I don't know what it's like in other countries, but in England when you're in hospital, waiting, without knowing quite what will happen, is the majority of how you spend your day. If you're an outpatient you check in and are on a list somewhere. If you know who your surgeon or consultant is you might be lucky and catch a glimpse of this lesser-spotted member of the medical species, but that's no guarantee they'll be seeing you. Checking into hospital last night I knew I wouldn't see my doctor till he next day.
So here I am, in a small room where I can see south London outside of my bedroom window, waiting, just as I said, for my drip to be hung, for my surgical stockings to be brought and put on my legs to make them look as unattractive as possible whilst hopefully preventing clotting and DVT, and any hope of bein featured in Stylist magazine.
Being here is a sign of the future, a sign that perhaps, after all the difficulties caused by the accident, this is the last step to putting it all behind me, then moving forwards, hopefully literally, since of course this operation is not without its risks.
I do want the future to come, even on my darkest days I believe in the future. I believe that good things are going to come to and from me and others, the people that I care about so much. It's progress from the days that I can still remember, although perhaps not as clearly as when I am experiencing those days, when I feel that everything is hopeless, because I am hopeless, broken, useless, no good to anyone. Thankfully today is not one of those days.
Yesterday I had the most fantastic day off from work, spending the entire day at Maudsley Learning (@maudslearn) in Denmark Hill to speak several times during their #whymentalhealthmattets about my personal experiences of depression and mental health problems and my beliefs and perspective on the things that have helped me continue to work, and continued to make progress in my career, despite the fact that my depression became so severe in 2014 and still continues to bother me much more than I thought it might after such a lot of therapy and medication. I was moved by how many people (many from HR, recognising that this is a relatively new area but a wide-reaching one) have made the effort to attend from their various companies. Of course, I believe that everyone should be taking an interest in this because mental health and physical health are indivisible and whatever health needs are we should have support from our organisations.
It's so rewarding to speak openly about what my experiences of depression, support, stigma, progress and life have been when it follows with people telling me either something of their own story or telling me that my story has helped them to understand a little bit more about these conditions the people are still so afraid to talk about or think that they might have themselves – even mild stress.
However, at this time is one always reflects on the fact that something could go wrong and that I might lose the privilege of speaking out and saying something to the world that is just mine, as I have now in this blog for the last five years. For that reason then I'm posting this, so that all being well I will be writing a follow-up post soon. I'm very afraid, but trying not to be, telling myself not to be afraid, telling my husband and mum the same thing. Telling myself I'm still breathing. Whatever happens I really believe that we need to take care of each other and take care of ourselves.