Talking to work about your condition

When I returned to work after a few weeks off, I was asked if I wanted to share my experience & details of my diagnosis. I built up a bit of confidence & decided to give a 5 minute lightening talk at my team meeting in front of around 50 staff. So here are just a couple of the slides & points I shared.

I explained my version of my diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder & thanked everyone for their support while I had been off & once I had returned. I also wanted to explain that

  • There is no getting “well” & I would probably be on medication for life
  • That I want to learn to use my emotions for good, especially my empathy
  • Managing my emotions is difficult, & just because I cried it didn’t always mean I was sad, sometimes I just do that as I don’t know how to express myself
  • Coping mechanisms are the answer & I am working on them each & every day

I also made a point of letting everyone know, the things I would do that would probably drive them all mad & once again I’m working on these, but at least now I’m aware.

1 Emails

  • I’m learning to make these shorter & send less. If you can say 1 word, I’ll say 10,000 – I am working on this
  • I like to keep a record of things for when my brain sometimes forgets (foggy mind), so I will often email even if we’ve chatted about it
  • I like black & white, I am terrible with grey, but that’s not to say I don’t understand things are grey. I just need more explanation for me to understand some concepts

2 Feedback

  • Feedback good & bad is brilliant for me (I always assume the worst when I don’t hear anything), so even just saying “next time could you add”, “this isn’t what I wanted… can you do”
  • Please don’t step on eggshells, I can take feedback, I love feedback, I thrive on developing & improving, so please don’t worry about offending me or telling me I got something wrong or not to do it again. I want to be better at my job.

My work have already taken this onboard & often construction feedback, solutions for recording tasks, flexible working conditions & always with support. I know I’m very fortunate, but I would still recommend speaking to someone within your HR department for support at work

3. My Cloudy head & mood swings

  • I am not yet aware of many of my triggers, but I am learning
  • I am genuinely at my best when I am busy, deadlines, travelling, meeting people, creating order in the chaos
  • I feel like I can say when I am not having a “good day” & I need to learn to pass the baton onto someone else at work who may help me. I now have set dats to work from home, but being in the office is good for me at least some of the week
  • If something is really important & you think I may have forgot, please remind me. I’m working on new ways to combat my “cloudy mind” but please don’t be offended if I occasionally forget

  • I had a few weeks of feeling extremely negative about the situation, but now I feel the best way is to try & use my diagnosis for the best. I’m blogging & participating in clinical trials & meetings regarding mental health
  • I am on an 18 month NHS waiting list, but I have support during my wait
  • I am sure there are many people here with mental health illnesses if you ever want to talk or chat, I’m here in confidence
  • I have also attended the Mental Health First Aid course
  • I have empathy & am quite self aware (if one more doctor tells me I’m self aware, I’ll genuinely go crackers)
  • I am learning about what this “disorder” or “condition” means, so I don’t have all the answers
  • My kids are my world & have suffered many of the similar bereavements & triggers that I have. So my main focus is to get better at dealing with my emotions, so I can learn to help them manage their emotions
  • I want to learn & manage my condition to do my job better & help others

I love being an EA & being able to do there where you change lives & make a difference is such a rare opportunity.

I want to bring my organisational skills as an EA to my brain & own life & I just want to do my best to help my manager & the team be more successful in helping others, those who are socially & digitally excluded – I want to do my bit in putting a man on the moon!

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