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To dread going back to work

(10 Posts)
Feellikearightungreatfulcow Sun 14-Aug-16 20:22:19

That's it really, been signed off with depression for around 8 weeks.

Had meeting with manager and HR about 4 weeks ago.
Fit note expired the Friday before meeting and earlier on i had hoped I'd be ready to go back but had several really low days so when I had the meeting I'd just been signed off for a further month

At meeting manager suggested I return when that month was up - seemed a long way off and I hoped I'd feel better in that time, so agreed (was a difficult meeting for me, they were nice and understanding but I was very upset and spent a lot of time in tears and apologising for not knowing why I was so down - previous episodes (before this job) had a clear 'trigger')

End of last week I felt really low (don't know if it's the return 'looming' or 'just a few off days' ) and I'm dreading going in tomorrow

I didn't sleep last night worrying.

I'm doing a phased return but my manager is on leave this week, as is his manager (who had previously been my manager on and off for the whole time I've worked here)

I asked that people weren't told why I was off but were told when I'd be back (so hopefully I don't have to field all the 'oh, hello, surprised to see you/oh, your back/are you feeling better type conversations)

I'm worried as people I considered friends rather than colleagues haven't contacted me once whilst I was off and I have low self confidence so things like this bother me

I'm still awaiting cbt so don't feel anything has changed, yet at the same time I know I can't be off work (I do get full sick pay) forever/people covering my work....

Then I think people haven't been in touch as they resent me being off

I am critical of how I look as I've gained weight and had been trying to lose it

I've come to realise that whilst I do enjoy my job for the most part (like anyone, there are shit days) I don't feel I could get another job earning what I do, I feel I don't have enough skills and so I need this job, and HAVE TO get back to it and be OK

I feel if I have any other time off sick I'll be in trouble, and I know I'm putting pressure on myself to be 100% better and once I'm back "that's it"

I'm just really worried

Please someone tell me it will be ok

Willberry Sun 14-Aug-16 20:54:49

Hi, big hugs to you. I've suffered from depression in the past and understand how truely awful it is. At 8 weeks in you will probably not yet have the full effect of any medication you have started on and the first medication is not always the right one either.

Firstly depression is very common 1 in 4 people will be affected by mental health problems and unfortunately there is still some stigma attatched but things are improving. If you do decide to talk to collegues about your depression it is likely that you will be surprised by how many have experience of depression themselves.

Secondly if you are not ready to go back yet then take that pressure off your self. At the time you agreed your provisional return date 4 weeks ago you could not posibly have known how you would be feeling now. You can go back to your GP again tomorrow if you need to. Certainly take that pressure off yourself to be 100% better, work have agreed when you go back it will be a phased return so they are not expecting you to be 100% when you go back. Set yourself small achievable goals each day if its just to have a shower to start with thats fine, if thats ok then try getting dresses, keep extending your goals towards going back to work one step at a time. Keep talking to HR and your managers about what is managable.

Thirdly take the pressure off to feel ok. It's ok not to be ok, this will pass and you will get through it, give yourself time.

With regards to people who haven't contacted you from work, they won't know why youbare off and if you haven't contacted them they might not want to intrude. The likelyhood is that things will be better than you think they will. Onevstep at a time.

Lesley1980 Sun 14-Aug-16 21:08:29

I was off work for just over 2 months for an illness (not mental health reasons) & it really affected my confidence. I was ill so couldn't help it but I had this feeling of failure over for being so weak. I felt the same as you going back. Even getting the bus to work felt like a huge mental step & I felt anxious. Opening the doors to my office & seeing everyone made me feel very vulnerable - had they been talking about me? Do they think I'm lazy? Do they know why I was off? I had lost 2+ stone so looked terrible & didn't want people to see me. I questioned my ability to do my job. people were very friendly, welcomed me back etc but I still felt anxious.

No one contacted me when I was off other that really close friends that I socialised with anyways & knew what was wrong. My lunch buddies & other people I considered friends didn't bother but many said they didn't know what was up so left it. They initially assumed I'd be back after a couple of days & then when I wasn't didn't know what to do. Didn't want to contact me in case I thought they were being nosey.

I don't know what you are going through or what you really feel but I think what you have described is very normal.

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Sun 14-Aug-16 22:11:08

Thank you all

Re the meds, I'd been on AD for several years before I was signed off, they were changed at beginning of June but I piled the weight on so have only been on the newer ones for about 3 weeks - feel like I should be better by now

Work suggested I came back and phased return would be good as I have a week off at the end of Aug and then another mid September (pretty arranged months ago) so will break up my return

Despite feeling awful the last few days I feel I need to go back now as i agreed to it and as I have a holiday booked (not that i even feel excited about it which anyone who knows me knows isn't me as I luurrrveee holidays) but I can't even get excited about that
I'm just worried I'll ruin it because I'm so tired grumpy and irritable all the time and I'm just no fun to be around and I'm worried about that at work
Its one thing snapping at family -still horrible of me- but worried about being professional with colleagues especially when I am already paranoid they hate me for being off

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Mon 15-Aug-16 10:02:36

Today's the day

Sat at home with a cuppa and due in for midday

Feels like my heart is double speed and I have shakey hands

Any tips to calm myself down

Willberry Mon 15-Aug-16 20:57:44

Sorry wasn't arround earlier, how did it go?

fastdaytears Mon 15-Aug-16 20:59:31

How did you get on?

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Mon 15-Aug-16 22:09:43

It was OK, just no one really spoke to me or asked how I was or even had any sort of settling in time - just back to as it was
Lots of things have changed whilst I was away and no one's got me upto speed with this, a list or email with details would be nice to help me out as I'm in a technical role

Boss isn't in this week so although I had a clear idea of what I was to do this week there was 'he said/she said' from other team members so I feel conflicted with what is expected of me

Feel shit as my colleague who I did consider a friend and who didn't contact me the whole time I was off (and was civil but didn't even ask how I was today) turns out they HAD been in contact with my mum to ask after me.
I'm really upset with my mum that she didn't even tell me this until tonight. Even though I had told her how upset I was no one from work had been in touch,.when I said this to her tonight she said she forgot. ... I just don't understand why she wouldn't have suggested my colleague contacted me as it would have meant so much.... and now I just feel so deceived and angry and sad

So I felt like it went OK, then got that bombshell and am now feeling like utter shit

AugH0T2016 Mon 15-Aug-16 23:03:39

Going back to work, the first day is always the worst

The first week will be hard

By the second week, you will have forgotten that you had been off work !

Willberry Tue 16-Aug-16 22:27:42

Well that would explain your collegue hasn't asked how you are, they probably think you don't want to talk to them about it. I would just explain to your colleague that your mum never passed on the message and you would have loved to speak to them.

As for why your Mum didn't pass the message on maybe she was worried they were being nosey or something, only she will know.

Glad it went ok, yoou will soon be up to speed with everything.

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