I saw a tweet yesterday that said something about ‘getting to the point of functioning’ and I thought, yes, that’s me!
During the good times, I thrive. I can face life head on and enjoy things like work. The obstacles seem easy to hop over (or knock down). When the blips happen, however, things change. Simple activities like taking a bus home become hurdles that feel six feet tall. My perspective on life is different, and it’s hard to deal with. The key point becomes surviving – functioning.
In the run up to my crisis in December I was nowhere near thriving. Unfortunately, because I was functioning (going to work, getting home safely), my concerns were not heard properly. My CPN was fabulous and referred me on to the Home Treatment Team, but from that point on I felt I was not being listened to when I said I couldn’t face another day.
Every call I made to HTT for help went something like this:
ME: “I’m at work and I’m struggling to cope with it.”
HTT: “We’re sorry to hear that, but you’re still working?”
ME: “Yes, but I can’t concentrate and really don’t think I can last the afternoon.”
HTT: “OK well try to stay calm for the rest of the day and focus on getting home.”
I think I usually gave up at that point. They just couldn’t seem to get their head round the idea of someone working through such a tumultuous time. The problem is that I hate to take time off ill; I feel as though I’m letting work down, even when I know I really shouldn’t be at my desk. The idea of work piling up in my absence gives me massive anxiety.
In fact, it took an intervention from my CPN and psychiatrist to persuade me to take time off in December to go into crisis care. It was like I needed their permission to admit temporary defeat. I couldn’t do it on my own authority; even though I knew it would be best for me.
And now I find myself in a position of functioning again. Work is a little too stressful, but I’m still ploughing through; I’m definitely not thriving though. Once again, I’m doing what I have to to survive.