It was a year ago that I started back at work after 6 and half months of sitting and staring blankly at nothing in particular. I returned with much self-doubt and very low energy levels. It would be an understatement to say that the first few days were exhausting. It took everything I had to keep my focus on work. It was impossible to put my emotions aside for the briefest periods of time. I would walk around the hospital corridors with tears rolling down my cheeks. Every afternoon by 2 pm I needed to have a proper cry. Despite very supportive colleagues, the safest place was the loo. With fair regularity I fell into deep sleep on the train home and missed my station.
For many months I took on just the bare minimum amount of work that I could safely handle. Nothing extra. Slowly I gained in strength and confidence. I found I could do more.
Work gave structure to my days and weeks. It gave me a reason to get out of bed, make myself presentable and shoulder some responsibility. For part of the day I was forced to put my attention on other people’s problems. While it made no sense to be working, neither did anything else.
I am grateful for my job. It has kept me from completely falling apart. While there were times I felt I couldn’t manage it, I am glad I stuck with it. It made me feel useful. I still have mornings when getting out of bed seems like climbing Mount Everest. But I do. Just like the sun comes up every morning. I wonder how the world just goes on, like nothing happened!