How the overwhelming situation started

and affected me mentally and physically

Fatmawati Santosa
4 min readMay 26, 2022


Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

The first half-year of 2022 feels like a whole year already. So many events, good and bad, have fluctuated my perception regarding the world I live in. I thought pandemic trained me well to be adaptive. But not so much. The pandemic has lasted almost two years and has engraved a new way of life that I am comfortable with.

I did not realize how much I am attached to the concept of working from home until the first week of April I had to go to the office for the whole week. After that week, I felt I fulfilled the need to meet people in person for the whole month.

The workload has increased with additional online training that took half of my weekly hours. I felt the work inflow was more significant than the outflow I could produce. Every Friday, when I finish the day, I feel mentally and physically exhausted and ask myself, “Have I done things? Why I don’t feel rewarded?”

Weeks have gone by, and I don’t feel better. Instead, I feel more depressed. I started to question my capability to handle my responsibilities at work. I noticed I got more e-mails that highlighted problems compared to the actual progress report. The path towards the goal has become more blurry each day.

Feeling down and physically exhausted, I handled the discussion poorly because I built the defense system to not add more problems and tasks to my to-do list.

Until some days ago, I felt I had reached the point where I couldn’t move forward even a step. I take sick leave days and visit a doctor. Reaching this point makes me realize I have to fix myself soon. It feels wrong that I could not even handle my own physical and mental health.

I decided to work offline during my sick leave and work on some project documentation. When the screen was on, and I started to type, my head felt like turning around, and I couldn’t focus on a single word. I stopped, and I checked the e-mail inbox. A colleague shared his feedback that what I did yesterday was not aligned with what had been discussed in the meeting a day before. In other words, I did it wrong. I remember I already felt unwell during that meeting. English is not my mother language, no matter what. Communicating when I am healthy…



Fatmawati Santosa

sharing thoughts, experience, and lessons learned | an engineer on working days and a dreamer for most of the time :)