This is the conversation going on in my head most of the time. In the beginning, after my diagnosis of depression and anxiety, decisions on what to eat and what to wear were the most difficult thing to do in the world. If someone didn’t provide me with food I just didn’t eat. I fed the boys, but to choose for myself was so hard. I remember going for lunch with my mum very early on and just ordering what she was having, not because I wanted it, but the thought of looking at the mass of things on the menu was too much! This has got better. I don’t wear the same clothes every day for weeks on end anymore. I went for dinner last night with family and even though I limited what part of the menu I looked at, rather than facing the whole thing, I chose what I wanted, something new in fact. It was lush by the way!! Other decisions I just cannot make.
‘When are you going back to work?’
I get asked a lot, ‘So, when are you going back to work?’ ‘Do you want to go back?’ ‘What are you going to do?’ That’s a doozie! The true answer is ‘I just don’t know.’ I go into work to do therapeutic duties (helping out) just to get me through the door. I stayed a whole morning this week, and I have to say in work I was fine. With the kids, adults, parents I was fine. When I left, however, the come down from it was epic! I was exhausted for one, it took me a long time to calm down. I was very tense, and then I just fell asleep, and completely crashed for a good chunk of the afternoon.
My biggest fear of going back to work is going back to square one, back to the beginning of my journey, back down the hole. I never ever want to go there again and sometimes I just cannot help thinking that work in its current form will send me there. Will I have to nap every afternoon and miss out on my children, will I face the mum guilt again because I’m asleep and they’re watching telly? Will I have any reserves for them or will I just be mentally exhausted again?
Apply for other jobs?
So I suppose the answer would be don’t go back to that workplace. Easy. Ok, so we need money to, you know, buy food and shit. So I need to earn some. Apply for other jobs, I hear you say? Ok what jobs!? I have experience in school settings, playgroup and that’s it ! It is literally all I have done, apart from operating rides at the beloved Folly Farm. What do I do? First of all I need to see a job that I fancy, shop work/cleaning/another school/nursery? Ok…
Shop work, I would have to deal with customers, ok in general but what if there is a problem, angry customer, a problem I cannot solve, what if I have to call someone? Even if I could get past this, I still have to go to an interview as a 32-year-old with no experience in customer service, anxiety issues and a long absence from work to explain.
Cleaning, I suppose, is less customer based, but still there’s the interview, no experience, and the fact I barely have the inclination to clean my house as it is, let alone after doing someone else’s! Another school, or a nursery, one where it’s quieter, less pressure, lovely! But a new environment, new people, interviews, etc! Risking the hole?
So I’m left with…
A decision! Go back to work and risk it, cope with the implications or put myself in a completely alien, scary situation, but could be so good for me! Any ideas??
From Lala, with love xx