Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 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!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Full time?

I have a decision to make. It's been suggested I consider taking a full-time position at my place of employment. While I'm glad my employer and coworkers appreciate me enough to want me around more frequently, I'm also worried about working more hours every week. It's a big decision, but I'm considering it.

There certainly would be benefits to increasing my hours. My company doesn't provide benefits for any employee working under 30 hours per week. No insurance, no paid time off, no 401K, etc... So while working part-time allows me a lot of flexibility with my schedule, it also costs me a lot of money for health insurance, almost $700 per month, or for any days I take off. So there are some compelling reasons to consider increasing my hours.

However, I also have concerns about increasing my hours. I've had a difficult time working more than 30 hours per week for years. Ever since my depression began, I've had to carefully control my energy expenditure at work. Too many days in a row, or too many long days, and I'm shot. Putting it simply, my brain gets tired. When my brain gets tired, my overall functioning, not just my work functioning, suffers. And when my functioning suffers, I am at much higher risk of a depression relapse. I certainly don't want to do anything which may lead to a depression relapse.

On the other hand, I have been working between 25-30 hours per week for a several months now. Would I risk a relapse by working just a few more? I guess that's the big question. Of course, I won't know the answer unless I experiment. I don't want to let fear of relapse determine my decision, but I don't want to sink into depression again, either. So this is a big decision.

I'm ever so slightly leaning toward giving it a try. I would have to increase from 3.5 days per week to 4 days per week, and each day would likely be a bit longer than I currently work. But I would still have one full day off per week. I absolutely need that. My brain just can't handle 5 consecutive days. I'm worried. I'm apprehensive. But it seems like something I should try.

Perhaps I'll ask for a trial, and if it doesn't work, I'll make sure I'd be allowed to return to part-time. If my employer is willing to do that, I almost have to give it a shot. Right?

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