I do? No. This can’t be right.
I look back up at the perfect sky, with a strange mixture of happiness and gloominess. Not long to go now, I tell myself. Just get through today.