back to livin”nLiberia

back to livin’nliberia!

after a 2 month health break, i’ve been back in the blue cube ‘my monrovian office cubicle since early April, and i’ve got a plan for how to survive the next year or so.

these are my wordz from my first week back – not posted til now…

there are 2 challenges i face – physical and mental.

physical – the doctor diagnosed me with ‘heat-induced migraine’. in short, i am a wimp when it comes to enduing the tropical heat and humidity. leave me for a few hours out in the elements and i sweat and i wilt! if i have to exert myself by actually walking around in the heat then i wilt faster!! if i cannot get out of the heat then i get a throbbing headache in the back of my neck and then across my forehead. even when i drink 3 litres of rehydration salts within the day the headache becomes a migraine and i will vomit and am unable to stop it. usually it only gets to be a migraine if i am on a VIP visit to the field and have to stay on duty all day. in those circumstances i usually get the headache by midday and then survive the intensifying pain until the 16.00 helicopter journey back to monrovia, with hopefully just enough time to collapse under the AC in my bed. after the cycle of vomitting eases and i sleep, i usually feel half alive but able to go into the office the next day. so even though i’ve had 15 migraines in the last 16 months, i’ve only ever had 1 sick day in the whole time. more fool me for soldiering on, as there’s no credit for being a hero!

mental – i need to avoid stress. my workload has increased and i still have to deal with frustrating colleagues. when you care about doing a good job, it is hard to switch off. but i think that is what i have to do. simply do a good job rather than a very good job. meet the important deadlines and not worry too much about the incidental things that don’t bring results or can’t be changed. i’m going to start working more reasonable hours, doing more exercise, resting and having fun. i have not been happy since my first day here, and the longer i stay, the more responsibility i am given, the less happy i have become. when the work is unsatisfying and unrewarding, it is hard to be motivated. i feel sucked dry by it all and devoid of any sense that what i’m doing actually matters. so u can see, i need to do a lot of mental gymnastics to stay kind of balanced!

up-date 15 May
well, i stand by these earlier wordz. it ain’t easy-o. considering that i still have a few dramas and problems to juggle, i consider myself successful that i only had a few sleepless nights in the last 6 weeks. i have had a few headaches, but none that resulted in a migraine or kept me at home – but then i haven’t been to the field at all. there are a few things like having some good friends and having a nice place to live that help me to maintain my balance, but that deep, abounding sense of purpose at livin”nliberia, continues to elude me…

next time i’ll try to be more up-beat…


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