Getting better. Pictured: a woman jumps for joy in the sunlight

I think I’m getting better

I’m on new meds; I’m starting to feel joy again; I’m just generally doing better.

Dr Q

I write this sitting outside the doctor’s office. I’m fourth in line and thinking about what I have to report to him.

It’s been a month since he prescribed new meds on a much higher dose and today is our check-in to figure out if this is what’s going to stick. I’m also seeking a referral for an assessment. It’s about time I learn, one way or another, if I actually am neurodivergent. I have a bunch of books to read and I’m following a bunch of neurodivergence accounts online but nothing will really substitute a professional taking a peek at my brain and telling me what’s what.

But back to the current professional in my immediate future: Dr Q has always been an advocate for mental wellbeing and he’s witnessed much of my mental health woes and successes over the last seven years or so. This time, I’m happy to tell him that I think we have a combination of meds that seems to be working. It’s always a relief when I get to tell him I’m doing better.

But, as much as Dr Q has been a huge support, I don’t think my current lightness is all down to the meds. 

A pattern emerges

I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that being out of work has been an incredible relief. I feel like I can breathe again, which is as much of a surprise to me as it is to everyone else.

I love my job. I’m one of those rare people who doesn’t have a boss to complain about or higher-ups who don’t appreciate employees. I’ve always felt like a valued member of my team and, for the most part, I love the content of my job. But I can’t deny that, mentally, I’m doing better without it.

I’ve always feared that one day I might not be able to hold down a job because of my mental illness. But if I’m being honest, maybe it’s been this way all along. I’m a three-time college dropout and all three of my proper grown-up jobs have only lasted a year before I needed some sort of period of respite. Maybe it’s time to accept that the typical full-time nine-to-five lifestyle doesn’t suit me.

Fingers crossed for the future

I’m not saying that I won’t return to my job; I’m not ready for that yet.

But I am open to the idea that work might have to look a little different for me going forward. Maybe my needs are atypical and that’s okay. It’s just something I have to learn and work with.

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