A quick glance at our summer holidays planner suggested that today, we should have been heading to the beach! But a glance out of the window soon flushed that plan down the pan – it was raining.
Not the best start to the day, and for me it would only go down hill from then on. I have been off work since May 14th when my Dad passed away. He worked at the same place as I do, so a return is proving unusually difficult for me but today, I knew I had to somehow get the courage to make the first of probably many tiny steps towards getting back to work.
I had a current doctors note which needed to be in, and I also had to arrange the next one so after breakfast, I nervously plodded around the house trying to build myself up to actually do it. I had the support of my wife and kids who tagged along with me, despite my original reluctance to recognise that I do need support.
I love my little family to bits. Anyone who reads here regularly will know that, but when it comes to handling my grief for my Dad and the stress that comes with it (not to mention the pressure of contacting work) I’ve not been handling things too well, and I feel incredibly guilty for the way I’ve reacted to the support I’ve been offered of late. I do know people are there for me, and I do realise they are grieving too – it’s just my emotions, and lack of control over them right now, have got the better of me on a few occasions lately.
I’m very lucky to have so much support and encouragement from not just my wife, but my children, my Mum and even my two sisters. I just wish I was better at accepting help, and acting on it. I hope in time I will be.
Anyway, back to the day. We all headed out, into the rain, and went to my doctors surgery so I could request another doctors note to cover me for the next couple of weeks. While I was there I made an appointment to see my doctor just before the next note will expire, so I can talk to him about the progress (if any) I feel I’ve made when that time comes, and to see what he suggests should be my next step.
The original plan was to head straight to my place of work from the doctors, but it was still raining and lunch time wasn’t far off… to be honest my mind was trying to think up any excuse to prolong going to see my bosses. I was also feeling incredibly sick and had a banging stress headache, I felt awful and on top of that nervous still as I knew I still had to do it. I prepared myself to arrive there at around 2pm, as I knew the depot would be pretty empty at that time. The last thing I wanted was to bump into a load of lorries, or colleagues.
When the time came I took our two daughters with me. I’m pretty convinced I would have turned back had they not been there holding my hands, which is pretty embarrassing in some respects, but I have no shame in admitting that I take strength in having my kids by my side. They were amazingly behaved. It was almost as if they knew just how scared I was about doing this, and that they knew they had to ‘look after me’. They clung to my hands all the way there and were impeccably behaved.
I arrived outside the depot but I felt numb. I couldn’t go in. It was raining, but even so I just stared through the fence pacing the path way back and forth wondering what I should do for a few minutes – then I decided, standing right there was a big first step for me and I wasn’t going to push it. I called my supervisor, and asked him to come outside to see me for a few minutes which he was happy to do, as was my other supervisor.
I explained to them my situation. Why I couldn’t come in. Why I felt the need to drop in. I thanked them for the patience they’ve shown, and for not pressuring me at all. To be honest they’ve been brilliant considering they’ve been paying me to sit at home for almost 11 weeks now, and they seemed very understanding and prepared to continue their patience should I need it. I will need longer, of that I’m sure but having now taken that first step and made contact, I do feel a little pressure has been lifted from my shoulders.
So that was that. Me and my girls headed home to Mummy and the boys. I felt a bit awkward for a while, I don’t know why, I just felt pretty empty and wondered around the house a little randomly. I got the bins in, and made four or five trips in and out of the house to put little odd bits in them… did a little washing up… had three drinks, despite not being thirsty. But soon I settled down a bit and as the day went on I began to feel a bit more normal again.
The day had been pretty boring for the kids, I felt bad about that (and still do) and it was now a bit too late to do too much about it so, they were allowed some time on the computer. They all have their own accounts with their own games that they each like to play, so they took turns and had I’d guess around 45 minutes each. While they did that I was going to cook tea, but options were running a little low as our weekly shop was due to arrive a couple of hours later – so Mummy suggested I go get McDonalds, so I did and obviously that went down well with the kids too.
At the moment we have nothing planned as such for tomorrow, but the weather is supposed to be dry and warm so, hopefully we can find a way to have lots of fun. I think after today, we all really need to relax again and have some fun!