Dear Harlan: I’ve been going through some personal issues. There have been health issues and family issues. I’m having a hard time managing at work and all the challenges at home. I’ve missed a couple of deadlines, and I’m forgetting things. It’s making me start to question myself. This is not typical of me. You could say I’m a Type A personality. I’m worried my boss will start to question my work. Should I tell him what is happening? I don’t want to make excuses, but I’m also worried my lapses will be misunderstood. I’m private about my personal life, so sharing this information would be unusual. I can’t risk losing my job. Am I just being paranoid?
Dear Worried: Everyone goes through rough patches. It’s your turn. The most helpful thing you can do is ask for help. It’s also the hardest for someone who is used to always having the answers. What are you doing to get yourself help? Who can you turn to? What steps can you take to get better? Start with friends and family. Find a mental health professional who can guide you. As for your boss, there’s no reason to bring up anything to this person unless it is brought up to you. Focus on finding answers, finding balance and getting better. This way, if your boss ever does bring this up, you can share the solution and how you’ve taken steps to make sure you can be the best in all parts of your life.