With hindsight, I was not always aware of when my performance on tasks had dropped at work. Many people who are challenged with mental illness are in gainful employment. However, there are often quite a few difficulties they face which many may not be aware of. Or may take for granted themselves simply because they do not know how challenging they are for those who are mentally ill.
There was a comfort zone that I found very difficult to come out. I had a very understanding line manager which was did not exacerbate my condition as there was no added stress caused by him… I had not known at the time that my line manager was aware of my medical condition.
I was always relieved to hand over the responsibility for delivery on tasks I was responsible when colleagues offered.
I was not truly aware of how I came across in those days. Not rising to challenges meant that I was slow in my delivery.
I often forgot tasks that I was not chased up on. I found it challenging prioritizing my tasks as I was prone to acting immediately on whatever was brought to my attention.
There were many times my line manager called in a few people that I worked with to talk to them privately. He often asked me what I could do rather than assign tasks directly to me.
I was not put under any pressure to deliver. I didn’t realize it then but that made life easy for me as I said earlier. My heart was in my work despite constant drowsiness from medication and forgetfulness.
The danger in not performing when mentally ill was that my performance still grew steadily worse. My focus was mainly on my feelings. Everything seemed fine with me as I focused on tasks given to me with the challenges of drowsiness and forgetfulness.
The difference between then and now is reflected on how much less I think about my feelings and much more about the situation of others around me.
Looking back the help I would have personally required were:
1: Structured help in getting me to continue to carry out tasks rather than take them off my hands.
2: Honest feedback on my performance with suggestions for improvement
3: Probing questions that would help me evaluate my preparation and performance
How we relate with each other is vital in all our activities. Communication with relation to mental health is even more vital. I recovered fully from mental illness thanks in no small part to effective communication between those closest to me and myself.
Fortunately, during the years, I had issues with mental health, it was my instinctive response to seek help rather than fight. This helped ensure I was never sectioned.
What help do you think your manager could offer in helping you handle work better and even aid in your recovery?