A Year Later: The Value Of Perseverance
Follow me on this journey as I retell my story of the past 12 months. My tremendous lows and the path that’s leading to an even greater belief in my purpose.
Bronze Standard Healthcare
The NHS is wildly underfunded. It is therefore commendable that they have been able to operate free at point of contact. However, for every £ extra the service needs, at least £3 is wasted. It is wasted on people who lack the foresight, empathy and rapport building skills necessary for a gold standard health service. Some of the best and brightest have literally been ran out of town for wanting to help. They’ve been left homeless or worse because they wanted to make a difference. I thought I could make a difference, I thought if I kept my head down and went about things with humility and patience, I could help in my own small way. Time would prove me wrong…
During my time there I went to great lengths to avoid office politics, gossip and general wasting of time. Instead of being respected, properly placed and adequately numerated. I was repeatedly subjected to disrespect, harassment, victimisation and my favourite (sarcasm) thing of the bunch my money was never on time.
This Exact Date 12 Months Ago
I say all of this as a segue into this day in particular. I woke up early, checked my bank account and found I had still not received my wages. My rent was overdue, my car insurance was up for renewal and my nephew’s birthday was around the corner. All of these things require money! Money I was being shorted pretty much on purpose as it had been brought to their attention the previous week.
On top of all of this, my phone was acting strangely, randomly turning itself off despite being fully charged. Everything was failing or wasn’t working the way it should in my life. Things could get no worse, I thought! I was very wrong about that! Having called Apple and kicked some serious tail, I demanded a same day appointment with a ‘Genius’. Waiting a week for an appointment or sending my handset off without a replacement was not good enough in my humble opinion…
Hard Work And No Play
The day couldn’t end quickly enough. It’s the peak of winter and I’m too broke to afford the tube home and a return journey to the store. I don’t mind walking, it’s good for you and it clears my head. The only thing is, I have an appointment to make and the 15 minute walk is cutting into my transit time. Finally, home sweet home. I have time for a quick shower and a change of clothes. Dinner is going to be delayed until I get back home, I have to get to this appointment. So little time was left that driving was my only option. The bus would’ve made me late anyway.
I fire up the engine, get the heated seats going and say hello to my friends & family via Facebook live. The free therapy is exactly what I need. Life is crap, but it’s even worse if you feel like you have to live a lie on top. I’m clearly fed up, but, I’m still showing up to work and doing all the things I am supposed to. Things are bad, however, I’m not about to give up. I just need to make it through today. Apple let me down and if I don’t get satisfactory service today they can kiss both cheeks of my a*$. I say a cheeky goodbye on live and focus on the journey ahead. Cue the music…
The journey is slow and hardly steady, the traffic comes to a complete stop. I’m on a slight incline, my foot covers the break, the engine of my car automatically powers down. I’m enjoying my music and WHAM!!!!!!! WTF?!?!?!?
I instinctively pull my handbrake up. Adrenaline coursing through me! I check my rearview mirror before coming out slowly. I wave to the cars behind me to signal I am okay. The other driver immediately admits fault and sees how I am. The anger and confusion I’m experiencing dissipates immediately. This person actually cares. We exchange details and I continue on.
I still manage to reach my appointment bang on time. As per usual for Apple, I’m waiting for an extra 10 minutes because these clowns can’t keep to their own strict schedule. When it’s my turn, I calmly explain why I’m there and that I’ve had an accident. I’m not in the mood for games and faux diagnostic testing, hand me a new handset after you verify the troubleshooting codes on the phone and I’ll be on my way. Needless to say, he was convinced I was at my limit…
JM Go Home
I honestly don’t remember driving home. No earthly idea if I even had for dinner. My new phone needed to be reloaded so I couldn’t call anyone. That was probably a good thing. I had just experienced the worst day of my life. The one thing I was grateful for, I seemed relatively unharmed. The next day I went to work as normal like nothing happened. I suppose I was even quieter than usual because my colleague asked me if everything was alright, I noted it was out of character. It wasn’t okay so I said as much. I explained how the accident unfolded, showed a few pictures of the damage etc. The minimum for the conversation to start and end. I didn’t really feel like talking at work to people who don’t really care…
Getting away injury free was one of the things I had been grateful for. Well, about that… I wasn’t injury free. My foot, back, shoulders and neck told me I needed to stay put! I had heard of a dead leg in football, but I had a whole dead body. Work was a literal pain in the neck. I was in bad shape there and at home. When the few people I told asked how I was doing, I tried to be macho and put on a front of being indestructible. I went from feeling like a superhero to walking like House. Standing hurt, walking hurt and sitting hurt. Mornings were the worst as I’d have little to no sleep and be in a world of pain first thing. The painkillers I got given were a load of crap.
Work was more and more stressful. My manager who wouldn’t help me sort out my pay or work station adjustments, was constantly on my back about things unrelated to my job. This wasn’t fun! I was in a lot of pain and I wasn’t getting any support. In fact, I was getting worse by being there. There was no concern for my wellbeing, no easing back into my duties, just a suck it up and carry on kind of vibe.
Have you ever worked in an environment so toxic it makes you sick? Well, that’s exactly what I was doing. It wasn’t until I had gotten so far fed up of the rubbish treatment, false accusations and downright disgusting behaviour, that I decided to quit. The last straw was being told I needed permission to have casual conversation with other colleagues and being brought before the principle so to speak. You can stuff your crappy job and horrible attitude where the sun doesn’t shine!
I hate giving up on things. Part of me felt like I had waved a white flag. Then I realised something. The worst of my pains had started to cease. I was able to move a little better, I could actually look left and right for once. That place was literally sucking the life out of me. Breaking my body and spirit down bit by bit. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
My writing suffered during this ordeal. Not block, I literally couldn’t sit comfortably for long enough periods. My concentration had been halved and I wasn’t feeling like myself. How ironic is it that I wrote a comedy when I was feeling my absolute worse?
Things Get Better
The time I was losing to injury, stress and a toxic work environment were now being devoted to meditation, physiotherapy and rehabilitation. The ball started rolling in my favour. That comedy I wrote was being noticed, my other projects were getting more and more of my attention. Finally my injuries started to heal and I could start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I started playing tennis again, not at the level I was before, however, just being able to hit a ball was a success. The outstanding issue of fear of travel needed to be resolved. I didn’t enjoy driving and I made an even more anxious passenger…
Get Some Help
It was an outrageous problem. I would say no to social events, make up lame excuses and just not want to do anything which required transport. Isolation, pain and giving in to phobic myths was my life now. Luckily for me, that was about to change. I saw a fantastic therapist who gave me his time and treated me with the empathy I needed. We worked through the issues and I took the information on board. Logic started to stamp itself all over my thinking again. I’ve never been a delicate flower and I wasn’t going to let this turn me into one now either…
The reason I sound like I know what I’m talking about in my posts, is because I do. I’ve lived the advice I give. I had to find out a lot alone, but, sharing my experiences seems the decent thing to do. A year later, I am proud to have grown from this experience. Healing steadily both mentally and physically but also with added focus and purpose. Every day from here on in, is a day I will spend in the pursuit of even greater achievements and connection with my audience.
Thank you for reading this comprehensive account of my last year. Additionally, I hope that this resonates with anyone reading this during their own challenging situation. Seeking help is not weak. It’s definitely okay for the comeback trail to take time to complete. In my case here I am a year later with further to go. Finally, The most important thing is your mindset, do not underestimate how far you can go and how much you can achieve with the right mindset.