As some of you will know, when I first started this blog a couple of months ago I was signed off work with depression. I had, had a complete breakdown at work, gone to my doctors, who referred me to a specialist, who officially told me I was struggling with depression. This blog came about due to a sort of lightbulb moment I had one night while I was signed off, a symbol of this sudden drive I had to do something with my life while I was off work. An opportunity to move my life forward and start getting myself on the road to recovery and on the path I wanted to go down for the rest of my life.
Safe to say two weeks after I started my blog I felt in a better place to go back to work. I had been constructively using that creativity that had been locked up inside me so starting back at work seemed good for me. I was having weekly phone calls with the mental health lady who had assessed me (I don’t know what else to call her as she isn’t actually my therapist/counsellor like I had thought) and she had given me some constructive tools to keep me going.
I started using the diary I had bought to plan out my weeks to better manage my time off doing things I loved. I came up with the idea for my ebook and started brainstorming recipes and crafts to keep my mind occupied at work. Sure I would still have the off moment where I felt uninterested in things or tired or just like I couldn’t get out of bed but I bounced back quickly from those moments as soon as I did something constructive or creative such as making myself a good meal or editing some instagram pictures.
Cut to last week and me starting a new work week. After sitting on a till and dealing with customers for 8 hours that first day I felt awful. I felt so empty and depressed again, feeling trapped in my job and like I was wasting my time there when I could have been at home working on my ebook, which had been slow going due to my work hours. I should have felt better knowing I had the following day off as holiday due to us going to see Mickey Flanagan but I didn’t .
Ben had most of the same mornings off as me last week and instead of using our time productively we spent it in bed or watching tv. I felt like all the inspiration I had had the previous weeks had just gone down the toilet. I felt like everything sucked and when I checked my bank account that feeling trippled. I quickly realised I had spent so much money buying items I thought I was buying as a way of getting my life back on track but instead had just spent all my money on material things again and putting myself back into the same situation I was in when I was first signed off.
Come my phone call with Jayne (my mental health lady) Thursday afternoon I was a suicidal depressed mess again. I was crying over the phone lost and scared to have her tell me she had only been assessing me and thinks I would benefit from counselling. I felt even more lost and confused I thought she was my counsellor. I came off the phone and called my work to tell them my phone call had over run and I’d be late. Luckily my team leader hearing I was upset told me just to come in at my normal hours and take a couple hours to calm down. (They had adjusted my hours to being earlier just in case you are confused.)
I was destrought and on my own and struggled to sort my head out and pick myself back up. I went in to work that evening and to my surprise wasn’t forced to stay chained to a till for long. I was asked to do other tasks like topping up bags and putting things back customers didn’t want. This gave me freedom to talk to other colleagues who actually started to make me feel better. I started to feel like I had just been silly. I reminded myself that I was ill and not everyday or even week was going to be easy.
As I worked through my long Saturday shift, the depression cloud that had hung over me slowly started to disperse. I was able to start looking forward again and focus on the things that were going to get me back on track. Sure I didn’t have the money to go on holiday with Ben like we had planned at the end of the month, but I had the tools to make an awesome ebook which the people I had spoken in depth with about it were excited for. Ben reminded me that now we weren’t going on holiday I had more free time that I wanted to put some serious work into my book instead of being stuck at work.
Cut to today, the start of a new week, and I am feeling better and more positive. I have that drive to be creative again after a positive Sunday surrounded by people I love. I am clearer headed and know I am able to move forward from this, I might just need to carry an umbrella around with me ready for when that next depression cloud tries to drown me.