Okay firstly MASSIVE apologies... have not written a blog post since 28th November but trust me, I have good reasons!
This weekend has been a big one for me. Where do I start?
Work. This week I went to the doctors, and we discussed a return to work. This has made me feel (obviously) very anxious and at times, I have felt reluctant to go back. I was concerned that going back to a place that added to the triggering of my anxiety reaching its peak would cause me a relapse, and I was scared of myself. I soon realised though that I was ultimately scared of being scared, and that's my illness talking. I felt better after discussing my concerns with my [amazing!] doctor who reassured me these feelings were normal, and that I can only try my best.
Thursday just gone marked the start of my phased return. I went in for two hours and whilst that seems very small, for me it was massive. I was going back to an office which I recognised after working there for three years, but at the same time, it was like being a new kid at school. I felt so sick before I went in, and it didn't help I'd had no sleep for the previous three nights. What if people talked to me so much it was overwhelming? What if no one talked to me because they didn't know how? What if I fell ill? What if I burst into tears? My head felt like it was literally about to explode.
And what did happen? I went in, my breathing definitely quickened, my legs were like two sticks of jelly, but I did it. I sat down at my desk with the help and support of my manager and logged on to my computer, the first time in nearly six months. Once a couple of people said 'hi' I started to relax. My shoulders were still up to my ears with tension but I was getting through.
But then I panicked. Everyone had changed where they were sitting. I didn't recognise teams and they're formats, I didn't understand who was dealing with what, and for some reason, it frightened me. It just increased that 'new kid' feeling. But knowing my friends were around me helped. I have one very close friend at work who I did know where she sat and it comforted me knowing that. It gave me the confidence to lift my head up over the pc screen and spot another person I'm really close to. I grasped on to every smile that came my way and took a deep breath.
During the time I spent trying to solve IT problems, it was lovely that people started to recognise where I was sitting. They came up, said hello, and the best thing I remember is someone asking me if I wanted one of the crappy free coffees, just like they used to. I had managers come and just mutter a 'welcome back' with a smile and it meant the world, it truly did.
After my two hours, I was due to just head on home but ended up being waved over by a couple of good friends. I don't know how, but I ended up sitting between them for almost forty minutes, catching up on the latest news in the department, and being hassled about going to the Christmas party. I will always be greatful for those precious forty minutes.
Going home I felt positive. A few things had cropped up which deflated me a little, but I know this journey will be hard, and some days I will struggle. My anxiety is still strong, and some days, I'll be honest, it controls me, when it should be the other way round. But now I also feel strong, strong enough to recognise that what I have is like any other illness and I need to care for myself to aid recovery.
Monday I start official phased return hours. This makes me a bit more nervous as this is a minimum requirement I have to reach and committing to something seems daunting but I know that my health is the most important thing and I can really only try my best. I will not back down, I will fight against the thoughts and realise they are just that - thoughts.
I have had the most hectic weekend EVER this weekend, and whilst I could write until the cows go home, I will love you and leave you until tomorrow. Today has been an eye opener for me, and I can't wait to share it with you tomorrow when I will have the energy to talk about it.
Thank you for your support so far x