I want to say take a step back from work, but the unbelievable level of guilt that’s causing is making it all but impossible

That’s what I wrote this day last week. Today that decision was finally taken out of my hands and I was signed out of work for four weeks by our occupational health doctor. I had been off sick last week, and on going back to work last Friday was told that I was being referred because my performance really wasn’t up to speed, and we needed to establish a) whether I should be in work at all, and b) if so, what would I be capable of doing.

Needless to say I found that conversation incredibly tough, but I also understand that it was necessary and justified. I’m very aware of how unfocussed I’ve been of late, and have been concerned about memory and concentration issues for months. I’m reasonably confident (hopeful? Doesn’t seem the right word) that it’s medication related and nothing more sinister, but I’m genuinely starting to be scared that this is who I am now. I used to be so on my game – really capable, efficient, organised – and now? Now I wouldn’t trust me to organise a piss up in a brewery and my confidence is in shreds. It’s an absolutely horrible feeling, more than the cloudy head of depression, because my mood isn’t always necessarily low with it. Most days I tend to feel like my head is filled with wet cotton wool and I’m painfully aware of it. It’s as though I can see what needs doing, but I’m looking at it through fog and I cannot figure out how to get from start to finish. I mix up my words. I start a sentence and don’t know how it’s supposed to end. I walk into a room and forget why I’m there. I make simple, stupid mistakes that I cannot account for. A more alarming recent development is a conversation that I ‘had’ with someone, but I genuinely do not know whether it happened or I dreamt it.

I don’t know how I ended up here. I don’t know how I ended up as this person who can’t quite cope with reality and all it entails, who’s just been signed out of work, again. I’ve been told it’s not my fault several times in the last few hours, yet I can’t help but feel it is. I feel like somehow I’ve let it get this far. If I could point at something broken on an x-ray, then I’d understand. You can’t walk on a broken leg. But there’s nothing definitive. There’s educated guesswork, and me getting progressively more lost and confused the longer I go without therapy.

I’ve almost managed to persuade myself that if Therapist would take me on again, then everything would be ok. But that’s not true. Or at least I’ve been told it’s not, but I’m far from convinced. I realise I have a (massive) tendency to put her on a pedestal and make her the answer to everything, but if the last three months have done nothing else, it’s proven that the work we were doing, however stuck it had gotten, was doing something. My last extended period of sick leave was early 2013. And now, just 3 months after finishing with her, I’m out again.

I talked about it with the doctor today. He’s going to try and make contact with my psychiatrist and my GP, and see if there’s any way I can get more support between now and (maybe) starting dbt. I’m not wildly optimistic considering how adamant they’ve been up to now that I not see anyone else, but at least now there’s a chance that the dots are going to start being joined up. I’m doing everything I can, but it’s not enough, not anymore. Bpd is now having a significant impact on my life, and by extension, my family. That’s really not ok.

This article has 4 Comments

  1. This is not your fault. Like you said if it was a broken leg you would give yourself the time off to heal and this is the same. Just because you can not physically see that there is something wrong doesn’t mean that you don’t need time to heal. Please look after you.

  2. Oh Fiona, despair not. This WILL pass, even if it feels impossible right now. Try and be kind to yourself and take off all the guilt. You simply don’t need that and this is as real as any broken leg and you wouldn’t feel a bit guilty about resting it.
    Hugs, jxx

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