Possible outcomes for Charlie
Charlie is a programme manager responsible for delivering a number of different projects. He has a fantastic team working for him with excellent working relationships and team comradery. He enjoys taking a very pragmatic approach to his work with targets and deadlines and has found this works very well.
Three month ago Charlie’s Dad found a lump and Charlie had been trying to convince his dad to go to his GP. Eventually his dad received a terminal diagnosis and Charlie has been coming to terms with this news. Charlie's mum has been a huge support and is acting as a full time carer for his dad. Although an incredibly difficult time Charlie has coped well and no one at work was aware anything was wrong.
Charlie’s eldest daughter is in her first year of uni but has been struggling badly and is often returning home last at night in flood of tears. Charlie spends most evening on the phone with his daughter trying to console and advise her on the best course of action. But with no straight forward answers he is feeling more and more inadequate and unable to help.
One evening Charlie had spent two hours on the phone to his daughter and to unwind had a couple glasses of wine which he found helped him relax. A week later Charlies Dad passed and the family rallied around to support each other. Charlie took time off work for the funeral but found work provided a good distraction even though he was not enjoying his work as much as he used to as his enthusiasm was stunted with everything that was going on.
A month later things had not much improved with his daughter and Charlie was increasingly feeling helpless and not much use. He was having a few glasses of wine most nights but found this was disrupting his sleep. Charlie found his outlook on life was becoming bleaker as things just felt so difficult all of the time.
With the loss of his dad, feeling unable to help his daughter Charlie’s thinking became quite negative feeling like he was stuck in a black hole which he could not climb out of. He had stopped doing the things he enjoyed and simply tried to get through one day to the next.
At work however Charlie put all his efforts into acting the same old Charlie with office banter with his team and ensuring motivational levels were high. However felt increasingly negative and hopeless.
Then one day Charlie realised he and his team were going to miss a deadline due to unforeseen work demands which Charlie is usually able to plan ahead for but this time had missed it. Charlie realised that his concentration and motivation levels had been suffering resulting in this getting missed and felt terrible. He had to go to his boss and apologies stating it was on oversight. Charlie’s boss was furious as this affected the businesses’ finance and gave Charlie a good dressing down. Charlie left feeling even more of a failure and pretty depressed. He then had to go to his team to deliver the news who were all very supporting but just made Charlie feel worse. Charlie went home that night and drank heavily on his own.
Over the next few months Charlie became more and more depressed relying on alcohol to give him some reprieve from his feelings. His performance at work suffered greatly and Charlie did not feel able to share this with his line manager. Instead he tried to struggle on in silence until his line manager raised the issue with him. Charlie was subsequently taken off the programme management role and given alternative duties. Charlie felt his life was falling apart and continued to be unproductive and struggling through each day.
After the passing of his Dad Charlie had a scheduled appointment with the OT. Charlie made it clear he was coping with this and that it was not impacting on his ability to work. The OT listened to Charlie for the next 30 minutes and heard how he has coped with the death of his father and is spending a lot of time helping his daughter.
The OT provided education around bereavement and the seen and unseen effects this can have on us. Specifically that as human we can each cope with a certain amount of stress/sadness but not for prolonged periods of time. Charlie acknowledged feeling helpless with his daughter and that this feeling made him very unhappy and that he had found a glass of wine helped him with this.
The OT discussed positive and negative ways of coping with negative emotions and Charlie agreed that alcohol was not good solution as he is aware of the negative impacts. Charlie agreed it would be best for him and his daughter to keep the drinking to a minim which he planned on doing. The OT offered a number of alternative positive coping strategies.
The OT emphasised the importance of looking after himself. He has had a difficult time with some difficulties looking like they are aren’t going to go away any time soon. If he doesn’t look after himself he risks burning out.
Charlie benefited from talking about his current difficulties and the understanding that we all go through difficult times but the importance of looking after himself. He decided he needed a family holiday and made the booking with his family. He also spent some time with his daughter playing badminton which they both used to love doing and both benefited from. This led to him and his daughter joining a local team and occasionally competing.
Charlie drank socially at the weekends but was much more aware about not using alcohol to deal with difficult situations. When he felt stressed or low in mood he would listen to music or cook which he loved to do.
Charlie maintained his productivity at work.
No financial cost were incurred as charlie continued to meet his deadlines.
Charlie successfully remained in his role eradicating recruitment costs.