Year of Change

18 December 2022
Author:
Smidget

Suffering in Silence

This year has been a crazy, like a roller coaster of change. I’m sorry that I haven’t been around a lot. It was never intentional, life got in the way and I have struggled to do many things I love. I stopped streaming, being artistic, playing games and hanging with friends. I stopped doing a lot of things that brought me joy and calmness. Maybe that has added to all the stress and anxiety I’ve had this year. It’s just been so hard, even when everything isn’t so exhausting. I haven’t been around much for many reasons and not just because life got busy. Another reason is because my world and my self-worth has been filled with so much negativity lately. I haven’t wanted to put that negativity on anyone else. I’ve not had the energy to continue putting up a façade. I’ve been quite content to suffer in silence which I realise is unhealthy.

This year started in a low with being unemployed after losing my job in December. I was unsuccessfully looking for work and had no idea what I wanted to do. I just knew that after two years working from home I wanted a change. But my future was uncertain and that alone was stressful.

The Big Change

Things got better when I got the job at Cleanaway and I got to start on an amazing new adventure. Another huge change for me, but I was so grateful for the opportunity and couldn’t wait to start this new adventure. Unfortunately, with the excitement in the career area other parts of my life started to go downhill rapidly. I found out the house I was living in was going to be sold. I only had a couple months to find somewhere to live. Hard to do with a new job and no real job security, I didn’t even know where to start.

It did work out in my favour in the end, I was able to buy my own little place. My own place for Izzy and I to call home, to have a freedom I’ve not had before. It was a huge change and it took a long time to get from panicking about finding somewhere to live to being in my own home. Things are settling down now and for the most part I’m happy, we are happy. I’m so proud of my girl Izzy on her adjusting to the new place, such a proud fur mamma.

My Home

Loss and Grieving

Another huge part of this year has been loss, with love comes grief. This year I have had to grieve twice, once for my Grandpa and once for my cousin Mark. Death is never an easy thing, emotions are hard to deal with. They can surprise you, one minute you’re happy and laughing. Next thing you have tears running down your cheeks.

Something else that I struggled with this year, was the second anniversary of my Nan’s passing. I thought by now it would be a little easier, but there has been a lot going on this year. Many accomplishments I wish that I could share with her. It’s not just that though, I miss everything about her especially her smile and those amazing cuddles. Life is not the same without her and never will be. I know I was lucky to have her as long as I did, doesn’t mean I don’t miss her.

Maybe experiencing loss again has made it a little harder. My cousins funeral was only days before the anniversary, and he was her eldest grandchild. Maybe that had a lot to do with it, seeing all the old photos of them together. Just seeing my family having to grief another loved one again, was hard. I know I don’t have to have a reason to still be grieving, everyone grieves differently.

To my Grandpa and Mark,

I probably never spent as much time with you as I should have or wanted to. I will never forget you and I will love you forever. It hurts that you are no longer here, and I miss you. I am grateful that your suffering is over, and thankful you are no longer in pain. Hopefully you have found peace.

I love you.

Work Change

On top of all of that I have been dealing with difficulties and change at work too. It’s been very hard and quite disappointing, I’ve been having an incredibly stressful experience. This new career started off with such grand excitement, filled with positivity, it was something new and different. I was excited and I had made a new family with the women I was in the academy with. We were bonded by our experiences and learning these new roles together.

Like all things, they change… I was very happy and proud of myself when I started. I learnt to drive the trucks and I successfully got my truck licence. Things were not so easy though, when I had my medical done I found out I have severe sleep apnea. Due to this I was at risk of losing not just my truck licence but my licence all together. I needed to get treatment in the form of a CPAP machine, which was and still is a struggle. I was also struck down with Covid in August, which made it even harder using the machine. At work, they would not let me drive until I had started using the machine correctly. In the end after much stress, panic and worry I managed to sort out the issues and can now use the machine enough to do my job.

I’m a Failure

A month following the CPAP issues when there was another huge change at work. I was once again taken off the road, just as I was getting ready to move house. I knew how sick my cousin was and that he could pass at any moment. On top of that I was made to feel like an absolute failure at work. This sent me into a spiral, I felt like I was letting everyone down. Felt like no matter how hard I tried I was always getting things wrong. I felt useless and worthless and I went to a dark place, very quickly. With so much other stuff going on and knowing the people around me were also suffering. Couldn’t find the strength to reach out, I didn’t want to tell anyone. Didn’t want to be a burden on others and I felt I deserved to feel that way. I felt so pathetic being torn up over something so trivial in the grand scheme of things.

The biggest change because of this situation was that I got moved from garbage collection and placed into the hard-waste collections team. Working in hard-waste meant driving a smaller truck and added an insane amount of physical activity I wasn’t prepared for. It hurt more than I care to admit, I loved driving the garbage truck and picking up bins. I enjoyed it more than any other job I have ever had. Being alone in the truck and just being able to listen to music and go at my own pace. It was hard having that taken away. Being moved into a position where I felt I was constantly being watched made me feel like a complete failure.

Still Struggling with Change

Things at work are still hard and I struggle every week just to get through it. I’m so exhausted that any time I am not working I’m too tired both physically and mentally to do anything. Hard rubbish collection is extremely physical, and painful, my body hurts more than ever. Even when I was suffering through my medical issues and having surgeries, I never felt this drained. I at least had the energy to do the things I loved.

Now I never have the energy to do anything, whenever I’m not working I’m too tired to enjoy life. All I want to do is curl up and sleep. It’s not just that my body is suffering a lot, my muscles hurt constantly. I’m covered in bruises all the time and I have eczema all over my hands. From the gloves and the stress. Dealing with these issues doesn’t help with the exhaustion. With physical exhaustion comes mental exhaustion. The more exhausted you are the harder it is to keep your mental barriers up. I feel like they are falling all around me all the time. The only positive is that I have lost some weight which makes me hate myself a little less. But is it worth it? I haven’t decided yet, I’m honestly struggling so much. I don’t know realistically how long I can keep going before I completely break. That’s hard to admit, but it’s the truth.

When it comes down to it all I am lucky to still have a job. It could have been much worse, can always be a lot worse. I’m going to do everything I can to keep going, but I just don’t know if I’m strong enough. I feel broken and that feeling keeps growing every day, every week.

End of Year Nears

I know this year isn’t quite over yet, but I wanted to get this out there now. It’s hard to share your feelings when you feel weak and embarrassed. I know that I have already been keeping these things too myself for too long, it’s unhealthy. I can’t afford to let it sink me further. I’m sorry that I haven’t felt comfortable or strong enough to share my struggles. I am now though and that is a start. I hope that when the new year comes around things will be different. Maybe I won’t feel so exhausted and can slowly get back into the things I love. Those things that bring me joy and help to clam all the anxiety and stress inside me.

Wishing you all the best for the end of your 2022. Hoping you enjoy the holiday season and get the chance to spend time with family and friends. I know from personal experience that this time of year can be hard for many people. I hope you still manage to find some joy.

2023 will be a new year and I hope a better one. Wishing you all the best and I will be back again next year with more updates. I’ll try my best to be open and honest, I want to be better at sharing my feelings. As much as I struggle with keeping my feelings to myself. I understand that talking to people helps. I will try my best to not to dig a deep hole for myself to hide in. Here’s to a year of less change, one can only handle so much change.

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