I Am Such A Whinging Worry-Wart!

As you would know, if you have read my recent updates, I am now back at work and finding the transition pretty rough. I work from 10am-3pm Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri, hence I have Thursday off. Thursday is not really a rest day, though, as I schedule all my appointments (optometrist, opthamologist, psychiatrist and therapist) for then, although my therapist is the only one I go to weekly.

By the time Thursday rolls around I am well and truly exhausted and depressed. The Mon – Wed stretch really takes it out of me, I guess both because I haven’t been at work for so long, and because of the big D. Last week, I ended up taking Friday off as a sickie because of the depression and exhaustion caused by going beyond what I have come to recognise as my limits. (Question to self: Is a sickie really a sickie if you are genuinely sick with depression?). In any case, it took the entire weekend before I felt able to crawl out of bed, which is just as well, because I had to crawl to work.

I am certain that stress and anxiety about work are worsening my current bout of depression. The knowledge that any extended sick leave entitlement I have will be over soon, and that I have no option but to work when I don’t feel I am emotionally, physically or mentally capable of working effectively, quit, or be fired preys upon me constantly.

Don’t get me wrong; I know that I am luckier than most people in my situation. I work for a company that covers me for extended sick leave (i.e. 9 months out of the last 12), which is both unusual and extremely generous. I have also had an understanding case manager in the HR dept, who has liaised with my doctor and psychiatrist about my absences and my return to work. I know that in different circumstances I would either not have been paid for my continued long-term absence, or would have been on Sickness Benefits (Sickie Ben-Bens, as John calls them for no apparent reason) with a significantly reduced income.

It’s just that I feel the pressure. Next week, I must start working 25 hours instead of the 20 hours I am working now. In another three weeks, I am to work 35 hours, on “normal duties”. Given how my current hours affect me, and how my stress and concentration levels are, I am extremely apprehensive about the 10 hour jump and being expected to hold my own once again at work. I am terribly afraid that I will fail again, that the depression which has been seeping through the cracks in the last few weeks will overwhelm me again. And then what will happen?

Keep it in the now, Melanie!


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August 2002
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