Thursday, 14 December 2017

Unemployment vs mental health... | BLOGMAS 2017 DAY 14

For day 14 of Blogmas I wanted share my story about how my mental health has affected me being able to work.

Since December 2014, I've been unemployed. 

I had been at a job for almost 2 years when I ended up being signed off with Depression. I had successfully trained to become a supervisor and I genuinely enjoyed my job. But I slowly became more and more tired, but unable to sleep at night. I was having trouble concentrating at work and would float off into a daydream, so much to the point that my manager pulled me into the office to talk to me about it. That's where I burst into tears and explained that I hadn't been feeling myself. 

A week or two later I decided that I should go and see my doctor about it. I had always had depressive episodes for as long as I could remember, but just put it down to it being who I am. I went to the doctor and she decided to sign me off for 2 weeks and prescribe me anti depressants. Although I knew that was probably the best thing for me, I was nervous about having to hand in my sick note to work as I knew how they would bitch about another lady who had been off for her mental health. I felt silly. But that two weeks ended up being six months of being signed off. 

After the six months, I handed in my notice and moved away with my mum. My dad's partner had moved out, mum had been wanting to move away so my brother and sister went to my dads, I went with mum. I was excited for a new start and was feeling positive to get back into work and throw myself into a new group of friends. This couldn't have been further from the truth. I spent a year miserable and isolated. I had applied for job after job, with no luck. I had attended a few interviews, but on the same hand I had purposely not gone to others because my anxiety took over and I ended up bailing. I did start at a job collecting people's shopping but left that due to the hours wreaking havoc on my sleep schedule even more.

After a year, at the beginning of 2016, I moved back with my dad. My mum knew how miserable I was and I would drive to my dads at every possible opportunity. Although, with there being four of us in a 3 bedroom house, I was left to sleep in the living room. The first few months I was on the sofa, then two blow up mattresses that both split, to then sleeping on a mattress on the floor. My sleeping was horrendous, my self esteem was rock bottom and my motivation was at zero. 

I thought maybe I should try part time work. So, I applied for a few jobs, had an interview, and then got a job. This would prove to be another disaster for me as I ended up working a day and never going back again, with no explanation. I felt uncomfortable, and the type of place I was working wasn't who I was. While the other girls were talking about what outfits they'll be wearing at the weekend and helping customers find their perfect pieces, I was freaking out in the corner trying not to be noticed or approached. 

So then that left to me feeling a bit helpless. My parents couldn't support me, my mum was in a new relationship and my dad's disabled. While my dad helped me out where he could, I knew I was (and probably still am) a huge burden on him. I took the chance and applied for a benefit for sick & disabled people unable to work. I was assessed and deemed unfit for work. I had been placed into a group where I meet with a work coach every 6 weeks to discuss my slow return to work. This is ongoing and where I'm currently at.

So, that's my story. That's where I've been, but where am I headed? I am feeling optimistic for the next year. I feel as though every day, I'm becoming more and more ready to get back into work. It will be terrifying and will test my anxieties to their limit, but I want to do it. I want to push myself and show myself that I can do it. I'm planning to start with volunteering, as it's no commitment so if I feel I can't do it, I don't have to do it. Then I'm hoping of moving into part time work with the end goal being back in full time employment. 

These past few years have been awful, I can't lie about that. But I can't accept this as my life. I won't allow myself to be beaten by my mental illnesses. I will learn to manage them and live side by side with them. 


Thank you so much for reading this more personal post! Follow me on Twitter here to keep up to date of new posts! 


Have you had experience of unemployment due to your mental health? Let me know, or tag me in any blogs you've written about your experiences - I'd love to read them!

Thanks again for reading and I'll be back tomorrow for another post!!


Laura
xo

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