I’ve been off work since Monday. After the torent of tears and anxiety, I have felt somewhere south of numb ever since. Low. At different points in the week – before emailing work perhaps or before I walked to the counsellor’s door – there would be a surge of anxiety that bubbled from my solar plexus and radiated through me.
My antidepressants have been increased significantly and I have been given two weeks off which will carry me through to January. The counsellor told me not to rush back. I can’t tell you how I feel exactly. A fraud. A failure. Lost…. Relieved. Scared.
The Me that was ‘coping’ a week ago is still there. She’s questioning what is going on. She’s doubting the advice of family and friends, and a counsellor and a doctor. They don’t know how you truly feel. It’s a blip, that’s all. Get back to it. Keep your head held high. You can do this. You’ve been doing this for years. It will be alright.
This Me is a lone, quiet voice though, buried deep within at the moment. The outside is a cold, hard orb until the sparks of emotion begin to fly from within and cover the surface dancing lightening of fear, pain, guilt, doubt, anger, frustration.
I’ve been told that this has been coming for some time. That I have pushed aside my exhaustion, my stress, my pressure until finally it has overcome what was left of my spirit.
How can I go back to work? How can I face the people that are no doubt talking about me and my failure? How can I look people in the eye? And this is the irony of the situation: I could hold my head up high if I go back soon. But I can’t hold my head high until I have recovered the strength to do so.
Tonight I watched “The Family Man”, a Nicholas Cage film from 2000. I love this film, not just because you get to see a very toned Mr Cage in his underwear but because it just makes you think.
Cage plays Jack, a highly success single business man with the penthouse apartment, Ferrari and sexy one night stands. One morning he wakes up to the life he could have had if he hadn’t put his career before love: a marriage to his college sweetheart, two children and a family home. Jack gets to live the life he could have had and as in all good stories, he learns about himself in the process.
Is this my moment? My chance to learn about myself? My chance to stop and reflect and improve? This is what I have wanted since my separation. This is what this blog is supposed to be about. But it hasn’t happened. Instead, I have fought hard to cope. Fought and failed, apparently. I haven’t changed anything. I have done what I always do: worked harder and longer in the hope that I will come out the other side on top. Thing is, you NEVER do. You come out the other side a mere shadow of yourself. A tired, fed up shadow. One thing that I know is that things have got to change, for me and my family.