Sunday, January 06, 2008

a letter to my management

So, this is a letter I sent to the managers and my director in my work area. Hopefully all will be well. I just decided it was going to take way too much energy to hide it.


Hi guys,

Some things have been going on in my life that I need to tell you about.

I am chronic depressive, I was diagnosed with depression about 14 years ago and as chronic depressive about 11 years ago. I am medicated for depression, but unfortunately sometimes the medication stops working, or needs to be changed, things like that.

Which is where this letter is going. I am in a highly depressive state right now. My doctor called it “an acute crisis state”. It’s been building for a while, who knows how long.

The good news is that I have been to my doctor, she has prescribed some changes in my medication and some other things and I should be on the road to recovery. The bad news is that it will be two weeks at least before we even know if this medication is going to take effect, but if it does then I should in theory have my life back in a month and a half or so and be back to myself.

I told my doctor that I would really like to continue to come to work if possible. She said she wanted me to take a few days, but agreed that if I felt up to it, I could come to work during the time we’re waiting to see if the new meds kick in, but that I had to make sure if I felt I needed to leave I just get up and leave, and that I don’t work late, and that I generally take it a bit easy on myself (in all aspects of my life, not just work) for the next month or so to make sure that we can get this dealt with.

Exacerbating this is that I am dyslexic. My dyslexia gets far worse when I’m depressed and/or stressed, and of course feeds the depression because I feel like an idiot and fill my brain with negative self-talk.

Unfortunately, that effects the work that I’m doing. I am working on strategies to deal with both these issues, but focusing on the depression first because until I have dealt with it I won’t be able to effectively deal with the dyslexia.

I will be returning to work on Tuesday January 7.

I am also going to take a week of vacation time from January 14-18 so that I can work on getting better and on seeking professional help for the dyslexia, at least finding out options.

I know that this may seem kind of out of the blue, I waffled about whether or not to say anything about the depression because I worry about burdening people or making them feel awkward, but I decided that the truth is, full disclosure is probably the best thing, because I think that having as much information as possible is always helpful.

The bottom line is that I am not in good shape right now and because of that I’m not myself, not performing well, in any of the aspects of my life. Once the medication has stabilized and I am back to myself I will be in a position to perform better, be myself again, and work to address gaps and work towards continuous improvements. Some of that I will do with the professional help I am seeking regarding my dyslexia, as well as independent work in terms of planning and identifying what things I can work to improve.

This is not an email I need a response to, I just wanted to let everyone know of the situation and I hope I can count on you for ongoing support as I work through this. I’ll see you Tuesday.

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