This is an awkward topic of conversation, and one that i’ve been forced to have with several people over the past couple of weeks.
As anyone who follows my blog or social media knows, i recently left my job at Sainsbos for another Supervisor position at a different company. It was slightly better pay, slightly better hours and as i’d had trouble with one of my managers at Sainsbos, a new start.
My first week started off a bit wobbly – i wasn’t given much notice of my shifts and they got changed a couple of times and people turned out to be on holiday blah blah. It also turned out to be an entirely different job than i expected. I knew it was a 44 hour contract, meaning 9 hour days, but other staff in my role were doing 14 hour shifts 4 or 5 days a week! Every single colleague i met mentioned how hard management work and how many hours they put in (i add – for no overtime, as the role was salaried). With it being a much larger store than my previous one, i expected a larger management team. Shockingly, there were only 3 senior management (Store Manager, Assistant Manager and Supervisor) and 2 or 3 lower level managers (Lead Sales) with usually only 2 managers on overlapping shifts leading a team of 10-20 staff, compared to 1-2 managers leading a team of 1-5 at Sainsbos. Not to mention the staff did not seem to be allowed to do anything without authorization from a manager, not even till voids. It was a mentally and physically hard job that i thought i would cope with.
My second week, i injured my left foot. I eventually went to the walk in centre and then the minor injuries unit about it to find out that it was my poor choice of footwear that had led me to suffer from a strained arch that would heal with orthotic shoes or insoles.
Unfortunately i suffer from a severe case of “ahh it’ll be orate”, so i had most of my second week off work before seeing a professional about it.
A couple of days into my second week and the pain was still there, so i was forced to take more time off. Tom had booked this week off work to try and de-stress and was instead forced to endure my miserable company.
The next day i had a breakdown. Tom had been trying to get me to go into work that day, telling me what impact my actions would have if i continued to refuse (i could technically walk but it caused me a lot of pain and that job involved 8+ hours of constant walking). It escalated and the only other part i remember clearly is when he threatened to phone an ambulance because i refused to move and he thought i might’ve taken something.
One of my symptoms of whatever my problem is (i’ve suspected Borderline Personality Disorder for several months and Tom agrees) is that i have memory loss around situations where i feel a lot of emotion, especially ones where i am angry or upset. Unfortunately this means i can’t really give much more of an insight of what was said that night but i know it was the worst state i’d gotten myself into in a long time.
I’m not sure what week it was or if i went back in again after that – as i said, memory loss problems – but it got to a day where i was due in the next morning. I was sat thinking of reasons and excuses not to go in when i started to seriously consider “doing something”.
Vague, i know. It’s another difficult thing to talk about, despite me trying to be so open about mental health, but i’ve just always found it uncomfortable to say outloud that i was considering harming myself seriously enough to warrant medical attention.
This option had other benefits for me – i knew i needed to get professional help with my emotional issues and even though they would probably view it as the attention seeking behaviour it was, surely that would push things along a little quicker? Sure it would be taking a risk; they might not take it seriously or they could take it too seriously and try to section me, but that risk would’ve been worth it.
The fact that i was even considering this…just made me stop in my tracks.
I had two options at hand: do something potentially dangerous and serious in order to get out of work and grab the attention of the mental health services but in doing so possibly risk my life and hurt those around me, or quit my job and see a Doctor in the proper way.
Thankfully, “normal me” was in control at that moment and made the safer decision to leave of my own accord – which i was more than entitled to do as i had no notice period.
Everybody i’ve tried to explain it to, i’ve emphasised that i didn’t have another choice and that it wasn’t an actual decision. This is true in some respects. “Normal me” fortunately has enough self preservation left to realise that the other option wasn’t really an option at all, and that the effects of choosing that path would have been much worse than struggling with money for a month or two until i found another job that was less stressful and not a management role.
I don’t enjoy being unemployed. It’s boring and mildly depressing, but i have the years of experience, training and qualifications that i didn’t have last time i was unemployed, so i’m remaining positive that i’ll be able to find something fairly soon.
In the meantime, it’s giving me the freedom to try and chase the Doctor for a diagnosis and referral, as well as making it easier to get interviews for new jobs thanks to all my spare time.
I’m hoping i’m right in thinking i’ve made the right decision and that this proves to be exactly what i needed. So far i’ve felt less depressed and more focused on getting to a stable place in both work and mind. Fingers crossed this positivity continues!