Earlier this year, after years in the financial sector I quit my job due to my mental health (see my earlier post ‘fight or flight’). My anxiety and depression was so bad I could barely leave my house let alone get out of bed. If it wasn’t for my children I would never have attempted getting up in the morning. Work was no longer a motivation to get up in the morning as it played a big part in my mental ill health. The mere thought of going to work, a place where I no longer felt safe set off my panic attacks and I knew something had to be done.
About a month later my son was accepted into an amazing private school and he is so desperate to go. My thoughts were to let him go, however in order to do this I will need to go back into employment. I knew the sacrifices I will have to make for him to start this school later on this year. Without thinking about how ready I am, I rushed into employment and found myself working part time for a lovely company or so I thought. Three days in and although dealing with new girl nerves and some anxiety I thought the people were lovely.
It wasn’t long until I started to feel like the misfit. The one that just doesn’t fit in. I am that weirdo that no one wants to get to know and after a few days nothing I did was good enough, not even they way I said good morning. It soon became very clear that I was in a place that wasn’t suited to me. I have no interest in fitting in or being part of the crowd, but it would be nice to be able to have lunch with my colleagues without them walking away and showing no interest in getting to know me.
Each day I’ve sat and had my lunch by myself in my car. It provided me with a sense of security knowing that in my car I was away from judgement and it was the only place where I could eat my lunch. I am the misfit, the one who doesn’t fit it. Never in my years of working have I ever felt so uncomfortable. When I took up this job I felt like I had my confidence back. I rejoiced in the fact that I was again able to communicate with strangers without fear. I have not had an anxiety attack for at least two months and I felt like I was climbing my Everest getting closer and closer to the summit. Anxiety and depression is my Everest and reaching the summit means I’ve come closer to defeating it. I felt more out of place with each passing day and after over a month it has not gotten better. My anxiety started to flare up again. It hit fast and very quickly and I no longer felt like I was reaching the top of my Everest, instead it felt like an avalanche was heading straight for me and I would have to get away in order to save myself.
My entire life I always put others first and completely disregarded my own well being for the sake of others. This time round I can truly say that I have followed my gut instinct. After being publicly reprimanded for using my phone outside the office whilst on my lunch break, I decided that’s although I need to work and more than anything want to work in order to help my son fulfill his dreams, this is not the place for me! I will continue my search and I know that there is a job for me that will be more suited to who I am.
I enjoy being around people on my good days and can be a real people person, so I refuse to believe that we live in a world where people are incapable of being kind. My search continues and I will make the sacrifices I need too for my son, however the lesson I have learnt through this process is that I am able to put myself out there and although it wasn’t the best experience I feel more positive and so much more confident. My son will attend the school he has been dreaming of going to, and I will do what is necessary for him to achieve this.