The day has finally came. It had started to feel like forever since I was last there but then as soon as I sat down in that familiar swivel chair and booted up what can only be described as the slowest computer in the North East it felt like yesterday since I last walked in, pretty much a shell of myself and told my manager I was broken. Yes, it’s back to the rat race, back to working life, back to reality, back to plate spinning.
Yesterday I was a ball of anxiety, in fact there was an actual ball of anxiety under my diaphragm stopping me from breathing deep. I was ok but I was on edge, one of those feelings where you cant really describe how it is you actually feel. Fine but not fine, OK but not OK, numb but then full of emotions. I was a bundle of energy yet I couldn’t be arsed to do anything. I had more questions rushing round my head than an episode of Question Time (honesty moment, never EVER seen this programme so I am taking a wild guess because of the name lol) and I didn’t have the answer to any of them. Breathing deep wasn’t helping, I couldn’t focus enough to blog and I don’t think I made much sense to whoever I was talking to. I am quite a doyle and should think before I speak generally as I can come out with some right corkers (sure my lovely friend Danielle will remember the wonky bush incident. That will always be one of my favourites) but yesterday I had just lost all sense of how to act even remotely human. I kind of felt like I was going through the motions but I got through the day so always a bonus.
Preparation and planning is key! I had my outfit sorted, my gym bag packed and the kids sorted. I went to bed as ready as I ever could be, at least physically and luckily I managed to get a semi decent nights sleep. The recent nightmares I have been having seemed to have left me alone or at least gave me a much needed night off for which I was incredibly grateful. This morning I was glad I have a pretty solid morning routine, that I have had for much of the time I have been off work. This has kept some sort of normality for me in a time where things have felt anything but normal a lot of the time! Today it meant it kept those anxious nerves at bay. I had an abnormal amount of energy for a morning, for me anyway, but that meant that the gym felt so good! Heavy leg weights and stair high intensity intervals. I was wobbling like Bambi at the end but the feeling of accomplishment, of success, was worth every second. The sweat on my wrists like my badge of honour. I managed a full 45 minutes without thinking, blissful peace apart from the chavvy rave blaring in my ears that keeps my momentum going. I don’t always listen to rave, those days are long gone along with my hoop earrings and questionable coke can fringe but it will always have a place in my heart and it certainly has a place in my workout playlist.
If I am honest I don’t know how I would have got through my morning. While I was showering I was OK. While I was getting ready I was OK, skinny jeans, hair done, mascara and heels. Sometimes a girl has to slightly power dress. Getting in my car I was I was OK, as the distance started to shorten between me and the office my heart started beating faster, my hands started shaking and my body started tingling. I felt sick and my brain felt like it was trying to escape from my skull. I wont lie, that thought appeals to me very much sometimes. I sat in my car for a good 5 minutes, deep breaths and I gave myself a stern talking to. I could do this. The only thing that would stop me doing this was myself, my negative thought process. I was ready to give this a go. So, final deep breath and I walked in that office with my head high and the biggest smile I could muster. Considering I was the only one in the office I probably would have looked like a proper loon to any one who may have seen me but it was what I had to do. I walked in as if I had never been away, the familiar routine came back to me as if I had only had a weekend off.
I am personally glad that I was the first person in. It gave me the chance to get my head round it a little bit. It was lovely and familiar but at the same time incredibly daunting. The shakes would not calm down, the feeling of sickness did not compliment my morning oats if I am honest and the headache seemed to intensify, but I was there, I was doing it. Nothing that I had imagined going wrong had. The flower and card from my manager was a massive help. Full of colour and a nod at the fact they were glad to have me back. The hugs from my colleagues and the look on their face that showed me they were genuinely happy I was there really helped more than words can describe. This may not be where I want to be, what I want to do, certainly not a forever job but for a stepping stone on to the next step of my life I could not ask for a better group of people to have met. They have supported me since Day 1 of this horrible time, been there to chat to, random messages to let me know they were thinking of me, my manager has been incredibly supportive. All of this despite the fact they are suffering the same work worries amongst their own individual personal issues. Sometimes I hate the human race but sometimes people like these help me realise that there are some bloody amazing individuals out there too.
Three hours was more than enough I must admit. I walked out the office and I felt lighter instantly but I also felt proud. I had done it and I hadn’t hated it or broke down or anything. The weird feeling has stuck with me all day but I am sure over time that will diminish. I am even going to go back tomorrow. Get me!! 😀 The first hurdle, the first day is over and done with. Baby steps are essential and trying not to put too much pressure on myself by taking it day by day but a little glimmer of confidence is back!
I am so glad I have been out and honest about why I was absent, why I was on the sick. For me it took the elephant out of the room. I didn’t feel like anyone felt they had to tiptoe round me. I wont necessarily make a point of talking about it apart from with my manager, but if they want to talk about it I will do happily, well depending on that days mood anyway lol. My point being it is good to remove the stigma. I know how incredibly lucky I am to have what I have had and in no way will I take it for granted. All workplaces should be like this.
So, yet another little battle won. Getting kind of good at this aren’t I? There will be big things that knock me, little things that make me lose my shit and I know for a fact that Monday morning feeling is just around the corner but hey, get me, I’m doing this. For today, that is enough.