2017 has taught me a lot. After losing my Nan in 2015, I would say that the back end of this year is the first time I have really started to level out, feel well and feel like myself again. Unfortunately, that has come at a cost. There have been a hell of a lot of people that haven’t understood this year that I’ve needed to take a step back to get better. Life is all one big learning curve, and I’m glad I have learned what I did this year even if some things were the hard way.
Even people with mental health issues, may not understand your mental health issues
This year I gave up drinking and decided to focus on my work and getting myself better. That has put a lot of people off being friends with me. Not being available like a helpline 24/7 has offended some people I am close to, literally, the last people who I would have thought would not be understanding of how much I need this time and space to get well. Fortunately, taking some time out from everyone and everything is the easiest way to figure out who your true friends and family are. The ones who wish you well will be right back there waiting to pick up where you left off.
Alcohol isn’t good for me
I gave up alcohol in August and despite one setback getting a bit drunk at the work do and going missing in action, I haven’t really drunk. Being drunk makes me incredibly “not-remembery” and heightens my anxiety massively. I won’t even get the whole morning after fear – it literally is about three weeks that my anxiety is bad for if I have a drink. I’ve now learned that if I do drink, it makes me really unwell because I don’t tend to do it now. As I sit writing this I am feeling rather smug as I drunk water all of last night at my friends and I have no doubt they are hungover the amount they put away. This is also one thing where I have found out who my real, true friends are. All of my friends have been super supportive. They’ve managed to find the balance between being polite and still asking me if I want a drink, but not pushing me into it. Now I can actually remember conversations I have with people the next morning.
Sometimes friends or friend groups just shouldn’t be mixed
I was really close to a someone a little while ago and if I am going to be perfectly honest, she treated me awfully. It wasn’t until just recently that I found out literally all of my other friends disliked her because of how badly she treated me. Despite being the typical Pisces and wanting everyone to get along – sometimes friends just don’t mix. I’m the sort of person who loves organising big events and getting everyone together, but sometimes people are just kept better separately.
You can get that dream job
I worked in my care job for six years more or less (there was some traveling and working abroad in that time). I worked my way up to a manager because this is what I thought I should be doing and what everyone told me I should be doing. I hated it, and it took a toll on my mental health. All being a manager meant was that I didn’t get time with the customers and I had even more stress. When an area manager started that hated me from my care days because I had to be a whistleblower and she did NOTHING about it until I started telling other managers, I knew my time was up. Needless to say, she did everything she could to get me out so I left.
At the grand old age of 29, I had to rethink my entire career path. I got a job for a small start up as a digital marketer based off of my experience outside of this job with my blog and some bits and bobs I was doing there for their marketing team. six months down the line the investors pulled out. It didn’t matter. I had quickly identified that the way I could make myself the most valuable was to find out EVERYTHING about programmatic so I asked and asked and asked some more and spent many a train ride reading and learning about the real-time bidding process. Now I have a job at an advertising agency in Covent Garden, and my probation is up more or less the same week I would have left my care company a year ago. I’m working hard and praying I pass it, as I love it there. I actually left my care job on my birthday last year, so this year all I want for my 30th is to pass my probation and hope I have finally found my forever job.
Physical health is really important
When I was about 14, I used to have McDonald’s breakfast EVERY day. I’m not even joking. Our school bus stopped outside McDonald’s and I got breakfast there every day without putting on an inch. 16 years later and a spell of the pill and antidepressants and I only have to look at a cheese melt dipper and I put on a stone. The whole giving up alcohol thing has done wonders for my weight and my skin, so I thought why not carry it on. Now I eat fairly healthy and take Hello Day vitamins as well as going to the gym. The buzz I used to get from alcohol I now get from knowing that I am doing absolutely everything I can to keep my body healthy.
In 2018 I am going to try Prepp’d who deliver fitness food straight to your door. This may sound lazy but I am a firm believer in paying someone else to do things you can’t be bothered to do yourself.