As I mentioned a few days ago, I went back to work this week after having been on disability for 3 months. I was apprehensive about going back, mainly because the last month or so before I decided to take the extended time off, work made me a nervous wreck. The sound of my alarm going off in the morning was the secret code to my Anxiety Meter to hit the red, and every new manuscript I opened to edit at my desk was an invitation to tears.
I half-expected to feel that same high level of distress upon my return, and only hoped that I might now be more emotionally able to deal. It’s a wonderful surprise to realize that work was only uber-punishing because I was mental, and now that I’m only half as crazy I was then, work can be and is quite pleasant.
It’s also a little weird. I mean, I knew 3 months ago that I was jacked up. But I don’t think I had a clear picture of exactly how jacked up until I got to work on Tuesday, expecting to have a nervous breakdown and instead thinking “Huh. What was it about this place that made me want to kill myself with a red pen to the jugular? ‘Cause this doesn’t seem too bad.”
Distorted perception is one of the wackiest parts of being depressed. I genuinely thought my job was the worst thing since the Israelites made mud bricks without straw, but the truth is, I get to sit around and play with words all day…possibly the best job ever. I felt victimized when I was actually blessed.
Distorted perception. Wacky.