Over a year ago, I realised and published a post that expressed some pretty daunting feelings that I was experiencing thanks to anxiety. Although I didn’t express too much in regard to the situation I was in, now I am out the other side, I can most certainly share my story and how I have tried to recover and tackle anxiety in my own way.
Late 2016, I jumped into a new role at a new company. The prospects were promising and the salary was way above what I thought I could achieve fresh out of university. The role was slightly different and in sales, in which I hadn’t directly been involved in. Yet, I was promised help and support as I learnt the ropes and took on the role. I was ruddy excited!
Yet, within a couple of months, I had hit rock bottom. The manager who had promised me coaching left the day after I started due to unpaid commission from the boss – Great start!
2 months on, I was being told week after week that If I didn’t hit target ( a figure plucked out of thin air and with no previous data to back it up as being achievable ), I would have to leave the job. I was panicked, scared, worried and also determined to do what was best for me and Ali. The salary was helping us massively with saving for our wedding, and if I lost this job, we would most defiantly struggle to pay the mortgage and other bills.
Whilst my perseverance clearly showed passion, I was miserable. Being regularly threatened by the boss that I wouldn’t be here the following week if I didn’t bring in more revenue was stressful to say the least. I was moody, distressed and sad in and out of work. I would wake up and wish there was a real and legitimate reason why I couldn’t head to work that day.
I was about to tell my boss my concerns and the stress and struggle I was under, when a colleague of mine was sacked for having time off work to have an operation! I literally couldn’t believe it! He was literally marched out. I sunk. I knew I couldn’t tell him, as it would only give him another reason to get rid.
I went home and cried. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t take time off work without the worry of being sacked and I couldn’t search for another job as I wouldn’t be able to head for interviews without raising suspicion. Although worried when I could go and interview, I started to apply for everything and anything – I knew I needed to get out.
My anxiety had really taken it’s toll on me and subsequently my relationship. I was indecisive and reluctant to take on advice, and becoming emotionally needy. Weekends would come around and I would slump back into my usual self. Once Sunday evening hit and the prospect of work rolled around I hid back in my shell.
Here, right here is where I knew I was low.
Unfortunately, my mum was taken poorly and was in hospital for a week. Naturally, I wanted to visit as much as possible. Surprisingly my boss was fairly flexible and allowed me to head home early once or twice to make it to the hospital in time for visiting. My mum recovered and was home within the week.
However, I had now been offered a job interview. I knew I needed to get out. It was tougher at work than ever and now every day my boss was on me to how many sales I was bringing in. This wasn’t just for me, it was the whole team. The campaigns we were running weren’t being fruitful and with little to no data to back up the jargon we were hitting clients with, it was becoming a real up hill struggle to even get a small sale.
The job interview was for a reputable company In Haywards Heath. After consoling my mum, I decided to accept the interview. It was decided that I would use my mum as an excuse and claim I needed to take her to the hospital for check ups. I hated lying, especially using my mum as an excuse. Alas, I headed to the interview, with the blessing of my boss to have the afternoon off, and bagged the job.
It took me some pretty hard convincing that it was the best decision. Although it was a new role, in a completely legitimate and rather comfortable company, I felt like I was letting myself and Ali down. The salary was slightly less and it was a travel. I was worried that it would effect our affordability and I was worried the quick jump would impact negatively on my CV.
After many discussions with family members, Ali and even the recruitment agent, I accepted the job and handed in my notice. Instantly, I felt a weight lift.
Here after, I seemed to recover. Once I left the old and settled into the new job, I came to realise the dark hole I was in. I had forgot how happy I could be, and how I can trust myself and my decisions. During my time in that role, I had started to doubt my natural instinct. I truly believed I had chosen the best route to career success and to grow into a salary that could support me and Ali going forward. When it all started falling down I felt I had failed. It was draining to be in a environment which made you feel like you weren’t achieving. Maybe it’s the real world of sales – although, I don’t have that in my current sales role!
I started to nurse myself and my mental health. I had to teach myself that I was not the problem and there is nothing that I can’t overcome or tackle. I shouldn’t handle things alone, and speak out about my feelings, worries and concerns.
A problem shared is a problem halved after all.
Everyone experiences different signs and symptoms of mental health and no two situations are the same. However, you are NEVER alone.
My biggest advice to anyone reading this, going through the same or struggling in one way or another is to speak out. Whether it be to a friend, relative, colleague or even doctor, speak and voice your struggles. There are always people that can relate and understand.
Mental Health is hugely talked about, and for good reason. Many suffer in silence and are scared to break out and discuss. It’s understandable, I struggled to. The first step to recovery is admitting. Read blogs, tweet others and engage in online groups.
If you need to speak to someone, hear more personal experiences, or feel like you’re not alone, I strongly recommend visiting https://ecbcmanchester.com/ and on twitter too! Such great advice and resources on self care created to help support those living with mental illness.
Do you have any advice with those struggling with mental illness?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.