There was nothing particularly special about that Thursday. The events were certainly not what I had planned. But, on reflection, the warning signs were there; and the danger had actually been building for many, many months.
The previous day I’d travelled to Ipswich to spend some time with colleagues in one of our main offices, with the intention of going out with them afterwards to the cinema. I hadn’t seen these guys for at least six months – if not more – so I’d been looking forward to getting out and about, catching up, and winding down at the flicks.
When it came to it, I was feeling pretty lousy – sort-of unsettled - and most of that Wednesday was spent unloading my troubles on busy co-workers and resisting a really intense nagging feeling that I was coming to a bit of a career crossroads. Perhaps not so much a crossroads, more a cul-de-sac. Well actually, in truth, it was more a case of facing the alarming conclusion that my career was finally over. But it also felt like more than that – the malaise was much bigger. And by the time the movie rolled I knew something was very wrong - I spent most of the film gripping the chair-arm like a vice and trying to avoid feeling panic-stricken; heart racing and perspiration forming on any available area of skin. I had an all-consuming nausea that started as a small nucleus in my gut, and grew rapidly to engulf all my extremities. I can't even faintly remember which movie I endured, let alone what the plot was.