Everyone on Twitter have been great and a real source of help - even holding (in a virtual way) my hand as I go to appointments/have to read emails/open letters.
So I had my assessment appointment with the counselling service a couple of weeks ago and it was good. Really helpful if a little 'I am not really sure what I am doing here as I feel a bit more on an even keel' kind of way. It was an assessment appointment so no counselling, but the appointment was with a counsellor. He asked me a bit about myself and what I'd been feeling and how long I have had these problems. He said that it sounds like I normally deal very well with my depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety are not new to me and he wanted to know how he could help. I asked to learn some skills to help me deal with it better as although I normally cope I feel that maybe some of my coping mechanisms aren't always the best (I do tend to hide and avoid things).
Along with the normally coping well he identified that current problem is occupational anxiety and that I have lost a source of encouragement and the person that I would normally talk to. I know that some people still believe that my issues are unresolved bereavement and I feel like I am going blue in the face saying its not - well for once I didn't get that, it was like a breath of fresh air. It was so nice to be told that I was doing well but obviously there are areas that I need a little help. He felt that I would benefit more from learning skills to deal with anxiety rather than one to one counselling. As I am pretty terrified of one to one counselling and dont think that I am the sort of person that would really benefit from it (its not right for everyone) and I like learning I was glad to be offered the opportunity to go to what I am calling anxiety school and I will draw comfort from a group environment knowing that we are all there for similar sort of things. So I am waiting for that referral.
Its not the easy the option - yes as I have said I will draw comfort from the group environment but I will also have to summon up a huge amount of courage to walk through those doors for the first time (and every time after that). But that's not me discharged - the tutors will continue to assess me and if they feel that treatment needs to be changed, more focused or the feared one to one then this can all still happen.
Now I was feeling better after this. More positive. More like what am I doing, pull yourself together be brave you can go to work. Well the day loomed and I just got worse the fear eating me inside I was not ready. I thought I would be so I had not made a return appointment to get the medical note reviewed. It ran out so an appointment had to be made - pot luck.
I saw a different doctor and well he made me feel worse. I got asked how long have I been off now - well I am not entirely sure time is a bit of a blur. But then I got told that the longer I leave it the harder it would be. Well yes I know this - You may be surprised to know I am actually intelligent
I am trying, I am getting help - why would I be waiting for anxiety school if I wasn't trying. Why would I be pushing myself to go out and do 'normal' things if I wasn't trying. I could just sit on my arse and do nothing.
And so the cycle starts again. I was starting to feel a bit more 'yeah I can do this'. But then I got an email (followed by a letter - just in case one anxiety attack wasn't enough) work have referred me to an occupational health assessment doctor (I know that this is part of the 'procedure' and that it was probably coming but would have been nice to have had an email to say that an appointment was being made before the appointment came through - I know you can't win with me communication makes me panic and yet well targeted communication can be good). So now I have gone back down. I am back to wanting to stick my finger up at them and tell them where to go (in a very rude and unlady like manner). My problem is that I get destructive - I swallow it down and down down until I cant keep it in any more and its like an explosion of rage. I do stupid things. I fear losing my job (money). I fear going back. I fear that I am an explosion waiting to happen.
Then there is the part of me that has already left that place and moved on, focusing on what I want to do, develop and make a success.
There is also the part of me that worries that I am damaging LittlemouseLilly by being so open and honest.
The really stupid thing with work is that they wanted my attendance to get better as I have had a bad run over the last couple of years so by putting me on an attendance capability procedure (jump through hoops to ensure I attend work because yeah like I want to be sick) they actually triggered a worse response. If I had been left alone then attendance would naturally have improved and they would have had their productive and effective employee who was genuinely happy to work there, now when (if) I return they wont get a happy employee they will get one who is looking for the first opportunity to jump ship - just stupid.