Monday, November 30, 2015

A Faithful Instructor

Today is the day I am officially permitted to return to work, and once again I am in waiting mode. I have to do a skills assessment before I am put back into the rotation and this has yet to be scheduled. It has been so very long since I have worked as a nurse and I definitely miss it.

Having all this open time has been a blessing mainly. I have managed to go for walks almost every day throughout the fall, although not lately since I have some kind of foot injury. It is always good to get out and see the autumn beauties and I often make it a prayer walk. I have also gone to the free of cost gym at the hospital several times for strength training and cardio. As previously mentioned, I have also done a Tuesday morning Bible study and Wednesday evening Bible study. With lots of time for personal prayer and Bible reading, I have been blessed to spend as long as I want with my personal devotional time. I have also attended Wellness Recovery Action Plan group every Wednesday starting this October. We have our last meeting this week.

Once I go back to work I will have to find a new rhythm in life; one that balances work, play, study, exercise, time with friends, and daily devotions. I will have to prioritize and strategize. It will be good to feel productive again and help my clients with their health struggles, rather than being focused on my own. So often what you do is, rightly or wrongly, tied to your identity and self-worth. I have certain status as a nurse that I don't have as a mental health patient. I am not my illness, and I have to remind myself of that truth, but so often I feel defined and constrained by it.

When I first was hospitalized and acutely ill back in April, I expected to be back to work at least by the summer. And now it is nearly December. So much has happened in the interim that I have changed and grown into a different version of myself. I don't handle stress in the same way. I have grown stronger in my faith. I have learnt from a long distance relationship that didn't work out in the way I naively hoped. I am learning to let go of the regrets of the past and move forward one step at a time. Living in the moment, squarely facing difficulties and challenges with God's help, valuing friendships near and far, relying on the Holy Spirit.... these are all lessons I am being taught by a very patient instructor. I have been richly blessed with so many encouragers on the road to wellness and recovery and I often thank God for all the support I have been given by the body of Christ, my pastor, the clinic I attend and my excellent doctor and nurse, and my friends and family. So many do not have the resources I have been blessed with.

On a walk in Cochrane, Alberta this October.

My younger sister and I during my birthday celebration this year.

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