How to (not) handle returning to work

I’ve been back at work for two weeks and we are all alive – HURRAH!

I say that, but maaaaan, it’s been a fucking bumpy ride. Shocker, huh? ­čśë

I was beside myself upset on the Sunday night before my first day back at work. And that was because, honestly, I felt sad, terrified and jealous. Sad that the time Rex and I had known together to that point had come to an end. Terrified that someone or something would come between the bond that I have worked so hard to build between us. And jealous that other people were going to have the time with Rex that, up to that point, had been totally reserved for me.

I’m now about to start my third week back at work and I’m happy to report that I’m not overwhelmed by these feelings anymore. I’d be lying if I said I’m totally over them because I’m not. I still feel jealous when I leave him.┬áBut my feelings quickly disperse when I see how much Rex is thriving. He absolutely loves nursery and I can see the feeling is reciprocated in the lovely ladies who look after him there. From that it’s hard to feel anything but a huge amount of pride in him at how quickly and easily he has adjusted to his new routine.

Am I still fearful about our bond being affected by my return to work? Honestly, yes. And I think that’s something that will take me a while to get my head around because it’s so precious to me. But I know that one of the┬ábest things I can do for Rex is to give him space, let him enjoy experiences with other people and trust that the bond I have with him as him mum is one that can never be broken.

Stupid question alert

With regards to going back to work, fuuuuuuucking hell. I’d heard the term ‘imposter syndrome before and, dear me, did that sum it up. I returned as a manager but spent the first week asking everyone the most basic, probably stupid questions and it made me feel like a total fraud.

My first day back took me back to my first day at uni. I went much later than most people, heading back to education at 27 to do a degree in computer graphics. I was the only girl in a class of teenage boys wanting to learn how to make video games, the only mature student and probably the only idiot who spent her break eating a soggy-through-tears tuna sandwich. I was fish out of water, even with the sandwich, and all I wanted to do was give up.

But I didn’t. Granted it took me a few weeks to find my feet at Uni, but when I did, I did what I do best, I knuckled down, worked hard, and got a first for my efforts. And I know work will follow the same path once I find my feet again. The best thing right now is that I have that belief – something that was very much absent on day one.

Yep, there’s no two ways about it, going back to work has been and is a huge adjustment. For all of us. Eamo and I have argued more as we both try to understand each other and how this new phase will work. And it’s been another huge strain on our already strained relationship, if I’m honest. But among the heated ‘fuck off’ discussions have been some really lovely moments of love and understanding too. And every day that we all get through makes the next just that little bit easier.

Depression: ‘I choose YOU’

I realised very recently that some of the posts I share must be really fucking irritating to some people. I harp on about feeling down and having negative thoughts, share them with the world in what must come across as an endless moan. I was picked up on this recently, told in one of my posts to just ‘get over it and move on’.

After my initial, short-lived upset to said comment passed, I did what I do best, and thought about it for ages – overthinking really is my forte. And I’ve come to three conclusions from it:

1). The first is something I’ve known for a while, and it’s that not everyone is going to like me. Not everyone is going to empathise with me and not everyone is going to understand me. And that all of that is ok.

2). Depression not being a choice is one that has taken me a lot longer to get my head round. I mean, why can’t I just pull myself together and move on? And the answer is because it’s an illness, not a choice. I’m not choosing to feel down, upset and anxious about what others may think are really trivial subjects, and anyone who thinks I am is very much mistaken. Being annoyed with someone because of how their mental health affects them shows a huge lack of understanding.

3). What is a choice is the social media accounts you follow and whether you choose to comment on them. In my experience, the people behind writing blogs are sharing a passion and trying to do good in some way, be that that advice, help or just sharing a few funnies. If you follow an account online, be that on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and it starts to make you feel bad or like you want to leave an unhelpful comment, can I offer some easy advice by suggesting the unfollow button? I think the web would be a much nicer place for it ­čÖé <3


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