Pictured: a figure wearing a hat holds up a hand to block direct sunlight

Just about functioning

Right now, I’m functioning at about 67% of what I think is the norm.

Progress

At the moment, I’m having fewer stay-in-bed days than I’m having good or neutral days. I’m still behind on housework, but isn’t everyone? And I’m keeping on top of the writing tasks that I’ve set myself as part of my quest for joy. I’m a way better pet mom than I was before I took this mental health break and our house is finally coming together. Tonight, for the first night since we moved in, we’ll be sleeping in a bed instead of on a couch! Sure, it’s still a daybed that pulls out into a double but we’re finally expanding our living space to the upstairs part of our house. We’re going to have a functioning bedroom!

Things are definitely looking up all ’round. I’m happier and having fewer intrusive thoughts (I think doing daily round-ups of my micro-wins on Instagram is helping with that, because it forces me not to overlook progress I’ve made). Part of that is for sure the new medication I’m on, about which I’ll be writing an article later today.

But I can’t ignore the other thing, which is that I’ve taken some significant time off work explicitly to focus on my mental wellbeing. I am so immensely grateful to have this time, and to have a loving partner willing to support me throughout, but I am also completely terrified about what happens when I go back to work.

A capitalist mentality

I’ve always had a great big fear of not being able to hold down a job because of my depression. I suppose maybe that’s why it’s so important to me that I harness my writing skills into writing about mental health. It’s a backup, a way that I can still work if I ever find myself unemployable in the typical sense.

If I’m only functioning at 67% right now when I have nothing but time on my hands, I dread to think of what will happen to me when I return to work. Maybe the meds will triumph in the meantime and I’ll make my way back up to 100%, or maybe I’ll finally make my way up the counselling waiting list and be paired with someone who knows exactly how to help me recover.

But if not… I’m scared of what my next chapter might look like.

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