Firstly, this is an apology for the length of time since our last update. For those of you who are friends with me (Carley) on Facebook, you may have noticed that I haven’t been in Scotland this past week. I was signed off of work last week due to the bereavement of a family member and stress, and I figured that I’d feel better close to the rest of my family in Essex. On Sunday I returned to Scotland (and to Stacey!) after nine whole days apart, and today I am back at work, and so I’m hoping that I will also be able to resume a normal blogging service soon!
The funny/odd/horrible (delete depending on how emotional I’m feeling!) part of being signed off work for two weeks due to stress and anxiety was that I’d spent most of late January and early February denying that I was struggling. When I received the news that my great-uncle had died, I was with Stacey at her parent’s house in Forfar. Uncle Les had been ill for a few months, but it was a relatively short illness, and I was incredibly shocked when my mum called me to tell me. In her desire to protect me and stop me worrying, my mum often withholds information from me about things she thinks I can’t change; but unfortunately, this time it meant that I hadn’t realised just how ill he had been.
Whilst we were in Forfar, being with Stacey’s family kept me busy enough not to fall apart, and once we returned home, I found a number of things which distracted me from feeling incredibly sad and really quite isolated from the rest of my family. Not being able to attend the funeral (due to transport and accommodation issues) didn’t help, but I tried to keep to my usual schedule as much as possible. Looking back, I think I must have been at least a little aware of the fact that my mental state was slipping – hence my post at the end of January about my depression diagnosis back in 2009.
When a phone call to my mum left me sobbing for no discernible reason, and a windfall of some cash from my grandparents left me in a state, I realised that I probably wasn’t as ‘fine’ as I kept telling everyone. During dinner with one of my closest (and most grounded) friends, I spilled my fears and worries, at which point he encouraged me to make a doctor’s appointment. “You can always cancel it if you feel better later in the week” he said, and so I did.
The absolutely wonderful doctor listened to my feelings of fear and isolation, and suggested that I’d feel far better if I was able to go home and actually see my family; just to reassure myself that they were all okay. (She also gave me some anti-anxiety pills to help me sleep which made me feel like a zombie, to the point that I can’t remember getting onto the plane which took me down to London!)
I absolutely needed that week at home; spending time with my family and with some old friends who have reassured me that they still love me and will be there for me whether I’m in Edinburgh, London or Timbuktu – but I admit, being away from Stacey for so long was hard, and I’m glad to be back at home now. Whilst I’m still not back to 100% feeling myself just now, I’m hoping that getting back into the swing of things at work – plus making plans for Stace’s birthday in ten days time – will have me back to normal in no time.
This past month has really illustrated to me both the difficulties and blessings of living so far from my family. I have talked so. many. times. before. about how being in Scotland is hard for me, and I was wondering whether anyone else has any stories about living their lives separately from the people they love? Right now I’d just like to be reassured that I’m not the only person who doubts themselves when choosing to live so far from the place they once called ‘home’.Carley