I feel like I've been hijacked by satans triplets - depression, paranoia and obsessional thinking. Work has also become hideously stressful as there is a managerial restructure going on. People's jobs are at risk and all levels of personnel involved are having some kind of melt down. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I keep threatening to abandon ship and work in a cafe making tea and sandwiches. At least it wouldn't involve being exposed to the myriad of stress behaviours my staff are expressing. Some use aggression, some apathy, some are in hysterical despair and some just get another job. My job sharing managers are at eachothers throats too, and I feel like I'm caught up in some kind of weird benny hill episode. You know, senior manager running, being ran after by middle manager, being ran after by staff - they are all flailing their arms about and wearing short skirts.Its decidely unmanageable and I seriously consider leaving.
I see my GP and tell her that the 40mg of Prozac is making me feel rushy and jittery. She thinks it may be too high and swaps me onto 20mg of citalopram. This should help the depression and the anxiety. I've not told her about the intrusive thinking yet as I keep thinking it'll disappear. I also didn't tell her that I'd seen the same GP 3 times in a row with the kids, and I think she's monitoring me for social services.
I go for a job interview with another team at the local authority. Bizarrely, I am successful and hurl myself with abandon into the fire. The job is full time hours but its a great opportunity for me to get some new skills and get away from the frying pan. And into the fire I go. In my first week I am corralled into a private office with some other staff members and we are all told that the job evaluation of posts is in. Its like waiting for the golden envelope to open with, "You're a winner" or "You're a loser". Every job has been assessed against a matrix point system and it bands you accordingly. My band, originally PO1 is now downgraded, yes you heard it right, downgraded to a post that carries an £8,000 wage decrease. I can't help it - I start crying, which also sets off two other members of staff. My previous post is unaffected, and my new boss says she would understand if I went running for the hills, back into the arms of Benny hill.
Now, with the gift of hindsight, I can see that I'd been going about things all wrong way. Obviously, when you are at war with the mental health demons, its not such a good idea to change jobs, work more hours and expose yourself to a huge amount of stress. I strongly believe that at this point in time I have lost perspective and am becoming lost amongst the chaos. I'm am definately not onto a winner. I am also starting to speed up. My intrusive thoughts become worse, my mood dips quite dramatically and I feel like I am being pulled along on a very swift converyor belt. I'm not in charge of the speedomentre and my thoughts start to become very fragmented and jumbled.
I start to worry about myself and know that at any point I'm going to crash and burn. I go to my GP and beg for a referral to the mental health team. I'm hanging on by a thread and although they think I'm not that mad, I know I am. Rigorous honesty has kicked in and I cannot keep up the pretense. I feel like throwing myself prostrate on the floor in desperation and begging for some sanity. That might call for a magic ambulance though, a liquid cosh and a soft square room with CCTV. I'll attempt to hold off completely abandoning sanity for a few weeks. God help me.
I book some holiday for the Christmas period and hope that things will power down and ease off if I have a break. Choosing to ignore the terrible situation with the wage structure, the team do a Christmas competition which involves a guy dressing up in a wig and doing family fortunes, and the rest of us choosing silly names for ourselves and winning prizes. I feel that I am teetering on the edge for the whole event. My laughing feels maniacal, I feel giddy and then think I'm going to start sobbing in a heap on the floor any minute. I am completely out of control of my thoughts, feelings and mood. Its akin to being on drugs and out of your face. But its not exhilarating and I'm really not having a good time. I'm actually quite frightened. I'm hoping that its not going to get any worse. I actually want to be somebody else because being me is absolutely no fun at all.