- By girly-d
- On 12/10/2017
- 3 comments
12 months ago I was unemployable.
I wore the same crumpled clothes for days on end, rarely showered or brushed my teeth and my hair was matted and tangled. I weighed just over 6 stone and was so thin and malnourished that I struggled to walk.
People laughed and talked about me...when they weren't trying to take advantage - Which was most of the time.
I was a skeletal suicidal mess.
A horrific year drove me to have a mental breakdown and completely wrecked my once normal happy and stable life. It rendered me virtually incapable of anything except drowning myself in alcohol, and forcing myself to make the everyday necessary walk to the off-licence to buy more supplies.
But there were valid reasons behind my erratic behaviour and lack of personal hygiene. Apart from the crushing depression that threatened to consume me on a daily basis....
I didn't not change my clothes or shower because I was lazy - I was sofa-surfing and the truth was that I was scared to take my clothes off in a virtual strangers house - I couldn't bear the thought of him knowing that I was naked just the other side of the door. For all sorts of reasons. Even though I'm sure that his intentions were good. So to be on the safe side I wore everything I owned. Constantly. Boots included. Even when I got into my sleeping bag. Especially when I got into my sleeping bag..... I was vulnerable in the day. I wasn't taking any chances at night.....
I didn't brush my teeth because simply attempting to put a brush into my mouth made me sick. Bile mainly. I wasn't eating enough to throw up properly.
And my hair was tangled and matted because of the way that I was living. And the fact that I didn't have a hairbrush or the money to sort it out.
I was signed off on long term sick. I was addicted to alcohol and my life was a car crash....
No-one would have wanted to employ me. I wouldn't have been able to hold a job down if they did....
It was horrific. No. It was beyond horrific. I was living in hell.
Almost 11 months later and it is a completely different story.
I'm free from my addiction. I have a job and a nice place to live. I sleep in my own bed every night. I shower and brush my teeth every day twice a day.
I wear nice clothes. I change them daily too.
I cook for myself and my fridge and my cupboards are full.
My hair and my home gleam.
My boss doesn't know about the horrors of my past. I take pride in the fact that he would never guess. He took a chance on me and my CV full of gaping holes because he saw something in me that he could trust.
I work hard and I've never once let him down by being late, slovenly or disrespectful.
In the mornings I clean toilets. I do whatever job he asks of me with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. In my spare time I write.
All I needed to help me to turn my life back around once I'd sought help for my addiction was someone just to give me a chance.
He did and I make sure every single day that I repay him for that.
Thankfully, more and more employers are waking up to the fact that Mental Illness exists. That it affects a lot of people, and that it isn't going to go away anytime soon.
Living with Mental Illness is hard. A lot of people who have this feel isolated, inferior and inadequate; Because they've been made to feel this way - People with qualifications, and transferrable life skills. People like me who are an absolute dream to employ if someone just takes the time to reach out and offer that chance without letting outdated ideas and social stigmas get in the way......
Like #the888collectiv. A Social Enterprise with Mental Health firmly rooted in the heart of its Constitution - because they understand. They "Get it". They get how hard it is to sell yourself to an employer when your self esteem and self confidence are on the floor. They've opened their door anyway. No lengthy explanations needed.
Throwing a lifeline for people like me when other people prefer to look away.
Girls I salute you. Long may you reign xx
Follow them on #Twitter @the888collectiv or catch up with their latest news at www.the888collective.com