Depression

The struggle is real!

When I was 16 I had it all planned out. I would do my A-Levels, pop over to Uni for a few years and then bam, I would be a teacher. Schools would be fighting to take me on. It all seemed so bloody simple. All because I had a piece of paper in my hand that deemed I was clever. That’s right, I had taken my GCSEs. I had a piece of paper that would shape my future. I worked my absolute butt off for them and this was my reward. Right?

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17 year old me thought she knew it all!

I headed in to my A-Levels and wow, was it a change from GCSE. I found them a struggle but I just wouldn’t let on. I mean, how could I? In my family I was nicknamed ‘the clever one’. The one who had to do well? I couldn’t let them know this was harder than I first expected, could I? I remember sitting there a week after my 17th Birthday and was busily working away on a piece of psychology homework and it did not make sense. Not one word of it. No matter how hard I tried with it I simply could not make head nor tail of anything that was on the paper before me, and it was starting to royally pee me off.

 

I wasn’t used to this. Everything had always come quite easily for me and I had never sensed this feeling of ‘I can’t do it’. It was horrible in all honesty, however it was the start of me realising that I was going to have to put in some real effort to get to the end point I wanted.

 

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My very lame comment to the local paper on results day. I’m not uploading the photo. Its terrible. 

 

Year 12 was a hard year. I suffered the sudden loss of a young relative during exam season and it knocked me for six. But looking back that also made me want to work harder. I struggled through and managed to get good grades. I could see the effort I was putting in was working off and before I knew I was heading off to Uni. Okay so it wasn’t the Uni I originally wanted or even liked. But I was determined to make this work. Finally, this is where it would all go my way … right?

 

Wrong. I found Uni hard too. In all honesty I didn’t like the course and if I had my go again I would have taken an education or teaching course and not just English and Drama. It made me fall out of love with reading, something I had enjoyed since I was a young child and to be honest, something I am only just getting back into now. Don’t get me wrong, I made some good friends and enjoyed my time at Uni but I was starting to realise that my expectations were far greater than reality.

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Just before the start of my third year I found out I was pregnant. Not the massive shock many believed it was. Everyone assumed that this was some silly accident, however it wasn’t. But that’s a story for another post covering my PCOS. We were happy but scared of what lay ahead, and I realised quickly this would put my plans for teaching out of the window for a few years. With Evie due half way through the school year I knew I would have to take a year out and come back, much to my disappointment.

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Needing two laptops running to complete an assignment was not my idea of run. This was taken on my 20th birthday.

As I expected, studying with a baby was hard. Really hard. Throw in to the mix that I was also working at the same time you can begin to imagine the levels of tired and exhausted I was beginning to feel. I genuinely wanted to quit so many times I lost count but I kept pushing through, refusing to give in to those who said I couldn’t do it.

I got my 2:1 and let out the biggest sigh of relief going. I showed those who thought I would jack it all in and be a ‘Jeremy Kyle’ mom. Now came the harder part. I knew I couldn’t take going back to education and training to be a teacher straight away so decided I would try and find a graduate way in. I couldn’t find much to start with and decided a full time job for a year would help me out.

I somehow fell into being an estate agent. I think I knew instantly that it was not for me but dammit I’m too bloody stubborn to admit it. I didn’t want to end up back in retail or hospitality, and so I was determined to make this work, make this a success. I must say, I really did try. I loved helping people find their homes and I really liked having a mooch at how people decorated and laid out their houses. However I hated sales. I hated the bitchiness, the way they would stab you in the back and smile at you to your face, I’m not a natural born liar and I like to make friends, and so after 6 months I knew it was time to move on. I felt ashamed that I had failed in this path but glad I had given it a go.

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I thought I would try and get back into teaching, and was lucky enough to be given a chance. However, without going in to too much detail (It’s still very upsetting) this failed and failed hard. Due to issues that I was not in control of I found myself out of work. And spiralling into the worst depression I had faced in my life. To say I felt like a failure was a complete understatement. I found everything so hard and would spend hour after hour crying into the dark of the night. I simply just did not want to be here anymore.

 

Some may think that sounds pathetic. I had done everything in my power, worked my backside off into the early hours of the morning completing assignments with a newborn and it felt pointless and worthless. Like my achievements had been made redundant by it all. It took a very long time, some fantastic friends and family and a number of doctor’s visits to get me out of that dark pathway, and get me trying again.

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Interview ready and the first time I had put make up on in weeks!

 

I knew I needed to work. Not just for money but because I needed it for me. I hated not being in work and not using my mind, but I also knew I needed to take things slowly. I decided to go into an admin role to ease myself back. I knew it would never be a forever role but it was what I needed there and then. After a few months I felt ready to go back into a job within education. I was scared but excited at the prospect.

 

I was lucky that within my first week of applying for roles I was offered a job where I am working currently. A small independent alternative provision for those who could not handle mainstream schooling. A bit like me. I jumped into my role with everything I had and gave it my all. I still do. I may moan some days and it will never make me a millionaire, but I am finally in a place where I feel I am mainly being utilised and appreciated.

 

It was hard, very hard to get to this point. Some days I would like to just give it all in and stay at home with Evie. Some days I feel like I just cannot be bothered and should get myself a part time job in retail again. But I know deep down I wouldn’t be happy. It’s not how I thought I would be starting my career. But its not all bad.

 

Until next time…

 

 

Sarah xx

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17 thoughts on “The struggle is real!”

  1. Mad props to you Sarah, especially while doing it with a child! Sometimes when we think we have our life all planned out, something throws a wrench into it and we get thrown onto a new path. Our passions change and our outlook has been given a new and fresh perspective. The world is yours for the taking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mark! That is definitely how I am trying to see it. This ‘new’ path isn’t so bad after all, and my daughter is certainly a driving force behind my determination to succeed!

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  2. I feel you! I just turned 30 and my life isn’t what I planned and wanted it to be. When I was still in highschool, I thought I’d be able to get my own car, live a more than comfortable life, reached for my dreams already by the age of 25.

    But the most important this is, just like what you and I are doing, we do not stop working to get to where we want to be. No matter how slow our progress is, it’s still progress. Contratulations on your new job! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what a journey. I think so much of study is about finding the right course – I did A-Level biology and could totally relate to what you were saying about looking at it and it simply didn’t make sense. I am just not wired in a way to understand sciences! I’m so pleased it’s all worked out for you though and I imagine your story and experiences will make you even better at what you’re doing now. Maybe it was meant to be…

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  4. I have seen your days when you weren’t at your best. And I see you now.
    You’ve come a very long way hunny.
    You’ve gone to lengths no one your age should have had to have gone to. But you did it. And you whooped ass aswell.
    You could have easily given up, you could have easily turned your back on what you knew you wanted in life. Because it’s easy!! Guess what, hell was you going to take that route because you my dear, you’ve got a lot of gutsyness about yourself (let alone stubborn-ness) and you never give in.
    You’ve helped me. More times I can remember. And im forever grateful.

    P’s. I’m loving your blogs. I find them so refreshing and quite relatable. You keep going girly!!

    Pps. When were old and senile, not only will we be new friends, we’ll be friends whose kids are old enough so we can enjoy a fair few bottles of wine 😂😂🍷

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Sarah, thanks for visiting my blog. We don’t have a great deal in common, but your story is encouraging and your determination is wonderful to read. I understand the urge to just give it all up, it’s too much, but you’re on the right track when you know these moments for what they are: moments.

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  6. I appreciate this article so much. I have experienced similar feelings and setbacks. I’m 36 and unemployed since February. I want to work but due to issues with my children I don’t see that in my near future. Going back to school for a 3rd time to get to finish my Health Information Management degree that I will probably never use is an option, but unlikely. I’m not where I pictured myself at this point in my life.

    I’m glad that you found a fulfilling position. I wish you all of the best in your adventures in life. Thank you for sharing your experiences, thoughts and feelings.

    Like

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