Welcome to the end of the weekend dear readers. Hope it’s all been a good one for you whatever you have been getting up to.
My return to work on Saturday went very well. I started at 10am and was greeted by my team with smiles and hugs. My manager then came and spoke to me and got me started on the tasks he had prepared for me. I have been given plenty of work to do upstairs in the offices getting the paperwork all ready for the next visit from the auditors and it is great. I can keep my head down and keep my mind busy. I can also escape for a cup of tea and some quiet space if I need to without having to worry if anyone will need to cover my section. Sunday went the same way (minus the hugs as they did all that on Saturday) except for the beginning of the day. I did my normal wake up routine of chamomile tea and colouring books only to feel the all too familiar feeling of dry mouth, tingly arms and the fear. However the difference this morning was that I was able to push past all this and calm down before it blew up on me into a full panic attack. I went to work and got stuck into the mountain of paper and had a good day, even managing to complete one of the tasks on my list. Yay me!!
For these very reasons my weekend has been a mixture of emotions. I’ve been back at work for 2 shifts now and it almost feels like reality is beginning to set in again. My off time has led me to relax more and enjoy my own company but now I have to talk to people, smile at customers and appear (outwardly at least) to be normal and recovered from my illness. I am back on a reduced hours contract until I find my feet again so instead of my usual full-time hours I am doing 5 days of 4hr shifts. Looking at this from an outsiders point of view, someone might think this is easy to deal with but from an anxious point of view this opens up new questions to consider. Examples of this are:
What if 4hrs is too much?
What if everyone gets fed up of me leaving early?
What if people are talking about me?
What if the customers ask me where I’ve been?
What if they don’t ask me anything?
What if they don’t talk to me because I’ve been off for so long?
What if I have another wobble at work?
What if I can’t remember what I’m supposed to do?
I now have the same answer to all of these questions and it is “I don’t care”. This may sound a bit selfish and not very much part of working as a team but if the last 4 months off work have taught me anything it is that I need to look after myself first. I am not superman, I cannot help or please everyone and if anyone has issues with that then it is their issue, not mine. I am not recovered. I am not better. I might not be for a long time yet but that is my concern and I will deal with it in my own time.
In the meantime I will do what I can to help wherever possible and will continue to spread awareness of mental health issues to anyone who asks me.
Take care of yourselves until I appear again on your activity feed…………………….