It’s the second week of my phased return to work. Last Mondays ‘having a whole bottle of water poured on me as I got off the bus’ incident is still actually quite raw for me. Yes, I’m well aware that it could’ve been anyone but feeling so fragile, low and depressed, it just seemed that things like this are destined to happen to me.
Anyway, enough dwelling on that: pull yourself together woman! Actually, for the first time in my life, after suffering several bouts of depression since my early twenties, during this episode (which has been by far the absolute worst) not one single person has said that to me. A result? Well, sort of. I don’t know if its because society’s attitude to mental health is changing for the better (albeit very very slowly indeed) or possibly that the few folk who had said this to me in the past have since had depressive episodes and have gleaned some empathy for my plight.
Last week was a challenge for me, mentally and physically. Having to get up out of bed, knot still in the stomach although not a knot of dread now, more a knot of anxiousness, uncertainty. Luckily the individual who had caused the atmosphere in work wasn’t in on Monday, so I felt I could breathe. The clinicians and nurses all seemed genuinely pleased to see me back, asking how I was and if I ever needed to chat yadda yadda. But, you see, I have this thing inside me that means I can’t really accept compliments…ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you. I’m more adept at handling insults because being a fat, ginger, glasses wearing, braces wearing, guitar playing, quiet bookish kid garnered me so many insults, many of which have carried through to my adult life – the water incident last week, the way my mind works, even though I was upset by what had happened, I felt that somehow I almost deserved it. You see, during counselling for another bout of depression, I discovered that I can accept insults and the most vile name calling from people (strangers included) because basically, as I have such low self worth, that’s what I think of myself and so if they call me something horrific, it somehow means I’m right. Does that even make sense? And yes, I know how fucked up it sounds.
This is why I am so thankful for the psychological input I’m receiving through work. I’ve really clicked with him and after two sessions, we’ve worked through quite a bit. When I’m depressed, the self esteem side or ‘my dark side’ is a lot stronger. She comes out and sabotages any good feelings that I have. On a trip to Skye with friends back in April, she appeared to me when we went on a walk along some hills and crags. She was trying to persuade me to jump…I was almost persuaded… it was horrible.
So, anyway, I’m progressing. The mixture of psychological input, the right dosage of medication and the support of so many wonderful human beings, family and friends, here, overseas or online is doing me good. I’ve been so completely overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received from people…so many lovely comments and invitations to stay with people, so much support. All this is very slowly making me think, I can’t be that bad, can I?