It sometimes feels like I will never get a break. A break from my own thoughts. A mind that does not know how to be chill or relax. For the last few weeks I have been feeling lets say not so my bright bubbly self. I have mentioned before that the holiday season is never a great time for me. I am on holiday from work at that time, and find I have too much time on my hands. I always somehow hide how I am really feeling and try be positive for people around me. Reality is I am some what struggling at the moment and unsure of what to do with myself next.
I spent a week indoors not leaving the house once, or moving from the sofa or bed over the holiday period. I had to cancel appointments and plans several times. My temper and emotions ended up all over the place often arguing with those around me.
Finally I started a job 2 days ago which meant I couldn’t just sleep or hide away. I needed this more than ever. I was meant to start this new job weeks ago but due to the busy mailing times my PVG didn’t arrive in time, meaning several inductions were pushed back.
I have no experience at care work with elderly all I know is I am a caring person and once put my mind to it, I can do anything. People always laugh at the long list of skills I have as they are so varied. From painting & decorating, childcare, events, nails and so on. I love having a varied skill set and find it very important to know lots of different things than just building on the one skill set.
Day one into the shift was mostly reading paperwork and signing forms. Then into shadowing staff. Day 2 was when the struggle hit! I found myself shadowing an elderly person being washed and changed and as I stood back and watched, all sorts of emotions came over me. This was very triggering for me and it was at that point I knew this job was not for me. As I stood in the patients room surrounded by his beautiful life photos and his memorabilia it made me smile yet feel sad. My eyes started to fill up and I thought I don’t want to grow old. I just don’t want it.
Later in the evening I found myself sitting chatting to a patient with dementia and with little to none experience on dementia I found myself in conversation with the person and soon realised I didn’t know what to say. For the first time ever I was stuck for words! I knew her mum wasn’t coming to collect her but I was not going to be like the other nurses and correct her, so I decided to go along with what she felt was happening and this made her feel calm.
Still in my head I keep thinking this is not how I want to end up. I can’t get old. I can’t not be well enough to dress, wash or feed myself.
Going into this job the fears that I had which I won’t share, turned out to be the least fearless factor when faced with. In fact it was mentally tough. I had no idea this would have been the case. I knew it was going to be hard work, but I never thought in a million years that it would make me question my existence.
Last night after my second shift and a long 12 hour one I was exhausted and I was emotional. As I stepped onto the bus home the tears were already rolling down my cheeks. I couldn’t stop them no matter how hard I tried.
My right side on my face started tingling then going numb and I knew a panic attack was coming on and I was not in control of being able to stop it. By the time I got home I already knew I was in the danger zone mentally. Sitting on my bedroom floor I sobbed uncontrollably. My cat appeared from downstairs and as I held her so tight I thought she deserves better than me. The mascara rolling down my face and looking a mess was the least of my problems. My head was spinning, my thoughts were going as fast as someone pushing me on a roundabout. I cleaned my face and made a cup of tea to try calm myself down. Then this shouting started in my head again, the visions of the patient lying helpless from the shift was playing on my mind. I opened my drawer to take my night time meds, and realised I had finished my last packet so have to open my new boxes that is sitting in a pharmacy bag unopened. As I stood there feeling numb all I could think of was that is a lot of tablets. I could take them all and it would be done so quickly by falling asleep.
A tickle on my leg brought me back round, my cat meowing for cuddles. I opened the packet and took my normal dose and closed the drawer. I fought the urge so hard. I cried and cried and fell into bed. Tired from the crying it didn’t take long before I was sound asleep.
This morning I woke up although I felt much calmer I knew I had a huge problem and my future was now uncertain. Having never been unemployed in my life from leaving school at 16 I now needed to make a decision on what is best for my health at this time.
I had some professional help and spoke over my working options and health. With a clearer picture and reassurance I had to make a choice focus on my health or continue with this new employment knowing the triggers that I faced.
With the support of my mental health nurse and GP who was so so lovely and calming I have decided I can’t pour from an empty can as they say. I need to take this time to get more medical help, perhaps a medication change and therapy.
After speaking with friends who BTW I am so grateful for especially when feeling like this. Others would give up on friendships but you guys have been my rock.. anyway after speaking to friends I now realise taking a break is not a bad thing. It is refocusing and taking time to find out what really makes me happy. I know I have a road ahead but I feel less suicidal and more calm about my future whatever job I end up in, it will be one that has no triggers or by then even if it does as life will have triggers and not be plain sailing, I will have received the proper help and know how to overcome them than feed into them.