Today was my first day back at work after ten days off. You’d think that a rest would have done me good, but it just made it so much harder to cope as I returned to the evil open-plan of the office.
Originally, I wasn’t going to take the long break (Easter through to ANZAC Day weekend) but my doctor advised me to do so for my own mental health. A friend wisely told me to make the most of the time and get out and do things. Initially, I thought this was a great idea; I didn’t want to just become the old pomme de terre of the chaise longue. I had plans to go out and about, visit museums, sit in parks, exercise, and do a number of relaxing (free) things.
Sadly, this didn’t happen.
Most of the week was spent in my apartment either cleaning like a madman or lazing on the settee watching Futurama and Bates Motel.
Oh, I did get to finish my M.C. Escher Jigsaw on Good Friday, so that was a positive thing.
I did catch up with a handful of people. The lovely Rohan & Vanessa came over on Easter Saturday and we had cake and chatted for a few hours. On the Thursday night prior to ANZAC Day, my talented friend Tim came over and I made some pizzas and we watched the classic Genevieve and some Murder Most Horrid. The most recent Saturday, I ventured down to Keysborough to catch up with the lovely Nola and her family. It’s always good catching up with her as she shares my sense of humour.
Outside of these lovely catch-ups, the major highlight was attending a live interview with Jennifer Saunders (luckily, I was given a free ticket from somebody at work – it’s nice to get some perks from the job!) and I finally got to meet one of my greatest idols.
I had a brief chat with her and got her to sign my copy of A Feast of French and Saunders alongside Dawn French's autograph. This book will be an even more prized possession now!
The rest of the break was not as I had intended. My depression kicked in quite heavily and when that happens, I tend to become a shut-in. Even the notion of going out in public chills me to the core and I find any excuse to not get dressed and venture out. Fizzgig kept me company, of course, and I found myself washing clothes that didn’t need to be washed, shelves got polished, cakes got made (and eaten), DVDs were watched, and… well… that’s about it.
I found myself thinking "Nine more days to go…", "Seven more days to go…" etc until it was Sunday night and I was engulfed in the crippling fear one had the night before school restarted for the new term.
The problem is, when I get like this, I tend to dwell on problems large and small and everything is exacerbated to a ridiculous degree. I stress about money, debt, work; I question why some people don’t like me, why I’ll never be loved again, why I have no discernible talents to get me out of this quagmire of stagnant drudgery; I beat myself up over my weight, my lack of confidence, and my stupid brain.
One of the things I find most comforting about being indoors is feeling secure. I can not only hide from the crowds of scary humans, but I can hide from the evil sun (I'm not a goth, I just burn REALLY easily) or enjoy the view of the rain pelting down my window panes. The sound of rain is gloriously effective in its attempt to soothe my nerves.
Of course, there are moments when I have clarity and I understand that there is a chemical reason behind my more depressing thoughts. I won’t take anti-depressants (been there, done that, doesn’t work (for me)!) but I should do the things that provide real-life crutches instead of hiding in fear of the world. I should try and see more people (although, mad brain insists that they would prefer it if they didn’t get to see me, because my evil brain has already decided that, hey, who’d want to see me!) and be more social. It’s sadly not that simple…
The one crutch I did grant myself was the occasional glass of wine. It does have certain healing properties. The only problem is, it often made me wake up looking like this...
Anyway, today was my first day back at work and it wasn't a good one. When a job affects you both mentally, emotionally and physically in a negative way, there is definitely something wrong. I just need to find a way of harnessing my skills - but first I need to discover what they actually are...
Anyway, my apologies if this post came across a little morose. I write as I think, so sometimes it's not quite as coherent or jolly as I might intend.