Tuesday, 8 March 2016

How's Things?

What I thought was a cute Pixabay image comes with the labels 'Drunk, Wall, III, Stagger, Bad, Evil, Drink, Alcohol' Blimey!  It's not what I had in mind when I chose this little fellow to illustrate today's post.  I thought that he was doing a one handed version of an exercise that my therapist has suggested.  I push against a door, watch my breath and see what thoughts come to mind about what it is that I'm trying to force away. Although it stirs up emotion aplenty I haven't come up with any ideas yet.  Perhaps this is significant in itself or if it's not, maybe I should hit the wine before doing it!

It's now over a month since I walked out of work one Friday without knowing that I wouldn't be able to face going back the following Monday. I went back to the doctors yesterday and was signed off for another two weeks. I am still not 'right'.

So here's a full answer to the question above.  I get asked it a lot and my usual reply along the lines of 'Not great but I'll get there' sums it up.  Lots of the time everything appears as if it's going swimmingly.  It might look to others like I'm taking a fraudulent sickie.  Often I don't believe I'm poorly myself.  I've done lots around the house, write, exercise and meditate and have good times with friends.  I smile and laugh, even at my predicament.  My head is mostly free from the  ruminative and anxious thoughts that were persistent when I've suffered from depression in the past.

But it's the little things that cause me to crumble.  I  go into panic mode and feel overwhelmed when I don't feel in total charge of a situation.  It's as if my inner control freak has gone berserk.  Of course I know that it's impossible to regulate everything around me.  Adults, kids and nature have their own ideas of what's going to happen and that impacts on my plans.
Knowing that I'm being entirely unrealistic doesn't stop me feeling overwhelmed when the tiniest thing  doesn't work out MY way. I'm exhausted just getting Louis out of bed and off to school with all the kit he needs for the day ahead.  It's a situation that cannot be precisely engineered.  There's so much that can go wrong!    This hypersensitivity to things that I cannot control is the consequence of sustained stress over a long period of time.  It's still affecting my sleep.  I often wake in a state of panic recalling events that have happened  where I was overcome by helplessness in spite of putting up a huge fight.  The people that I work with  more serious mental health problems than my own are unpredictable. It's the nature of their illness and precisely why I can't work with them at the moment.

Up to now my Fit Note allowed me to do a limited amount of work that didn't include clinical stuff. I thought that keeping going might kick start wellness.  But it hasn't so I'm taking a different tack. I've been signed off completely to prioritise rest and reflection. The other stuff must fit around these. After all, at the times that I've been physically poorly it would have been mad to keep running around like I've done over the past few weeks.  No medication yet.  I need a clear head to examine what went wrong.  Surprisingly it seems like a very positive thing has come to pass.  Even though I'm metaphorically bruised and battered I feel that this situation has come about so that I can learn and grow.  It's taking  much more time  to get back to perky than I ever imagined but I'm hopeful that I'll get through this with a little bit more wisdom and resilience tucked under the belt.

14 comments:

  1. I hope you find the help and healing you deserve. Don't let any twinge of guilt from "shoulds" impede your focus on your health. Sending caring thoughts your way.

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    1. Thanks for those caring thoughts. They are appreciated! x

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  2. Your words sound very familiar, thinking of you, all the best.

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    1. Thank you. I realise that was I'm going through must be familiar to many others. x

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  3. Although it seems that more people have mental health problems these days, perhaps that isn't the case; it's just that it's slightly less taboo a subject. (not that it should ever be)

    People probably just got on with things in the past as admitting problems (unless there were very obvious physical signs) often meant being taken in - away from family and children - with the risk of no release, plus the possibility of electric shock therapy. My mother had an illegitimate child (she kept her) in the early thirties. If she had been under 21 it is likely she would have been unwillingly sent to a mental home for being of 'low moral character'

    It's hard for you now, but, as you know and are experiencing, these days there are many therapies - before medication - so I'm sure that in the end 'you' will resurface. I really wish you well.

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    1. I come across cases like your Mum's in the notes. What used to happen was truly shocking. I talk about my own illness to decrease the stigma that is still there, albeit at a reduced level. x

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  4. I can certainly relate to your post today. I am very lucky to be 'out the other side'. My thoughts are with you, sending you all the very best that you can use this reflective time to really heal and come out the other side stronger and contented :)

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    1. Bless you and thanks for kindest of thoughts.x

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I also ended up off sick with stress from a post in the NHS and I had always been seen as a strong person who could cope with anything. Only I wasn't. In the end I chose to take my retirement as I was 55 and sadly, although I look back on my nursing career with much fondness, I have no intention of ever putting myself in that place again as I am not sure next time I would get through it. I still question myself all the time and react badly to not being able to control what is happening around me, but I have learnt and am recognising what is happening and give myself a chance to accept things for what they are. Please remember to do what someone told me and be kind to yourself.
    Sending healing thoughts
    KJ

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story that has such parallels with my own. I am focusing on being kind to myself - and Lou. I've been a bit tetchy with us both lately and my priority is looking after both of us. x

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  6. Hey Lovely Grey, you take the time to be well. When the weather isnt so bad, some lovely walks around Brixham could help. even if it is pottering in the shops.

    We are under constant bombardment to be "this" or "that". Buy "this" or "that". Things truly seemed like they were more simple before mobile phones and being constantly in touch and people thinking they have the right to constantly have a piece of you.

    I become anxious sometimes. And the world gets real loud. It is what I really like about the blogging world. If I want I read blogs, if I want I leave a comment. If I dont want to read, I no longer do. One of the best things that has happened in the last year is also frustrating. Where we live now, there is really patchy mobile phone coverage. It means I dont get as many text messages. Sounds selfish, but it for the most point was people off loading their anger or upsets with either someone in their family or work colleagues. Not that I dont care, I do. That is why they contacted me. I can imagine that your job, day after day, was people constantly offloading (because its your job). But a person can only take so much, like a tea cup being dripped into by a tap, at some point it will over flow the edges of cup. its going to affect them, it is human nature. And being that you went into this profession it is because you care. Time to recover is needed.

    Remember constantly. You are special and you are loved by a special boy. Both of you are what matter.

    Beaming you peaceful vibes.

    Sol

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. I'm truly touched. My analogy of what's happen involves an overflowing bath but a tea cup will do just as well. My recovery involves taking the plug out or drink up the tea. It's a longer process than I ever expected but I'll get there. x

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  7. What you have written resonates in so many ways and for several reasons. Take care and be as kind to yourself as you are to others. x

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    1. Thanks - it's kind of you to say that. x

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