Difficult days come often when having to deal with PTSD, Anxiety and Depression. There are loads of different ways to deal with them and the most natural feeling would be to curl up in a ball and hide under the bed covers. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. This tactic has its place. What I try to remember though is the tools I have used to get me back active. Usually I quickly realise I don’t want my day to go like this, hiding in bed and I get up and go for a run. The best way to do this is not to over complicate it just get up, get changed and go. The more time spent thinking about going for a run the less likely it is to happen. You start to imagine problems that can occur such as the weather or traffic or school children getting in the way. Everything can become a massive problem if you think about it enough. This tactic can have its limitations though. Although writing this it doesn’t seem a valid excuse putting on my running gear at 3 am because I can’t sleep isn’t really an option.
It has been 105 days since I took time off work sick. 111 days since I advised them about what I was experiencing and slightly longer since I contacted the NHS for diagnosis/treatment. To date I have had an appointment with a Psychologist through the NHS which gave a basic diagnosis and a phone call with a mental health nurse who has placed me on a waiting list for treatment. There was a 5 week wait for the phone call which basically advised me there is a further 12 week wait for treatment. During this period they have cancelled me from the waiting list (Receiving that letter sent anxiety into overdrive!) and re-instated me due to an error on their part. Thankfully my wife got in contact and advised them of this. They have since advised their waiting list is in fact 100 days and even longer as the mental health nurse is going on holiday (how dare they!).
With regards to work I have had 1 meeting with Occupational Health. Documents I had previously supplied had not been forwarded and the nurse seemed to know little about me. At this appointment I was told I wasn’t fit for work and to return for an appointment in 8 weeks. This has ended up being 10 weeks by the time the appointment was made for me. They have put me in touch with a counselor and I have had 1 getting to know you meeting (20 minutes) I got so anxious and nervous on the way I got lost and was nearly too late for the appointment.
I’m not sure if these time periods will seem long to others but to put into perspective after my appointment with OHU where I may have only had 2 counselling sessions I will have approximately 50 before my pay gets cut in half. So 50 days to get fit and healthy. 50 days to stop it being a fight to get up in the morning. 50 days to consistently get enough sleep each night to function the following day. 50 days for all these demons to leave me and put me in a good enough place to return to work. 50 days to deal with other people. Speak normally. Have a conversation without worrying about what I’ve said. What someone thinks of me. What they will tell others about me later on. 50 days to remove the social anxiety I get and be able to do more than one thing at a time without feeling so confused I could faint. 50 days to be able to drive to work without worrying i am going to crash at every junction or make a wrong turn that causes me to get lost. 50 day to overcome my fears and anxieties about my job. 50 days to stop any future development of my injuries. I know 50 days sounds like a long time and it probably is. But I’m not quite sure it is long enough!