If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I was off from work for six weeks due to depression. The last two weeks I was away, I felt AMAZING. My physical self felt good, my emotional self felt great and I was basking in the glow of not feeling manic/crazy/suicidal/depressed. The last week I was off, my BIG boss retired, so I was invited to attend her different functions, which was nice because I consider her a mentor of sorts and it gave me a chance to see my colleagues without worrying about ‘work’.
While I was off, I learned a lot. About me. About who I am, why I am the way I am and why I react to situations the way I do. I also learned that the only person who has any say over me – is me. I learned to listen to my inner self – what it was saying and what it was telling me (no, I wasn’t hearing voices, just to clarify)…and I’m still learning that I’m perfectly okay the way I am. Warts and all.
Now, I’ve been back to work now for just over a week. 5 days. 5 days, 4.5 hours to be exact. Here is what I’ve learned so far:
1. Some people will pretend like nothing ever happened. I’m not sure if it’s because they don’t understand or they just don’t care – but it is what it is.
2. Some people will immediately think you are breakable and must be treated very carefully so that you don’t come after them with a rusty butter knife, because once you’re crazy, you’ll always BE crazy (apparently).
3. Some people will be happy to see you because they want to compare medications and experiences (I found this particularly interesting, because it came from two people that I least expected).
4. Some people won’t be happy with the changes you’ve made in your life, because it makes you different than what they’re accustomed to.
You see, I’ve learned to speak up and ask for what I want and need. Within reason, of course. It’s taken me YEARS to finally put what I need ahead of what other people need. To accept that I make mistakes and can make amends and move on, instead of begging for forgiveness. To know that I’m not perfect. But most of all – to know that it’s hard enough to live up to my own expectations – so please don’t expect me to live up to yours. I might have done that, once upon a time, but guess what? I know what it’s like to feel ‘good enough’ and for once in my life – that’s all the affirmation I need.