Not Good Enough (One Year On)

You're HiredA year ago today I wrote this. I honestly don’t recall if I actually posted it or not. It was by pure fluke that I came across this today. I was just looking through documents in my OneDrive folders to clear out some clutter, and I found this. I remember the excitement when I knew this was happening and the fact that the future was looking a little rosier.

I’ll post an update in a day or two about how the last year has been for me. Small beginnings and all.

I always thought I’d find the one thing that I would good at. It always seemed just a fingertip reach away; alas I never actually found that extra inch to grab it with. I think, looking back on my life now, I used to be the sheep that followed and was never brave enough to be the Shepherd that led the flock. That didn’t bother me too much, I was happy in the company of friends and I could blend in and almost disappear within my social group.

For the most part looking back, I see that I wasted a lot of opportunities in life, partly through a lack of ambition and just wanting to live wholly for the now and partly because I now realise I was becoming unwell. It was something that I wouldn’t get treatment for until I was over 30 years old and it wouldn’t be pleasant for anyone around me. They say the person who is hardest on you is yourself when you deal with mental health issues. In my case, it was and to some extent, I believe always will be. We with mental health problems have a battle just to get our heads from the pillow each morning never really knowing what the day holds and which beast from within will take over and make or break the day.

When I think about all the chances I had in life that I squandered I could quite easily just break down and spend the rest of my days kicking myself. However, with age and a little bit of growing up, I see that is pointless. People around you will tell you not to sweat the small stuff and just plod on the best you can. That is an admirable quality if your brain will allow you to do so, but when your brain wants you to dwell on that stuff for every quiet moment of your life, then that battle to get out of bed in the morning can and is quite daunting.

When I got seriously ill around 10 or so years ago, I had nothing left in my Mental bank to play with. I lost all my reasoned faculties and I gave in to the illness, even if I didn’t have a name for it at the time, everyone who knew me and interacted with me could see and quite often felt the brunt of my mental state. When things didn’t improve over the next few years and my career was stalling big time due to the illness, I found myself out of options and my final spell of absence from work led the company to politely get rid of me. That was the moment I really, really felt no good for anything. Even at the time when I instinctively knew that not working for a while was a good idea to get myself on an even keel and back into a fit state to work and rejoin society in a productive way.

However, 9 years later I found myself still doing roughly the same things I had been for the previous 9 years. Nothing but sitting on my backside and just staring at a computer screen and pretending to be a part of a life that involved trying to claim to be one thing or another. Mostly I tried to pass myself off as a Blogger/Writer and that was/is just laughable. Whilst I do write and I do blog, I have no real dedication to it. I would love to write every day it just never happens. I start with the best intentions but never lasts, I guess I found something else that I realise that I am just not good enough for.

One of the things that really drain’s one’s spirit when you become ill and can no longer work, is that you still must live and pay the rent, so a life on benefits lays ahead of you. When you are in the throes of those early days of illness these safety net benefits are, perfect and give you the breathing space to try to get well. When it comes to getting better and getting off of the benefits it becomes a whole new beast. You dread the next brown envelope that lands on your doormat and you dread the next scheme that the Government wants you to participate in to justify the fact that you get the few pounds from them to live and get well again. In the end, you become dependent on them. You get to the stage where you can’t go back to work as you have become entrenched in the system and going back to work would mean being worse off working than on benefits. This is the trap I found myself in.

Many times, I tried to find a job, but there was always a reason not to take it:

  • No Transport
  • Not Enough Hours
  • To Stressful

There was always a reason for me not to take or apply for the job.

I was still not good enough, this time to move on in life.

Until…

I saw an advert for a job in Support Work for Adults with learning difficulties.

The job came with full training, it was full-time at a reasonable wage and it was in my local(ish) area.

Damn – I had no reason NOT to apply and take the job if offered.

So, I applied…

I went for the interview…

I got the Job.

Suddenly I was good enough for someone.

This when my whole life appears to have flipped 180 degrees. I am currently waiting for all the legal checks to be done and I should hopefully be starting by the end of March.

My whole outlook on life changed within one week.

It isn’t going to be plain sailing. I have almost 10 years of negative behaviours to break myself of, but now, it just feels like I have a grain of worthiness about myself and that grain can only bed in and seed the germs of self-belief and hope for the future.

Never let your head tell you that you aren’t good enough, it lies… one day you will be good enough and it could change in as little as one day, or it could take a little longer, but I now believe that can happen for anyone who wants it.

3 thoughts on “Not Good Enough (One Year On)

  1. Good for you! This post is perfectly timed for me. I’ve spent most of the day telling myself I’m not well enough, not competent enough, simply not enough to be a Peer Recovery Supporter. I’ve almost completed close to 60 hours of coursework required by the state to be certified, and I just keep telling myself “You’re nothing but a 60-yr-old loon.” I’ve been “disabled” almost 30 years, and am terrified to take the next step…but then I read your last sentence. Thank you, Paul.

    1. Sheri, I can’t think of anyone more competent and able and suited to being a Peer Supporter. The fact that you managed to do so much Coursework to qualify goes to prove that you are up to the job. In all the time that I have known you, you have always had a supportive word and post for everyone. During your hard times, you looked after yourself and still found the energy and spirit to help others. I am glad that you found something in this that helped, makes it all worthwhile for me.
      Go be brilliant, I know you will be.

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