So, I went back to see my GP today for an update, and to see if I was considered 'fit for work'. Fit for work, what a laugh. Quite honestly I don't really feel fit for anything at the moment and thought for a second he was going to refer me to the knacker's yard to be seen off.
The main problem is I'm still feeling emotionally wobbly. That's probably the best description I can think of. There has been a slight - very slight - improvement this week, and perhaps the St. John's Wort is starting to kick in, but I still feel like I'm 'on the edge' emotionally. I hear a song on the radio that triggers some memory or another? Sobbing. Watch a dramatic TV programme? More sobbing. Catch sight of a photo of lost love ones, or happier times? Heaving, face-dissolving sobs. It's not pretty at all.
I never used to be like this you know, I was always in control. Once upon a time I would have been called stoic or even gutsy. Sadly no more. Now I'm more likely to be called a mess, and I keep wanting to shout "But I used be someone else, someone happier" at the people who have never met the happier me. There are some people who I've met in the last 8-10 years who've only ever met this weaker, diluted version of my former self.
The thing that has shocked me most about all of this is how it seems to stem from the beginning of summer when, after years of being bullied, I finally stood up to them. Something changed that day, I snapped. Once I'd decided I couldn't take another 10 years of it I took some legal advice, which helped enormously and I honestly felt like I'd taken some control back. I felt elated at the time, was proud of myself and it felt like a fresh start.
But not long after that, I started to crumble. Was it because, after so long of being on edge, I allowed myself to relax? Is that what happened, the façade crumbled? Maybe.
So now as I take baby steps back to a stronger position (I very nearly put 'normality' then, but I'm not even sure what that is anymore) I'm very conscious of a subtle, or maybe not so subtle, pressure to return to my former self and get on with it. It's almost an unspoken 'pull yourself together' pressure and is cleverly disguised in the form of support. That's why earlier on today, after having had a good morning and thinking I could sense the first signs of progress, I was soon sent spinning back to square one. Well, maybe not square one but if this was a game of snakes and ladders I just slid down a medium sized anaconda.
It does feel a bit like two steps forward and one step back at the moment, although the overwhelming fug of despair is starting to dissipate ever so slightly . I've also had the hint of a lifeline, a possibility that might help with a situation that's been making me very unhappy. It's very early days though, and I don't want to jinx it by saying anything optimistic (perish the thought) but....well, I think I can see a way forward. Perhaps. Maybe. Touch wood.
Wow, can't believe I actually just said that. A way forward. That's BIG.