So for those of you who don’t know, I have been off work with Work induced Anxiety & Depression, since August. I was signed off whist by my GP whilst on the last week of our trip to Athens, while I was supposed to be enjoying some well-earned R&R with Chloe. It didn’t turn out that way sadly and remained a very uncomfortable place until just last week.
And I’m not really sure what changed – I mean sure, I decided I was ready to book an exam I had been studying for (I failed it but only just so no massive deal, I resit soon) and my OH and I had a massive “disagreement” at the weekend over the whole kit and caboodle – he was “concerned” I didn’t have a plan to manage my illness. But other than that nothing else was different. I was still on the same medication, at the same dose, still waiting for follow up on the talking therapies I’d been offered and day to day everything else was the same, and yet…
I just felt like I was a bit more in control of things. Just a bit more like I knew where I stood – and how to handle this. And it began with emailing my employer to say that I would be ready to speak with them about what had been going on – something I had actually refused to do only a week previously. So I surprised even myself really.
I’ll clear up a couple of things firstly – THIS IS NOT about how YOU should do anything, nor is it about how anything I have done WILL work for you – I’m just laying everything out here. Because the more people read about mental health issues, be it good or bad, the more the topic becomes something normal to speak about. As it quite rightly should. I don’t actually believe that the medication has had much of a part to play in whatever kind of recovery this has been as I’m still exhausted, I don’t ever wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, like I’ve slept properly, and I’m now struggling with my weight thanks to it – something I had begun to level with and become comfortable with the idea of dealing with. Now weight gain is showing its ugly head once more and causing some physical issues I’m very uncomfortable with on top of everything already here.
So, while I’m not having the racing heart sensation I was getting whenever the topic of work or anything to do with it came up, nor am I almost bursting into tears when the concept of having to “virtually” meet with any of my colleagues this does not yet mean I’m “fixed” or “back to normal” I haven’t succeeded in completely grounding myself and I’m certainly not whole but I am sure as hell on the path in the right direction – and that gives me hope. Hope that the anxiety I feel is controllable, hope that the sensations I had been getting, were from a lack of control over my situation which is something I can begin to rebuild and regain, even if there are factors which continue to remain out of my reach.
I have spoken with my employer – we’ve opened the door to negotiations – that was important, and I can continue to do so on my own terms, something that up to last week I really didn’t feel I could do. Once those first steps were taken it’s only a matter of time before I can make decisions as to how I wish to move things forward – positively – and with the key factor of not slipping backwards if we can help it, by navigating these steps carefully, one at a time. No rushing.