Disclaimer: This post contains talk of toxic families, depression, poverty and a lot of other nasty things. No names are given in this post.
Grab a cup of steaming hot tea and take a seat. Today, I’m going to tell you about the last year of my life; the great highs and devastating lows. And how I’m taking back control of my own fate.
So, let’s start where I think this all began. In May last year (2017), I finished University and moved back home. It was very strange to me. It was the first time I was going to live at home and stay there since my mother had died the year before. When I came back home it was just me, a family member, three cats and a dog. I was now unemployed, skint and grieving. It was such a horrible time.
In the following days, I spent them all crying and sobbing. I was so down and depressed. I really thought that this was my life now, forever. I just couldn’t see an alternative. I didn’t have access to my laptop and the outside world; it was broke from my time at Uni. All I had was my phone. Through the tears, I managed to apply for jobs on my phone through sites like indeed.com and LinkedIn.com. It was a slow and tiring process but I did manage to get two phone calls and two interviews.
The weeks went on and I tried everything I could to get my life back to a productive routine. I joined my local Slimming World because I had become so big from my university lifestyle. I knew I had to do something. It was this photo from my best friends’ wedding, a couple of months beforehand, that made me decide enough is enough. I took a deep breath, opened the community centre door and threw myself completely in it. The plan I mean, not the door.
I wanted to go because I wanted to lose weight, I wanted something to look forward to and I wanted to meet people and make friends. It’s been a year later and so far I’ve lost two and a half stone and gained some great friends. I’m a member of what’s called the Social Team which means I weigh people. I get to see everyone and be their cheerleader whether they’ve had a gain or a loss. I go every week and I love it.
All the while I was still poor and unemployed. I applied for Universal Credit and it took forever for it to come through. In fact, it never did. I was trying to run a house of two people and four animals and we went through money pretty quickly. It all came ahead when one weekend I was looking up how to get referred to a food bank. I really didn’t know where the next week’s food shopping was coming from and I had become so desperate.
Luckily, that weekend I had a phone call from a guy who I had an interview with from Marks & Spencer. He called me to say that even though I couldn’t go for the role I applied for (training complications), there was a position in Ops (Operations-delivery, handyperson, stock management and warehouse) if I wanted it? I snapped at the chance.
Thankfully he and a colleague (whom I have become great friends with) picked me up for the induction training and the company even paid for me to go to another town. I had to go to another store whilst waiting for ours to officially open. Joining Marks & Spencers was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I have no bad words to say about them, apart from one thing…
So, I had got a job and I was going to fat club. Things were pretty great. I had also met a lovely guy and started to have a social life again. It was just before Christmas when things started to turn south. I didn’t know it, but I was at the start of one of the most difficult and trying times of my life. I had no idea how big my life was going to change and how much my it was going to turn upside down.
To be continued…