In the space of 5 days, things have taken a decidedly upbeat route for me and I must admit I’m a little nervous.
Last Friday I had a very productive chat with my line manager about returning to work. It was one of those unofficial official type of chats where things were explained to me about my absence and how it might affect my future pay as my sick pay was nearing it’s end. My manager was hesitant about telling me this as he is very aware of my issues but he was very good about it. I actually felt better for him telling me as I reasoned it in my head by saying that now I knew the ‘official’ situation I no longer have to worry about what might happen to my pay. The end result of this chat though was that I am due to return to work in the very near future. I have been very careful in how I control this information and I have allowed my boss to tell only 2 other people at work my intentions. I have also only told my parents and my wife of the exact date of my return. The reason for this is very simple. Well, in my head it is. I have decided that the less people that know, the less people I have to ‘please’. What I mean by this is that if no-one knows I’m coming in, I will feel no expectation on myself to be happy, smiley me and I can just be myself. My manager has arranged for me to do a short shift and I will be upstairs in a quiet office going through paperwork in preparation for the forthcoming visit of our auditors. This will allow me to focus fully on something (much like my colouring does) for a couple of hours and keep my mind busy. In addition to this I can take regular breaks if I need to as the catering unit is next door and they have recently started stocking a lavender, chamomile and honey infusion which I drink at home to relax me. The only thing I have to get ready for is that I have 3 deep scars on my right arm about 3 inches long and I know that there will be questions. I am more than happy to talk about my illness as I truly believe I have nothing to be ashamed of but I know that for some people it could be hard to hear exactly what I’ve been through. If the conversation takes an awkward turn I could always try and pass it off by saying I was attacked by Wolverine (although the chances of him being allowed on a ferry to a small island with blades on each hand could be a sticking point for him).
So. Where will this new found positivity take me? On Saturday my daughter and I went for a bit of a magical mystery tour on the buses and it felt like the best day I’d had with her since my illness took hold properly last December. Then on Sunday, which was Mothering Sunday, I helped my daughter make a full English breakfast for her mum and, once she had left for work, my daughter and I went swimming for a couple of hours. On the walk home we ate chocolate, crisps and drank bottles of juice while laughing our heads off at nothing in particular. Monday was spent relaxing at home for the most part of the day and listening to music until my daughter had her swimming club in the evening. I decided in the evening to ask my dad if he fancied a wander along the beach while my mum and daughter were at the pool. He agreed ( he likes a bit of an adventure with me) and we went along the beach to some caves I knew about. Unfortunately the tide was already turning and I couldn’t get in the cave I wanted to as I would have been unable to get out again. Never mind, I got some cracking photos and made a promise to myself that I would return sometime with my dad to complete the trip properly.
My full focus at the moment is on my recovery though and I know that this immediate happiness is not a cure for all ills. I am fully aware that recovery will take time and that there will be setbacks along the way but for now I am loving how it feels to be happy again. Long may this feeling continue……………………………………………..