Back to Work

90 days ago I found myself at work, staring at the screen, hearing the phone ring, but unable to click on the dialer to answer it.
What once had been a joy to me (supporting students), had unexpectedly transformed itself into a trigger- setting off a panic attack that sent me on a tailspin toward an emotional and cognitive shutdown.

I was told by my therapist that I was suffering from Complex Persistent Bereavement Disorder and recommended that I take an FMLA leave of absence from work to allow myself to grieve appropriately.
Over the course of 2 years, I experienced the loss of 8 family members.
But what sent me over the edge was the death of my mother this past May, followed by the death of my brother (2 weeks later), and the death of my niece (2 weeks after that).

As much as I wanted to continue working, my autonomic nervous system simply wouldn’t let me.
As much as it frustrated me, it was the saving grace that caused me to acknowledge the seriousness of my grief- and to take the necessary steps to health.

Tomorrow I’m headed back to work.
However, I’m returning with a deeper appreciation, for both myself and the way that my ANS is designed to draw me toward safety and connection.

– 𝐉𝐨𝐡𝐧 𝐄𝐥𝐢, 𝐌𝐁𝐀, 𝐌𝐒 (Ψ)⁣⁣⁣

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