Hey lovely readers
Between the pandemic and Brexit you all know how short staffed every industry is in the U.K, not least the care industry. I was severely burnt out for a year but when my managers stressed about being short staffed said “please help us” I thought of the people who I was caring for faces and picked up all the extra shifts. This led to me becoming burnt out. Did I stop? I should have done but I didn’t. I kept going with an empty battery for a year.
On 22nd December 2021 I was so anxious and depressed that I tried to take my own life. This was my crashing out moment. This is where I’d pushed myself to such extremes mentally and physically that I had no choice but to stop.
I am here to tell you some of the things that I’ve learnt from taking time out of work…
- I need to seek joy in my everyday life instead of relying on my travels as the only thing that makes me happy
This is a hard pill to swallow. I lived for the 60 hour weeks driving me towards that plane ticket out of here. I went to Reunion in October and I had all kinds of problems with my fibromyalgia because my body was drained from working 60 hour weeks. This meant that instead of enjoying time in the hostel common areas with my new friends I was in bed by 9pm. I didn’t even dare to attempt any of the beautiful hikes on Reunion island because my body was still in recovery from working so much.
When I go back to full time work I am going to have it in place that because of my disabilities I can’t work more than 40 hours in a week. I’m going to make social plans at least once a week. I’m going to laugh and be happy, not just in a fake work happy way but in my everyday life. I know that even if I die not seeing all the places in the world that I want to see I know I will have come close.
2. Job centre workers are nowhere near as scary as I expected them to be
I’ve signed up to universal credit and I was terrified the first time I went in to the job centre. In fact I’m crazy anxious every time I go in to the job centre. I either cry or babble on anxiously not making eye contact. You know what though? The job centre people didn’t interrogate me and judge me like I thought they would. They are actually really nice and non-judgemental. They reassure me every time I go in.
3. Resting is working on myself
This was something I couldn’t get my head around when my therapist first told me this. 3 months in to my time out of work and I’m starting to see her point. I never used to see the point in resting, self care or this mysterious thing people call ‘chilling’, but I’m realising now it’s so important. I actually enjoy my chill out times now. I’ve watched some as I call it ‘TV and education series’ learning about LGBTQIA+ whilst watching the L word with my friend who knows all about it and learning about what the army go through watching Our Girl with my friend who was in army cadets. This is something I really enjoy doing and is my way of chilling.
4. When the shit hits the fan my friends will step up for me in a huge way
Through this shit time in my life I’ve realised how lucky I am. From waking my mate up in the middle of the night because I got a bad uni grade which was making me feel suicidal again to crying for no reason after Sunday dinner. My mental health has put my friends through the works but they are still here and I’m so grateful for them. Crazy how on the day I attempted to end my life I was convinced that people were only nice to me to get good points on Santas, Gods, Buddahas ext nice list. One of my friends told me today that at our age friends are in your life because they want to be, people don’t stick around if they don’t want to which is so true and I’m so lucky.
5. Everyone is on their own journey in life
I was telling my therapist about the main character from Our Girl being so brave compared to me. My therapist then reminded me about the time I went to Colombia on my own and lots of people (including her) thought I was brave. That stuck with me because I often compare myself to others and the fact that other people seeing me as brave blows my mind. Whilst I’m not completely out of the woods with comparing myself to others I’m trying my best. We all go through highs and lows in our lives and our journeys are so different so it makes no sense to compare our life with anyone else’s. Also social media is fake and maybe I need to spend less time on Instagram.
I still struggle with my anxiety, depression and fibromyalgia daily but I figure it’s not going anywhere so I need to make a life that meets my needs whilst taking care of myself with my disabilities. I don’t quite know how my life is going to pan out but I’m over the wallowing stage and now it’s time to get back on the horse and live my life again. I need to prioritise laughing, doing things with friends and spending less time on Instagram. I don’t have it all figured out but thanks to a select few people I’m on my way to getting my life back.
If you have any questions about my blog post message me on Facebook or Instagram.