Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Job news

A few weeks ago I wrote about my difficulty making a decision about a job offer. The company I'm working for as an on-call employee wants to make me a full time (30 hours per week) employee. The hourly salary is less, but I'd get all the benefits I currently lack like health insurance, retirement savings, and paid time off. And I'd have a stable, regular income.

If I don't take the position offered, someone else will be hired, and I'll have to hustle for hours at a different facility. Getting enough hours usually isn't too difficult, but it's not guaranteed. If patient census falls and facilities slow down, they may not have any need for extra help from me. That's the risk I take for the benefit of being able to control my own schedule.

My fear with having a set schedule, which will be four 8-hour days, is I won't be able to handle it. Physically and mentally I'm doing well now working about 20-25 hours per week, but I never work more than 3 days per week. I generally work 7-8 hour shifts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I use Tuesday and Thursday for appointments, exercise, and rest. Since my depression began I've needed that time.

I haven't worked full time in 15 years. In the past I've struggled when working more than 20-25 hours per week, or when I've worked more than a couple days in a row. For those reasons, I told my employer last week I couldn't take the position. It was a decision based on worry and fear. Within 24 hours I had changed my mind.

Well, I didn't totally change my mind, and I didn't totally lose my worry and fear. But I made a decision to try. I negotiated with my boss to allow me to continue as an on-call employee while I take a stab at working 30 hours per week. She agreed.

Beginning right after Christmas, I will be working four 8-hour shifts per week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I'll try the schedule for at least two weeks, and if it goes well I will take the position. If I find it's too much, mentally or physically, I'll remain an on-call employee, and my employer will continue looking for a permanent physical therapist.

It's a perfect solution. I get to trial the very job I've been offered without committing to the offer. I'm still apprehensive. I'm still afraid it's going to be too much. I'm still worried about being tied to a regular schedule. But I'm going to try it. And I really do hope I handle it well. It would be nice to have the income stability and benefits I've lacked for several years.

I'm also very pleased my employer knows about my depression. They know I was recently hospitalized, and they know I missed a ton of work because of it. And they still want me to work for them. For someone who has been fired in the past, because I was missing too much work while being treated for depression, that's very refreshing. It will be easy to give them my best. I'll let you know how it goes.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like another positive step. I really hope it works for you. And I'm glad your employer is enlightened about depression. At my office (an international health sciences organization) I've watched as two of my coworkers were "eased out" of employment due to depression issues.

Anna said...

Congratulations, Etta! This sounds like a perfect, positive step!! And, thank you! Thank you for reminding us to take very careful steps forward....