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Ideas to make going to work easier


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I can only work for short periods of time at any productive level so I make a routine for myself. 90 minutes of reading technical stuff in the morning, after that, 90 minutes of writing and then a shower. The afternoon is mine for reading novels or more rarely (watching T.V.). That's what work looks like in my recovery, it may be different for you. If you are asking how you get up at 7 A.M. every day and go into an office with strangers and be productive there and not freak anyone out, well let me know when you find out will ya?

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I work 24 hours/week in a moderately stressful (with extremely stressful days splattered here and there) and very physical job. Due to finances, I will have to up my hours to 40/week within the next year. I am a healthcare provider (ironic, no?) so I cannot work from home.

How I do it? I'm not really sure. I think I don't think about it, I just do it. Almost automatic.Like I'm out of body. And maybe I'm lucky (in some sick way) that I can dissociate. I definitely have 2 identities: my work persona and then me. If people from work knew my diagnosis or the thoughts that trip through my head, they'd be floored. My pdoc does rounds a few days a week and I sometimes see him in the hospital in our professional capacities. We've even consulted on the same patients. I've talked to him about how I feel like a fraud when he's around because he knows my demons and he knows what's under the shell. He always sort of laughs and tells me that I'm far from the only healthcare provider that is seen by psych. Last time I talked to him (on the phone, as a patient), I was at my lowest low that I've been for a very long time. Two days later, I saw him in the hospital while we were both working. We say hi cordially, just as we'd greet any other colleague, and we remain professional. I was totally functional at work that day, even though I was in pieces before work and after work. I commented on that when I talked to him (on the phone, as a patient) a few days later and he said: "Work is always the last thing to go" when someone loses it.

I don't think I have any tips to make it easier. I just do it. I just get up and don't think about it. Some mornings I find myself standing outside the shower with the water running. I'm just standing there staring at nothing. Zoning out. Then it's almost like I come-to. And from somewhere deep inside, I push myself into the shower. I have to will it and it takes a tremendous amount of mental strength to do so. Then once I'm in the shower, I just go. Like a wind-up toy. Like someone put a quarter in me.

It's utterly and unbelievably exhausting to live like this and I don't know how long I'll survive it once I have to up my hours to 40. But I feel I have no choice. My family needs my paycheck. My kids need me.

k

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I work full time and commute (I'm gone 12 hours a day) and it sucks. Some days I have to literally tell myself "Get your ass out of bed and get ready and go to work". I go to work because I have to, I have to pay the bills (especially now that my husband is unemployed). I take breaks throughout the day and play a game on my phone or read something online...sometimes I'll take a 10 minute walk. I try to keep myself on a schedule, at least during the week, by going to bed at around the same time and waking up at the same time. I have a morning routine that I've made as short as possible so I can sleep longer. I figure that once I'm up and in the process of getting ready, I might as well go to work. I dunno, I don't really have any great tips or tricks I guess....sometimes I just have to force myself.

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If you are asking how you get up at 7 A.M. every day and go into an office with strangers and be productive there and not freak anyone out, well let me know when you find out will ya?

Coworkers are only strangers while you are starting...hmph, sometimes that's better...

Me, I take my shower and shave the night before (or don't shower, I can get away with it for a night, even two), then wake up at first alarm, roll around a bit, get up nine minutes later, say "ah fuck", take my pills, throw on deoderant, piss, dress, grab my shit, feed the cat and head out.

Every day. Unless I'm sick, which I try not to be. I think the last time I took a day off was February, when my dog died.

Dunno, I just do it. It's my identity, it's all I have, really. After two years of no job and nearly losing everything...well, I won't go back to that, won't let myself. Though lately I think it's less a question of if I fall apart, but when...

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I work three 12 hour days a week. I would rather work longer then have the bunch of days off.

I do everything the night before- set up the coffee maker and lay out my alarm clock with my meds next to it. pick out clothes. shower. get my work stuff together. everything.

in the morning my alarm goes off and I take my meds and hit snooze. I give myself an hour to slowly wake up and start coffee and dress.

at work I work an hour, take a ten or five minute break, work another hour... sometimes I get very focused and work a long stretch without a break but usually I get up once an hour and wander, smoke, get a coffee, pee, etc

for my lunch I leave the studio and be alone for about half an hour. I need the quiet alone time.

usually my first day off I'm exhausted and I lay around and do nothing all day. then I have two days for errands and housework and all. the fourth day off I lay round the house again and "gear up" mentally.

I used to work five short shifts but I can't be on time that way. and without the two days of relaxing alone I can't stand being around people,even my co artists who I love. so, yeah, three long days and then four off

on my "resting" days I'm incommunicado- turn off the phone. it helps.

when i'm depressed I'm always late, when I'm up I'm always early. I do manage to get a lot done on the current schedule I chose though even if I do come in half an hour behind everyone else.

I'm senior at my studio too so I can get away with more, which also helps.

also, I've taken several "sabbaticals" of a month or two at a time when my insomnia and depression gets too strong a grip on me.

if I see the warning signs I set up some time off foe a few weeks out just in case.

this is why I am often completely broke :)

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Not that I'm working at the moment, but in the past I have always found it's a good idea to try and get to know the cafe near work pretty well. Don't have breakfast at home, find a breakfast treat there (hopefully not too unhealthy!) and get yourself in the habit that you just have to have it. The craving should get you out the door and close to work. If that's not enough, try to get to know the staff (not easy, I know), especially if it is the owner. For me at least, knowing that a small business knows me, and expects me to come and get the same thing each day (to the point where I feel like mine has been made especially for me) makes me feel bad if I don't go and see them. That personal touch has more of an effect on getting me out in the morning than any work place ever has.

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I'm very lucky right now on a few fronts - I like my job, my boss, and my co-workers, they like my work, and me, for the most part.

I started a mood stabilizer about 2.5 years ago and that's made a huge difference in combination with Wellbutrin, for my BP II dx.

And maybe the most helpful part is working a four day week. Granted, the four days are very long (leave the house at 6:30 am and get home 7:30 to 8 pm), but having that extra day to recover seems to make a huge difference. This is the first time I've had the luxury of a four day week and I'm ruined for anything else.

As far as routine, I do everything the night before, shower, lay my clothes out, fix my lunch, etc.

It's still hard sometimes, though, even with all these advantages, and like CNS, I feel like it's not if I'll crash again, but when. I also take the occasional sick day due to 'the hell with it' moods that show up now and then, but I'm pretty hypervigilant for that sort of thing.

If you had asked this question three years ago I would have given an entirely different answer as I was in a really sucky job at that time. The odds are good that I will be again, but I'm enjoying this situation while it lasts.

Also, I'm my only source of income, so that's a motivator when nothing else is. Work isn't really optional.

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I also like my job, which really helps but it is still really hard. It would be so helpful to me to either have a day off mid-week or go part time but I work 40 hours. It sucks. A lot. My husband and i are working on a plan to keep me from going batshit crazy this year (school year)... he is going to take over the household stuff after he gets home since he gets out earlier than I do. So with any luck, homework and dinner will be done when I get home. I can't do it otherwise. :( I come home fried as it is.

As for preparation... I let the kids buy lunch as much as I can. It's more expensive, but it's easier. I make sure everyone has an outfit the night before, we know where we put our shoes, etc. I try to bring to work food that makes me feel like I'm at home... healthy stuff but also junky snack type stuff so I don't feel deprived. It helps. And I keep the expectations low... this is no time for perfection.

Getting enough sleep is important. if I am having trouble I will use the trazodone or klonopin to knock myself out. If I don't , I will set off more cycling. I shower in the a.m. only because I notice it wakes me up. Other that that, I force myself. I will screw my coworkers over if I call out, work will be mad and possibly discipline me, etc. I will, once in a blue moon, take a mental health day but I have to disguise it as a sick kid because they expect us to come in sick. :angry2:

Sometimes I do feel like it's only a matter of time before I lose it again but I guess that is BP for you. All I can do is take care of myself and try to stay with the routine. (And calling the pdoc when I can't deal anymore).

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i'm not working now, but when i was, the most important thing that got me to work was repeating to myself over and over that "getting there" was the hardest part (it was like a mantra, again and again while in the shower, drinking my coffee, etc). my thoughts of "i cannot do this" are always the loudest and most insistent while getting ready to leave. if i can get past that part, chances are i can stay at work, too. but that choice to LEAVE THE HOUSE is more difficult to me than what happens after i get there (most of the time). all those horrible depressed/anxious predictions that i make about what will happen at work usually aren't true.

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Absolutely, getting there is the most difficult part. It's like, once you're there you might as well stay and just get through it. I think getting as much ready and done the night before helps a lot of people, it's just less to deal with and stress about in the mornings....less overwhelming.

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I used to work in retail, and they upped my hours to at least 30 a week. On top of that I have 15 credits of class, some of which are very difficult classes. I couldn't take it... I worked a year at the job and my nerves became more and more frayed. Every day I dreaded it. I wasn't sleeping well. I finally had a kind of psychotic break (mania, I think) and quit altogether. Now, I'm just taking classes. My last day at work was awful. I was terrified, paranoid, and hadn't slept in days. I was sweating buckets. Mind spinning. Snapping at everyone who came my way. Kept on thinking about how badly I needed to jump on a plane and fly to another country. Just awful.

Hopefully I will be able to pick back up a job... I'm not sure when, though. Probably not this semester. To calm my nerves, I used to drink tea. That helped somewhat.

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To be honest, I work a 40 hour job during the week and a weekend job. I dislike my weekday job, but I go because I tell myself if I lose that job, I will lose my house and would have problems finding an apartment that would allow all my animals and I wouldn't be able to foster any more. Moving in with my parents is not an option because they would make the dogs and the cats go outside. My weekend job is working with dogs and not like work. I just walk around the store, play with peoples dogs, and try to help people with food

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I find the best way to work is to find work you LIKE and do that. Yeah, impossible sometimes I know.

That said, with a job I like, I can intellectually talk myself out of depressive sx and be like "you know you like this job, even though you are hating it's ass right now."

Heh, whenever I get depressed I want to be a starbucks worker, it sounds so restful, but really, i know I wouldn't enjoy THAT EITHER. I enjoy nothign when depressed, so reminding myself of this reminds me that being depressed at work will be no different than being depressed at home. It's all gonna suck, so i might as well get paid.

Anna

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Currently I'm not working, but I'm in negotiations for a job I want. Since getting diagnosed and medicated 11 years ago I've covered the whole gamut of employment possibilities: worked full time, worked part time, been unemployed because unfunctional for a couple of years, worked full time and gone to school nights, worked part time and gone to school nights, gone to school three-quarters time days while not working...

I've learned a few things. I can't work 9 to 5 hours. I have an impossibly hard time working for places where the politics are thick or there are entrenched, complicated relationships among the employees already in existence. I can't endure being micromanaged. And I need a lot of time to myself each day. Too much exposure to people is as bad for me as none.

I see a future of scraping together freelance work stretching out in front of me...

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