Thoughts about returning to work

When I talk with people about returning to work they ask if I am ready. If my brain has healed sufficiently. ‘Are you right in the head to go back to work?’ Although I still have about seven weeks left on my leave, I am thinking about it. About what we will do, how we will live without this money, and if my brain will heal enough to allow me back to work.

But I can write, right?

Well, I try to write anything other than my current experience and I block. Even when I try to write more in my book about the episode, I block. My brain shuts down in a major way when I try to engage with academic texts. My field is in academia and before the birth I was on track to start a doctorate and I still really want to, but my brain is refusing to work. It is even shutting down about sewing projects.

It just wants to be left alone. To do what, I do not know.

On the one hand my brain seems satisfied to be floating, and on the other hand there are moments when it flurries into a a swarm of panicked ‘I must do all the things’ thoughts. I am finally happy to be at home with Master X and a relative of mine encouraged me while I was pregnant to

consider letting your brain just go to mush for a few years while you have kids. Enjoy the fact that your brain will no longer work. Be with that.

So perhaps I just need to chill out more. I mean, it is not like we had the most welcoming start to parenthood and our lives have just been turned inside out. I am still medicated (the dose went up again recently due to the episode of stopping) and the doctor says it will be about six months before they will try to wean me off the anti-psychotics.

I am unwell. I need to let my brain heal. I need to learn to be with this new version of the old me. My new brain that now I know I will never trust again. Not in the way that I used to – flying high, wired progressions, racing thoughts, hyper activity. It will take time to get to know the bounds of this new identity. I have changed, and not just because of having a baby, but also because of having a psychotic episode. I need time to forgive myself, to enjoy my baby, to find my new self enjoyable.

And to love. Above all I need time to progress my emotions out of panic and to be stable for a time. I am not out of the woods, so work will have to wait.

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Spending time with a friend for coffee, chatting about doctorate studies

 


3 thoughts on “Thoughts about returning to work

  1. My heart goes out to you about all of this – there’s a mom in Australia (“Finding My Sunshine”) who has bipolar, and pursuing a graduate degree. She also has some other incredibly challenging health issues.

    You might be interested in reading some of her posts. She did go back to get her PhD, although there have been major hiccups in that pursuit. Her blog is really inspiring.

    She hasn’t been blogging lately, but her older posts might speak to you. Here’s the link to a post that might be of particular interest:

    http://findingmysunshine.net/2015/03/19/phd-mummy-the-best-of-worlds-the-worst-of-worlds/

    Like

    1. Rachel is a great writer and I am getting into reading her blog. Thanks for the link. I definitely think that she has hit the nail on the head with her bio too – being diagnosed postpartum and just trying to be with this way of well, being. Thanks x

      Like

      1. YAY!!!! So glad you checked out her blog – it was the PhD factor that I thought would appeal to you the most! 😉 Hope you have great day!!!!!!

        Like

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