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When To Start Work Again?

Discussion in 'Employment, Education & Disability' started by darkskies, Mar 10, 2007.

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  1. darkskies

    darkskies Active Member

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    i don't know what i'm feeling-tearful- i have a job interview on wednesday,which is good, only i have some doubts about whether i am curently capable doing the job because of lack of confidence, ptsd, or rather triggering flashbacks and scared of the traumatic event happening again. i know logically that it's remote to happen again, i just fear it could.

    Preparing what to say to explain why i've not worked for 21 months has been hard and brought back what happened all over again. But am i just making an excuse for not starting work again and talking myself out of doing it - being negative? or factual? i'm not over it yet, how do you know when you've healed enough to work again?


    Any advice/ suggestions/ experience welcome
     
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  3. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I have found it is one of those things that you have to monitor how it goes. Obviously before starting any job is going to be a stressful, scary, prospect. Having to explain why you have been off work is not going to help that. I don't actually know the answer to this question. But in my personal experience, I know when I cannot cope with it, because I simply can't do it. I go through the same issue every time I go for a job, even part-time jobs. But if you can, it might be an idea just to wait and see? If you can't, then you know the answer. But push past the comfort zone and fear if possible... get the job first. Take it day by day. When you get there, you will soon find the measure of how you are going to cope.

    I have found that some jobs have worked. I worked in a small pub in the Summer, and I loved it (for about 2 months, but that's because it wasn't challenging!). I felt safe, because people liked me, the way they ran it was not authoritarian, but friendly and approachable and I wasn't scared. I got to know the regulars, and knew that any trouble and people would help. I also loved 2 full time jobs that I had before I went to uni. because I was my own manager, and again - not authoritarian. I knew I was good at it, so it boosted me.

    However, at difficult times, and in jobs that didn't suit me, I completely collapsed. I would be in tears before work, in tears at work, and spent my days off completely DREADING it. It got to a point where I simply couldn't face it, and just didn't go back. That's happened, what, 5 times now. Partly due to what point I was at with PTSD, and also partly due to the job and what I found triggering and unsafe. You have to check in with yourself, and if you find that it is majorly overtaking your life in a completely unhealthy way, then you have to do what is best for you. However, you might get there and surprise yourself.

    The choice is yours, and try to keep the pressure off yourself so as to get a true measure.

    Good luck with whatever you decide :)

    Lisa
     
  4. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    Hello, there are lots of positives to having a job too. Other than the obvious financial rewards you can also gain confidence, socialise, develop and even enjoy it! I think you maybe looking at the negative side of things too much. The best option is to have a boss that understands but that doesn't mean you have to tell them everything straight away or that keeping the job depends on the boss's reaction. I had a job a couple of years ago where I had to deal with the public. At one point I told the boss that I suffered bad nightmares and sometimes I felt pretty down first thing. I said it didn't last and also being around people helped lift my mood, once I'd explained this to him he was fine and we came to the agreement that I just told him if I'd had a rough night and he'd leave me to deal with other aspects of my job until I was ready to deal with the public. It worked out fine but it did mean I had to trust him initially to tell him to start off with. A good manager will work with you to get the best out of you. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Have you thought about your strengths and why you'd be good to have around?

    Its going to be scary at first, all interviews are but what's the worst that can happen? Good luck.
     
  5. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Darkskies, most importantly, just know that anyone - regardless of whether they have PTSD or not - experiences difficulties and trepidation when re-entering the workforce after a long absence. That is completely normal. You need to ease yourself back in slowly. I would definitely not recommend going back to full time employment immediately. That would be much too stressful, not to mention, physically your body needs to get back into a routine of working regularly. Perhaps you could do some volunteer work to start with? Then when you felt comfortable with that, get a casual or part time job, and lastly, a full time position.

    Additionally, know that you are not required to inform a potential employer as to why you have not been working. You could say you were ill, had an injury, a family matter to attend to, or were simply taking a break. It's not their business to know all the intimate details of your life. You also may want to make an appointment with a non-profit agency that helps people re-enter the workforce. They could assist with updating your resume/CV or refreshing certain skills. Often they have job postings as well. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you much success. Remember to take it slowly and be good to yourself in the process.
     
  6. darkskies

    darkskies Active Member

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    Thanks. you'll laugh at this- In January i started doing voluntary work as a study support assistant two evenings a week (9 hours total) working with kids that are under-acheiving at school. It involves helping/supporting them to enjoy learning again, build their confidence and give them positive attention, proving to them they can do it, believing in themselves. In essense giving to them what i need! It's been a positive thing for me too.

    My situation - I'm a children's nurse, my ptsd comes from an incident at work, (the same job which i'm applying for only for 10 hours & possibly next level/grade up at a different hospital)

    The incident - basically -someone came onto the ward and threatened us with a knife and tried to abduct a child. We/i prevented him from this and stopped him. (no-one got physically injured but i got ptsd).

    I know i can get really controlling, what's playing on my mind tonight is that someone else (or him) can come and do the same thing again, and i won't be able to stop it that time.

    i probably will find that my fears are just that and not reality, i know logically it's unrealistic to happen again, it just feels like it could and out of control. I'm afraid that i will get too caught up in the trauma and not give my all to the patient, which they should get (perfectionist here!). Does anyone else feel inadequate?
     
  7. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    Hello, thats funny because I did a similar thing. I did some voluntary work with autistic kids. I think it helps me personally to work with children and its like you say, to give them what you need yourself. I dont know why it works but I think it does. Maybe its because children are so uncomplicated and you can see the results so plainly.

    For your job surely the staff would be understanding wouldn't they? Because as a profession its caring and I would guess they'd all understand. You are right it might happen again but have you thought about the balance about whats good about the job and whats bad?

    On a practical side is there a course you could do to give you more confidence in how to handle a situation if it did happen again? There was a programme on tv the other night about an A&E department and the staff doing self defence style courses.
     
  8. slhlilbit

    slhlilbit Active Member

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    ok I feel like you should get back on the sadale so to say. i had bad dreams again last night this morning what ever but all i keep hearing is i let alot of years go by wasted. i have not worked much outside of helping people who i could but only the ones who could not afford help. so no financial gain for me. until 2002 i got a job at a camp ground, it went ok for a while but then my ptsd and ms kicked in to fullblown high gear. i lost my job and hate that becouse at first i loved it, i loved meeting the people, now i dont leave the house much. i wish i had not stoped working.. I wish i would have kept trying, i gave up. let the ptsd and ms stop me. what ever you do just dont give up keep moving forward. best wishes.
     
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