For those of you who have read my blog, I took sick leave at the end of January so I could become a day patient at my local eating disorder unit. Yesterday was my first day back at work, as you can imagine I was extremely apprehensive and anxious.
My day started with attending an occupational health appointment; it was awkward. I went in prepared having attended one several years ago when I first started working for my company. I knew I had to simply answer the question and not let the silence mean I end up divulging unnecessary additional information. I have this habit of wanting to share more than I need too, so for this appointment I had to make sure I reined that in. So I finished my appointment and off to work I go.
It was all strangely familiar being at work. One thing that did shock me was how much of a bubble I have been living in the last four months. When I was an inpatient I knew my life had become being in a hospital, but I thought being a day patient where I was still very much connected to my everyday life that it would be different. Boy was I wrong, I have been living in a bubble, where my life became all about meal plans and feelings, where recovery was my main focus. I am petrified about returning to work full time, without the support of the day unit and falling into such a stressful environment. Don't get me wrong, I am exceptionally lucky, I don't work for some corporate company where I am demanded to produce work at all hours. I have an exceptionally nice manager who has been very supportive of my time away from work, but I am still so scared about the everyday stress of being at work.
People keep saying to me "don't think that far ahead" and "take one day at a time". I don't want to not think that far ahead, I am fed up of people saying that. I am scared and I need to talk about it. Isn't it far better for me to think of the obstacles and pitfalls ahead so I can prepare myself mentally for them. Just by saying don't think far ahead - doesn't stop me panicking. I need to let it out, I wish people would just stop saying these things to me, because six months down the line my support will be diminished and I will be in the same situation trying to cope. So please tell me to stop thinking so far ahead. It is the most frustrating thing for someone who is panicking to hear, it is equivalent to saying to a highly arousal person to calm down.