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Disability Narratives

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Interview excerpt: Charlotte has found some successful strategies to manage her conditions, but finds this success leads to requests to do more work, which might disrupt the work-life balance she has found.


Image representing Charlotte

And I have been offered more work, and I've been very reluctant, because my “psychosis” if you like [laugh], is that I'm - I cope. So, you know, on the surface I've always presented very well, I've got great social skills, I like people, I - you know - I seem open and friendly, and whatever. And I think, competent. And so that often projects a sense to people that of course I can cope, of course I'm doing well, of course - I can manage more. And so I think that's been really hard to just kind of go “errr”, you know, partly because you don't want to feel like you can't do it, or that you're going to let somebody down. Like a line manager, they say "will you take on more". But I think I at the same time have to be really careful about testing myself too far, because I just don't know. So I do find myself having this conversation about potential more work - find myself having to kind of slightly gently remind [my manager] that I am ill. And again she was okay. But again, how you talk about it? I don't want to undermine myself [laughing] by going "Oi, I'm ill." But at the same time, to kind of basically say, you know I'm doing the job that I'm doing really well now, but that's because I'm here three days a week. And I'm doing well. But to stretch it beyond that might be testing the limits of my health, and I don't know if I'm ready to take that risk. 

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