I think the heading sums up what this post is about.
For a little bit, I’ve known my mental health hasn’t been well. Hibernating at home, not wanting to socialise or see people, struggling to get up, take the dog for a walk etc..most of us knows how it is..barely functioning with life and doing the mundane things by route.
The past 2 years, I, along with everyone else in the world, have taken a battering, I had to get a job, based here in my home town, which didn’t provide the support or structure I needed. It’s hard enough advocating for people, but even harder when you work in an adversarial environment which gaslights you and makes you wonder if you’re actually doing a good job. I had to quit, and then found another job, which was great. I loved it, met new people and had a resound sense of achievement and belonging, and when that contract ended, came home to another job. I really loved this job, I loved the clients and the atmosphere, however, like most jobs, if you don’t gel with management then work life would always be a bit more adversarial. So, I had to quit that job. Now I’m looking for another one.
In the last 2 years, I’ve lost more people than I thought possible. My Mum in 2020, my Aunt and Cousin in 2021 (both within 3 days of each other), and this year – I found one of my cousins deceased, another one went to hospital for a routine appointment and didn’t make it home, and recently found out a school friend had left us in 2020 but we didn’t find out until recently. An overwhelming sense of sadness and loss has made me struggle. While I’m ok with coping with external loss, it’s the internal loss which impacts. One benefit of it though, I’m talking more with my older cousins, which has made me feel less lonely and makes my mental health manageable.
The one thing that has helped through this entire thing has been staying in therapy. I got a mental health plan from my Dr, a referral and have been actively engaged with a therapist for the past 2 years. It was initially to help deal with the grief of my Mum’s passing, but now its to help with the feeling less depressed and being able to put strategies in place to help function and have fun. I mean, there are days when things are good and I can do things that I’ve planned and enjoy them, but there are other times that I just can’t even do that. But that’s ok. I’ve allowed myself to have healing time and to have days where I’m just like “nah, not gonna do anything” days. I don’t feel guilty about that anymore.
While at the moment, with my mindset, I can’t read books , I can watch footy and some tv shows. I can listen to podcasts and do housework, my washing is up to date and bedsheets are changed regularly, so I know that while I do have bad days, it’s not the worst that I’ve been.
It’s not a weakness to admit you need some extra help, it’s not a weakness to engage in self care and give yourself permission to have an “off day” but I will say this, it is also ok to quit a job if its making you unwell and making you question your skills, values and ethics. No job is worth compromising your mental health for. NONE! Yes unemployment sucks, yes it sucks to continually put in applications for jobs hoping you’re going to get them or even compromising and accepting a lower job than the one you really want, but in the end, its about making sure your mental health is ok and your ok.
Here are some of the resources which I have found helpful in my mental health journey, they are Australian specific but I’m sure you can find relevant resources in your own country;