Normal question isn’t it? One, this morning that I was not looking forward to. I work in an office with a lovely bunch of woman, funny clever and engaged people. As with offices all over the county the first hour of the day usually includes some conversation about how the weekend has gone. This is normally something I enjoy, I love hearing what people have got up to, catching up.
Today, I am going into work battle sore and fragile, and not looking forward to the conversation. I have spent the weekend battling, hideous anxiety, and depression. My voice still sounds odd to me as I haven’t spoken much and I am not sure I will be able to get through the day without another crying outburst.
As I walk into work I wonder what I will say in response to the usual ‘how was your weekend?’ As it happens I got through it without too much difficulty ….a quick mumbled ‘not much’ and the conversation moves on.. phew …all got me thinking
How to cope with meltdowns and bad days …I have had a few and learnt a bit, so here for anyone that might want them, are my top tips:
- Don’t feel guilty! Easier said than done, and I know this weekend I failed miserably at this but if possible …drop the guilt!
- Cancel as much as possible. Again, don’t do guilt, and look after yourself.
- Take care with communication. If answering the phone gives you a panic attack don’t do it
- Take care about who you spend time with. This is definitely not a time to be spending time with difficult or judgemental people. If at all possible avoid or minimise contact.
- A shower, fresh air, clean soft comfortable clothes all help
- If your brain starts going to the really dark places and you are worried about staying safe, seek out the non-judgemental supportive and encouraging people. I know, I know, it can be REALLY hard to do, but do it if you can, reach out, just send a text telling them you are feeling rough.
- If you can nothing else, keep yourself safe. HOPE stands for Hold On Pain Ends. It WILL pass, it won’t feel like it will pass, it will feel horrendous, and like it will last forever, but it won’t, it WILL pass.
- Do whatever you need to do, getting through in one piece is the name of the game, of course the healthier you can be the better you feel, so if you can mediate, bathe, sleep that is great but in these circumstances your body weight in ice cream and nine hours straight of Netflix is totally acceptable.
- And how to cope with Monday morning office chat? Use your wisdom, if it feels appropriate talk about it, and if not, don’t. Take care of you. When you do talk of your experiences be aware of reactions. Remember you are a survivor, its takes strength and courage to live with mental health issues. You are worthy of respect and support. Be wary of being patronised or treated as ‘less than’ as a result of sharing your experience.
So there we are. For anyone that’s struggling …love and respect to you…
Lots of love to you all …Sian x