Friday 19th February 2016 6:55pm
So today was my first day back at work after 4 weeks off and what a day it has been.
To start with my sleep last night was horrific, I wasn’t woken up by the kitten crawling over me and padding to get comfy… I just kept waking up. Like clockwork. To start with it was a horrific settle to get to sleep, roughly 35 minutes which was full of non stop thinking. Once settled I woke up, like normal, around 3:05am, then fell back to sleep 30/40 minutes later… Awaking again around 4:45am and again a struggle for 30 minutes of trying to sleep whilst battling the second flood of random thoughts. Then, like normal, I awake again! This time around 6ish, which left me drifting in and out of sleep for 40 minutes till… Yep I was wide awake. It’s time…
So I was awake. Unsettled. Tired. Restless. I could feel my first thought bubble burst… ‘Do I have to go back today?!’ Yes my first thought is that. Why?! The feeling of having to go back was horrific. It was building up and building up inside me and out came the shakes. Hand shakes. Little body shakes. Which was followed by the quiet voice when speaking. The fear filled voice. Like a mouse. Horrific.
All of this because I had woken up and realised I had to return to work! Unbelievable. So this began my morning routine, prepare a cup of tea and then get cereal ready. Finish making said cup of tea and then eat cereal. Shower and get dressed. Since it was Friday it was casual wear which is the best day of any week plus it’s Friday. Do my hair and finish cup of tea. (Everybody needs a good cup of tea in the morning right?) This has been my routine for as long as I can remember and for some reason it settles me, this is thanks for the structure I have built. It’s delightful although once I’m ready, panic mode activates. What do I do next? Do I have to get to work now? Bugger.
Journey to work I guess could be classed as safe. My partner dropped me but any question asked would be answered with the mouse voice and a “I’m Fine, promise.” Lies. I’m not fine, but I can’t tell you how much I’m shitting myself to go back to work after the time off. It’s a change to this new habit I have! So we park up, deep breathes following by large gulps (nothing there but you do this right?) finish the cigarette and off I go. I felt like I did when I was first going to school for the first time all those years ago. Bag clasped in hand like someone will steal it. Little quick shuffles of the feet to get to the door and then you look up. The big building. Intense. The front of the building I work in has a glass panel across the front so you can see everyone walking around already at work in some form of mid motion. Then directly in the middle is a revolving door. Yep the thing that causes fear in case you get stuck. Panic if someone gets in straight after you and pushes too fast meaning you have to move faster. Oh the pain.
So I go in. Breathing is now incredibly heavy. Rushed and short. I shuffle to the door I need and go and hover outside for a second thinking am I meant to be back? Is this right? What if it’s all changed… 3 minutes later… In I go. Straight to the water machine to get some hot water, just like I used before my absence to try and make it like I haven’t been off. And then when I walk into the office I’m greeted by an array of smiles, welcome back comments all of which was lovely to see but my god I wanted to hide. Too much pressure at once. All I could do was smile and wave (yes I did a wave) and say morning. It’s nice to be back. Lies. If you could see the words come out of my mouth they would of been black, tainted and all jagged. It was such a lie but I couldn’t stand there and just scream! That would be classed as rude and incredibly odd for office behavior.
So I get settled, go on a hunt for my chair as it’s missing, try and fix my computer as it wasn’t turning on, so under the desk and move plugs around. Huzzah it worked eventually. So I began to go through emails. Slowly. Reading everything. Word for word. And then I began to think I need to do this, I need to do that must remember to do that email before I start the other one. The jumbled morning list of to do things before checking the tasks to do today. And then I was told not to rush into work, try and go smoothly through everything and take my time. Music to my ears. So I did it at my own pace and the day dragged. A second felt like a minute. A minute felt like an hour. An hour felt like 4. Non stop.
Eventually it was drawing close to 5pm… I was so excited. Throughout the day I was constantly checking my phone. Texting my partner to which he had told me how proud he was of me for going back to work and sticking to it. That was a lovely thing and did make me smile. Phone calls throughout the day to him and other people just to see if I could try and calm down. (All day my heart had been racing and I have been on edge.) So 5pm came, I ran out the doors with all my stuff, just like I did when I was back at school just wanting to get home. To see the familiar face, the warming smile.
And I did. There was Tom. Sat in his car waiting for me. At that moment I got in, threw the bag to the floor of the car and took deep breathes. I was safe. I was heading home. At that moment I felt better. Felt more me. More like I knew what was happening. I knew I could go home, be myself and slob watching horrible TV with a potential glass of wine (I think I personally deserve one today, in the large glass!) The other satisfying fact was I get to see Gypsy, our kitten, and she will just want a cuddle and fuss. Tom will also want a cuddle which makes everything better. I get to cuddle the two closest things to my heart at once and that settles me, relaxes me and makes me feel safe.
I had finished my first day at work. I had not let the tick keep me at home but now I’m ready to cuddle and do nothing. I’m exhausted from all of the fear I’ve had all day. I want to cry over how I feel.
Now what will this weekend hold…