Things were going well for a while since my last post. Despite that, I should have been posting in the good times, not just the bad. I do not know why I didn’t.
However, that time of things going well was short-lived. My mood started shifting downwards again and everyday things I had coped with became huge, impassible mountains in my mind. I began to withdraw. I was hiding in the toilets whenever things got on top of me just crying or trying desperately to snap out of it. A lot of the time I think it worked. At least it didn’t appear as anyone noticed much. Some mentions were made, but I was always quick to deny it. However, I knew deep down in my mind that I could never sustain it. Looking back on that now I know it was a mistake.
The day finally came when, after coming back from one of my hiding sessions, I sat back at my desk, and a colleague noticed me. He called me out on it, and that was it. I couldn’t stop the tears, and I fell apart pretty much from there. I am not sure if he would like me posting his name so I won’t (but thank you very much.) Almost a year to the day from my last breakdown (for want of a better word) I found myself off work ill. I couldn’t pull myself together at all and slumped further and further into isolating behaviour. I shut quite a few people out, almost everyone in fact. In my mind, I stupidly thought I was protecting everyone. I also had the overwhelming feeling (which I still have from time to time) that I was letting people down. My wife, my family, friends, work – everyone. I didn’t want any of that to happen, but I mentally didn’t have the strength to keep on ignoring what was happening. I had to stop.
The doctors referred me back to the mental health team for an assessment, and a few follow up appointments. They also put me onto a different medication from what I had been on previously to help stabilise me. After about a week, I began to feel better. Or at least not bursting into tears for no reason. I felt the cloud finally start to lift. I knew this time the road back was longer. Maybe that is not the right phrase. It may not have been longer, but it was uphill. Much steeper than I had ever encountered.
I began to climb.
After another week or so, I returned to work. I still wasn’t 100%, but I was in a much better place mentally than I was. I don’t think I will ever be 100% (I don’t think anyone can claim to be. At least not all the time.) The difference is now though that I accept that.
I am flawed, and I am ok with that.
I am still worried there will some people out there that see me as some kind of freak or weak-willed. I have been called both things, but I am doing my best to avoid those kinds of people and those kinds of negative emotions.
Around a week after being in work, it was my wife’s birthday, and we had already planned earlier in the year to go away. This was also the perfect time for a small break for me too. It was not just good for me but her too. We needed it, and I loved every minute of it. Of course, we went to the Harry Potter studios again because Vick loves it and I love her. We didn’t just do that though, we went into London and generally had a blast. At least when we weren’t getting lost on the tube! I will say, though that there is still a long way for London to go in terms of wheelchair accessibility on the Tubes. Some lifts etc. were out of order due to maintenance or faults, and no provision was made, or even adequate signage was around to point us to an alternative route.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone that helped me. Family, friends both at home and in work for helping me get back on my feet. Again. You are all awesome. I cannot promise I won’t fall again, but if I do, I will try and reach out for you instead of hiding.