I need some advice


I’ve been putting off joining a forum and only liked the MS FB page some weeks ago, I guess a part of me have been trying to deny the fact that I have MS by not being part of the community etc. (I was diagnosed in January the 9th 2015, but we believe my MS might of started about 3 years before that.)

The reason I’ve decided to register here now, and create this thread, is because the last time I was at work was on the 2/02/2017.

First I’ll tell you a bit about what my job is; I work for a company that is open 24/7 all days of the year, giving customer support over the phones. This means that I will have different shifts each week, sometimes working 6 days in a row with spread out days off.

The reason I’ve not been to work I guess was at first because I was doing a night shift, and there’s always supposed to be two agents in the office covering the phones, the second night the second agent never showed up, so I spent the night covering the phones by myself (we share our office with another company, so there was still people in the room, just very far away). This made me feel very stressed so after doing 2 nights by myself and feeling very lightheaded, difficulties relaxing on my breaks (15 minutes x2 and 30 minutes x1), having a hard time dealing with the customers demands and a few other issues, I told a Team Leader in the morning that I was unlikely to come back the following night as I wasn’t feeling well.

So yea, that was on the morning of the 2/2/2017, I have since then had great difficulty going outside, and the thought of going to work filled my head with dark thoughts such as self harm etc. I had luckily been to the GP in January because I was off from work because of a very sore throat and similar symptoms, so had a counselling session booked on the 10/02.

He advised me to talk to work about what feels ok for me and so on, and to contact my doctor for a sick note and so on and fill in work about my situation.

On the 18/02 I received a letter from work asking me to attend a meeting with HR on Thursday (23/02) to speak more about why I’m not able to attend work and what they can do to help me get better.

Now this is the part that I’m having trouble with. I have a great difficulty with socialising, both at work and outside of work, but have lately tried to hang out with people who I should consider friends (but can’t fully because of something from my childhood), but the working hours I have and the stress at work is making it very difficult to do so, making me lose hope in having friends and feeling happy etc etc.

So, should I just try to find a new job, if I’m even able to work in my current situation, or is it reasonable for me to ask work to give me more “normal” working hours because its effecting my health? (At the moment I don’t think I’d be able to attend work even if my hours were ideal, as I’m having difficulties going outside by myself and being put in situations where I have to interact with people feels very hard to deal with.)

TL;DR I’ve been diagnosed with Ms since Jan 2015, and I don’t know what’s reasonable to ask from work to improve the chances of me returning to work, or if I should just try to find another job I feel more comfortable with?

(There are some other factors to why I’m having difficulties going to work, but this post is already VERY long so I’ll leave that out. I hope it was ok for me to post this concern here.)

There are a lot of things going on for you right now. I think your focus should be on carving out for yourself a bit of breathing space so that you can deal with them one at a time rather than all at once.

It seems likely that the best way to do this is from a position of not having to worry too much about your work or money, and so I think it is definitely worth exploring with your employers how they can help you to stay with them - more stable shift patterns or whatever.

If you can settle the immediate issue and get that into a stable orbit at work, that might give you some space to consider longer-term at your leisure. If you do decide to change your job, well, most people find that jobs are easier to find when one has one already.

It’s the oldest trick in the book: when everything is up in the air, try to pick one thing and deal with that first. I wish I were better at doing it myself!

Good luck.