I’ve tried to draw a comic about this but I can’t quite work out how to do it (except for the post image) so I am reverting back to using words.
As you know, I started back at work a couple of weeks ago. It was only for about a day a week and I was going to gradually increase hours until I was back at my full 30 hour load. The first couple of days I went in for a couple of hours at a time and then was absolutely wiped out for a day and a half afterwards. But I figured it would just take time. It was great to see everyone, and make some videos, and plan out the term and feel like I would be able to function.
But in the second week the anxiety and panic started again. By the third week I just lost it completely and realised I had gone back to work too soon. So after chatting to my GP and my psychologist I have decided I’ll be taking more time off and probably won’t be back until the beginning of next year.
This is pretty full on, especially given jobseeker is decreasing more and more so there is less and less to live on as it gets back to the pre-coronavirus rate (seriously how does the government think anyone can actually live on that, especially if you’re on it for sickness benefits and actually unable to work or look for work? But that’s a whinge for another day). But so far I am really grateful that we have all our needs met and I am able to just rest.
I’m grappling with guilt and panic again for having left my team in the lurch, but as everyone keeps assuring me my health is the most important thing to sort out. Norton keeps yelling in my ear “what if you’re never gonna be able to work again?!!!” and Tiger keeps telling me “just rest, you don’t have to think about it right now.”
So the comic I was trying to draw was around the metaphor of baking a cake. I was trying to explain it to a friend like this: do you know when you put a cake in the oven and it’s been in there for 20 minutes or so and it’s starting to go brown and it looks like it’s pretty much done? You could take it out of the oven at that point and have a lovely golden exterior that looked just like a cake should, but as soon as you stuck a skewer or a knife into it you would discover that the inside was still completely liquid.
That’s kind of how I felt going back to work. I looked mostly like I was much improved, I even did some decent work in the first week. But it soon became apparent that I wasn’t cooked yet.
So back into the oven to bake a bit longer for me. I think this metaphor is breaking down. Also now I want cake.