Happy New Year?

The bells rang, the fireworks exploded in their thousands, hugs and kisses and handshakes were exchanged, resolutions were made, and hangovers were forged in beer and wine and whiskey. ( N.B. diet coke for me and no resolutions, more of that later)

Janine and I saw out the old year by going to the comedy club at the Memorial Hall, then we returned home, to see the new year in together, with a cup of tea on the sofa, it was the perfect way to mark the passing of the old year into the new, and I was with the person I want to see in every new year with, whatever the company. In all, the festive period was nice, spent with friends, family and was a time of smiles, laughter and love. I am not ashamed to admit that I laughed a lot over the course of the week, and as the old year closed I was feeling cautiously optimistic and hopeful.

And then New Years Day arrived. from the moment I woke, I knew it was not a good day, I woke sharply from a night of deep sleep, with only one brief awakening, with my heart thumping and in a harsh panic, disoriented by the sleep it took a while to get my bearings, and as I came round, I felt the familiar kick in the stomach and wave of despair that I hadn’t felt for almost a week, and that stayed with me all day, with little rest or respite, similarly yesterday I woke in despair and couldn’t hold back the tears, Janine was not back at work, so I was able to turn to her for support and reassurance, but again, despite her comforting words and hugs, the black dog was back and biting with renewed vigour, as a dog who hasn’t been fed for a few days is wont to do.

So two days cooped up in the house and not feeling any motivation to go out further than the back yard. Today has been better, no tears and only a few brief moments of anxiety about this new bump in the road, is the medication working? am I doing the right things? feeling guilty for having spent the last week enjoying life and laughter, I worked myself up into a bit of a fever but thankfully by yesterday evening that had subsided to a bearable level. unable to sleep, I had another night of fractured sleep, and today that manifested itself in tiredness, alleviated by falling asleep for a couple of hours this morning. determined to break the self-imposed incarceration, I went for a cup of tea with Sarah and Joel, fresh from fence repairing (literally, storm Eleanor had done her worst) and had a bit of a new year catch up. We talked about how our new years eve celebrations had been, hers sounds way more exciting and rock n roll than mine, that’s for certain. One thing we didn’t talk about was resolutions, mainly because I didn’t make any this year, instead, I’ve set out a list of hopes, and goals, that I hope to meet. First and foremost is to get on top of this black dog, and put him firmly back in the kennel, and to be well enough to look at returning to work. On that front there is some positive news, it’s been suggested that I may be well enough ( after review with the GP ) to start the way back to work in ‘about a month’, I’ve also got the beginning of the improving wellbeing course, on the 23rd of January, so there is some sense of a light at the end of the tunnel. This of course is mixed with a great deal of fear and trepidation, what will the return look like, how will it work, and how will I be received back into the fold? this last point is the one that gives me most cause for anxiety, I haven’t been in much contact with my colleagues, partly out of not wanting to impose my troubles onto them, but also for my own self preservation. I have no reason to believe that I’ll be badly received, but my state of mind is constantly niggling away at me, and giving me the paranoid thoughts of what may or may not be said. However, the thought of once again having a sense of purpose, a sense of being useful, in whatever small way, is positive.

my second hope/goal is that I can reach my target weight, still 33 pounds to go, at a steady rate it could take until April, I’m hoping to get there sooner, it’s in my own hands, I know I can do it, I’ve come this far and it hasn’t been an incredible trial.

Thirdly, my hope and goal for this year is to continue writing this blog, and to continue charting this journey, and to work constantly to get the message out there to a wider audience, to keep raising awareness of the need to break the stigma surrounding this debilitating illness, so that we can all speak about it with more openness, more candour, and more confidence, without the fear of being ridiculed, judged, and simply not believed. I’ve likened this to a broken leg, in that a broken leg requires a plaster cast, and is visible, but increasingly, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is an almost invisible condition, outwardly it shows very few signs, and until you talk about it, it stays secret, unnoticed, and hidden, until the point of collapse and crisis, and in the extreme case, self harm or suicide.

Finally, what I would like to do this year, is to regain my confidence, and go back to being me, just a bruised but improved version. Once again, I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous new year filled with joy, love, and understanding.

1 Comment

  1. Please keep up with the blog Shaun. Not only is it good for your recovery, It is really helping me and I’m sure, others too. Let’s get well soon. Happy new year to you.


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