I want to be happy and just enjoy today. I don’t think I’ll be able to, not completely.
I haven’t been at work since 2nd March, which in 2017 marked 5 years since ‘The Dog Attack‘. I broke down on that day, unable to work, unable to focus. The anniversary was one more thing, and my mental health took a swan dive.
Since then, I’ve been seeing my doctor every couple of weeks, working towards getting myself back on track. It feels like I take two steps forward, and then another one back. Every time over the last few weeks I feel like I’m starting to feel ‘on the mend’, something happens that triggers a downward spiral again…
- I reversed the car into a building. It needed repair, I couldn’t drive around with the level of damage down. Cue sh*t tons of mental self injury.
- When I went to visit my Grandad, the risk of my parents turning up at the same time presented itself. Cue massive anxiety spike (anyone who understands my relationship with and anxiety around my father will understand why this was a problem).
- And then, two days ago, my mother went into hospital with a burst ulcer. Instead of simply worrying about a woman that, granted, I haven’t spoken to for three years, but still deep down care about…no, instead, my head had to deal with the fact that Daddy Dearest didn’t want me to know about it. About my mother. Being in hospital. Gosh he is the most childish, immature man I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. And this man was the one I spent my formative years trying to please. Trying to gain approval from. Cue guilt about obsessing over this, instead of just worrying for my mother.
I saw my doctor yesterday, and burst into tears. Told her all this. Told her how last week, I was telling people that this week, I was going to talk to her and my boss about going back to work. I felt positive, I felt on track to be ready. Now? I’m not back at square one, that would be a false statement. I am not the complete quivering mess I was on 2nd March. But I’m still not good.
The doctor signed me off for another 2 weeks. Cue MORE guilt because I’m going away this weekend. I told the doctor about the fact myself, Michael and Megan are going to Eastercon, and I was told I absolutely had to go. It will do me the world of good the doctor said. Stop the emotional brain from engaging, help the logical brain take a foothold again.
Before yesterday, I had changed anti depressant, from Sertraline to Citalopram. The dosage was increased yesterday to see if that will help as well.
She was also very clear to stop being so harsh on myself. I kept saying that I feel like I’m ruining my life. I do feel that way…this is my second spell off work now and I am so worried about returning. What everyone will say, how they will act around me. Of course, this is anxiety doing what anxiety does. I’m sure people just want me to get better. I can’t help myself sometimes…I’m a natural born worrier and when I do things like I’ll be doing this weekend, my head starts to think “if people at work see this, they’ll think I don’t need I be away right now”.
I KNOW mental health does not work that way. I’m trying to get my brain into a better place. I can only do that by doing things that will help it not focus and obsess on the things that trigger me while I wait for the counselling that will hopefully help me move on once and for all. And as hard as I find it…I need to try and NOT feel guilty for recognising I’m not ready to reintroduce the stress of work back in, and be kind to myself.
As Michael told me last night, I’m being mature. I could employ other coping mechanisms (drink for example, which I have done before), but I’m not. I’m following the doctor’s advice, and although I’m not ‘better’ yet, progress is happening. I just need to give it time.
So…Happy Birthday To Me. It doesn’t feel like a good time to celebrate really. I’m lying in bed writing this and truth be told, I would be most content staying here all day. Alas, there is packing and cleaning to be done, and the doctor says I need to get out everyday. So I’m going to see my sister, which should be nice.
Maybe the break away this weekend will be just what I need; here’s hoping.