It's been a while since I put fingers to the keyboard. After suggestions from work that intimated they did not like my social media stance, and my subsequent paranoia about that, coupled with an assumption on my part that I might be just covering the same old topic each time I blogged so I decided to give everyone a break from my ramblings but now I'm back!
A catch up; I am still signed off sick with Fibromyalgia and Depression and have been now since the 28th December 2016. I am back to my GP tomorrow morning but am no where near ready to return to my police role.
I saw the occupational health worker again on 22nd February 2017 and this time she seemed more tolerant and compassionate. She herself in fact seemed quite put out at the terminology used on the submission form she'd received this time from my supervision which read as follows;
She wanted to know why they had written what they had?
Speaking to my police federation representative some days later he pointed out that my tweets and blogs had indeed shown I was untrustworthy of the force assistance being offered and that in writing what they had the force were actually trying to help me by informing her of my 'block' to accepting assistance?
My direct line manager and I are like a cat and a dog. He winds me up and it is fairly clear that I do him too. He however has the power, which he has used to mess me about on numerous occasions just because he can. I also happen to know he is a none believer when it comes to mental health matters. Therefore when I went sick and he started playing his 'game' I politely asked if I could have another point of contact as he was triggering my anxiety. That you can see has been translated into a reluctance to engage openly with her line management which is not a helpful stance to take if I'm honest.
I am also curious how I can be mistrustful of the forces policies and procedures when I am unaware of any specific policies or procedures in place to target mental health matters, I can only assume this is a dig at my request for another point of contact as per above and for suggesting via social media that the OH worker was out of order on my first visit for suggesting that my depression couldn't be that bad if I had applied make-up.
Anyway back to the form content, the nurse practitioner OH worker seemed as perturbed about their choice of words on the form this time as I was. As I said it has since been put to me that in the circumstances their phraseology was perfectly justified and maybe I am just being over touchy?
The only comment the OH woman made to me this time that jarred a little was telling me she expected me to be '70% fit again' before I returned to work, and there was I hoping to be 100% fighting fit before I entered the arena again! I also recall from experience if I return too early I just end up damaging my mental health more in the long run as I did the last time.
Perhaps it was a reasonable thing to say and I'm just being my normal mistrustful, reluctant self!
My anxiety has been feeding the Fibromyalgia like never before and what seems to be happening at the moment is when I get stressed my head starts to hurt from the neck upwards, so my whole head throbs and it feels like I am stuck in a vice at the ears, then I get really hot and feel ill like you do with a temperature, then my head starts to swim, I cannot think straight and then I feel nauseous and dizzy. It's an absolute nightmare and I am finding it very disabling at the moment.
I was in the middle of driving somewhere with my 11 year old daughter yesterday and we came across a closed road, the main A35 was closed due to a serious accident so we were diverted off down a very narrow country lane. Our destination wasn't that far and I decided to stick with it, but the further we went down the lane the more stuck and jammed up the traffic got and in turn the more stressed I got with the people around me, the muddy banks, the car slipping and sliding about in such close proximity to the other cars etc. I turned to my daughter and said, 'I'm feeling really ill, I think I may be sick' to which she pointed out that it was my stress and anxiety causing the reaction 'as usual' she added just to make me feel even better!!
(and no I didn't she did!)
Of course she was right, but sadly just knowing what it is doesn't magic it away or help me feel less ill. I had been trying to hide things from my daughter until recently when I got my Fibromyalgia diagnosis. I had thought it was no example for her to see her Mother constantly whinging but the result of that was my pent up anger and frustration. I took it out on her as a grumpy mother not an ill one. So despite it making me feel inadequate I have now explained it all to her. After an initial hurdle of her panicking and thinking I would die she now 'gets it' and I am no longer trying to pretend everything is alright which weirdly helps.
I found this graphic on the internet which sums up the way I feel a lot of the time at the moment, and just to have one person in the world on my side who 'gets' that and does not punish or disbelieve me is such a relief. The old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved comes to mind.
If you are suffering from mental health issues currently, or just know that something isn't right then please find someone to talk to, just one person to tell.
It doesn't even have to be someone you know. You will be amazed how much lighter you feel sharing it.
No I know, 'the job' predominantly at the moment does not get it, some forces are exceptional but the majority are not, they are shockingly Dickensian, but there are plenty of us 'job' people out here on social media that do get it and we do support one another whilst things change and improve in house.
Drop me a message, speak up on my time line, have a friendly chat without fear of being judged.
When I finally started shouting out loud about my mental health troubles, that was the first day I could start working out how to deal with them, being in denial just causes pent up anger and frustration to bubble up and poison your life.