51 DaysCategories Mental Health
The last full week I reported to work was the week of 25 Feb to 1 Mar. Since then, I incurred sick leaves, leave without pay and annual leave altogether — missing work for a total of 51 working days already as of today (of which 21 days are my annual leave entitlement). I was still advised to take the full week next week off from work too, so it would be incurring a total of 58 working days by Friday next week.
Truth be told, it wasn’t 51 days of leisure and happy times. Even though I’m surrounded by family, friends and loved ones, my mind is trying its very best not to go in self-rumination and evaluation about my life, otherwise I easily retreat in isolation and shutting myself off from people and the world.
Each day missed from work is another block of guilt added to my box of negative energy. However, each day being at work is another day of having to endure racing thoughts inside my head, silencing voices which tell me that I’m not good enough, I’m not doing my best, and I’m a burden to everyone. It’s like constantly reading my work colleagues’ minds and assigning them each with speech bubbles, filled with backstabbing, nasty comments and harsh words against me. My mind easily goes into worst-case scenario mode and conjuring the worst possible situation that could happen – my Director or even my Director’s boss summoning me from my desk and firing me because of my poor work performance.
But then again, I ask myself — is the work I’m doing aligned to the values I hold dear? Is it bringing me closer to my end goal? But what goal am I heading myself towards? Everything is unclear from where I stand. There is a faint light at the end of the tunnel, but as to what is giving the light towards the end, I cannot answer at this stage. My work, which used to give me purpose and meaning in life, is now ZERO. It feels like all the hard work, positivity and determination to make things better at work has gone all to waste. People who I used to love working with have now left and I could only count with my fingers the number of old and familiar faces in the office. I’m back to square one. It feels like I’m unemployed.
I want to have a child now but my current medication is preventing me from doing so. I also don’t want to bring another human being while I deal with thousands of demons in my life now. But when will this battle ever end? Each day is a struggle and the longer I wait til my healing, the slimmer the chances are of us starting a family.
My lithium medication for my bipolar disorder has been increased as of today. My antidepressant dosage for my depression has been increased again as of today. When will I get out of this? Am I ever going back to normal? Honestly, I do not know how and where to start.
My doctor said to take things one day at a time, to get myself moving, to go out on walks, to set myself 1 goal each day and strive to achieve that goal for the day. Just thinking about it is just too much for me to handle and makes me want to just sleep all day, as how my days have been the case for me anyway. But I will persist.
The graces and the daily blessings are there. I just have to focus my eyes on them. Like a caterpillar holed up in its dark cocoon, I know this is all part of change. And change is painful. I have to persist and hold on to life’s natural tendency that for change to occur, painful and unpleasant things need to take place.
Lord, I cannot do this alone. I know you’re there, help me figure out why I’m going through this, help me get through this and with your grace and love, help me get past this — according to Your will and time.