Sunday, July 26, 2009

notes from the nervous breakdown day 2

If you are uncomfortable with frank talk about mental illness, stay away from this blog while I am having my nervous breakdown and trying to share it with you. All are welcome to read but this is really and truly Very personal. All names have been changed to protect me.

I got to sleep around 11pm Friday night and slept clear through til 2:20 pm Saturday. It was exactly what I had most needed and I woke up feeling store and stiff from being in bed so long but emotionally feeling much Much better. Yesterday I began making plans for dealing with this situation.

I went over to work where my boss' boss, a really nice lady named Karen was the manager on duty and gave to her a copy or my medical excuse form letter as well as the "After Visit Summary" form that details diagnosis, treatment plan, follow up plans, etc. Karen could not possibly have been nicer or more pleasant. She completely agrees with me that the library system has become an impossible stress hole, that the new standards are almost certainly impossible for our 40--50 year old page staff, who were hired not because we can move materials especially fast but because we are literate, eloquent, well read and care deeply both about books and the public library's service mission. She really could not possibly have been any nicer to me, and I am very grateful for this.

Based on advice given to me by two friends who well know what they are talking about on Monday I am going to go to the social security office and apply for SSDI/SSI. Because my last ten quarters have been worked for the library part time for low wages my benefit check each month will be only $480--$575. BUT I can continue to work for the library part time and earn as much as my benefit amount. The net result if I get approved for SSDI and can keep a part time, fewer hours position at the library will be that my monthly take home will Increase while I will work significantly fewer hours.

The only times at work in the past month or two when I have not come home stressed out and drained, were when I substituted at a small branch library. (The library where I work is the largest and busiest in the system) Working at the small branch, even though it was so busy is just a LOT less stressful. So when I return to work on Friday I am going to request an ADA accommodation in the form of a transfer to one of three small libraries where I have worked before, like the supervisors and feel positive I would be happier, even though I will make less money and have a longer commute.

Meanwhile, Ron has agreed to take over the Libdrone blog for a while and has gotten a bunch of books of his choosing from the library and hopes to begin posting next week. Me, I just hope to survive next week and make it through to Friday and get them agree that transferring me is the best alternative for all concerned. Please keep the thoughts and prayers coming. I greatly appreciate them.

I am planning also on my week off to read, re-read and print out a copy of the American With Disabilites Act and bring that with me when I return to work on Friday and request this accommodation. I am hoping that library management will be co-operative and helpful with this and that my transition to disability can go smoothly. I just feel so much relief at not having to be at work getting all stressed out today and am trying to feel hopeful that going on disability may make my day to day life better instead of worse.

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