Back at work - second week - hard to see it working out

Hi guys, bit of an update.

So didn't want to get too excited and post last week but with mixed results I went back to work last week.

Work have been great, but It has been so hard. I am seriously having trouble concentrating and my productivity is so low. Little things that I used to deal with routinely scare me and it feels like I have dropped half of my IQ.

I don't want to be a 'presentee' and the guilt is crushing. I just want to go in and do a good days work like I used to.

I know that this is all negative, I am just so tired. When I first posted three or so weeks ago I was in the middle of a breakdown and could barely function so have come so far.

It is just hard to be pleased with myself for just getting out to work when other people are cracking on, it makes me feel pathetic and a failure (especially when people have far tougher lives than I do).

I know that I have got to fight this but it seems like such a big mountain to climb and I think my rope is frayed, my ice axe is rusty and my boots have seen better days.

Going to try again tomorrow. Now I am just going to try and do my best to relax.

Thanks for all your support.


8 Replies

  • Matt I going back to work is always very tough, been there a few times, discount the first week as it's usually so so tiring. Have lots of early nights and in about two weeks you will be back in the swing of things. Don't be too hard on yourself and view it as positive. Reframe your thoughts to " This will be difficult at first but I'm a tenacious sort and it will be ok in the end" .


  • Thanks Hannah, will give it a bash tomorrow

  • Hi, have you gone back full time? When I was off work they arranged for me to have a staged return, working half days three times a week and gradually building up to a full week in week 5. Maybe you need to speak to HR?

  • Hi Toci

    I have been using some annual leave to take Friday's off.

    Your approach does seem a bit more forgiving, my manager did say I could speak to HR. It is just hard to know what to do as although this illness has been with me for over 20 years and had a major effect on my life, a full on breakdown is not something I can remember dealing with.

    I will give this some thought, thank you for the suggestion.


  • I love the metaphor of your rope being frayed, your axe being rusty, your boots having seen better days.... I feel exactly the same sentiment, I have this war-weariness like my whole life has been spent fighting an uphill battle and I just can't seem to do it anymore.

    Myself I am taking a break from work at the moment, which I am grateful to be able to do with the support of my partner. I just wanted you to know you are not alone trying to build your life back up one step at a time, don't be too hard on yourself. Try to see yourself as a survivor with hard-won wisdom from your struggles. (Some one wrote that recently on one of these forums and I thought it was just beautiful.)

    I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but I'm not through the woods myself yet. I just hold onto the faith that one day after all this soul searching I will wake up and feel as close to normal as I've ever felt before.

  • Hi Littletraveller

    Thanks so much for the support, it means a lot.

    Changing my thinking, is going to be the biggest challenge.

    I'm like the survivor quote

    Thanks again, Matt

  • Hi Matt, I just want you to know that how you're feeling about being back at work is very similar to how I am feeling at the moment. I have completed day 5 of my phased return and I do feel a bit of a fraud going in and not really doing the work I am paid to do. But colleagues and my manager have told me to re-familiarise myself with my surroundings and ease myself back in slowly. I think it's about not expecting too much of yourself too soon, not rushing things, and gradually building yourself back up and gaining lost confidence. Fingers crossed it will get easier, but it is only early days yet...Best of luck to you xx

  • Hi Anna

    Sometimes just knowing that someone is going through the same thing with the same feelings is reassuring (even though it would be much better if no one had to).

    Thank you for your support, we both seem to have good employers which is nice.

    I really hope that things work out for you as well.

    Thank you so much for reaching out.


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