How did March go?
I spent my month signed off sick from work. My anxiety and depression have been really aggravated by a whole bunch of things but as luck would have it, my CBT started at the very end of February.
Throughout March we looked into Behaviour Therapy to help me identify aspects of my anxiety and see why my mood was so low. What I have learnt in CBT has been extremely positive and will be discussed at a later date – Mental Health Anxiety posts will be live in early May time. Having that time off work as well has refocused me, as well as taking time to step away and really sort my head out.
We found out my operation for my Proctectomy is on the 28th March so most of the month has been geared around that. I’ve been very methodical and organised, getting myself ready – not only physically but mentally too. Having another operation was always a plan, but this soon – despite requesting it, signing consent in January – has allowed me to reflect on why this is needed.
I admit, some times I am unsure if this is the right thing to do. And I’ve had some deep bouts of regret about not exhausting all options before pushing for surgery. But I look back at all the time I have had off work before my pain has been uncontrollable, my stump has been flaring and how unreliable I have been because I’ve felt so low. It’s been a terribly harsh and vicious cycle but I have followed all the medication interventions and to get back some of what I have lost, am loosing; I need to do this. And now seems to be right. I am healthy, my IBD is under control – I had my Vedolizumab infusion on the 12th, a mere two weeks prior to surgery – and I feel ready. I know what to expect and I know I can get through this. I have to be patient and willing to accept help.
My time off also gave me more opportunities to get things in order – to accomplish some tasks I’ve been putting off for a while because I simply did not have the time or the energy for them.
- I’ve revamped my website, fixing all the little nagging to do’s from 2018.
- I’ve organised my paperwork, medical and financial.
- I’ve found rest and relaxation easier.
- I’ve been able to lessen the pressure I put on myself to be ‘perfect’ and ‘correct’.
- I’ve taken up journaling and it’s going really well.
- And I’ve decided on some long term goals too.
However, time off is not always a great time. I have also been neglecting my self care, falling somewhat into depressive habits – some of which I am able to ID and pull myself out of, go me – and I’ve had to deal with some medical lows too. And through all that, I’ve been managing a rash below my stoma and trialling some new products. It’s not been simple or easy. And it is not what I wanted – more time off makes me feel guilty and that feeds directly into my depression, another vicious circle – but I know it is what is needed. And that is more important right now.
April means recovery.
My time is hospital should be about 5-7 days, so by the end of the first week of April I hope to be home. By the time my birthday rolls around two weeks later, I am aiming for being off pain relief and walking daily. Beyond that, I need to see what happens in the immediate future to plan further ahead.
So what else have I got planned?
- Plan some blog content.
- Make my way through my To-Watch list.
- Walk for 20 minutes every day.
Do you find goal setting useful? What do you want to achieve in March?