blog,  health

Oh My Thoughts – Mental Health in the Workplace

I’ve written and re-written this post a bunch of times. Sometimes I sit here and I wonder, what can I say here? I know that this is my blog, and I can say what I want to. But sometimes I worry that certain people, if they come across a post, will get the wrong idea. The wrong opinion. And not that anyone’s opinion but my own should matter, but there are relationships I’ve built over the years that I don’t want to speak ill of. And I think some of the words I typed could’ve been misconstrued, and my message would have been lost.

So here I am, re-writing it again.

I spoke about this before – in my most recent Bell Let’s Talk post (click here) – but I wanted to bring light to it a little bit more today. In that post, I spoke about mental health in the workplace. I spoke about what you can do to make things better, and made reference to a girl in the office. And I was that girl. I was the girl that came in early and stayed late. The girl that would take work home on the weekends. The girl that would have panic attacks about her workload, and about making sure that things were perfect. I dreamt about work. I had nightmares about work. I was silently suffering from a bout of anxiety, that started to plague me a few years after starting at this particular job.

We went through a large amount of changes in our workplace, and every change brought a new challenge. And this is where my wording gets tough, because I met some incredible people working in this office. I don’t want you to think that I had the shittiest job on the planet, because I didn’t. I loved what I did. You can ask anyone that knows me. But things weren’t always perfect. And for a while, I really struggled.

By the end of my employment with this company, I was in a team who I loved, but at the same time I wasn’t feeling supported by them. But I didn’t want to bring it up. And it would come around to this feeling of fear. Of being a failure. If I spoke up and asked for assistance, then I wasn’t perfect. And my perfect image of being this perfect employee, and co-worker, would get shattered.

Having the last four months off, I’ve had a lot of time to let my body refresh. I needed it. I worked my ass off for so long, and worried for so long, I forgot was it was like to not feel like a failure. I’ve had the time to think, and realise that I don’t have to be perfect. Nobody is the perfect employee. No matter what they tell you. And you’re not going to be able to please everybody.

Take some time for you. Don’t let yourself get so bogged down in a toxic environment. Take a break when you need a break. Don’t let anyone guilt you into not doing so. Don’t let your environment define you. Yes, working is what we do for a living. We work to live. But we also have to remember to live. While I’m doing better now, I wish back then that I’d spoken up and asked for the help when I needed it. And truly asked for the help. Not in a casual conversation, but to actually sit down and say to someone – hey, this isn’t right. I’m not right.

There is so much pressure in the work place to be perfect and nothing but perfect. There is so much pressure to make sure you don’t fail, but you have to make mistakes in order to succeed. You have to let yourself breathe, and that’s what I’m doing now. I’m breathing.

Do I still have some bad days? Absolutely. But they’re no longer as overwhelming as they once were. I’m breathing. And it feels great.

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