So my recent experience of my mental health and work has not been the most positive. In the past, whilst at university, I tried to cope on my own without asking for support. And that got me on a slippery slope that ended with me trying to take my own life. So I knew when things started getting bad again the best thing to do was to ask for support from those around me, which included work.
However, work’s reaction has actually made me feel … well, it’s made me feel a whole lot worse. They suspended me on medical grounds until I had an Occupational Health (OH) assessment with a medical professional saying I was fit to return to work. They told me I couldn’t speak to anyone at work as they wanted me to seek support outside of work. Having moved for the job, and being 2 hours away from family, my colleagues had become a source of support, friends, and like a family for me. So telling me I couldn’t speak to them was taking away my support, as well as already having taken away work which is important to me, and which I very much view as a positive.
I ended up being suspended from work for 2 and a half weeks. In that time, I was put back on anti-depressants, got assessed for counselling, and had my OH assessment. The report from the assessment said I was fit for work. Shock horror, I could have told work that! During the 2 and a half weeks that I was off, I got informal messages from my line manger but nothing formal to check in on my welfare. I did speak to a few friends from work, and they have been the best support I could have hoped for, and understood that being off work was not a good thing for me at all.
I’ve been back for a week and a half now with various adjustments. Adjustments that I haven’t asked for, and that I don’t want. They have taken away things that are positive for me. When I tried to tell them this, I was ignored and they were put in place anyway.
I feel completely let down and abandoned by work. I very much feel that the adjustments put in place are to cover themselves in case I do have a mental breakdown, and are not in any way to try and support me. I feel like they’re questioning my ability to do my job, which is making me question it. I hadn’t realised how much this entire situation had knocked my confidence until I got back to work.
It sucks. I went to them for support, and I feel completely the opposite. Guess that’s where opening up gets me!