How do you respond when, upon returning to work from being signed off for six weeks due to “stress,” people ask…
“Do you feel better?”
…and things of that nature?
My partner and I have had some financial stuff to sort, which we have thankfully now sorted the best we can; and also of course there is the not-sleeping-due-to-new-parent-ness – these two things being the most tangible examples of recent stuff… but there has also been An Accumulation of Uncategorisable Stuff which has… um… accumulated over the past… three? Five? Ten years? Longer?
It’s so hard to precisely pin down what all this stuff is (and should one try and pin it down? Is it useful to do so?)… and as to whether I “feel better” after six weeks off work…
Well I do, on the whole, feel like good things have been achieved – practically and mentally – but how do I respond to such questions as the above?
“Yes, thank you, I feel 2% better, but there is still a long way to go.”
“Actually I feel like crap today, what with returning to work after six weeks of being able to spend most of every day with my family, but thanks for asking.”
Or do I go for the sarcastic…
“Yes, my body and mind are 100% healed!”
Better is relative. This occurred to me some time ago. It does, however, seem to be the presumption that, after a period of illness (of whatever sort), if one feels “better,” then one is, basically, cured – whatever one was off sick with has disappeared, gone, or is at least no longer causing a problem. This can often literally be taken to be the case with a cold, a sore throat, a bit of a sniffle, etc… but what of more long-lasting, insidious, mental/emotional (even spiritual) ailments?
I should perhaps write the following on a flashcard…
“Yes I do feel better, I think, for now, although I will get back to you in a few months/years regarding whether having six weeks off has made any appreciable positive impact upon my overall mental/emotional (or indeed spiritual) state.”