I feel like everything’s coming undone, in a good way…
9 years ago, I was signed off work with stress related insomnia.
At the time, I was a single mum to a 2-year-old, working full time, with a 2-hour commute each day.
I’d beaten myself up trying to be, do and have everything.
I was exhausted to the point I nearly crashed my small car into the side of a truck on the motorway when I didn’t notice it as the lanes merged.
Every day, when everyone else in my office went to a meeting at 2pm, I would have to take a walk around the building to stop myself falling asleep.
I was over £15,000 in debt, and my wages barely covered rent & childcare, never mind the other expenses.
That was what I believed I had to do.
I was convinced that if I wanted my baby girl to have a good life, I had to wear myself into the ground wracked with guilt and shame for not being here or there.
I worked for people who knew nothing about me (my senior manager didn’t even know I had a daughter until the day he fired me in the January) and they didn’t care what my aspirations were.
As far as they were concerned, I was the dogsbody of the office. The beckon call girl who made the manager his coffee (black, 1.5 sugars), and kept everything organised. They weren’t bothered that I worked across 3 departments, and saved their asses on a daily basis, or that my ‘nitpicking’ saved my department over £15k in transport costs alone in my first quarter.
I was just a 23-year-old kid who had yet to pay her dues, often accused of being ‘bigger than her boots’ because I came up with the great ideas that they took credit for three months later.
I remember feeling so useless when the doctor handed me that sick note like I was failing at life. Especially with something so obscure as “stress-related insomnia”, which later included depression and a year-long prescription of antidepressants and sleeping pills, culminating in me considering taking my own life because I was so useless.
All this led me back into a destructive relationship (that I’m still dealing with the dregs of now, 5 years after ending it) although now I have a second beautiful daughter
It opened me up to a whole lot more.
I went back to college and university, I cared for my Granddad as he died of cancer, I started my own business, then another, then another… I delved into the online world (because there aren’t many people at home during work hours!) and met a whole lot of wonderful people.
These past 9 years don’t look like I’ve achieved (or done) much on the surface, but I’ve been on such a journey.
So tonight, I’m taking a moment to be grateful for what happened 9 years ago.
It’ll probably take me a while to realise how far I’ve come, and I know I’ve still got a long way to go…
My life as a single mum of 2 now, looks and feels so different from my life as a single mum of 1 nine years ago. 💗