My dad asked me this the other day after he read my previous blog post, "Journey in Trying to Calm the Hell Down." He was concerned when he saw that I was getting anxious about returning to work. He was concerned that all the effort I've put in during the past few weeks to calm my mind and gut down would all go to hell if I boarded the anxiety train again. He asked me not to worry about returning to work, in that he meant for me not to return to work. He again told me to fuck everything, (when I speak about my dad, I guarantee this word will be used multiple times), that my health is most important, and that in no way is he going to allow me to make a U-turn in my journey to healing. I am a 32 year old woman, and yes, my dad technically can't prohibit me from doing anything; however, when he's right, he's right. I can't ignore his logic.
He asked me if I had broken my arm, would I remove my cast before the arm completely healed. This question was a complete revelation for a couple of reasons:
1) The answer is: Duh, no, of course I wouldn't remove a cast before healing a broken arm! Why then, would I "rip off my cast" in my own healing process by returning to work where this break down originated?
2) My dad recognizes that my mental health issues are just as important as any physical health issues.
Do you understand how HUGE that is? My dad, the Chicago-Italian-construction working-tough guy, recognizes that mental health issues, though invisible, are just as, if not more, important in healing as physical issues are.
I felt relieved, reassured, and understood. Anyone who has or has had his/her own mental health struggles can surely identify with how completely and overwhelmingly comforting that is.
Here's what I've realized while on this leave of absence: I hadn't understood the magnitude to which my mind and body had been affected by my job. I hadn't realized how incredibly unhealthy I was until everything fell apart and then came to a halt. It has only been through releasing the weight of my burdensome and anxiety-inducing job that I've realized how heavy it actually was. Because of this, my leave of absence is going to take longer than I originally had intended. It's taking me longer to heal than I thought it would because I didn't realize how broken I was. I simply can't remove my cast before I'm healed.
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