I think we got the jury service sorted out. My employer asked me to defer it until December, which is a lull in their need of me, according to their scheduling (note: you can’t schedule software development a week in advance, let alone 8 months, but whatever). This still needs to be approved by the courts, but I think it’s likely they will.

In other stressful news… About 3 and a half years ago I left my previous job because it was a toxic workplace. I should have left at least a year earlier and being there every day did a lot of damage to both my mental and physical well-being. I think it caused something like complex PTSD but that’s another blog post I don’t really intend to write…

The problem was really just one particular woman. But that’s ancient history now… Or is it?

I was on a run today and guess who I saw. She didn’t see me, or possibly she saw me first and pretended to be fascinated by her phone.

Here’s my heart rate graph, see if you can guess where I saw her.

It’s the big spike just before 35 minutes.

I actually felt pretty alarmed just to see her. All the feelings of anxiety came back in an instant and I felt the rest of the run feeling sick. I guess I’m a bit surprised. Before lockdown when I used to get the train to my new job I always used to feel the stress when we passed my old job’s building, but I really thought that I wouldn’t be so easily triggered now.

Anyway, the good news is that it’ll probably never happen again. This was along the high street in the town centre and she lives in a different town, so it was probably an unusual visit for her.


After much anticipation, my current job matched the offer of the new job and also gave me a title promotion (Senior Developer). I accepted. It felt right. I’m happy with that.

I guess I’ve had a thing about feeling valued because of my last job. I think that being treated poorly there has made me focus a lot more on making sure that I’m getting a good deal. I’m also really pleased that now if they ever contact me, I’ll be able to tell them they can’t afford me!

I feel so exhausted now, tonight. It’s felt like several weeks of stress and maybe that’s catching up with me. I don’t really feel like the tablets have been doing much for the past few weeks.


I’ve had no interview feedback today which surprises me. Pretty much every time I’ve come out of an interview thinking they’ll offer it to me, they do indeed offer it to me and usually very quickly afterwards. I feel a bit unsettled to have not heard anything. However, it is a larger firm than I’m used to dealing with and large firms tend to move slower.

I don’t think I actually mind whether or not I get the job. If I get every job I go for then that just means I’m not aiming high enough. And equally, I’m not in a rush and this job isn’t perfect. If I don’t get it, there will be another comparable one along at some point. Either outcome is fine.

And yet I have been quite stressed again today. I’ve also been very hungry. Since I haven’t been running much lately I haven’t been getting hungry, but I guess anxiety will do that too.

I’ve been trying to force my body to relax a bit more. I spent the afternoon working on my laptop…. while laying in bed. It helps!

Still alive

I haven’t been on here much for a week or two because I’ve been distracted with a little project. I had this idea that job adverts are really boring and depressing to trudge through, so why don’t I make a bot that crawls job sites, pulls out relevant information, and just shows me the ones that might be interesting? And then I had another idea that was something along the lines of “well that’s a search engine, isn’t it?”. When you write extremely boring enterprise software for a living you can forget how fun it is to program things that interest you.

In tangentially related news I had the LinkedIn email last week where it tells you that you appeared in 37 search results and your searchers work for these companies. I usually just open and discard these emails on autopilot, with no memory of actually doing it, but this time I opened it and was greeted by the logo of my old employer. I found that a bit stressful. I ended up having a nightmare about still working there and haven’t really felt like I’ve settled down again yet.

How strange is it that it’s almost a year and a half ago and they still cause me so much stress. Part of me is fascinated to know who performed the search though. In theory it would be the HR lady but she could barely switch her computer on at the best of times. On the other hand I always suspected that she was an android, so maybe she was just overcompensating so as not to arouse suspicious, and really has a direct mental interface with LinkedIn.

And on the subject of androids… Battlestar Galactica! I am now probably about a third to half way into S3. I am finding it alternates between completely gripping, possibly the best TV I’ve ever seen, but then it seems like the writers go on holiday every so often and they have to quickly make up some stories that take up screen time but add nothing to the plot. It’s quite frustrating really.


I went up to the full citalopram dose a few weeks or maybe a month ago when I was anticipating interview stress. I’m prescribed 20mg but since I restarted it I stuck to 10 until recently.

I don’t know if I really feel any difference between 10 and 20 in terms of mental health, but it something I really do notice is how tired it makes me. On 10 I don’t really notice it at all, but on 20 I feel like I could go to bed any time after about 7pm.

Over the weekend I had a think about what my goals really are. I decided that I’m fairly comfortable at work right now and I don’t need to move until something changes. When work wants me back in the office I’ll try to negotiate permanent work from home a few days a week and take it from there. But until then I don’t really need to stress myself.

So I decided to drop it back down to 10mg again. I’ve done 15 for the past few days and in a few more days I’ll go to 10. I felt quite irritable and impatient yesterday but better today. Ironically feeling impatient made me want to start job seeking again, but I think that’s just the withdrawal talking.


Last night’s dream: I remembered that I had a turtle a few years ago. Or at least something that looked a bit like a turtle. It was some kind of little green thing. Actually I don’t think it’s a real animal, but we’ll call him a turtle. I don’t know what happened to him. I used to let him wander around my bedroom but then I forgot about him for a few years, so one day I started wondering where he got to. He probably hasn’t died because surely I’d have noticed a terrible smell. So where is he? Is he hiding in my bedroom still or has he wandered off? I looked under my bed but I couldn’t see him, so he must have found his way out into the garden somewhere.

So anyway I declined the job yesterday by emailing the recruiter. I worked out that the extra hours actually equated to an extra month of work per year. I work 37.5 hours a week as opposed to 40, and I get 4 extra days of holiday. Add all that up and they wanted an extra 160 hours per year or 21.3 working days, or in other words, a full month. So I said to the recruiter that the money was fair and appropriate for stepping into a more senior role with more responsibility, but not for more responsibility AND an extra month of work. He wanted to go back and negotiate more with them but this was already offer number 2, so I said they’d already had plenty of time to put forward a realistic offer and they weren’t making me feel valued.

I’m starting to feel calmer again now. This is my Garmin stress of Wednesday versus today:

Though, even today is still high. When I’m properly content, it’ll be come down to 14-16ish.

I often get a big spike early morning which gradually comes down throughout the morning. I’m not sure why. I used to think it was recovery from running first thing, but it’s still there even if I don’t run.


I have felt so tired this weekend! I don’t know if it’s just the stress of the interviews this week catching up with me. Probably.

Where I’ve got to with this is that I’m not really sure it’s the right move, but I’m also not sure that it’s the wrong move. My hesitancy comes from the interviewer on Friday throwing a curveball on the technology issue. They are obviously confused over this and they will resolve it between themselves. If they offer me the job then they have resolved it in my favour. If they resolve against my favour, then they won’t offer it to me. Well, assuming they behave rationally, which isn’t a given.

But at the moment I’m thinking that if they do make me an offer (and it’s attractive) then I’ll first see if I can get my current employer to match it.

I need to do better at not letting job seeking get on top of me. Yesterday the whole afternoon disappeared without me really doing anything, I think because I was just sitting around and subconsciously worrying about it. It’s not really a big deal.

Today I spent a little while playing a computer game (Oxygen Not Included) and felt so much better for it.


I slept really badly last night. I felt stressed before going to sleep. I feel stressed by the thought of job seeking again.

I ended up having a dream about… Having a colonoscopy. Why? I really don’t know. Also the doctor administering the procedure was a man but he had breasts. And was showing off his cleavage. I felt very confused by this. He hadn’t addressed it and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be referring to him as he or she, which made me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t want to offend him. At some point later in the dream it somehow became clear that he was a he. For some reason I hadn’t notified work that I was having a procedure and I was getting nervous about whether or not I should send them an email to let them know.

This is by far the weirdest dream I’ve had recently. What was going on inside my subconscious yesterday I have no idea. I slept solidly from about midnight to three AM (while I had this dream), then everything after felt like low quality sleep.

When I said yesterday I’d replied to two more recruiters… I don’t think they’re going anywhere. One very politely replied with more information (as requested), but the salary is not really enough to make me move. It’s a shame because it lines up on the other points. I’ve replied to her and said as much, so maybe that one’s not quite over yet.

The other recruiter seems to be a pain. He originally mailed me to say he had a great job, can he phone me up please. I said “send me some information and if it seems like a match we can talk”. He replied to say “Are you free for a chat today?”. I have now replied and said “as I said, I’ll be free for a chat when you send me some information and it seems like a match”. I can’t see this one going anywhere. His agency specialises in Scotland (hundreds of miles away) and nothing they have on their website looks remotely relevent.


Today was an exciting day as it’s the first time since I started back on Citalopram that I’ve had to request more of it. Anyway I just pressed the button to request the next issue and it seems to have accepted it. I wondered if they’d have put it on review since I stopped and started again, or if the fact it’s been so long since the last issue (about 9 months as I’ve not been taking the full dose) would flag it for review, but apparently not. So that’s nice. I just need to go and get it now.

I’ve had a few texts lately from someone I used to work with at my previous job. He was actually a foreign student (France) who came to the UK to do an internship at my old job. Don’t ask me why but it seemed to be quite popular for European students to come to the UK and work for peanuts for 3, 6, or maybe even 12 months and my ex-boss was happy to take advantage of them employ them for next to nothing and give them no real guidance or oversight but still expect them to produce professional standard work. I ended up sort of looking after some of them.

He texted me that he was back in the UK, which was a bit surprising to me because, well, you know we have a lockdown don’t you? Then this morning he posted a bike ride on Strava that lead to the office. So as we were texting anyway I had to inquire – are you in the office… is anyone else in the office?

That was kind of a stupid thing for me to ask because the answer came back “well a few of us are, it’s me, X and Y”, where Y happens to be a name I never wanted to see ever again. I left that place for a whole bunch of reasons, but Y was the main one. If it wasn’t for Y I’d probably still be there. I didn’t like reading that text. As soon as I read it a very vivid image of the office with Y sat in there popped into my head and I felt sick. It’s been a year and three months and it still has that effect on me. And that’s with citalopram.

Though there is a positive outcome because for some reason it prompted me to reply to a couple of recruiters I’d put in the “possibly” section, which I’d been procrastinating on.


I feel weird lately and I don’t know why. According to my watch my resting heart rate has been higher than normal for the past week and a half and my stress levels too. I keep doing some breathing exercises to try to calm things, but I don’t think that’s it.

There are other things too. I’ve had some nausea. I woke up in the middle of the night a few days ago feeling hot and nauseous. Maybe it actually was hot, but I doubt it. My stomach has been really unhappy as well. The noises it’s making today… And I think it was Monday afternoon my head felt weird and cloudy when I was working. It’s all a bit vague but it mostly fits with anxiety symptoms I’ve had before.

But I don’t feel like I have a lot of stress right now. Work is plodding along and I haven’t made any more moves towards finding another job. I feel quite content at the moment, so it’s a bit confusing.