Today I went back to work after quite a while off due to depression. As important as work is I can’t stress enough how much I needed the time off due to my mental health and just how important it is, when you are going through something as horrible as depression, to focus on yourself for a little while in order to get better. I’m not saying I am cured, because that’s not the case. I’m still taking it one day at a time and am still suffering, but I am doing a lot better having had time away from everything and being able to clear my head a bit.
Let me tell you this, going back isn’t as daunting as it seems and the longer you leave it the scarier it will seem. Personally I have decided to take one day a week off until I feel I can complete a full week of work and that’s something you could discuss with your workplace as well. Please, though, do attempt to go back to work. Don’t hide from the outside world, as I want to do almost every day, because then it will be so much harder to re-join your peers.
People will be more supportive than you think. One of the things this illness has taught me is that all people want is to help you get better, even if they don’t really know how to. My company has been very understanding and patient with my needs during this time. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you feel you need, because the worst they can say is no and the chances are you WILL get what you require.
In my time off from work I am hoping to be productive by going for walks, doing photography and working on my blog. Plans like this are important because if you make a plan for your day you are more likely to actually get up and do the things you used to enjoy and get excitement out of. Of course this doesn’t work for everyone, but I am generally a very motivated person when it comes to blogging and photography and think it will be enough to drag me out of my self called “safe space”.
Not only have I been finding it easier to get out of bed and get out of my flat, but I am also re-discovering my love of blogging and photography which are good signs that I am recovering from the illness. Hopefully within the next couple weeks I will be better enough to complete a full week and not even think about it. Medication is fine and helps balance out the good and the bad, but the only way to feel truly better from depression is to try within yourself and that includes taking time out to focus on yourself.
If you are suffering with depression I want you to do this. Talk to the friends you think don’t care or feel like you are bothering because I can guarantee they will want to talk to you and would be more than happy to meet for a coffee. Ask your work/School/Uni etc. for what you think will help you, whether it be time off or a comfort goat (okay a comfort goat is unlikely, but how amazing would that be?) the worst they will say to you is no, but I bet you that they will try their hardest and do everything in their power to help you.