This picture reminded me of a client I saw recently. I've asked if I can use his example of why if you persevere against the odds you can and will succeed. He agreed. His story has been slightly altered to ensure confidentiality.
My client had happily been working for the same delivery company for the past 6 years, but a year ago, he sustained an injury on the job. He had to take a little time off and then go back to reduced hours for a while on his return. But the whole incident had left him feeling pretty rubbish & depressed.
His company kept giving him jobs which were out of his ability because of the injury. He was placed on multiple disciplinary hearings and forced back off of work with acute stress as a result.
He was put on strong medication and told by his GP that he would no be able to return to work in his current state, but he had to go back to work as he was on a final warning with yet another disciplinary! He ended up with severe depression coupled by awful headaches that were totally debilitating.
When he called me, he had already been to see someone for CBT and also a group counselling provided by the NHS. He was back at work and there was no let up to the stress he was under. We soon established by chatting that he had actually gained his HGV license but never been in a fit enough state to use it!
We chatted about his options, we did a lot of self esteem work & eventually he decided he could try to apply for HGV jobs.
In doing this, taking the power back into his own hands, he would be removing cause of his headaches and stress symptoms, because he would no longer be a subject of institutionalised bullying, he would no longer be facing losing his job due to his illness that had been created by stress, and he would be able to earn more money!
His company had been trying to do everything in their power to make his life as miserable as possible and were pretty much making it impossible for him to stay. So why stay? It wasn't defeatist to go or give up his job, in fact, far from it! It was just the thing he needed to regain his self esteem, self confidence and power!
This is not the first time I have encountered this kind of pincer movement when companies are faced with mental health issues! Depression is something that companies often just don't cater for appropriately. I think, due to a lack of education, some employers panic when they hear the word depression because they don't know how to deal with it at all. So what do they tend to do? Instead of helping the person to get through what is usually a phase, instead they pile on even more pressure in hopes of forcing the employee to either work regardless or leave!
Luckily for my client he realised just at the right moment in his life that he was worth so much more than that kind of treatment! So he applied for different jobs within the HGV industry and he found that he WAS wanted! He got offered 3 jobs in very quick succession and the best part was he could earn a third more than he had been, with the potential to earn a lot more still!
When he identified what the true problem was, he could manovre into a much better position and get himself into a far better situation! For months if not years he had felt powerless, but not any more!!
I was so pleased to receive an email from him recently telling me that he had started the new job and he was loving it!
This whole tale just proves how powerful our own minds can be! If you are in a situation where someone else or something else is sapping all of your energy, self eateem and confidence, CHANGE IT! You CAN succeed if you walk away, even if the prospect of doing so is scary at first. If you can see it, you can achieve it.
I am so proud of my client. Against the odds he has removed the source of his anxiety and depression and I am certain that he has a much brighter future on the road ahead!
Author Emma Evans
Emma Evans runs Kent Therapy Clinic and also helps coach other therapists in her spare time when she's not seeing clients at her busy practice. This blog is full of useful articles and interesting facts to do with therapy in general. Please feel free to add your comments to the blog.