So I'm an engineering student. I'm doing my master thesis project for a tech company. It started years ago, but I took a leave of sickness for 2 years due to depression. It was a pretty nasty story and involved a lot of things, eventually also my doctors getting burned out, and too sick to work because too many people in my home area got sick an they didnt have enough resources to help them, poverty, because no doctor could write the certifications and a lot of other things, but I don't need to get into that here. I'm now working my way back, and even though I'm still declared too sick to work at the moment from my current doctor, I have a deal where I'm allowed to finish my studies as part of a rehabilitation program.
I've had a meeting with my new mentor where we drew up a plan of what I should do to finish the project. This was 4 weeks ago. Yesterday he mailed and asked if we could have another meeting where I presented what I've done so far since I restarted. Problem is I haven't done anything. I thought it was going to be hard to go back to school/work but I managed to go to school almost every day and sit until 9 PM in the evening. I have spent the time watching series, programming other stuff to try to get back into the way of thinking with programming again and watching videos about what's happened in the software industry since I've been gone. I've downloaded the package of the old project and loked around a bit, but I haven't produced anything at all. It used to be really hard for me just to be in school at the time where I took a sick leave, so I have been trying to do these things to easy my anxiety and associate the school environment with a good mood in my mind. It wasnt purely for slacking reasons. The negative feelings have kept me though from opening the folder of the project from the time I felt really bad. Every day I went to school thinking I could open it and start working, but I failed every day.
This fills me up with immense shame and I dont know how to handle it. I mean, I have produced a couple of symbolic changes in the code and documentation but nothing even close to what can be excepted from 5 weeks work. Or even 1 week.
I don't get paid by the company from doing this, so at least I don't have to worry about that. It's more of an internship situation where they can hire me if I'm good for them. They know I was sick for a long time, but not that it was depression. And I dont think they know how incredible severe it was and how much progress I've made just the last half year.
I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to handle it? Maybe there are people who had previous experiences that they didnt do as much as the boss excepted and how to handle a) the meeting and b) the shame. I'm weighing in my mind the options of postponing the meeting a bit, how honest I should be etc... I dont need to hear I'm a bad person or should have done it or something like that. I feel incredibly bad about this and I'm making progress, it's just incredible slow and much more slower than an employer would expect.