I was turning 40, and my life crashed before my eyes. This is a cliché but that is what happened. Work life and personal life just collided and I could not take any more. I crashed and could not see a way out. I was at the waters edge without a clue what next.
On the way home from work one day I stopped on the roadside and rang Call Care; I had lifted one of the leaflets at work – I could not go on another mile. They had time to listen and speak to me and organised counselling, they encouraged me to see my GP who put me off work and started high doses of anti-depressants – I was all over the place. They did not seem to be working, the Mental Health team saw me and meds were changed and Condition Management Programme was started. I attended Occupational Health and between them, they put me forward for the Workable NI programme to help me try and return to work. Which I thought would solve all. I was in no way nearly ready when I look back now.
I really do believe this is when I started to struggle my way out of myself. My Employment Support Worker was excellent, she seen things clearly were I could not. As they say, I could not see the forest because of the trees. The things that seemed massive started to become achievable. Knowing she was there behind me was such a prop or a support. Even when I did not see her, I knew she was there. She did not make my decisions or do things for me but believed in me that I could do these things for myself. I had no one else, but she was there every step of the way, with encouragement, with practical advice with clear vision when I had none.
This journey from the brink to now has been a very bumpy road and not an easy one by any means, but my support worker from SES got me here, and I know that I would not be here only for her. Doctors/counsellors etc. changed, but she was constant beside me. Not behind or in front but supporting me the whole way from the sidelines.
I would in no way say I am cured or 100% but I can look back and see how far I have come, and am able to deal better with situations that life throws at us. I have even changed jobs in the Trust and feel that I have flourished in doing so. I would not been able to even consider this move without the support of SES. I will always be thankful for Nicola for being there for me. I could not support the work she does more.