Mental Health & The Work Place

https://charlotteunderwoodauthor.wordpress.com/2018/01/16/living-with-a-mental-illness-what-i-want-employers-to-understand/

I want to take a blog post that I really found interesting (seen above), and talk about my experience about mental health in the workplace. I know that a lot of people will think that I am trying to get some type of vindication about this matter, but it needs to be discussed. Mental health can be swept under the rug in the work world. We are all taught to “just deal with it” or “leave your problems at the door.” I’m sorry but that is the most farfetched thing I’ve heard.

 

I honestly have a hard enough time getting out of bed, to even come to work. I will sleep as long as I possibly can, just to feel mentally ready. The anxiety the rolls through my body, the night before, and the morning of, are a nightmare. There’s no way that I can “hide” the emotions plastered on my face. Yet, when a coworker asks how my morning is going, I literally have to force out a fake reply. Yes, we all have our issues, so I am not throwing my own pity party, but at the same time, yes I am.

 

With my constant mood cycles, I cannot tell you how I can feel, to a tee. I actually welcome the cycles of mania when I am ecstatic about nothing! I love dealing with the misery of retail, to a degree. Why to a degree? Because it can take a SINGLE thought or action to make me derail off my tracks. I could be sad, mad, frustrated, cursing, etc etc. I know people care about me in my job, but I don’t fully trust. I will tell you that I trust you, which is not a complete lie, but it is not the full extent. I’m looking for you to do something to prove you’ll abandon me, or turn on me. It has actually happened a few times. Comments were made, probably out of fun, but in my mind, I don’t find it funny at all, and will split on you.

 

The managers simply don’t really pay me any attention. It’s not like I want to be treated as a child, but check up on me. It is well documented that I have mental health issues, which are used against me. “But Dominic, you have to take care of yourself and bring up issues.” Yeah, I have tried to a small degree, but nobody takes me seriously. So here’s some fun little facts that my employer should know. Also, even with my DX, I have STAYED at the same job for 11 years now VS jumping ship. All based on needing a routine.

 

  • Let me have “mental health days” without fearing to call out and making an excuse. Also, don’t write me up based on calling out, which the company does!
  • I cannot run off to get a doctor’s note every time I need off either, to avoid such a write up.
  • Give me a routine! Write out a detailed list for me, but don’t scold me for not completing the tasks,which has happened. There’s a ton of distractions because of customers and my ADD. I forget, so the list will help.
  • Do not use my “issues” prevent me from moving up in the company. I am not sorry that self harming is/was a coping skill. I don’t know how I’ll react with my frustrations, but it has been venturing away from self harm.
  • If you notice that I am in distress, take me to the office and ask me what the problem really is. Maybe I need an extra break or to go home.
  • Speaking of going home; I have issues with asking to leave, based on my mental health. Not because I am ashamed, but in the retail business, people gossip!
  • There should CERTAINLY be repercussions for people who talk down on people, in this manner. I witness it EVERYDAY! People claiming this person is retarded, does dumb things, etc.
  • Above point, drives my paranoia skyrocketing, because I can only imagine what you are saying behind my back.
  • Constructive criticism: such a gray area for me, because it seems like a personal attack, despite what you say.
  • Lastly, that routine thing is a big issue for me, since when I get bored, I self destruct inside my mind. I disassociate and run on autopilot.

 

Seriously, I want a chance to make something of myself, as I need to feel a purpose. The company knows that I am fairly decent with computers, so why can’t I do something within corporate level, that is not in a stressful situation? Why can’t I be taught new things in my current department without a song and dance? Is this really my fault?

I have been looking tirelessly for another job, but it is difficult when all you know is retail. It’s also scary to come out of a job and lose all benefits, since then I would have no way to get the current treatment that I’m getting. Okay, maybe that is a bit of a lie, but I don’t wish to be on SSI (not that it’s a bad thing!)

 

But regarding these issues in the retail workplace, I really wish my mental health was not the deciding factor. As stated in another blog, my manager said I was capable, but not really. I just want to fight harder for more awareness, especially in the workplace. It’s not whining! These are real issues that are out of my control, but I’m sure with some guidance by management, I can be taken under their wing…….. If not, this bird is going to have to finally fly the coupe.

 

(Reupload because issues)

 

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