Blogger Shailaja Vishwanath recounts her anxieties around going back to work after her illness
I went back to work a year after I stopped taking medication. Initially, it was a bit challenging to get back after a break. How would I manage? How would I cope? How would I handle any questions? Fortunately, I was able to start in a new city, where no one knew me or that I had struggled with a mental illness.
I was hired for my current job after my employer read my blog about my illness. So in that sense, I didn’t have to introduce the topic. While I have had an illness, there are some of my colleagues who are caregivers and sometimes need support. My employer has been a caregiver, and that helps. The work atmosphere has been open and flexible. There is the option to work from home; we accommodate each others’ needs to make things work. If someone is unable to finish a task, someone else steps in to do it. Of course deadlines matter, but we remember that we’re all human.
It’s important to believe in yourself and at the same time, to know your limitations. Be realistic and practical while setting goals for yourself, and know where to draw the line.
Shailaja Vishwanath, writer, editor and blogger
This is part of a series on returning to work while coping with a mental illness.