A couple of weeks ago I started a new job.
The usual emotions of excitement, relief, stress, anxiety and some fist pumping ensued.
And then reality arrived.
I'm working with folks effected by mental illness.
Through circumstances often beyond their control, they find themselves with limited social skills, vocational skills and oppurtunities.
They rely on support services. Mostly run by charities.
And it's lead me to a realisation that has left me reeling and feeling completely anxious.
But for the love of a good woman and some sound financial advice, I could be them.
My injury and then resultant chronic illness left me unable to work and only barely able to look after myself.
Enter chronic illness's best friends : despression and anxiety.
Just as debiliating, invisible and painful as my physical illness.
I was lucky. I had income protection insurance. Access to good doctors and medication. Good food. A home.
Most importantly, I had my George.
She supported me, looked after me, did the financial worrying for me, cooked for me. Dried my tears and told me I was loved.
And then I had my family who were there for me. And George.
Without all this, I could have been in a position where I needed support that wasn't available.
I could have turned to drugs. To alcohol. To self harming behaviour.
But I didn't.
I'm grateful. Thankful. Relieved.
I'm now a lot better. Able to say yes to new oppurtunities.
Push myself out of my comfort zone.
Now, with this job, I want to stay at home and not be there. It feels too close.
It makes me really anxious.
And yet, I don't know these people's struggles. But I can show up and share what I do know.
Try to improve some skills, increase some confidence and hopefully make a very small difference.
So, that's my plan and where I'm at.