My dad died of cancer in August 2014 after a 10 month battle. He had melanoma skin cancer. It started off as a large, strange-looking mole on his back and ended up as tumours all over his body. It was a tough time for us as a family.
I looked after him as best I could and went to his appointments with the oncologist, visited him in hospital when he was admitted, and tried to keep some semblance of normality in my own life.
Three months after his death I got an even bigger shock; I was being made redundant after 10 years service.
This was another massive loss in my life; work and my colleagues had kept me going, they supported me when I was falling apart at the seams. Now what? More grief to deal with.
I took the news like I take everything bad in my life, pick myself up and carry on.
I quickly found another job and threw myself into it. All was going well, I got promoted within 8 months, then the walls came down again. I was, to my shame, ‘let go’. My boss was dismissed too. I wasn’t given any reasons, just, “you need to leave”. Wow. I had used work to avoid the grief of the previous few months, and I didn’t know what to do.
I found another job very quickly - it was much more money and a lot more responsibility, but I hated it. The people were horrible, the job I had been employed to do didn’t really exist and I was sinking further and further into depression. I would drive to work along the motorway and think “If I just drove into the central reservation I wouldn’t have to go there ever again.” I felt trapped emotionally and financially. I was coming home in tears after spending my lunch break on my own, again, in tears. I knew this couldn’t continue so I left, and my doctor signed me off for my notice period.
I eventually found another job for a start-up company. It required 12 weeks away from home training. It sounded perfect. I already felt trapped at home and in my life in general, getting away was just what I needed. However, I ended up working 60 hour weeks; my anxiety went through the roof and my mental health deteriorated. I was running away from all the things that were needing to be dealt with and they were screaming to be let out. Eventually the day came when my boss told me “It’s not working out” and I needed to leave. They paid me off a considerable sum and here I am. That was 6 months ago. I am struggling now to find a job because on paper I look unreliable.
Things happen in life and I feel that I am in a much better place than I was 4 years ago, but still I can’t move forward.
I just wish someone would give me a chance.