Rejection is a bitch

After having gone through the stages of grief; in my opinion – denial, shock, distress, anger, sadness, acceptance, I’ve now come to the point where I am looking to rejoin the land of the living.

I won’t lie to you. Financial pressure is one of the reason I am considering this.

I’ve taken two months off work so far. But I still feel like I am not ready to go back to work. I am still largely unable to function properly. I can’t complete simple tasks, even at home in my personal life.

I was feeling okay recently, and applying to a couple of jobs – when I received a rejection for a role I was particularly interested in. Needless to say, rejection is a bitch to deal with, and so it has sent me on a downer.

It’s made me feel like I need to claw back desperately to cling onto anything this world is offering me to feel like I am worth something. That I am not just left red-faced on the back of the humiliation of rejection.

Now, I am wondering whether to beg for my old job back. The one I just couldn’t face day to day. Is it really the answer to push yourself back into doing something you know is not making you happy out of necessity?

The job was fine though. It is just difficult. And I am trying to avoid anything difficult in my life right now. That’s funny; seeing as all I’ve ever done is make my own life difficult because I’ve never felt like I am good enough.

And here comes the crux of the matter. It is purely BECAUSE I feel like I am not good enough, that it costs me A LOT of mental energy to participate in society. This is why I am finding life (and working) difficult. And that COST is what is killing me. It’s what is making me tired. It’s why I needed a rest.

So – I may go back to work very soon. But at what cost? If I go back and I am not ready, will I just fall again? How long do I wait, till my debts and my finances are at such a stretch that everything begins to fall apart?

We all live our lives like zombies – to pay the bills. Right? That’s what it boils down to.

So who am I? What is the point of me? Do I work to live, or live to work?

 

 

 

 

I always want to be raw and honest about my struggles in this blog. This is what it is for.

My anonymity is what is keeping this blog in the public domain.

But I am wondering whether to join the battle in exposing taboos around mental illness by making Youtube vlogs. I will be considering this.

I had to quit my dream job because of anxiety

So, mental illness is ruining my life once again.

I’m on edge all of the time. My skin is literally crawling with this edginess like spiders.

I feel terrible because I’ve had to quit an amazing job, an amazing opportunity all because I’m too ill.

The job is great. But my mind isn’t.

Here is what’s happening.

I began working and it was fantastic. But I was overwhelmed. And the stress and anxiety was soon starting to show in my face. I felt physically exhausted. I am in pain – I may have a stomach ulcer from the stress. I began to get blood in my stools. I couldn’t sleep. I’d cry all day on a Sunday. And every other day I felt like I had to keep up a facade.

I needed to take time off. So I ran away. I emailed and left. After a short period of time.

Thankfully, they understand. And want me to reconsider.

I’ve said I am not well and hopefully I can reapply once I’m well again. I am unsure how long that will be. Currently I don’t know what their response will be, but at least my relationship with them hasn’t been destroyed. That’s the most important thing right now regarding my professional life. So I can leave it on a shelf with my reputation intact to pick up later when I am well again.

Sadly, they most likely assume it is physical illness. Because mental illness is still very much a taboo subject. A lot of people think you’re just being lazy, or not trying hard enough. But if mental illness was a physical illness, they’d understand right? Cos they’d see the big black tumor crawling up my brain.

So sometimes sadly it’s unfortunate but you must play it that way. Besides, this pain in my abdomen is worrying me. I do believe it’s either crohn’s disease, a stomach ulcer or maybe even a cancer. I don’t know, I should go get it checked out. But right now I don’t want to know. I don’t have to energy to worry about stuff. I’m just resting.

So. There you have it.

I’ve been suffering from anxiety all my life and I’ve pushed myself to do things. For years it’s been non-stop. Now, I finally had to say stop. No more. And sadly I had to drop an amazing opportunity because I just cant continue anymore. I NEED THE REST.

The rest includes other areas of my life. Rest from relationships; dating and friends. Rest from watching the news. Rest from talking too much to family members. Rest from going outside. Rest from people and crowds.

It’s a kind of retreat in a way. Retreating from the world to my shell for a short while. The shell i worked very hard to get out of. Like my exposed body has been taking too much of a battering recently so I have to go inside the shell to recuperate and heal. And when I come out in a few weeks I’ll have a tougher skin.

I had to do it now before I burned out.

And I feel terrible for it yes. But soon the benefits of eating better, exercising, taking long walks and sleeping in, writing stories, with ZERO stress in my life, will start to show. A few weeks of no money is a decent price to pay for my health. My bills get paid by my family, so while I am lucky in this sense I will take the time now, before I crash and burn.

Just a few weeks ago I was planning my suicide. I searched for viable bridges to jump from. I selected one. I planned the journey. If I don’t stop now, I will probably die.

So I’ve had to take this drastic action. I’ve called up my banks and said that I will pay them back very soon, but for now I’m sorry, I just can’t.

I’ve turned off all of my social media accounts and have had my phone in airplane mode for the last 24 hours.

I’m feeling on edge because of this whole awful business with me having to run away from a great job and lovely people. But I’m glad they responded kindly. Now I can just forget everything and relax. Maybe watch some Columbo.

 

 

Challenge yourself … I promise it’ll be worth it

Here in the UK it’s mental health awareness week. So never has it been a more appropriate time to say – I’m winning my battle. You can too. Let me tell you how.

I’ve suffered with anxiety since I was a child.

It’s manifested itself in so many different ways, with the major one being social anxiety and regular feelings of failure and doom.

But I never stopped challenging myself. At first it began with little challenges. I made myself go back to college to study my A levels. From there I found some solace within the protective walls of a university to study my bachelors degree.

At first I didn’t make any friends. But I eventually got talking to people on my course and I fell in with a group.

The next challenge was to find a part time job. Let me tell you how a few years previously, before I went to college, I went through the stages of not being able to function. I couldn’t answer the phone at home. I couldn’t walk outside without the fear that there were pairs of eyes on me from every direction. I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. I felt so inadequate, so ugly. Especially in front of my relatives. I lacked confidence in myself.

But as I grew older, I continued to push myself. Oh, I suffered…My, how I suffered. But I persisted. Because I didn’t want to fall into that deep, dark pit of depression. There was always a cloud of doom following me around sure, but the dark pit was out of bounds. I didn’t want to feel what I felt previously down there. I stayed out of it. I just about managed to keep my head above water, because I forced my legs to continue to kick; no matter how slow.

After I got a part time job in retail things began to look up. In my interview I actually told the assistant manager that the job would give me confidence in myself. This was my first proper job. I told them the truth they gave me a chance. Don’t be afraid to let people help you. And I made all the right noises in terms of capability too. So I got the job. I remember the day I got that phone call. I couldn’t be happier.

What followed were years of a series of challenges from then on. One tiny challenge led to a cascade of bigger ones. And bigger ones. Until my anxiety was well and truly under control.

I finsihed university; I got another job which pushed at the boundaries of my anxiety. Every day was a struggle but I did it. Can you believe I ended up speaking to hundreds of people a week in my job in customer service? From zero to a hundred. Literally!

As my job progressed, so did my confidence. But though I was moving away from customer service and into digital relations in my job, I still had a sense of failure. I didn’t want to just be able to work, and make friends, and have a boyfriend, and a social life, all of which I had some of. It wasn’t great but hey – it existed.

I wanted to succeed. I didn’t want just a job, which by the way for someone with severe anxiety since childhood was a mighty achievement. I wanted a career.

And so, with a little financial help from the UK government, off I went to study a Masters degree at university. Guess what? I went all the way to the other side of the country. Yep. A northerner travelled south. My biggest challenge to myself yet.

It’s bloody fantastic. I have enjoyed every single minute.

In my next blog I’ll explain the amazing thing that happened next. But in the meantime challenge yourself. Even if it’s tiny. Go out of your comfort zone, even if it’s for ten minutes.

Take a leap of faith. I promise you… it will absolutely be worth it.

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Take your time, and confidence will come

We both talked about how we were introverts.

I met a friend face to face whom I met online previously for the first time yesterday, and we got on pretty well. We had a lot in common.

Although I didn’t talk about my anxiety, he did not seem to mind talking about how he was quieter than his friends. Not laddish. The night air was cool, and the water smelled sweet. The boats were deadly still, as if they stood on firm ground instead.

I agreed. I was introverted too, I said, I turned to look at a yacht stood among the others. It was larger than the rest, and held a sort of foreboding presence. And when he went on to discuss how he feels held back at work in his professional life I couldn’t make any more agreeable noises if I tried.

I too have been held back because of my introverted nature, my social anxiety. My anxiety full stop. But does this prevent our ultimate success?

“It gets better in time.” I turn to him as we walk at a leisurely pace. ” With age comes wisdom.”

He seems to listen to my advice. And it’s true. It does get better in time. As we grow older we learn to deal with our anxiety in a way no one can teach us. We are self-taught in how to manage certain situations; and those that continue to prove elusive – it’s only just a matter of time before you get the job you’re looking for.

“Shall we take that yacht and sail away?” He smiled mischievously, pointing to the biggest one in the marina.

“Where would we go?” I laugh.

“Caribbean.” He says, without hesitation.

The key is to never give up. Introverted or not; take your time, and you will surely get there. Think: the hare and the tortoise. Slow and steady… whether you win the race or not.

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Challenge yourself – interview tips for anxiety sufferers

When you constantly challenge yourself, the challenges seem easier.

But getting there is the hardest path to take.

It isn’t easy.

A challenge doesn’t end when it’s over. The effects of it linger on, for a long time after.

It’s hard not to over-analyse what occurred.

For example, today I had a job interview. It went really well, but aspects of it could have been better. Of course; this is normal. But not in my mind.

My anxiety wants me to constantly feel humiliation and regret. It wants me to ponder on my actions, and think that I did terribly.

It’s a voice inside my head telling me I was wrong. I shouldn’t have said that, I shouldn’t have done this. I should have said this, and that.

So the battle is never ending. But how did I overcome my anxiety enough to attend a job interview? Complete small challenges and build up to the huge ones. For instance, one day you will be making conversation with a stranger. A while later you will be attending an interview. You have worked up to it by taking small steps into overcoming your anxiety.

Deep breath, some sips of water. Take small steps, and persist. Change your way of thinking. It actually works. People used to tell me this all of the time; and they don’t mean change your way of thinking completely. They mean, tell yourself you’ll do well because so and so said that you were good at this. In effect this is turning your anxiety for good. You care what people think – you can’t help that. So care about the good things people think of you. Then use that to fuel your confidence in your own abilities.

But the side effect of this ‘behaviour training’ is that I just can’t stop replaying things in my head. I have to analyse every little detail of my most recent ‘challenge’. And then comes the wait. And if it’s bad news well that’s another story.

The rejection is quite difficult to take for any person, but for me it’s a severe blow. However my attitude has changed recently and it helps me cope with not getting the job. I just think one thing; everything is a learning curve. And it’s true. Whatever occurs is ultimately for the best. Even failure. For even in failure there is something to be learnt.

It’s  out of my hands now. So let’s leave it at that… if only my mind would do the same.