I went to a mood disorder support meeting last week. I hadn't been in maybe 3 months. I told them that I had been in the hospital, taken a leave of absence and was back at work. And then the leader asked me "Did you have to go back to work?"
Well, yes if I don't want to be homeless. I don't think I'm quite long term disability material yet (or rather, again, as I was on it before). I would have to fail a lot more times before I give up on working.
Unfortunately, at these meetings most of the people are not working. I had my not working years too. I think that too many people give up though, once they get on social security disability. They see it as a permanent destination. I don't think it has to be for everyone. But working is definitely a stress, I will admit.
It is hard to explain, that going back to work has in some ways been easier, and in some ways harder, than I have expected. I'm glad that I didn't stay away too long- I didn't forget how to do my job. Treating patients just came right back to me.
But I have these constant apprehension- just waiting for the overwhelming depression and anxiety to return, that I had been feeling for so long when I was last at work. I am waiting for all the bad feelings to return. So far they haven't- but I can't get rid of the apprehension.
I hope as time goes on, this fear will go away.