Mental Health Support

Basically, I just feel sad

Yesterday was my first day back at work after 3 weeks sick leave due to appendicitis. I wasn't overjoyed at the thought of going back but I wasn't as nervous as I was last time; and I know that I need to conquer my fear and regain some of my confidence. So, despite still being in a small amount of pain where my muscles are still repairing themselves following the op I managed the short walk to the tube station, I even managed to stay on the on the tube even though my legs were shaking and I could feel tears trying to make their way out. I managed to keep myself relatively composed and make it to the office and switch on my computer to reveal a ridiculous amount of emails. By this point I was feeling extremely overwhelmed but I took deep breaths and took my time getting back into the swing of things. My team weren't around but I was actually grateful that I could be left in peace, several people asked how I was which was nice but I just wasn't ready to be overly sociable. I got through Monday and made it home in one piece.

Today, however, was slightly different. It hit me how much time I've had off and a lot of the work I had started to do has been delegated to others who are doing a good job with it. I feel completely useless, I feel like I've forgotten everything and I even switched my phone on to silent so I could ignore any calls because I don't have the confidence to talk to people. I've got completely overwhelmed with everything. I came home tonight and just cried. I feel exhausted, mentally and physically, from the ups and downs from the past 6 months. I'm back to not wanting to go out and see people and want to be left alone. Although I realise that by writing all of this here it probably means that I want things to change I just don't know how. I've also started to put on weight again and can't face looking in the mirror and I can't look at my stomach where my scars (despite how small they are). I just feel so sad about everything.

7 Replies

Hi Katie,

Sorry to hear you are having a difficult time. It sounds like you have been struggling for a long time prior to you operation.

Have you spoke to your GP about how you are feeling, if not that is a great place to start.

Take care of yourself,




You are being very hard on yourself! It is difficult for anyone to get back into work after time away, things have moved on in terms of relationships as well as the work and it is always hard to feel confident and part of the group. Do give yourself time to recover emotionally. You have had a major operation and that takes it out of you, it is tiring physically and emotionally, and as you say you also have the scars and your body needs to adjust to the new routine of walking etc. Even going back to work after a holiday can feel difficult but with the added discomfort and tireness of having had the op you will be feeling it is all a bit much.

I'm wondering did you have to go back so soon, whether that was on the recommendation of your GP or whether you feel you have to get back as quickly as possible?. It sounds as though you expect a lot from yourself. Perhaps you need to give yourself more hugs internally - you have done well to go back but if it feels too soon then say so and take more time, talk to your GP as Jonny says and perhaps allow your emotions to heal as well as your body which hasn't had long at all.

You say you weren't as nervous as last time, was that following sickness also or were you off for some other reason? It sounds as though you dread going back and that must make things even harder for you.

Do try to give yourself time and also seek support from your GP and friends or family if they are there to help, if not then perhaps you need some emotional support to enable you to regain emotional strength?

Take care,



I do tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. I've always worked hard and have wanted a old career. I'm only in my mid 20s but I feel like giving up. A friend of mine recommended me for a couple of jobs but I can't bare to open my cv because I don't feel I believe any of the stuff I have written.

My GP asked when I wanted to go back and it was me who decided that 3 weeks was long enough, but yes I was more concerned with the amount of time off I've ha rather than what's probably best for me. But he suggested I went back to her after being back at work for a few days to see how I've got on. Part of me wonders though if hiding away from it will make things worse and maybe all I would be doing is putting off the inevitable.

I was in hospital in September for 4 nights and went back to work after 2 weeks to return to a team which I really hated which resulted in many public displays of emotion and more time off. So I thought this time (I also have a much nicer manager now) I would be ok because I'd given myself a bit more time. Plus because I don't feel 'ill' I don't feel as though I can justify time off because I'm feeling sad and tearful.

Thankfully I do have really great friends and family, and the one positive thing that has come out of this is I have realised just how lucky I am to have such great people around me.

I'm still aiming for a better year next year so maybe I just need to let it all out now!!

I hope you're both having a good week. I really appreciate the support



Hi Katie, I have just read all your blogs and I would like to recommend a book that I found really very useful in understanding more about me and what triggers my stress levels and it provides tools for addressing them. I also attended 6 x 2 hour group CBT sessions but found that the book actually covered it better - might just have been the course I was on, but I did not rate it. The book is called Mind Over Mood by Dennis Greenberger & Christine Padesky ISBN 978-0-89862-128-0.

It is about 'changing how you feel by changing the way you think'. I found it very revealing in that I thought all my problems were down to workload, by applying what I learnt in the book, I realised that it was workload and that I was not being taken seriously by some Directors, having worked closely with 2 of them for 24 years this has in a way destroyed the relationship. They also know I am a workhorse and have been happy to just watch me flog myself for years, when I started to falter they saw but seemed 'happy' to watch me pick myself up and carry on flogging. When I finally keeled over they said they would address the workload but I now feel like it is all too late. I feel burnt out and have lost the trust I once had. I don't think I can rebuild the relationship at work again so it is time to move on, but I shall re-read this book over the next few days as I hope it will help me rebuild my confidence in myself which will help with my career change.

Good luck.



Katie, forgot to say, the book is about understanding moods and emotions. When I first read it last year, I was only suffering from stress, I did not consider myself anxious or depressed, so I very briefly scanned over the depression and anxiety chapters.... maybe I should have paid more attention to them back then! I'll list the chapter titles as they alone made me think.... no reference to 'stress'!

Understanding your problems

It's the thought that counts

Identifying and rating moods

Situations, Moods and Thoughts

Automatic Thoughts

Where's the evidence

Alternative or balanced thinking

Experiments and action plans

Assumptions and core beliefs

Understanding depression

Understanding Anxiety

Understanding Anger, Guilt and Shame

Take care



Thanks Alex it sounds like a good investment. I have been offered a place on a cbt group therapy thing but I'm not sure if I really feel ready for something like that so I will start with the book.

I hope you're continuing to have a positive week



Hi Katie

Just been reading all of this firstly Massive Hugs to you as you kind of sound like i did in my late 20's i was off work for a month just because of flights but when i came back it all seemed to have changed so much, I had a boss that was just abusive to the point i would leave in tears at night and cry as i drove home, and i had just lost my mum and flown 12,000 miles to bury her, and she was my last parent.

I think because I had always worked so hard and had such high expectations that I well burnt out as they say, the last comment you wrote is what got me to respond, I know that you feel that you cant do it but can i say Please do try to do the group therapy, I think it will do you the world of good, you may make new friends as this group of people will have similar issues to you and the reason why they sometimes go with the group is so you do not feel alone, you dont have to say anything you can just sit there and be part of the group but i think that within like 4 sessions you will feel like you kind of belong and are able to open up and talk.

I think 3 weeks was a bit fast, because although as you say your scar is small and probably quite numb due to the muscles they cut through it does not stop the pain of all the mending to be done and you needed time to heal properly. Dont worry about your work got handed out, it may happen that one day someone else is sick and you do their work, just breathe and think well thats one less thing i have to deal with, Good luck

I am sure you can do it bit by bit xx



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