We all know the image of the lost person standing at the crossroads, with signs pointing in every direction. That’s where I was, at 1300 yesterday as I left the train station. I was stressed: ‘occupational health’ is… it’s… ugh. I can’t remember a single meeting like this that has gone well. I can’t remember a single meeting like this where I haven’t been destroyed inside. Then there’s everything that follows…
In short, I had two options available to me: I could be completely honest and hope for the best, or I could pull the wool over their eyes and, foolishly, hope for the best.
Obviously there wasn’t an option. The latter course has failed, and catastrophically, with consequences I am feeling every day. Thinking about it now, I’m ashamed – true the rescue boat were jerks, but I cannot entirely blame them… they just went about it completely the wrong way.
Yesterday was my chance to start again, properly and honestly, and I took it. I didn’t sit there saying everything was fine, they had no reason to worry. I didn’t sit there and try to fool them and myself. I was open. I was honest. I didn’t hide the fact that I can’t see into the future, I didn’t hide the fact that I will inevitably have times when I am in very deep, dark holes, and he listened.
With that… I felt very… well, it felt right. It was the right thing to do. I feel at ease with myself, I haven’t deceived anyone. I feel lighter for it, and that has been noted by people today (I say people… my mother).
I wasn’t the only one put at ease though, the doctor was as well; he said there shouldn’t be an operational issue so long as I kept them in the loop if things started to slide and acted accordingly. I think I can do that.
It sounds so stupid – being honest has made me a dancing daisy – but seriously, I think I’ve actually somehow ridiculously made a huge step: I’ve never completely disclosed my mental health like this, especially not in a scenario where I feel I had so much on the line.
I feel stronger. I feel able. I feel empowered. I’ve burned the sign down, there is only one path from here – the one I am storming down.