I don't know if I'm ready to go back to work after sick leave for anxiety.

I'm in my fourth month of sick leave for anxiety. I'm on Citalopram 20mg, very low dose, starting to think I need higher. From day one of sick leave I've felt guilty and so pathetic for having to stop working. I've decided I'm not going back to my old job.. It's done me nothing but harm and it would be silly to put myself back into that situation again. Some days I feel better than others and would even go so far to say I felt an improvement from the first day I went to the doctor. But a month ago my grandma passed away, she lived in Ireland, it hit me very hard, I feel so far away from her and now recently I've felt like I've got right back to square one with my anxiety. I barely talk on my down days. On one of my 'up' days I applied for an apprenticeship in floristry, as I'm now getting worried about money and bills on top of everything else, I have a meeting tomorrow morning with someone from the college I could be studying at. My anxiety is SKY HIGH. I've barely said a word all day, and now I even feel like I don't want to do it anymore. What if I'm not able to do it? What if I'm not mentally strong enough? I feel like my family will be so disappointed in me. When will I ever feel ready for work? I'm getting really upset and worked up about this. Will I ever be okay?! And why is it taking me so long to recover?! Am I just being lazy 😭

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12 Replies

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  • Hi NicolaSnow

    You r not alone my dear believe me or not. It will pass with time and perseverence. For now just do much of the things you like and enjoy as well as normal day to day things.

    I know how work can make anxiety worse. I suffered a lot but made mistake of going back to the same old job when I felt better, due to lack of money, now anxiety is all back with vengeance. But I know I will be better again. i'm finishing with this job end of this month.

    All the best wish you a speedy recovery.

  • There are days though where I feel numb! I have no motivation to do anything and sometimes I just sit doing absolutely nothing, it's awful.

    How did you know you felt better when you went back the first time? Did you just feel, back to normal?

    Thankyou. Your reply means a lot.

  • Hi NicolaSnow

    I felt better because all the feelings of being on edge all the time were gone. negative thoughts would come and go without affecting me at all, just felt strong mentally, sleeping well. No anxiety symptoms bothered me. I just did things I like more and set myself small to medium short achievable goals which kept me looking forward to them and no time for brooding.

  • Same here, if your job is causing all of this then it is not right for you. I went back to my job twice more fool me until I then got to breaking point and left last year in June. I am so much happier now, it did take me since then till now to recover but we are all different. I have done everything for my boss to do what was required and more for it to make me ill. One day I thought no way are you going to do this to me anymore so i left. Of course it is not easy just to quit but I had the doctors backing me up. The best thing I have ever done for myself, now I have a totally different outlook and can say no more. Anxiety is made worse by stress and grief, so it is understandable you are feeling like this. Do what's right for you, for your health

  • I know exactly how you feel . I recently took off work myself due to this anxiety. First time ever in my life having to do something like this. Now I'm worried about my bills and my bank funds are running low from still having to pay bills. Now I feel like I may soon have no choice but to get back to work to take care of me and my daughters. I worry alot asking the same things, am I strong enough to go back, will I ever get back to being me, why is it taking so long to recover, how much longer will I be like this? I just want me back. Its like my life switch off like a light. I went from being an on the go sports mom, always working, was in school to get a degree, working on starting my own entertainment company, exercising 3 days a week. I was literally doing enough but it felt normal to me. I didn't see it as all of this to be stressful. But as soon as I heard the doctor say something about my kidneys I had a meltdown. And that when anxiety and stress kick in to overgear. Which brings me to today almost 5 months later. Fighting with high anxiety and trying to retrain my mind to get back to normal. But I know exactly how you feel. I wish us the best through this.

  • It's so awful how this just happens and then feels like it's taking over every aspect of life 🙁

    Do you feel pressure to go back? Or do you think it's just you putting pressure on yourself?

    Sometimes I think well who cares what I'm doing, I need to do this for a chance to get better. But then I'm like feeling pressured to go back to work.

    Wishing you all the best in the world.

  • Well I know it's more so me putting pressure on myslef. But my anxiety has put me in such a bad place mentally and plus with how I've really experienced so many symptoms with this I don't really know if I'm ready to go back but then with my money getting low it's like I can't sit around and end up finding myself with no saving account and having a hard time even paying my bills. So I feel the pressure of that.

  • I too have only recently returned to my job after sickness leave, I feel dreadful but I'm trying so hard to persevere, I know that by doing this I'm a step closer to getting a normal life back, it's not easy by any means and I often feel like not going into work, I just feel I can't do it, but I've gone ahead and carried on as best I can, so what if I feel ill at work? I would just feel ill if I were to stay home too, so I may as well keep on trying, just hang in there and persevere, you can only do your best at any given moment, xxx

  • I can agree with you. I was definitely feeling as if I should just go back to work and tough it out because like you say, I feel bad at home too. It's not like things went as I thought by taking time off and being home. It's almost as if things got worse being home. But I will have to find a different type of work temporarily in my case because I was a waitress and that walking around at faced pace when we were busy, I honestly don't know if I'm ready for all that, and carrying plates to the tables dealing with people head on as a waitress. I figure I try and find something where I'm not doing much as far as physical movements. A job that's more calm. So now I'm on a hunt for something like that.

  • What an amazing reply x

  • Hello Nicola, no your not being lazy! You've been ill and still are. I'm really sorry about your grandma, and of course that's going to knock you back. But you must go and see about your course, if it's what you want to do then go see about it. This may be the thing that changes your life for the better.i know it's hard for you but there's an oppertunity knocking at your door !! Take it Nicola,go have a look and see what you think .

  • Hi I went through exactly the same as you and was worried about going back to work, but my work place were very good to me and let me start back for just an hour at a time and build my time up as and when I was ready to do so. Maybe you talk to your boss and see if it would be possible to do the same. It really helped me get back into working my full hours again. I also find rescue remedy pastilles very good. x