It’s the fourth day, well night, of 2018 and finally I feel like I can breathe.
As I count the blessing of being alive on this day, with the ability to make things better in life, I wanted to talk to you all about something not-so uplifting, or positive. Then again, I probably talk about morbid things quite a lot so this might seem like typical morning Myrtle (aka me).
I’ve had a great response lately, even when talking about sensitive things, and the consensus is that people feel better after reading my blog. My aim has always been to steer others into the right direction through my, or others, mistakes. Although I usually speak on things after I’ve learned the lesson, this time I wanted to speak from a different angle.
This time, I don’t have an answer. Instead, I have an issue that I need to let out of my system before I allow it to break me down. Hopefully, once I’ve let it out I’ll be able to fix things.
I’m questioning whether, or not, I should quit my job – and also whether, or not, I’m going through depression again.
Those of you who have been with me from the start of my blog will already know that depression is something that I’ve battled with for many years. Going into a dark place is something that I’m used to, but I always come out on the other side so I know that, for me, it’s not something that will hold me back forever.
I like to say that I’m very familiar with the route of this tunnel and, although the journey is a complicated one, I know that there’s a light at the end of it. I live for the light.
However, although I’ve been through this many times before, it’s different now. Depression is usually very evident to me and those around me – because I suffer in silence yet it’s written all over my physical being. (Suffering in silence is not something that I promote at all. In actual fact, I constantly tell people not to do it because I know just how detrimental it can be to your health. Don’t suffer in silence!)
Depression is ugly on me. It makes me even more withdrawn than usual, I lose all motivation, my easily-irritated nature is amplified, I don’t have anything positive to say and I usually don’t blog through those times either. I go to work feeling miserable and then come home and think negatively until I fall sleep, and I repeat that routine until I’m better.
However, none of that is happening right now, not really anyway. I’ve been more sociable lately, I want to do things – just not one specific thing (I’ll explain shortly), things that usually irritate me don’t right now, I’ve still been positive and I’m here blogging – everyday. Life is good for the most part, or at least it looks that way on paper, and I’m excited for 2018 – yet I’m questioning whether, or not, I’m depressed.
“So if life is good, for the most part, and I’m excited for this year, why do I think that I’m depressed?”
Well, on Tuesday, I cried. I cried on the way to work, I cried in the toilet at work, I cried on my way home and, as I was in bed, I cried some more. I was too numb to cry yesterday, instead I found myself staring into space thinking about nothing. Today, I cried again. I cried my little heart out like someone had died – but no ones dead.
Crying is not my forte – nor is it something that I usually do when depressed. I don’t like to cry, I find it pointless. Yet, I realise now that I was crying because I had run out of words to express my frustration and my tears were the only way that I was able to release my emotions.
I’ve had enough of my job but I’m anxious to leave before I’ve found one to replace the wage. The anxiety is eating me up alive and every day that I go into work, something else happens that crushes my soul – and I can’t take it anymore.
Not work in it’s entirety, because I enjoy my other job, but specifically my office job. The job that I’ve had for over four years, and the one that pays what needs to get paid so that I don’t fall into debt etc.
I don’t feel like I can do the job anymore. No, let me rephrase. I cannot continue to put my mental health at risk for the job anymore.
The job itself is easy, I could do it with my eyes closed, so that isn’t really my problem. The only thing that isn’t easy is the trauma that comes with it. I’m exposed to the harshest realities of the lives that vulnerable people live, and that weighs heavy on the heart. Yet, I balance that out with the fact that I’m part of the process that helps those vulnerable people – which helps me sleep at night.
The issue that stops me from sleeping at night is the dehumanising way that I’m treated at work. I’ve been discriminated against constantly (with management even making jokes about my disabilities), I’ve been given tasks that are outside of my remit (or are not even work related) and when voiced that I don’t want to do them, because I literally don’t have the time on top of my actual responsibilities, then I’m told that I need to do everything I’m told to keep the job as it will be hard to find another one seeing as I’m disabled.
I’ve been stressed to the point that I’ve been signed off sick, and then pressured whilst off that I need to come back or I will lose the job and won’t find another one, so I end up going back earlier than prescribed by the doctors. I’m not given proper phased returns either, even when recommended by the doctors. Nor are the requests by occupational health followed. My special chair was stolen, they won’t allow my screen to be adjusted because there is hot-desking after hours (other people have theirs adjusted though), my desk was moved away from the window (where I’m supposed to sit to prevent migraines) because my manager didn’t want someone else sitting next to her and I’m supposed to be allowed 5 minutes an hour to walk around my desk so that I keep my circulation going but they won’t allow me to. I’m allowed 27 personal minutes in a day (for toilet, kitchen runs) but when I’m away on personal managers always come and follow me to ask me if I can come back and cover something. It’s not really personal then, is it?
I’ve been made to feel uncomfortable by a colleague constantly (to the point that he sneakily followed me out of the building and hid around the corner to watch me) and, when I raised the issue with management, I was told that I would have to sit with the man that makes me feel uncomfortable every single day, by myself, and ask him to stop – although I’d expressed many times that I didn’t feel comfortable to be anywhere near him. So, if I sat with him and he told me no, he’s not going to stop, what should I do then? Just accept that he’s going to stalk me forever because no one wants to help me? I can’t even open work emails if he’s in the office because he’s constantly logged into my computer screen, when he’s not allowed to be, to watch everything I do – and, of course, I don’t want him to see other people’s confidential information – or mine. Everything I raise about him is laughed off because “that’s just how he is, he’s weird”. It’s ridiculous.
Then, almost everyone constantly makes jokes about my weight, (I will expand on that in tomorrow’s post) but when I make a point that I don’t like it it’s laughed off because apparently I’m strong and it shouldn’t bother me. I know I’m slim, I’ve always been slim. I don’t need you to put your fingers around my wrist and say “omg could you get any thinner?” with a disgusted face. Leave. Me. Alone.
That’s not even the half of it, but as I’m writing this, and reliving it, I feel like the heaviest weight has just landed on my shoulders. Are you drained? Me too.
The fact that I’m even sharing this let’s me know that I’m close to the edge, because I’ve always tried to hold back from saying things about my job – in fear that it would get back to them and then I would lose my job. Also, as crazy as it may sound, the people that have done the majority of the things mentioned, and more, are my “work friends”. I’ve been there since I was 19, and now I’m almost 24. We’ve been through things together and I’ve grown to really care about them, so I’ve always tried to keep my mouth shut so that things don’t get worse – because I’ve seen how they’ve talked about, and treated, people that spoke up. Outside of work I would’ve cut them off so fast, but inside of work I’ve felt a pressure to hold my emotions down to make things easier for myself.
I’m not going to name anyone, I’m not going to name the organisation, I’m not going to be a whistleblower and make any grievances so that people lose their jobs but I’m not going to suffer in silence anymore. I’m going to free myself.
I’m comfortable here. This blog, and all of you that take the time to read it, have made me feel comfortable enough to express myself. Thank you.
I could care less about most things, but due to my illness I know that it’s never going to be easy for me to work a 9-5 unless I can work from home for some days. My dream isn’t to work a 9-5 forever either, but until I get to where I need to be I didn’t want to be jobless. I hoped to keep this job until I graduated (I literally have a few months left) and was able to either go into the field I’m passionate about, or be earning enough from my own businesses that I didn’t require a 9-5 ever again.
Instead, here I am.
I haven’t graduated yet, I don’t have another job lined up yet (I’ve started applying and already had callbacks which isn’t so bad) and I’m about to write my notice.
As I’ve been writing this, and letting it out, I’ve realised that I am depressed and I am going to quit my job. I don’t want to say quit because I’m not a quitter but it is what it is.
I shouldn’t be crying about work when my heart isn’t in it. I shouldn’t be going somewhere that has constantly sent me into depression and then shrugged it off like it’s my disabilities fault. Fibromyalgia is not doing this to me. It is not flaring up on its own. My fibromyalgia is reacting to the negative energies that I’m surrounded by daily at work. My fibromyalgia has been trying to tell me for over four years that this isn’t the job for me, and I have been ignoring it and forcing myself to stay. For what? So that I’m not jobless for a little while?
It’s not worth it.
Plus, I won’t be jobless when I leave because I have another job already. I’ll just go from having two, to one, and lose out on money. I’ll be okay. I’ll have more time to work on greater things, on things that make me great. Sure, I’ll lose out on money for a while, but I’m not in a position where I’ll go homeless, or starving, or won’t be able to do the things I need to do. I will be fine, I will be happier and I won’t have this weight on my shoulders anymore.
My parents support my decision, because they prioritise my health first. They have told me that they have got my back, which made me feel better because they won’t be disappointed in me. My siblings don’t think any less of their big sister either, because they would rather see me mentally-well than depressed because of work. My friend told me that I can do this, she told me that I don’t need them and I have better things coming so I need to stop letting bullshit affect me. I have a support system, I don’t have to suffer in silence, I’ll be fine.
Leaving won’t immediately take me out of this dark hole because I’m a stress head – so it will take a while. That’s okay, it’s a start. I know what I’m going to do now, when at the start of this article I had no idea. That just shows, it gets better. It’s already getting better and I will be okay.
This has probably seemed like “blah blah blah” to some of you, it feels like that to me too, but one day I’m going to look back on this and smile – because I’ll have overcome it.
Thank you all for reading, and for all of your love!
Lots of love, Liss x