I find myself at that point in my mental health journey that I expect many sufferers have been at, it is the point where the money runs out. I didn’t have the highest paid job but we were struggling to make ends meet as it was, we had both even given up smoking to save that extra which was going to pay for the annual holiday. My getting ill was an unforseen event and with no little nest egg it has become a major problem.
Statutory sick pay turned out to be about just less than a quarter of my normal wage, it would barely cover the mortgage payment never mind the rest. I know that this isn’t an issue unique to mental health but all long-term illness the problem I have is “the great debate”. Basically it boils down to money or your life, do I just go back to work and hope the medication keeps me going and hope that it was a one time slump. Or do I continue sitting around waiting on the system to get around to firstly finding out what is wrong with me and then fixing me enough to go back to work.
People say “only you know how you feel”, well guess what actually I don’t. I don’t know what kind of shape I am in, some days I can make it through an entire day doing bits of DIY only taking my prescribed dose, I might even miss a Diazepan. Yesterday I spent all day lying on the bed hugging a pillow taking Zopiclone every couple of hours to keep me sedated. If I go back to work and I’m a pretty good blagger so I’m sure I can convince the GP to sign me back I might get a good few months, maybe even years before I crash again. I know my meds are to low 4mg Diazepan 40mg Paroxetine and 7.5mg Zopiclone so I can get them upped a bit and get a good routine going. As I’m writing this I can see people shaking their heads, thinking this guy cannot be serious. After all he has done and gone through he wants to go back to work and hope it all works out.
Next Tuesday I have a meeting with my boss who probably wants an update on my condition, tell me that the company feels that I may not be the right guy for the job or anything. On Thursday I see my psychiatrist (So if anyone knows a Janice Morgan who works for Cardiff and Vale point her this way) and who knows what will happen, one part of me feels that she is going to ask me the questions and then say that there is nothing wrong with me and stop confusing a bit of stress with mental illness. I hate running that through my mind, the thought that I am just a cowardly fraud scares me. On the flip side what if she listens to my story and digs a bit and the truth comes out, what if she decides that I am a risk to myself or others, what if, what if, what if.
One thing I do know is that if they just want me off the books, I will be back in work within a few weeks. Maybe up my medication and tell me to attend a meeting once a week for self-help etc, on paper I am being cared for but in reality I am basically at lose to decide for myself if I am having a relapse. Good news is that I will start earning money again so I just have to roll the dice and play the odds. If the psychiatrist decides I am ill and that I can’t go back to work what then? How do I live, what do I do, what if, what if, what if.
So I guess at the end of this article I am no different from when it started, it has filled some time, one hour closer to know my fate for the next part of my journey. I don’t know who I am, what is wrong with me, what happens next but I am alive and have a purpose, to write what I experience in the hope it helps others. Who knows I might actually get the hang of this writing?
Peace and love
PS Please take two minutes to complete my survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XQGF5HR it is to get better understanding of how social media and forums are being used by mental health sufferers, takes two minutes and is totally anonymous