Stepping back from responsibility at work

Hi all, I was wondering if anybody has ever had any experience with stepping back and taking less on with their job as a result of MS.

I’ve had a complex situation with my employer when it comes to my MS. After a difficult first year when I joined them they finally started to listen and I was placed in a role that really suited me. It allowed me to structure my day as I was finding working in a more chaotic environment wasn’t great for my MS.

I had no MS issues in this new role and did well in the job that I got promoted when that project came to an end.

For my next role after this they gave me an opportunity to manage a team at the start of this year. At first I really enjoyed it but since then I had my first really bad MS flare up since diagnosis and after some time off work and a return were things were better I am now experiencing further symptoms again.

I’m concerned that it’s my job causing this as being responsible for 11 people rather than just myself means you take a lot of stuff home in your head and it makes it hard to switch off, and I’ve found stress is a big trigger for me. As a result I’m thinking of approaching my employer and asking to step back from the role and was wondering if anyone has ever had a similar experience with their job.

Sorry for the long post but no idea who else to ask so thought I’d see peoples thoughts in here.

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That sounds like a good idea. If you know what you want, ask for that. There’s nothing more soul-destroying than trying to struggle on in a role you’re no longer able for (sad experience speaking here). And there’s no shame in having MS and having to manage it. It is in your employers’ interest as well as in yours that you do that successfully. Framing this in your own mind (and to them) as just another work resourcing issue can help. In other words, try to keep the emotional and the personal out of it. Because, when it boils down to it, it IS just another resourcing issue: there less of you to go around than there used to be, and the objective is to make best use of the energy and expertise that you do have available for your working life.

To that end, there’s real value in taking the initiative and being the one who asks for change before they do. Once you’re really struggling, and start under-performing (not your fault, but that’s what can happen) then you’ve lost the initiative and that can be a whole different story.

Good luck.


Great comment Alison

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Thank you for your detailed reply Alison. I especially like the part about framing it as a resourcing issue. Have an appointment with my neurologist today and hoping to have the conversation with work following that.