It’s been two weeks since I finished with my previous job, and I’m two weeks out from my surgery. My new job is actually busier than I expected it to be – I’m working 15-20 hours a week instead of the 5-10 hours I expected. So thats good, I think. What is less good is the realization that although I am happy to be done with my previous company, this new job is not really what I want to be doing. I miss the clinical setting, I miss collaborating with other therapists. So at least now I know what I want to focus on in terms of where I will build my career.
I am also struggling hard with the increased down time. My mental health has been a lot better in the past few months, which is lovely… But having down time to sit with myself is not really something I enjoy much. I don’t think i’ve really been ignoring anything lately, so it’s not that I am suddenly being confronted with things I was pushing aside. Except exactly how terrified I am about going in for this breast reduction surgery. I had been basically ignoring it, because I know its going to happen, I know it needs to happen, and that’s it.
Then on Tuesday I dropped a friend off/picked her up for her surgery – not the same type of surgery, but similar duration. Not a totally routine surgery, because there was some uncertainty as to exactly what the procedure would be/how long it would take, but I had no real reason to worry, she’s healthy, active, etc. And I was utterly terrified for her. I don’t know why. I know she’s important to me, obviously, she’s my friend. I also was pretty aware that there was no reason to think she would be anything other than find after the whole thing. She did look nervous going into it. She told me afterwards that she was shaking before they gave her the general anaesthetic. She is fine, by the way – no complications, out safe, and healing away. But something about watching her go into surgery and then staying with her during her recovery really brought it home to me what I am in for.
Some of that is just basic logistics – forced time off, pain, recovery, the fact that I wish I had been able to lose more weight prior to surgery. Some of it was watching her not really be herself for a period of time, and seeing her so scared. And trying not to mirror that, because she doesn’t need to be worried about looking after me while dealing with her own recovery. But unfortunately I stressed my brain in a way I didn’t expect, and the aftermath has me feeling all weird and discombobulated and messed up. Which is no-one’s fault but my own.
I am not expecting any complications from my surgery – I too am a healthy adult, and i’ve been under general anaesthetic before with no ill effects. I have the time booked off work, i’ve looked into medical EI, and I have my Husband and some other friends available to help with anything I need. I think having had over four weeks to think about it, and having had it rescheduled twice already has me feeling weird – I feel like I can’t really engage with my new job fully, because I have to take time away. I don’t want to work too hard to book a lot of new clients when I know that I will have to leave them, first for a week while I recover, and then again for a week at the end of August because i’m taking my first vacation in at least nine years. The additional awareness that it’s not exactly what I want to be doing is also not terribly helpful in that respect.
I’m just feeling lost, and sad, and weird, and socially awkward, and like I lack direction. And I don’t really know what to do about it. I don’t especially want to be around anyone, and I don’t have deadlines or details to immerse myself into. I cleaned out some closets while waiting for my friend to be done with her surgery, and i’ve organized parts of the house that have needed it since we moved in. I have a few small projects that could happen, so maybe that is what I will focus on for the next two weeks – all the heavy and energy consuming jobs that I can’t do once I’ve been chopped and re-built, because I’m not allowed to lift things for over a month.
I am so terrified. I don’t really understand why, I just am. It’s not just the surgery, it’s the job, the changes, life – I feel like i’ve stepped out onto a high wire with no safety equipment. And some of that is tangled up in the fact that this surgery is in part an acknowledgement of what I already know: That I won’t have biological children… But this is something I had always postponed until after, so having it now is one more permanent mark on that page.
Ugh, torturing metaphors.
I need to stop writing now. I have nothing else productive to say, just the circles and spirals of thought that have been going on in my head for most of the week. I think tomorrow I need to take myself for a long hike alone, and work out my body and my brain. Because oh fuck, that option won’t be available to me after the 28th.