Mental health | My story | Blog
The following article contains material that may be harmful or traumatizing to some readers. Look after yourself and I'll see you on my next blog post.
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If you've been around for a while you know that mental health has been a large component to why I begun researching my options on how to better my health. Due to being burnt out because of my previous workplace I have had and still am working on my health every day to not only better my health but to make certain I don't end up where I was again.
It all begun when I decided to change my field of work it was a big step for me and something I honestly needed as I was feeling stuck in a dead-end job previously. I was truly happy I took that step, that I met new wonderful co-workers who I learnt while working there deserved so much better and I came to realise that so did I. I worked for them for a hear and a half before that day when it happened. I was getting ready for work, that lump in my stomach that I have had for such a long time was so commonplace now I couldn't recall my life without it and this day when I reached for the door I froze. I was no longer in control and I stood there trying to fight it and once I gained control an overwhelming amount of panic showered over me and I collapsed. I couldn't breath, I was terrified and it felt like it lasted forever.
When I finally managed to control my breath and collect myself my first thought was I need to call work I am late... I called my store manager and explained what had happened and that I needed to see a doctor and couldn't make it to work. She has been very understanding and supporting throughout as she has seen employees come and go constantly. I struggled to get an appointment with my healthcare centre and trying
to help myself while I felt helpless and weak mentally I couldn't help but shed so many tears my eyes were sore. It's a wonder I managed to seek help at all.
The whole process was difficult and I was being advised back and forth when I tried to get help, eventually I opted to write myself into a new healthcare centre and I am so glad I did. I finally got help, my doctor was very understanding and took my plea for help seriously. I spoke about when things started and how long the stress at work had been going on for and how we were always understaffed, overworked and underappreciated.
I had spoken to my actual boss not our store manager about this several times. We had meetings which I set up with our boss to speak on this and even gave suggestions on how to improve the workplace so that we had manageable stress and not one that overwhelmed all of us.
We were supposed to be 4 staff when we had 3 opticians, 3 that followed one optician each and one to help cover if a sale took longer than expected. Then we were supposed to be 2-3 more staff on the floor, to help at the counter and to help do the check-ups before they enter the opticians office. This is how it was supposed to be but it very rarely was. If someone called in sick or resigned they never rescheduled appointments nor did they attempt to get someone to cover the shifts. They just swamped the remaining staff with work that wasn't manageable and due to staff resigning, which mind you that happened with 10 staff while I worked there for 2 years.
We were not only understaffed but also had to teach new staff how to do the work and this line of work requires a lot of knowledge and courses and honestly you need to have at least 6 months work experience along with courses to be able to confidently do the work and due to being understaffed we never had the time to properly teach new staff the work and they of course felt even more stressed as they were doing work they
weren't competent of doing which often resulted in them leaving only a couple of months in.
My breaking point was when 3 of the ordinary staff all resigned at once and the pressure of having to not only having to do my own work I had to do the work for 4 people. I came home having to went about my day
to my SO as that was my only outlet. I would break down and cry more times then I can count, I would at times just sit and stare at nothing just shutting off entirely. It was frightening allowing this to be my existence and thinking that it was okay, it will become better as my boss would claim. It never did.
After confiding in my doctor as what the cause was for my burnout and that I now have gone from a social and customer service minded person all I wanted was to hide from the world. I got medication to help by burnout and depression and I was also going to see someone about my mental health as I obviously needed to talk about it and find a road to recovery.
Find out more about the methods I have used to help myself in my journey to recovery.
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