History

When you have a history of mental health issues, how much do you disclose?

I started a new job in December and I really enjoy it. It’s very social, I’ve made a lot of new friends already and there’s also someone I’m talking to and interested in. My only thing is, I have a history that’s not ‘typical’. I spent 10 months in adolescent units in 2013/13 when I was 16/17. I’m now 20 and honestly, it doesn’t affect me much anymore. I don’t think about it much and although I’m still in contact with people I met there (I actually met my best friend in hospital and we barely ever talk about it!) it really isn’t a massive part of my life- to me, it was just a chapter. 

But I know that questions are going to come up eventually. If someone really digs deep on my social media (I’m talking scrolling back a couple of years on Instagram or Facebook which people do surprisingly often), they can find things that easily point towards what my situation was. I know the easy solution would be to delete the posts or pictures or whatever, but I don’t want to. Now, and in years to come, I can look back and compare my life then to now and I like that. There’s nothing extremely personal on there anyway, just vague things that someone with half a brain cell could piece together that I had some form of mental illness. And anyway, I’m not ashamed. I’m just aware that everyone I meet doesn’t need to know my life story. 

It’s quite a gossipy environment so I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I won’t tell my coworkers/friends unless we become friends outside of work and it seems appropriate. There has to be a level of trust that they won’t spread it around the department. But what about the guy I like? Say we go out, I mention things about my past and he’s either scared off or we just don’t work out, and then he tells other people? That’s something I have no control over. I want to live my life without being nervous my personal life and medial history will be laid out for everyone to see but how do I do that?

If I decide I won’t tell someone until we are fairly serious or are good friends, won’t they feel like I’ve been lying to them when I finally do tell them? 

I hope this makes sense, I’m literally just rambling thoughts and have no energy to proof read. If anyone actually manages to read this shit, please offer up some advice. I would definitely appreciate it. 

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It’s only a month into the year and I have already achieved (or am on my way to achieving) majority of my goals. I thought I’d post a little update. 

1. I have been discharged from mental health services! It’s been almost 4 years since this whole journey started and I’m so happy to put an end to that chapter. I’ll never forget it but I’m happy that it’s behind me.

2. I am booking my first proper holiday in 2 weeks! E and I are going to Iceland in October! I cannot wait. 

3. I started a new job in December so before I even posted the goals the goal was achieved! 

4. I’ve met a ton of new people at my new job and am loving it! 

5. I have lost a stone since starting my new job. It’s extremely active which means I have lost weight without actively trying (and also improving my fitness at the same time). 

All that is left is a car! Which I am in the process of looking into. I just need to compare prices as there are a few options. When I’ve got my car, I might make some new goals as I’ll still have a decent amount of 2017 left. 

My sister and my job

My sister has worked for a certain supermarket chain for 7 years now. She started off as an 18 year old and worked weekends on checkouts whilst finishing her A levels. She continued to work there whilst at unversity and when she graduated she went full time.

She was quickly promoted from a regular shop assistant to a ‘team leader’ which she’s being doing for 3 years now. Staff higher up approached her earlier this year about training for management and she recently completed that. Basically, she’s ace. She works really hard and although I know she didn’t (and still doesn’t) envision working there ‘forever’, she puts a lot of time and effort into her job. 

I, however, have been struggling a lot recently. I have no idea where I want to go or what I want to do. I constantly change my mind- one day I’m certain I want to focus on elderly care, then it’s childcare, then someone tells me I’d make a great nurse and I think ‘hmmmm’.

I’ve been working part time in care setting whilst I try to figure things out and although I love what I’m doing at the moment, it’s not enough hours and it won’t be a long term career. More recently I’ve realised every job I am drawn towards has some aspect of caring and I honestly don’t know if I want the responsibility (and the anxiety the responsibility brings). It would be nice to have a job that I can enjoy but I’m not constantly worried that if I forget something, someone is in danger. 

So whilst my sister, mum and I were Christmas tree shopping I mentioned it to them. Immediately my sister told me she could (and would) get me a job in a blink of an eye- she’s said this to me before but I’ve always had a reason to say no (I’m not well enough yet, I don’t want to work in the same place as her, etc)- but this time I said yes. We spoke about the job a lot and she told me although I’d be contracted to do part time hours, overtime is always available in her department. 

The next day she phoned me from work and she was in HR, she’d got me a job. Just like that. Something that would be so so difficult for me, she had done it in the blink of an eye. I can’t tell you how grateful I am. I didn’t have to have an interview, I just told HR all my details and they told me about my induction. This all happened last week and my induction was today (it went well!). I start my new job on Friday. It was that easy.

Two weeks ago I was feeling like shit. I’d just been to look at cars and given monthly payments quotes that I just couldn’t meet with my care wage (baring in mind I need money for other things to, you know, live) and I was feeling helpless. ‘I need a car to get another job’ was all I could think. But I couldn’t get a car until I had another job. But now, less than two weeks later, I’m starting a new job and will be able to get a car within the next few months. I can’t believe how quickly things can change. 

I’m going to wrap this up now but I honestly cannot end this without saying how grateful I am for my sister. She has been there through all of my shit and never given up on me, even when I wanted her to. I’ve put her and the rest my family through so much but their support has been unwavering. And now she’s done this for me without a second thought. She’s amazing. I honestly love her so much. 

Thanks sis. X