I’ve been meaning to write a post such as this for quite some time now and thought I’d use a Sunday afternoon to do so whilst my lovely boyfriend makes us his trademark lasagne for dinner *smiles*
I want to tell you about how my life has gone over the last 6 months or so. I reached the lowest point in my life at the beginning of this year and after have some seriously dark thoughts, I made a decision to speak to my doctor about how I was feeling – after talking about how I felt and answering a questionnaire type form he told me that the results suggested that I was suffering from mild to severe depression and he suggested that I would benefit from being prescribed antidepressants – after much thought and blood tests and a further appointment with my doctor, I decided not to go down the route of taking antidepressants – the main reason being that I’ve never been someone who likes taking pills or tablets of any kind, and the thought of having to do so daily for the next 18 months was something I just could not do. I’m glad I didn’t because I now believe that what I was suffering from was extreme anxiety.
So how did I get to this low point in my life?
I started working for a charity in June 2009, I had been working in retail from 2000 and I really just wanted a change and a challenge, something completely new and rewarding – and it was an extremely rewarding job, I met some amazing people and have loads of happy memories that will be with me forever — but I also had some seriously horrid experiences whilst working there too, for which I will try to condense into a readable form as I could go on a long post about everything and that would be pointless.
The main person that caused all of the psychological and emotional stress was my then manager, thankfully she no longer works there any more – In October 2010 and just before I went on holiday for two weeks I spoke to her and asked her if she had any concerns in regards to my work and she said she had none – the reason I was asking her this? In June 2010, she decided to make me a scapegoat for the failings she was bringing to the workplace and I had to attend a disciplinary hearing with her and a member of the head office staff, who previous to the meeting had told me to “watch out for her”, I was told less than 24 hours before the meeting that I had it which I now realise is not the correct and legal way of doing so and I wasn’t made aware that I could bring someone with me to the hearing – so I didn’t – I had written some things down that I wanted to say in the hearing but when it came to it the words just wouldn’t come out – my manager was trying to stitch me up – at the end of the hearing I was told that I was going to be put on a 6 month probationary period so that they could monitor me.
This monitoring was basically hearsay and opinions from a member of staff I worked with and not any evidential substance whatsoever!
So I started my two-week holiday in November, finally feeling confident that things were improving — how wrong could I be?
I returned from my holiday on the 16th November and the Chief Exec came over to speak to me about some of the changes that we were all going to be going through in the coming months due to two of the services merging to one, at the end of this she handed me an envelope without really explaining what it was, this had happened previously when a head office staff member handed me an envelope and then basically pissed off, so I decided that history was not going to repeat itself and I asked her what the letter was for and she told me it was in regards to my performance….
HANG THE FUCK ON!
I asked her to explain and she told me that my then manager had raised concerns which were all included within the letter – funnily enough my manager was on holiday for two weeks and I had a meeting scheduled for a week away – I couldn’t speak to my manager to ask her what the hell was going on.
I read the letter and almost laughed in disbelief as I read it – every single thing written against me in the letter was false or misconstrued, I decided that I needed to seek legal advice so I made an appointment first thing the next day to speak with someone at the Citizens Advice Bureau – they really helped me and I started to write-up notes in preparation for what could possibly be the meeting that ends my employment – I ended up writing 4 pages of note which totalled over 2000 words which picked apart the hem of lies that my manager had sewn and I actually managed to stop myself from losing my job just before Christmas.
A week or so passed and I worked my arse off to prove to everybody that I was able to do my job and soon after that my manager returned from her holidays – she knew what she’d done and she also complimented me on the work I had done – I knew it was all fake and I knew that she was trying to save her own arse before she left to go to another job so I decided to be ultra nice towards her – that is real revenge, seeing someone’s face when you do something nice for them when they know you know they stabbed you in the back – she left soon after this and I believed that was the end of it all – but it wasn’t….
January came and went and then February arrived, it was about this time that I was signed off from work for 4 weeks by my doctor and then on discussion with him I decided I wanted to try to return to work, I returned for one day and on that day I was told I had a meeting to attend on the following week – there was really not much support given to me and I knew they were going to try to use as much as they could to get rid of me, so I decided that I was going to hand in my notice – I wanted to leave with my dignity intact and that’s what I did, I attended the meeting and began by handing them my notice which they accepted and also (surprisingly) they paid notice in lieu so I didn’t have to work it – I made my last visit to work after the meeting to say my goodbyes….
Literally on the day I left I felt my mood start to lift, a huge weight off of my shoulders – and on the same day I got a phone call asking me to attend an interview for a well-known clothing store which was great, I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to find a job, this was twinned with the fact that during the time at my now old job I had put on lots of weight…
I’ve always been an emotional eater, stress eating comes all too easy to me – when I’m happy in mind, I’m usually happy in health but the job had taken its toil on me, mentally and physically – Only recently have I started to focus on getting back to a healthy way of life – it’s going to take time to rid myself of the pounds I piled on but as long as I’m happy in my life I know it will be easy!
So…I attended the interview two days later and had an email the following day to let me know that I’d got the job – I was happy but my heart really wasn’t in it – I didn’t want this job, but it was a job and I really shouldn’t be so fussy, I might enjoy it!
There are many reasons I love Facebook and the next chapter of my working life was about to be changed by a status update I had written which had 160+ comments, the last of which was a message saying “Call Me!”, I called and spoke to the lovely lady who I had worked with before and who was about to become my future manager – I couldn’t believe my luck – I felt so happy as I passed each stage of the interview process and once I had it all confirmed I thought I was going to burst with good feelings, I handed my notice in to the clothing store and gave myself a weeks holiday before I was due to start and since then I have started and really feel secure and happy again – I owe a lot to that lovely lady – thank you!!
I also managed to return to my old workplace without any bad feelings towards it, that’s when I knew I was recovered 🙂
So now as the days grow longer and the weather starts to improve, I’m working on losing the weight I put on over the last year, I plan to document this on YouTube, possibly not on my usual channel but I do want to share my journey with people and I guess I will always be scared of the shallow minded people who will call me fat or similar but owning up to failures is part of recovery and the weight loss community on YouTube seems to be rather friendly – I also have coined a very clever name for the channel I’m posting to too!
I’ve started to cycle again too, there’s a lovely 10 mile route I take and part of it included an amazing 70ft decent which my bike reaches speeds of 30 mph, I love cycling and once I build up my fitness levels I plan to start cycling to and from my new workplace which is 16 miles away (or 11 if I want to cycle the whole route uphill…no thanks, not yet anyway!) – 32 miles a day plus a healthy lifestyle and I know my weight will drop, I did so in 2009 and I know it works – gone are the days of relying on slim fast shakes and weight watchers “meals” – I will eat real food and get exercise, the simplest way to lose weight!
I’ve had amazing amounts of support from my mother, my boyfriend and also my boyfriend’s family – I feel honoured and humbled to have such caring people in my life – I love you all!
I guess what I want people to be able to take away from this blog post is that although we all have times in our life when we think there is nothing worth working towards, we feel directionless, useless, etc – but managing to turn a bad situation around and end up on top feeling so grateful to be alive – that’s the real deal. We all have the ability in us to do it!
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences – so if you want to share, just comment below!