Mental health can be a tricky thing to talk about. Over the last few years the awareness surrounding it has definitely improved and within schools, workplaces and our daily lives we're being more and more encouraged to talk about it openly. However for me, it's still a tough one. I don't find it hard to talk about because I'm ashamed necessarily, I just find it hard to put my thoughts and feelings into words in general. I think a lot and I feel a lot, but I don't talk a lot.
I should maybe explain a little about where this is all coming from...
5 months ago I started a new full-time job. At first I loved it. I loved having a purpose to my life, I loved making new friends and I loved having an income. However, it was intense. I would be at work 9 hours a day, 5 days a week - leaving before sunrise and returning home after sunset. I would often be too exhausted to do anything in the evenings, even too exhausted to cook properly. I'm ashamed to say that most nights, dinner consisted of either super noodles or peanut butter on toast.
My job quickly became my life and I didn't have time for my family anymore, for church, for keeping in regular contact with my boyfriend, or for hobbies - pretty much all the things that tend to keep me sane.
Without all of those things I began to lose myself, I didn't know who I was anymore and I was sinking. I felt like I was drowning whilst simultaneously being suffocated by a grey cloud that was constantly hanging over me. This sounds silly to say but it's as if I was seeing everything through a grey filter...even when I think back to particular memories it's as if they're in black and white. I remember talking to one of my co-workers that I'm quite friendly with a couple of weeks ago and I asked them if they ever just feel like their life has a sort of underlying sadness (the grey cloud that I mentioned earlier). They knew exactly what I meant and in that moment it was comforting to know that there was someone around who understood how I felt.
Now if you're reading this and are confused and thinking "but every time I saw you you seemed so happy?" or "you always had a smile on your face?" I just wanna explain something. I did have moments of complete happiness, moments when I would forget where I was and how I currently felt about my life..I would also have moments of Oscar award winning performances (if I do say so myself) where I would fake my smiles and hide my feelings.
Recently the desire to move back to Derby began turning into desperation. It was hard because I knew deep down that God wasn't quite ready for me to move yet but I was battling him and trying to convince myself that I could just do it - I had a bit of money saved up so how hard would it be to just move and find another job?
After having a breakdown to my mum we realized that something would have to give in order for me to improve my mental health and get my happiness back. Immediately the most obvious thing was my job. She suggested that I quit my job and start working for her - she wouldn't be able to pay me but in return I could stop paying her rent. Immediately the thought of leaving my job and having so much more free time felt amazing, but at the same time the thought of not having money regularly coming in was terrifying. What was I going to do? How could I save up to move back to Derby? Would I even be able to move back to Derby now?
I knew in my heart that the best thing for me would be to leave; to focus on myself for a while and prioritize my mental health. Now here I am today, writing this just after finishing my last ever shift of that job. I feel like this is honestly one of the biggest leaps of faith I have ever taken in my life so far; in giving up my security option and trusting that God has my back.
Since making the decision to quit my job I feel like a weight has been lifted, however I sometimes have moments when the little negative voice in the back of my head is telling me that I'm weak for not sticking it out and that I'm a failure.
As I've gotten older I've learnt though, that when we have negative thoughts it's important to dismiss them because they are nothing but lies. In this case I actually think that what I am doing by leaving the security of my job and putting my faith in God is braver and more courageous than if I were to continue suffering trying to stick it out.
Albeit still a little nervous, I'm excited for what the future now has in store for me and I can't wait to get back to myself again!
Erin Hanson: "what if I fall?" oh but my darling, "what if you fly?"
- S xo