So I've purposely left my blog until I settled back in to some sort of normality at work.
Plus I entered a book writing competition!! ITV's #thismorning are running a #BeaBestSeller competition! I've always wanted to write so I got my backside in to gear for a change and submitted an entry! Ho ho ho!!!
Anyway back to reality - I'm on a staged return which means stating off at minimal hours and then working gradually back up to normal.
Literally my first day back was the 5th November and I did two hours and left again. My boss did sit me down and gave me a little lecture on how to manage stress and he seemed to think seeing all my complainants face to face and not making any telephone calls would resolve my stress issues.
I think the UK cops have a lot to learn about managing people with depression and anxiety. I have been totally honest with them. Probably too honest! I've told them I'm on anti-depressants and taking beta blockers for anxiety. They know I was off for five and a half months. They know I'm on a staged return. But still I walk back through the door and nothing has changed really. I have not seen the occupational health people prior to or since returning. The job know I am waiting for counselling. There should at least be other fellow sufferers who could mentor you or contact you surely? It feels so lonely and isolating but in reality there must be others going through the same traumas?
I had a very bad day today and at one point was sat at my desk with tears rolling down my face but I gave myself a stern talking to and swallowed them away. The trigger for that particular emotion welling up was the fact HR have sent me through course dates/warnings for next February. A course that runs on three consecutive days from 1330 x 2130 daily. I single parent and have no overnight/evening child care. I stupidly said out loud how bloody ridiculous this was for me. The office sort of turned on me and told me to man up and then suggested 'perhaps do the early one instead then'. Apparently there is also a course at 0730 x 1230. Also no use to me for similar reasons. My daughter doesn't stay overnight with her dad as she gets very anxious and upset. So she is always home with me. The idea of sorting this particular problem out to manage to be able to attend this course was enough to push me over the edge. The office mean well but do not have the faintest idea how it feels to be freaked out by such simple things. They do not know the feeling of being completely overwhelmed and scared by daft day to day worries such as a silly course and child care arrangements. What's is worse is that I know in my heart of hearts how pathetic I sound whining about it and worrying about it out loud. But that is how I feel, I cannot change it, much as I would love to.
It's like people keep asking me how I am, 'are you better?' Grrr my pet hate because I have to lie and paint on a false smile on my face to cover the hurt I'm really feeling. I was on the verge today because when one person asked I snapped back 'you don't really want an honest answer to that do you? Nobody really wants to know they just expect back that bog standard 'fine thank you' The look I got was priceless and realising the confusion he was experiencing at my outburst I just wound my neck in really quickly and smiled sweetly and said 'fine thank you'!!!
As I drove home I couldn't help but think about my future and how the hell I am going to get through another ten years to make my full pension?! Even five years seems like a life time. If I'm already back to crying at three hours twice a week what hope is there for me?
I was also thinking today how confusing it is to not be able to pull myself together. What I mean is as a cop we generally just shrug things off. Get on with stuff. Keep on moving. But I'm struggling badly as I cannot shake off this darkness. I'm trying to pull myself together so hard but it's just not happening. How long will I get away with pretending to be 'normal' I wonder?! I feel like such a fraud sitting there at my desk dressed in my business clothes looking like I'm a professional when I feel anything but professional!
I feel like an empty husk, the grass seed that was my former self has floated away on an unseen gust of wind!
Anyway making tea beckons..... Catch you all soon x