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Long term disability - transitioning back to work

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    Long term disability - transitioning back to work

    Hello everyone,

    i am returning to work after 6 months of long term disability. I had been struggling with my illness in a significant way since 2015 but kept pushing myself harder and harder. I have two daughters under the age of ten and I am a Chief Financial Officer at an engineering firm. Taking medical leave was not an option in my mind. I was worried my employer and colleagues would view me as less capable and decide they needed a “healthy” person to do the job. However i didn’t have a choice last July, i had to take medical leave.
    my direct report assumed my responsibilities in my absence. I was worried this would cause some challenges when I returned and he would transition back to his role. Indeed it has, he will continue to be involved in all leadership activities. He will be at the table with me. I will be the only senior executive with their direct report at the meeting. Based on discussions with my boss, this has come about for two reasons. #1 - he asked to remain involved and suggested that he would leave the company if it did not happen. #2 - “he has established trust with the executive team and they enjoy his presence...”.
    i do not feel good about this arrangement. However, i don’t know what to do other than accept it. The question now is how do I deal with this day to day?
    i am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and if they could share how they approached the situation.

    i have been ruminating over this for weeks. It is very unhealthy. I feel like I am losing my career that took 23 years of hard work to establish.

    I have Bipolar II Disorder and was only diagnosed a year ago.

    Hi Tara and welcome to the forums. Perhaps after your boss sees that you are still very capable of doing your job, he or she will take a back seat.

    Humans punish themselves endlessly
    for not being what they believe they should be.
    -Don Miguel Ruiz-


      Hello Tara, and welcome. I can understand your uneasiness with the situation. Transitioning back to work, in my experience, feels unsettling at the best of times. I've had to do it more than once, and each time it shook my confidence. It took a little while for the workplace "mobile" to find its new "balance", so to speak. A couple of people had their noses out of joint because they assumed I wouldn't return. But they got used to the idea. Given a bit of time, maybe you'll get a take on things that will bring you some clarity and calmer feelings. Nobody can take away your 23 year track record, after all

      ~ it's always worth it ~