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Struggling staying at work

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Danno, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Danno

    Danno Active Member

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    Hey all. Been a week or so since I was last on here because I've been trying to just get on and deal with things, but starting to find things are getting really tough, especially at work.

    Don't get me wrong, my employer has been fantastic in offering support but there's only so much they can do towards making me feel better.

    Its got to the point now where even the commute to work (45 minutes by bus each way) is stressing me out - strangers, noises etc., so I'm already in a not-so-good place by the time I get to the office. I've got a couple of Occupational Health type assessments coming up too which (I don't know why, when they're there to help) also have me feeling on edge.

    I did take almost a week off the week before last, but can't afford to go off longer term (as soon as absence gets to a certain point then they can refuse to pay full rate) because I'm the only one at home who has managed to keep full time employment and so am the majority financial support for a large family (mum is "medically retired" on PIP/ESA, 3 sisters (one of which is at college, the other 2 don't work) 2 sisters' partners who work part time but don't contribute much financially, and my 5 year old niece). Everyone keeps saying to me I need to start putting myself first for a change but it's so hard.

    Just wondering if anyone can suggest a way forwards? Just feel like my (suspected) AS is starting to take over. Its not helping at all the more I come to the realisation about just how long the diagnosis route will take meaning I feel so much worse having to wait until I know for definite.
     
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  2. china autie

    china autie friend to dogs and frogs and cats

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    Okay, I am sorry that you are having troubles.
    I will ask questions maybe they will help you figure at least how to make your bus ride more comfortable. And you don't have to answer them here.

    Do you eat breakfast or a meal before work?
    Would bringing something to eat or drink help?

    Headphones attached to something that plays music that you like? Or a book that is read to you? Or foreign language tapes?

    Would reading a book or an ebook help?

    How about writing or drawing anything?

    Look outside the window for stuff to take pictures of?

    Putting on headphones or earmuffs in order to discourage random strangers from talking to you?

    Stimming by flexing muscles as you are seated? Any other stimming?

    Wearing a baseball cap or a wide brim hat? [These help with focus and attention as well as photophobia [sensitivity to sunlight].
    Pretending to be asleep but actually listening to the buzz if conversation around you?

    Humming along with music?

    Practice throwing your voice? [Ventriloquism].

    Bullet journaling? [There are pictures of these on the web. I have heard that autistics specifically do well with this.]

    I wish you the very best. Hopefully Occupational Health will help you somewhat.
     
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  3. RachelN

    RachelN Active Member

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    Yeah I listen to music on headphones and it helps a lot. :)
     
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  4. Joel I

    Joel I Well-Known Member

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    I was bullied out of my last job and the main culprits were my bosses. I’m glad you boss seems supportive. As the others have said music is a great way to occupy your brain and minimise stress. I make arm movements with the music sort of as if I’m conducting. I have found that a lot of music I like relaxes me when I’m listening to it. I learnt to play a certain song in my head (when I don’t have headphones) when I’m feeling anxious and it helps me to calm.
     
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  5. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    @Danno works in a call centre so playing music isn't going to be an option while he's working. For the commute to work it's an excellent idea. For me, whether I'm driving or on public transport, listening to familiar music is very calming. Even more so is listening to some good comedy or an audio book. Whenever I'm on a journey alone that's more than 10 minutes I usually play some BBC Radio 4 comedies I've downloaded on the iPlayer app on my phone, or listen to a podcast about something which interests me.

    As far as the job itself is concerned, if you want to make it work, give the OTs a chance. Sometimes their recommendations are taken much more seriously than if we ask for them ourselves. I know being in such an open office has been a problem for you, but if they suggest a solution it may be implemented.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  6. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Hope it all works out for you. Maybe discuss with your superiors at work your issues. Many employers accommodate those with disabilities so hopefully yours will as well.
     
  7. Major Tom

    Major Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have the same kinds of issues with working too, the #1 worst thing is the commute to work,(I have to take crowded trains). Bluetooth earbuds really help there, I couldn't get by without them. The #2 problem is that I'm a conversational English teacher, and like most of us, small talk and verbal communication aren't my strong suits.
    Like you, the main reason I do it is to help support my family. The only thing I can suggest is music or some of the options China already suggested. I wish you the best of luck!
     
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  8. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

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    I agree with the audiobooks comment.

    Audio books are better for me but music is something that I've had issues with when I was very young, I would fast forward through musical sections of kids movies and didn't like music. I like music now but it can be hard for me to listen to depending on a few different factors.

    If you think audiobooks may help, I really like audible. You get 1 credit a month to use on any book.

    For the call center, when I worked in a call center, I had a fidget spinner.
     
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  9. Danno

    Danno Active Member

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    Have been listening to music on my commute which has helped a little...

    Anyway, a general update and further advice needed if possible?

    Anxiety has had me going on a steadily downward path, to the point where I got back from lunch today and couldn't face seeing the second half of my shift through. If I have to hazard a guess I'd say I was very near having a full blown meltdown - after talking to my manager who then left me alone for 5 minutes in a quiet room to collect my thoughts, I ended up in floods of tears and pacing the floor - and so decided would be for the best to come home.

    I got a phone call from work's Occupational Health booking a phone consult tomorrow before my shift is due to start... and was hoping I'd also be able to get in to see my GP tomorrow or at the latest on Wednesday to talk about what's going on and see what they can offer in terms of meds etc to see me through - or to arrange "sick" time off.

    But the earliest I can get to see the GP is next Wednesday, so if I do end up self-certifying time of between now and then (not sure at this precise moment in time if I can face going in tomorrow or not - but after the last time I saw the GP and having to take 4 days off for MH for all the overthinking and not being able to focus on work, I know that talking about my issues is likely to trigger things again :() then I'll already be past the self-certify 7 day period and completely screwed anyway.

    I definitely feel the worst I've felt in a long long long time. I don't want to admit defeat and be signed off sick at all if I can help it but at the same time I've probably very nearly reached the point where I'm doing myself more harm staying at work. But i know if I do take any time off I'll only have the same stuff to go back to when I return, because of how long diagnosis etc will take, and things will very quickly build up again
     
  10. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Danno. I'm in the UK and I've been through very similar over the last year. I was working in a call centre in December 2017 and it's taken me until now to resolve things. If you want to talk it over with someone thoroughly, PM me and we'll compare notes.
     
  11. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

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    Taking care of one self and one's mental health is extremely important. Hope autistamatic can help.

    I wish I had better advice. My experience with a call center involved books on tape for the commute and fidget spinners mainly.
     
  12. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member

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    Do you get enough sleep, eat healthy, and exercise? If you can find a way to balance these things, this can help a lot.
     
  13. Danno

    Danno Active Member

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    Sleepwise I normally get about 7 hours a night - longer if it's a non-work day. Seem to wake up at 4am (or thereabouts) every single night for as long as I can remember, for no apparent reason. Takes about half hour to go back to sleep again. But don't feel any worse for it.
    Generally eat well - not ultra-healthy but not purely junk food either.
    As for exercise, probably nowhere as near as I should do - I walk a mile to/from my bus stop each day (the one nearer my house would mean a longer commute time and a changeover rather than just getting the one bus from further away from home). But apart from that I don't tend to do much in the way of activities - being physical has never been my strong point
     
  14. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member

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    Everyone is different, but 7 hours can be sufficient for sleep.
    I need to do more myself, but exercise can give you more energy in the long run.
    If it's not, consider a sleep study if you can and talk to your PCP about it.