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(Trying) to progress with work!!


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Thought I’d update you with my progress and my attempt to return to work. This thread may be of more use to people who have left their original place of work and are attempting to try something new.

My previous employers could not offer me a phased return after my SAH and requested me back in less than six months. I did not have the emotional energy to disagree and I handed in my resignation and drew a line in the sand. I still think it was the best decision for me.

Over the last fourteen months, I have been working as a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau on Tuesdays and Fridays. In February 2011, I extended my responsibilities and began working Thursday mornings at the Shaw Trust too.

I now feel able to progress further again and because I intend to sell my house (although not up for sale yet) and move in with my boyfriend who lives around 45 minutes away; I need to plan to move my voluntary work to where he lives, which is a rural area.

I have approached Sure Start, which is a local authority project which basically helps vulnerable families in our communities. I hope that there will be better employment opportunities for me as the local authority, statistically, is a better employer of people with disabilities / health conditions. I also feel very passionate about issues such as child poverty, and although this is not exclusively the remit of Sure Start, it is a big part of it.

I started my first day of training today. I have nine more weeks to go. The training is on Thursdays 9.30 am – 12.30 pm which makes it easier for me to attend. Unfortunately, I have had to stop my work at the Shaw Trust which is sad.

The training venue is around 15 miles away, so my father gave me a lift there and back. This was wise, because I was anxious about starting, which obviously depletes energy levels. I took fruit and water with me to keep my energy levels topped up. (I will plan things a bit better next time and take flapjacks which are good ‘fuel food!’)

The first day was enjoyable, but I have needed to sleep all afternoon. I was exhausted. Partly nervous energy, but the process of new venue / people / information took its toll too. I usually meet some friends on Thursdays, but I cancelled plans yesterday foreseeing that my first day was going to be tiring. I expect it will get easier.

I think I have a better handle on my circumstances which I accept may be permanent in nature. I, of course, accept that improvements may be seen in the following years to come, but I do not think they will be revolutionary! I am ok with this. I believe I can have a fulfilling life as long as I chose what I do with my time wisely. I may not be able to do much as before, but if I make life choices that bring emotional rewards; despite doing less, I can still feel enriched.

In basic terms, I think my brain is ‘inefficient’ in the way it uses energy. My brain seems to burn up too much mental energy in circumstances which others may not find stressful, but it leaves me unable to do as much as others.

I value my health and mental well being enormously, and so have decided to find a life / work balance which my brain can cope with; rather than impose a way of life upon my brain which is not possible.

I will be overjoyed to commence voluntary work for the Sure Start and it remains to be seen what the employment opportunities will be in the months to come.

Lynne

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Lynne,

Good luck with your new venture! I am sure you will do well & be a huge asset to the families you eventually work with.

I have also left (not officially yet) my previous employment & hope to be able to start voluntary work at some point in the future - not sure what yet. Even unqualified posts with low pay seem to have obstacles in my way - memory, fatigue, falling etc, etc, etc.......so I hope trying voluntary work will show me some direction in what type of work I could try in the future.

I still (3+ years after SAH) need to sleep in the afternoon & also find meeting people, even friends, really tiring and this causes constant headaches too. I think the concentration required even just to chat wears me out. You also had the travel, new people, a new learning experience to deal with so I think you did really well to achieve it all.

Look forward to hearing how you progress with it.

Michelle x

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Lynn, you are so good with words. You express yourself very well. Im so impressed at your ability to recognize and acknowledge the changes since the SAH. When people are constantly saying 'but you look great right now' it's hard not to believe that we should be all better and question why we aren't yet. You are strong in your understanding of who you are and you accept the changes and are working with the changes to make your life rewarding and full. If we can all get to that point the road would be easier for us. I think sometimes that I'm now a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

For you to make such a life changing decision so early in recovery is amazing in itself. But you made the decision and now you are carrying on and finding that your precious energy is being spent on the most worthwhile of efforts. It's a life lesson everyone should learn really.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.

Sandi K. Xo

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Well done Lin and I wish you every success in your new venture. I think you will go from strength to strength, at your own pace. I agree with Sandi, you write so well and so many times have articulated my thoughts. Your brain may be 'inefficient' in the way it uses it's energy but your intilligence always shines through.

You have had difficult decisions to make and this thread will help others who have to face similar ones. It won't be long before Sure Start see how lucky they are to have you and I'm looking forward to finding out where your journey will take you!

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Hello Lynne, I am really pleased to hear of your progress and acceptance of how you are now, I am sure that you will be happy and healthy in your new role :)

Your new voluntary work will open doors to employment and fulfilment, which trying to stay in your old line of work would not have done.

Onwards and Upwards.

Best wishes

Vivien

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