“Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” ~ Ranier Maria Rilke
Warning: This post is brought to you by large quantities of diazepam, and so may or may not make any actual sense.
So, apparently I’ve reached my two-year blogging anniversary. (Well, passed it five days ago actually, but five days ago I wasn’t sure whether my blog was still ‘a thing’ anymore because I hadn’t been able to renew my domain registration so it didn’t seem worth mentioning if potentially no one was going to be able to hear me. This issue has now been resolved by a friendly computer nerd who didn’t think I should have computer/internet/technical stress on top of mental health/general life stress.) Yeah, so how did that happen?
The last two years in general certainly don’t feel like they’ve lasted for two years, and in many ways I still feel like a newbie to this whole blogging thing. I think it’s customary on anniversaries to take stock of how far I’ve you’ve come but for the most part over the last two years of my life I’ve just gone round in two huge circles and arrived right back where I started at on the day that I set up this blog.
This time two years ago I was just getting ready to go back to work after several months of being unable to work because of my mental health. That went far from smoothly until eventually I had to take another chunk of time out, until this time last year, when I was just getting back into working again after spending months at home recovering.
This went a lot more smoothly, because apparently multi-national, multi-billion dollar financial conglomerates take a far more practical and humane approach to their employees’ mental health issues than do well-respected national charities set up with the stated aim of improving the lives of vulnerable people.
For example, if someone comes up behind me while I’m concentrating on something on my computer or my desk and I don’t hear or see them before they speak to me or touch me it freaks me a out a bit. It’s not a massively big deal but it’ll make me jump and panic a little bit, and my reaction can make the other person somewhat disconcerted also. When I was working for a charity this was a Big Deal, they saw it as a serious disciplinary issue. After this happened a couple of times at the finance company people just started calling to me to get my attention before walking up to my desk and so it didn’t happen anymore.
But a more accommodating working environment couldn’t in and of itself resolve my mental health issues, and so I ended up being signed off work again. I’ve now been unemployed since last November.
I’m now starting a new job, with a new finance company, on Monday.
Although I’m still not entirely sure how that happened.
So, I went for this interview that I was told was going to last at least an hour, with 45 minutes for the actual interview and then a 15 minute role play. And they’d sent me this email before hand saying we want you to demonstrate that you’ve researched the company, then talk us through your CV, then give us specific examples of how you’ve previously demonstrated these nine competencies and structure your answers in this exact way.
So, I got there. I talked a bit about my CV. Then I was asked a couple of random questions, one was what was my greatest personal acheivement outside work, and I can’t remember what the other one was other than it was also non-work related. Then we did maybe a three minute role play. I left the building no more than 9 minutes after the interview was due to start, absolutely convinced that I didn’t have a new job.
So, imagine my surprise come the same evening when the recruiter calls to tell me that not only did they want me, that they’d positively loved me, and that I was the only candidate that they’d made a decision about hiring that day – the others they were going to have a think about. Apparently they’d taken my babbling nervousness for confidence and enthusiasm, and the role play had been as short as it was because the scenario was meant to have involved the guy getting increasingly irrate with me but he hadn’t been able to because I’d thought outside the box and fixed his problem straight away.
Anyway, that I’ve been running around trying to get a job sorted out and then running around jumping through hoops to get clearance to actually start in my post is one of the reasons it’s been so quiet around here lately. I’ve had so many false starts over the last couple of years or so that I’ve reached a point where I’m almost not willing to tell anybody anything about my plans until I’m well into them in case they, seemingly inevitably, go wrong and I have to tell people yet again, ‘oh, yeah, actually, that’s not going to be happening anymore’ and feel like an idiot again.
There are a few other big things that I’ve been trying to deal with over the last few weeks, mostly that I can’t really talk about, either because I’m afraid to jinx them or because they’re not only my stories to tell. The stress had brought me to the point where I was near enough exactly as sick as I was this time two years ago, with almost uncontrollable levels of anxiety; but then I went to see the doctor on Monday, and he gave me some diazepam, and I’ve basically been stoned all week.
Unfortunately he only gave me a week’s worth to get me through the stress of preparing to start work and after that he says that I can’t have any more. Sad face.
Anyway, once my mind, and my life, and my things start feeling more stable I will make an effort to start writing more often again.