Onwards and Upwards.
I started my new job on Monday and am very happy to report that I was only late once, and even then just by half an hour. Not bad going for someone who has been nocturnal for the last year.
I am a carer/companion for a friends husband who has a brain injury, but since much of this entails just being there we have agreed that there will be flexibility around times, so although essentially I’ll be working 10 - 5 every day if I am needed to stay later for some reason it's fine by me, as my friend is well aware that I'm likely to take a while to get back into a proper routine.
This week has been great, the man I’m working with does remember me from before he had his injury, which is quite remarkable - and since Wednesday we have had bright sunshine so I have been sat in the garden chatting with him for most of the time.
His family, children and two grandchildren all live in the house which is huge, the reason I am there is because his wife looks after the granddaughters whilst their mothers and partners work and also child minds another so she cannot be watching him too. He is physically very able, although can get tired easily, but is forgetful so for example might start to cook something, get distracted and leave a pan on.
But I have had a lovely week sitting in the sun, occasionally helping out with the children and socialising, it hasn’t really felt like work at all.
He loves history, so I will also be accompanying him for days out to places that interest him - as I love visiting museums myself that’s hardly going to be work. This town has a lot of naval history so there are lots of places of interest and as most of his problems relate to his memory it doesn’t matter if we go to the same places more then once, this may in fact help him. I want to give him time to feel comfortable with me but hopefully in the next week or two we will begin going out.
The biggest deal for me though is how much better I feel in myself.
I knew that I was in a bit of a rut, there have been days when I have needed to get up and go shopping and I just haven’t been able to. I really cannot describe how I was feeling, I tried to explain a few times to friends but just didn’t have the words. I think perhaps it was not too far from agoraphobia, the difference being that I could go out and wasn’t suffering from panic attacks if I did, but making the effort to leave the house took a lot of willpower.
I felt as if I didn’t have the strength for anything.
I called it extreme lethargy - but about everything, even jobs around the house seemed to require too much effort at times.
I had been dreading Monday morning but when it got here I was awake before the alarm went off and left the house with none of the strange feelings I’d previously had.
My doctor has been telling me I’m suffering from depression, and whilst I think anyone who had experienced the things I had in the year prior to my leaving work would be at a low point, I never thought that I was ill in the same way that some depressives are. I certainly wasn’t going to take any medication and considering how I’m feeling right now, just from getting back into the real world, I know I was right not to do so.
I’ve been saying for some time that I needed the proverbial kick up the arse and I think this last week I got it.
The other downside of doing nothing for so long is that I have also managed to pile on the pounds - looking through my clothes to sort out things to wear to work was a bit of a nasty shock.
There are too many things that don’t fit.
However although my friend is happy to pick me up from the train station in the morning I am going to walk to the house some days, it’s 30 mins and mostly uphill, I’ve done that twice this week.
Once I can walk it without feeling like I’m having a heart attack then I plan to take my bike, at the moment I have a feeling that if I did that it would take me longer to ride then it does to walk.
But I am determined to do it eventually.
This is without doubt the beginning of a new me, back in the world of work but a far less stressful one then the one I left 16 months ago, and it feels good to be there.