Author Topic: First day back to work  (Read 854 times)

[Buddie]

First day back to work
« on: January 17, 2022, 12:42:49 pm »
Today was going to be my first day back to work (phased return with adjustments) It is now 10 weeks since I (accidentally) went cold turkey off Diazepam. It has been 10 weeks I have been off work sick. Today was my first day back but I had to call in sick 😲
I was so anxious about my return to work that I layed in bed all night, I couldn't sleep. I was laying there thinking about it...I could hear my heart thumping!
I'm anxious about people looking at me, asking me questions. I have particular fears about people noticing that I'm anxious. I get anxious about using the clocking in machine and signing in and out. I worry that people will notice that I'm shaking. When I get in a state like this I can barely pick up a pen and write my name. It sounds ridiculous but for me it's hell! These 10 weeks have been the first time in 20 years that I am doing things without medication! Does anyone have any tips for overcoming this situation without going to the GP for medication?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2022, 03:06:56 pm »
I returned to work 3 weeks after my cold turkey and can relate to your fears, mine had an added component of shame because I entered a detox facility when I left work but walked out the first night when I saw what they were going to do to me.  My boss and co-workers probably thought I was a drug addict who was trying to beat the system by saying I was going to detox but still using drugs because I left. 

I know how scary it is to go back there but each and everything you've mentioned is the drug talking and each thing is manageable when you take them on one at a time instead of throwing them at you all at once.  The drug is trying to build all of this up in your mind but it's your job to break them down to their easy and manageable components, can you do this?

As for the shaking, no one can see it, you look perfectly normal on the outside, no one will know you're screaming on the inside.  People will be able to see that you're not as outgoing as you used to be but they'll understand when you tell them you had a terrible reaction to a medication your doctor prescribed to you and its taking a long time to recover from it.

I was a nervous wreck too but I found ways to cope, I'd go into a bathroom stall when I couldn't be around people and I went for short walks around the building.  I told two co-workers I trusted what was really going on with me and asked for their help when things got too overwhelming and they looked out for me.

You're going to feel so much better when you face your fear because you don't want fear ruling your life.  You're going to feel a sense of satisfaction because you did what you needed to do even though it was hard.  I'm excited to hear about your first day back at work tomorrow.  :thumbsup:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2022, 03:44:11 pm »
Oh [...] thankyou so much for your reply. You went back at just 3 weeks 😲I really admire you!
I just want to say that it's true, sometimes people really can see me shake. It is not just benzo withdrawal but anxiety and fear that I used to use Diazepam to cover it up. I can't imagine doing some things without medication...but I don't want to turn to any medication not yet. My boss has messaged me saying that she doesn't think that I'm ready yet for work. I'm not sure if I am but I know that the anxiety will be there tomorrow,next week,next month.....🙄
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 07:31:15 pm »
Oh dear [...], I'm sorry to hear how bad this is for you, I can see that your situation is a lot different from mine.  I agree that your fear and anxiety will be there tomorrow, next week and next month but this is what makes it so imperative that you at least try to work through this. 

Is there any way your boss would allow you to go in for a short while just to test the waters?  Is there any work you can do from home to ease back into things?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2022, 07:40:35 pm »
Hi [...], no it is not possible to work from home. My boss has said that it is possible to come back when I feel ready and to come in for just a few hours to start with. I now just need to find the courage to go😳
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2022, 07:55:58 pm »
Your boss sounds like a wonderful person, I'm so glad she'll work with you! 

Okay, here's how its going to go, I'll be here to build your confidence every day until you're ready to do this because I think you can.  You're smart, I've read your posts and can see you're not too cognitively challenged and you're self aware enough to know what your other challenges are so lets make a list of what scares you the most and derive strategies for facing each and every one of them.  Deal?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2022, 08:15:46 pm »
Deal 😊

Ok so I'm now here thinking about what scares me the most....

I generally have a fear of fear itself, I got to the point before where I was taking Diazepam to prevent anxiety.

I particularly fear anyone noticing my anxiety, as I have already mentioned.

Going to work I'm anxious about ....

Trying to get to sleep the night before.
Getting ready for work (I often find anxiety kicks in when I'm getting ready to go out)
The drive to work
Arriving at work
Clocking in
Signing in (I have to do this twice)
Signing out x 2
Clocking out
Having a meeting
Signing paperwork
Seeing people at work
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2022, 09:32:43 pm »
Wow, I know exactly how and what you are feeling [...]. I went through this in 2008. Unfortunately for me, despite all the accommodations my Company made for me to ease me back into the workforce, I could not do it any longer. I was just too sick from the Valium pooping out on me (constant panic attacks, severe anxiety, and complete inability to sleep at night). I will come back to this thread and expound a little later after I am done exercising. This literally tore my life apart after working for this company over 25 years. I worked for a terrific Fortune 500 company, great pay and fantastic benefits. To make a long story short, I ended up having to file for disability benefits. I was ultimately approved, but this was a devastating life event for me. I was in a deep dark black hole for 2.5 years after this happened to me.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2022, 10:01:10 pm »
Deal 😊

Ok so I'm now here thinking about what scares me the most....

I generally have a fear of fear itself, I got to the point before where I was taking Diazepam to prevent anxiety.

I particularly fear anyone noticing my anxiety, as I have already mentioned.

Going to work I'm anxious about ....

Trying to get to sleep the night before.
Getting ready for work (I often find anxiety kicks in when I'm getting ready to go out)
The drive to work
Arriving at work
Clocking in
Signing in (I have to do this twice)
Signing out x 2
Clocking out
Having a meeting
Signing paperwork
Seeing people at work

Fear of fear itself, I remember taking a pill in preparation for anything and everything in my life, you brought back a memory.  I have a little mountain cabin that I've been going to since I was 5 years old, it's a part of me and always has been.  That stupid pill made me afraid to go to my cabin so I'd have to take a pill in order to go relax in a little mountain cabin, how ridiculous is that?  :tickedoff:

I'm going to take the first one on your list and talk about it then you can give me your take, okay?

Do your co-workers know about your anxiety, have you shared this with anyone?  I guess I'd like to know why it would be so bad if someone noticed you're anxious?  Anxiety is such a common human condition, even if someone doesn't suffer chronically from it almost everyone can relate to it.  Would you be embarrassed and feel like you needed to explain yourself?  What if you just accepted the fact that you're anxious about going back and instead of trying to pretend that you're not (which by the way puts a lot more stress on you), what if instead you let your co-workers know that you've been going through some personal and medical issues that have been rough on you and you're still working it out but for now you're a little fragile?  People are basically good and if they see you're struggling with something, they'll usually reach out to comfort or at least cut you some slack.

Am I way off course with my take, if so don't be afraid to let me know because this is a goal we're working towards so I hope you'll be honest with me.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: First day back to work
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2022, 03:07:36 am »
All my co-workers, supervisors, plant managers...everybody knew my history with benzos, panic attacks, and anxiety. LOL....hell, I told virtually anyone who wanted to listen. I was not doing anything illegal that I needed to hide. When I was inpatient in 2006, many of these ppl came to the hospital to see me even tho I did not want anyone to see me in the state I was in during this time. I both felt and looked like death. Lost an incredible amount of weight in a very short amount of time. I try to block this experience from my memory. It was the most painful experience of my entire life. I was inpatient for almost a month and I left there in worse shape than when I came there.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.