So I keep plodding along, as this is the pace I can manage. The weight of my life has been reduced, as though my depression basket has had some items taken out of it. Its easier to carry it without intrusive thoughts, paranoia and suicidal thinking. The further up the hill I go the more I throw onto the roadside and as April ends I feel very positive. Don't get me wrong, I'm not skipping along, swinging my basket like red riding hood!
I think at one time I believed that my mood would have long periods of unchanging stability, but actually what I am beginning to see is that my moods are like the ocean. There is sometimes a buoyancy and I ride high, or the winds whip up a frenzy and I'm tossed hither and thither. There are a plethora of undercurrents that can snag my feet or completely drag me down. I have to accept that I will never be the Hindu cow, serene at all costs with no blips. I am reassured by the rhythm of the tides and embrace that I will always be changeable. Feeling rubbish for 2 days doesn't mean I'm going to have a terrible relapse. I have to keep every day as my focus and not project wildly about the what ifs.
I talk to my cpn about a possible return to work and how that would happen. She warns me to return at a snails pace and if anything starts to go wrong, to phone her or my psychiatrist. I must not put myself under any unnecessary pressure and my employers must create a stress action plan. Do these people not live in the real world? I work for a local authority!! I am a plankton - they are the whale. I am probably going to get eaten alive. But, I have to go back. Stopping work altogether is not at option at this time.My biggest worry is what to say to people, because they will ask, they will be interested and gossip is most peoples favourite pastime at work.I also hate the thought that people will treat me with pity, or have to walk on egg shells around me. Its a difficult balance to strike and I decide to go the route of honesty, with a big dose of self deprecating humour and hope for the best. Maybe I should get a statement T-shirt that says, "Slightly mental, treat with care" or "Madness isn't contagious".
But before I get to any of that, I have to negotiate my first ever holiday abroad, with my husband and 2 toddlers, a plane journey and my in-laws; to Italy; in a caravan.