Wednesday, September 14, 2016

22

When I turned 21 I honestly thought this challenging stage of my life would be over, I would settle into this job God had given me, my license wouldn't be taken off of me (we were trying to appeal the decision at the time) and my anxiety wouldn't cause me grief anymore (and the medication I take could get reduced down to the initial dose). I was finally an 'adult' and I had thought after having more than my fair share of struggles it was high time that my life would get easy. But God had other plans, after 6 months in my job I had to leave it partly due to my anxiety, I lost my license for 3 months and my anxiety continued to cause me grief.
After leaving my job I felt defeated, drained and wondering if I would find the right job, I never wanted to be back in the unemployed position but here I was. To the people who didn't know my struggles it looked like I was walking away from a perfectly good (great even) job and I hated that people thought that of me that I wasn't a fighter or that I hadn't tried my hardest. I prayed so much about this and spoke to my employment agency, doctor and psych multiple times about if I was really doing the right thing. I had told myself that I would be able to find a job before my birthday, 7 months was plenty of time, generous even but here I am about to turn 22 with no job. I know God has a plan for me and its just a matter of time before I land a job, its just hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel at times. A while ago I was telling some friends how I had no idea what I wanted for my birthday and a friend goes 'a part from a job right?' and it couldn't be more accurate. Last Tuesday I applied for a job that looks promising and gave me some sort of hope (I saw the job after I prayed - God I just need one job to apply for!).

Of course I can't say my 21st year hasn't brought some positives along with all the negatives. I learnt how to push myself and went and faced my past which meant dealing with things I had pushed deep down. I wrote two major blog posts that left me feeling drained but provided relief and closure. I wrote down my anxiety story and showed everyone just how much I have overcome in order to get where I am today. I wrote down just how deeply bullying has affected me and how words can cause long term damage. Both posts were hard but they were stories that needed to be told and written down and I am so glad that they are out there.
I continued to do ReachOut work and am so grateful for all the opportunities it has given me. I love being able to tell my story and reduce some of the stigma surrounding mental illness. Its also been 10 years since I was first diagnosed with anxiety and its been interesting to see how the world opinions have changed and the help and support that is more readily available. I still get people telling me my anxiety isn't a big deal and I shouldn't use it as an excuse for things, but I am more prepared to stand up for myself and tell them that having a mental illness is a life changing thing and they need to be made aware of it.
I almost felt that 21 was the year I turned into an adult, I took control of all the little things in my life and realised that at the end of the day that only I could make the right decisions for me (along with some guidance from God!) and it was up to me to make them when the times called for it.



So tomorrow I turn 22 and its bittersweet! On one hand I am still unemployed but on the other, I get to spend my birthday doing some retail therapy with some awesome friends and enjoying the day rather than working.
I have no idea what my 22nd year will hold but I guess all I can really do is trust that God will guide me through it and that I can handle whatever happens and be prepared to back down..





1 comment:

Michelle said...

First off let me say Happy Birthday! and I hope on the day it turned out great. I also want to say to you that the transition to adulthood isn't easy and it isn't something that is all of a sudden going to happen. I swear some people in their 50's still don't seem adult. Life is hard and it's about navigating through the good and bad times and growing as a person. I have hope for you that you will get that job and you will overcome your anxiety but it all takes time and until then you have to ride that roller coaster called life.