I moved to an inclusive workspace to cope with my mental illness

A lawyer talks of her struggle with stress, and of finding understanding colleagues


Some years ago, I worked a busy corporate job. It was stressful and I worked long hours. I had several challenges - both physical and emotional. It was only a couple of years later that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, endometriosis and generalized anxiety disorder. I just wasn’t able to take the stress and the long working hours. I quit, and took the break to study.

After my break, I considered briefly whether I could go back to my old job, or something similar. I considered the space, the stress and the working hours and recognized that it would be too stressful for me. The organization wasn’t inclusive, I couldn’t share my problems with anyone there, and could have expected no support.

I then began working with an organization that works in the space of diversity and inclusion. I’m now in a place where the management and the coworkers understand my issue - and this is also partly due to the space we work in. My fibromyalgia means I have crippling pain and fatigue on bad days; sometimes, I have brain fog and can’t think clearly. On these days I can choose to stay home. My timings are flexible and they understand my anxiety around travelling and make allowances for it.

In my new organization, there is a space to share without being judged, and that helps a lot.

*Name changed on request