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2 years without work, still waiting for meeting, don't know what to do...

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bluefox
bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
Hello all,

It's been nearly two years to the date I had to stop working to undergo investigations for seizures. Those seizures turned out to be 'dissociative' or 'non-epileptic'. Apparently they can be caused by trauma, so was given a diagnosis of PTSD following an assessment of my life. I had a really bad childhood. Following the seizures I feared going out and still do. My life got smaller, no work, no hobbies, no socialising, friends/family visiting me instead - that's still the case. Depression and severe anxiety the evil twins took hold of my life and still do. My GP's thought I perhaps had ADHD/suspected autism. I went to see a psychiatrist and I was diagnosed with ADHD. That psychiatrist feels I should definitely have an autism assessment too.

So my job. I worked for 16.5 years with mental health problems and I guess having seizures during the pandemic completely turned my life upside down. I'm undergoing psychotherapy information courses for the seizures at present. I'm waiting for input from the community mental health team and I'm waiting for titration for ADHD. 

I'm currently struggling with my mental health, the challenges of trying to leave the house... I know through CBT the way to beat avoidance behaviors is to face them but that doesn't mean it's easy and it's something I haven't been doing. Small steps etc. I feel absolutely miserable that nothing really has changed in two years but I know I'm the one to make it change. Currently struggling with chronic pain and fatigue too and I can't help but think it's something serious. 

Anyway, my cocktail of troubles means my employer is likely to dismiss me soon and I know they have every right to! My job was working night shifts in a store. I think I have yet another Occupational Health assessment to do and another meeting, which could result in my employment being terminated.

I'm at a crossroads... of not sure how to get better, will I ever get better? And what do I do about work/benefits? Having worked for so long, it's eating away at me. The worry of a recession coming. The worry of being reassessed for benefits and potentially losing them, then being without a job. I feel so overwhelmed with fear in my daily life and I can't see into the future. I can't plan and organise, I feel paralysed.

And worse... I feel absolutely ashamed that I've been absent from work for two years. This is compounding my conditions. In my head I thought about attempting to go back but imagine if I did miraculously go back. I would be bullied, picked on, harrassed, hated. And then my tug of war comes back to knowing that the job would be incredibly difficult for me to do right now.

It would mean me having to leave the house when I'm scared. It would mean me working stock when I'm in pain and fatigued. It would mean me potentially having seizures in public.

Ah damn, I feel I'm in a rut. Just wish I could wave a magic wand and everything be back to the way it was. Anyone got any advice, information, answers, experiences of this kind of thing? 


Comments

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @bluefox thanks for sharing how you're feeling, it's really helpful to understand, and I'm sure it's helpful for others going through similar things. 

    Being at a crossroads can be quite complex to deal with emotionally, and the anxiety of a decision feeling like it's hanging over you can be difficult to manage. Often talking it over, like this, will in some ways be helpful. 

    Perhaps you could look at where you are in life now as an opportunity to work differently than before. It can be hard not to compare how things are now with how they were before, but it could be a good starting point. 

    Is this something you've discussed with your psychiatrist lately?  

    When I feel overwhelmed by things going on in my life, it can take some effort to step back and break things down into manageable chunks, rather than seeing the big picture. This is easier said than done of course! 

    Hopefully our other members can share their own thoughts with you soon too :) 
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    When you say work… do you mean going back to work? Or working with my conditions and life in general differently? But I do get you if it’s the latter. 
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Well, that's a good question @bluefox :)

    If you're struggling to see a way to go back to work differently, like working remotely or from home, or in a different environment, or a different team, then by all means think about life in general. 

    Can you think of any ways you could work on approaching your conditions, or life in general, differently?
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  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    I’m not entirely sure. I feel like I can’t plan for the future. I know my current job is practically over. Working nights with my conditions feels tough. However, in the future could I do something differently? Perhaps but that would mean me leaving the house independent and having the courage to do that. 
  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    Hi @bluefox Could you start by just standing at the open door and do it everyday until you are happy with that and then perhaps stand outside the door just build it up very slowly. It will be trial and error and what you are able to do on the day. Take care.
    I have been doing that and have been trying some attempts to leave the house. But for very short periods. But I still have panic attacks and seizures and feel completely and utterly exhausted. 
  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
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    As far as work goes I don’t know what to do. I’m going to get dismissed.  I’m not ready to return but worried about being unemployed. Like I can’t let go. I know I have to keep going with psychotherapy. Keep working hard on myself. 
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