The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself, And Spiders

I’m scared.

The last few days have been hard. I’ve been quite productive and have been able to do some things I couldn’t do a week ago, but I’m also thinking about what next.

I think I’ve been in denial. I was thinking I would head back to work this week and although it would be weird it would be straightforward. It’s not. I have to see an occupation health therapist to assess whether I’m fit to return before I do. The logical part of me understands this. They want me to be well enough to come back. They also want to know if there is anything they can do to make this easier and so I won’t have to go off ill again. I haven’t really thought about going back to work as when I do I feel uneasy. I get the same feelings I was having before I went off. I feel sick and tired. And scared.

I feel very vulnerable and past experience has told me that I don’t work in the most supportive team (which is part of the problem). I don’t want to go back to that. So if changes can be made I should be happy right? It’s the unknown. I don’t know what they can do or are willing to do.

I think I’ve made a couple of big steps in the last couple of days. I’ve been open with two people that I’m off work. It turned out fine, no judgment just understanding. I wish I was more like this to myself. I realised this is part of CBT – testing your theories – and it worked like it said it would in the book (CBT for Dummies). I don’t know when I lost faith in people. I wish I hadn’t as it is so hard to let myself have faith in anyone.

I don’t know where the fear has come from. I never understood when people talked about not being able to leave the house, but now I understand how debilitating fear can be. It is not the fear of being outside, but rather a fear of the future.

I’m scared I’m losing my friends.

I’m scared I’ll take a long time to get better.

I’m scared it will impact my career.

I’m scared I’m losing myself.

I don’t want my depression to define me. I want to use it to become a better person. I don’t know why I got depression but I want to make sure I limit the chance of getting it again. I want to make the changes I need to make, that the depression needs me to make, in order to create a life that makes me happy to live.

I wonder if I’m scared to create this life. To stick my finger up at the parts of my life that cause me distress. I want to do this.

I’ve lost direction and motivation. I’m struggling with swimming and fitness in general. I’m struggling with my eating and weight. I’m struggling with know what I want to do with my career and how I could change it or adapt it. I like goals and tasks. I like being able to tick things off and get a sense of achievement from taking steps and working towards something. I don’t have any of this right now and that is causing me distress.

I need a plan.

The problem is depression isn’t straightforward. I can’t plan my recovery from depression. This relapse has shown me that the hard way. But I can plan my fitness and my diet. I can set myself goals and work towards them here. I can take control of those things and focus my attention. I can think about my career when I’m ready. I can look for ways to improve my current situation and look for other opportunities.

Overall I can be kind to myself when I’m scared. It’s okay to be afraid. It doesn’t make me weak; it shows me I’m human and vulnerable. I can try to open up to people in hopes they will do the same for me. I can take steps to overcome my fears.

I will be okay. I want to be okay.

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