Posted by kezia on January 2, 2008, at 11:16:02
In reply to Scared to return from work., posted by Maxime on January 1, 2008, at 18:18:58
> I am returning to work after being away for ten weeks (five of those weeks in hospital). I start on the 8th. I am really scared about returning.
> I don't know how people will react. I supposed to off for 6 weeks, but I took more time because I was in the hospital.
> I think I would feel better about returning if I felt better. I am going back to a stressful job when I am not feeling well.
You are scared for a reason - you are not ready to return to work. You are still struggling, and that is no way to return to work. I have been where you are, and I went back to soon and ended up having to take a prolonged leave because of it, only to return and relapse because I fell back into my old workaholic patterns.
Speak with your doctor and tell him how you are feeling - honestly. Between the two of you, you should be able to come up with an appropriate return date (if it is not to be January 8). If it is to be January 8, I would suggest that you speak with your boss (without going into specific details about your illness) and propose a graduated return to work over the course of a month (as discussed with your doc). This way you can ease back into a work schedule with, perhaps, 2 or 3 full or half days a week. Depending on the nature of your job, I would even ask about the possibility of telecommuting, which would entail working in the office a certain number of days a week and working from home a certain number of days.
As for what your colleagues will think, don't underestimate them. Most people recognize that having to take an extended period of time off work can happen to anyone and will be sympathetic without being prying. My colleagues were extremely supportive, understanding and sympathetic. I felt blessed.
Maxime, I can not stress this enough - think long and hard before you return to work. A few more weeks could make all the difference in your readiness and ability to cope. You have been through a lot during the ten weeks that you have been off and are still fragile. It is important that you take care of yourself.
Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best. I know it is not easy to return to work.
Take good care.