Understanding my needs has never been something that I’ve been all that good at. I’m the Queen of allowing myself to get run down without cause and often, I don’t know when to say no. I had a horrendous experience in my working life that had me doubting myself and my qualities at every opportunity, put me into the darkest stage of mental health that I’ve ever experienced and still leaves me in a position where I find myself having panic attacks because of the trauma. I lost all trust in myself and my capacity to succeed.
Dramatic? Maybe. But it’s all true.
I was completely unable to trust any and all of my decisions. Everything I did, I doubted whether it was the right thing to do, whether it was good for me, whether I was actually capable of doing it at all. Retrospectively – I was. I was doing everything to the best of my ability and the problem wasn’t mine at all. With that said, finding the capacity to trust myself and my decisions after such a traumatic period of my life was challenging.
So what did I do?
I went back to the familiar. I started doing the things I enjoyed again- spending time with friends, working for myself, understanding what I want from life and how I want to go about achieving it. I reassessed my goals, I rediscovered my interests and I allowed myself time to heal. I stopped worrying about what people would think about my decisions and worked on a way to get elsewhere. My end goal was still in sight – I’d just have to take a different direction to get there. Everything was there for the taking – I just had to be brave enough to take the plunge.
My partner and I had been discussing our home life for a while now and we actually found that neither of us was all that bothered about staying in Liverpool for much longer. Richard has been going on about getting a transfer from his job to the head offices in Leeds for as long as we’ve known each other so when I suggested finally making the move, he didn’t need all that much convincing. Financially, now was the best time to do it – no dependants, no large items to save for, relatively financially comfortable for our ages. It was now or never, as far as we were concerned, and we just had to trust ourselves to make the decision and take the risk.
The last year of my life has been about rebuilding that trust I had in myself. I have had to trust myself to reach out to opportunities – having reached the understanding that hard work sometimes isn’t enough, sometimes you need to ask the question and trust that the risk is worth it.
Feeling as though everything I’d ever known was thrown into doubt was arguably one of the hardest positions I’ve ever found myself in – but given the chance, I’d probably not go back and change things. A year down the line, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I am looking forward to the challenges to come and I know that if we keep going down the road we’re travelling down, we’ll find exactly what we’ve been anticipating – and maybe even a little bit more.
For now, we’re giving the Yorkshire adventure a whirl. So far, so good.
(Walking distance from a pumpkin festival? Yes please.)