Not working in the time of COVID-19

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Hello. I’m sure many of us are not working right now. Many people have been put on furlough or forced to take unpaid leave or like me are getting paid to not work until the organisation can provide the infrastructure to work from home or the office reopens.

At first it was fine. Like I had plenty of things to do (still do tbh) and quite frankly wasn’t well enough to work anyway. But now Easter is over and everyone’s working and more and more people in my organisation are getting laptops to work from home.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful to be able to spend the time on my blog, on reading more and on looking after my health.

But there is a sense of guilt. Despite circumstances being completely beyond my control. And the purpose in my life is not what it was last month.

I want to go home and see my family but when lockdown ends, the office will likely reopen and by which point I will be expected to be in the office infrastructure to work from home or not as I’m still in my probationary period.

There will be too much guilt and worry to book the annual leave to go home because by which point I may not have worked for nearly two months.

On what planet do I deserve annual leave?

I also don’t really need it, asides from the fact that home is the other end of the country. So for me to spend a reasonable amount of time at home and ideally limit the damage to my ME I could do with a good few days of annual leave when work requires being in the office.

I don’t know why I feel guilty because this is all out of my control and it is currently illegal to travel home. I can’t. Or I can but I’d be risking a fine and it’s morally wrong.

It’s not like I’ve wasted this time and I could have otherwise used this time to go home or do any of the things that may require annual leave in the future. So it’s all irrational and stupid.

But I think in todays society it is all very natural to have this guilt over not working. Because society would have us believe that our worth is our productivity and that that productivity is somewhat meaningless if it’s not related to a job. That’s not true.

Not in the slightest. We are all have worth regardless of our employment status.

Is anyone else having feelings of guilt?

My experience with imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome has been talked about quite a lot over the last year. Having learnt about it, and listened to many others talk about their experiences through it via YouTube I thought it was about time that I discuss my experience with imposter syndrome.

Impostor Syndrome is characterized by the conviction that you don’t deserve your success. It is the feeling that you’re not as intelligent, creative or talented as other people seem to believe you are. It is the suspicion that your achievements are down to luck, good timing or just being in the right place at the right time. And it is accompanied by the fear that, one day, you’ll be exposed as a fraud.

I definitely relate to this. I have incredibly low self esteem and when things go right, I feel as though a mistake has been made. I feel like it was just luck, good timing or that it was in reality something incredibly easy and any idiot could have done it. I am not good at seeing my own achievements as a success and I’m scared that one day everyone will realise how useless I really am, or that they already know that. Understandably, this can make life incredibly difficult to deal with.

In some cases imposter syndrome can be debilitating. Although it’s not a formal clinical diagnosis.

Personally, if I get good grades I think they’re wrong. If I win academic awards I think a mistake has been made. If I get a job, I question whether I’m really good enough and whether the employer has made a mistake.

I check my final year grades every single day because I still can’t believe it’s true…

For my first two years at university imposter syndrome really effected me. Not to the point that it was debilitating but enough to be something weighing my mental state down. I got into my admittedly not great uni (In terms of league tables but I couldn’t imagine having gone anywhere else) with BBB at A level and a further BC at AS. With a couple of resits thrown into that mix too. The offer I received was ABB. Yes I know I was only one grade off but I just had that feeling that I didn’t deserve to be there, that everyone else had it all together and was so much better than me. This was especially true when compounded by low grades in my first year. (I got 2:2s in all my coursework).

I still felt the same in second year, even though my grades had improved. Like I just wasn’t enough. Like everyone else was so much better than me.

It’s difficult, it’s reality.

To my understanding many people go to through this, so people do understand. It is also possible to overcome.

If anyone else reading this feels the same or similar then please comment! And any tips for overcoming imposter syndrome would be much appreciated.

The one where I discuss loneliness and always feeling like an outcast

Essentially more of Han moaning about her fam to get the point across, also I’ve been watching friends, which explains the title.

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I’ve been noticing it more as I’ve got older and since I’ve matured into an adult in my family. That not being included in anything, not being listened to and not being heard. I’ve also noticed it in committee meetings, in friendship groups. When it comes to it no one ever hears what I say and I feel invisible.

And that’s it. That’s my life.

And then one wonders why I have mental health issues the way I do. Why I feel like no one cares. Why I struggle to make friends and talk to people.

Why I just feel so incredibly alone…

Especially now I’m seeing my brothers be listened to and included.

I wonder…. I wonder what it is that wrong with me.

I was inspired to talk about this because I ended up going to my nans this morning and now deeply regretting it. Thinking it would only be a couple of hours and now realising it’s taken up the entire day. At least all the energy I have to do useful things due to my ME/CFS. I had plans. But I went because… well I felt like I had to.

To go to not feel rewarded or valued and be intentionally left out. To not be included in any conversation. To now realise we’re staying for lunch and there’s nothing I can eat because I have to be plant based due to health issues.

I ate dairy yesterday and still regret it today because it genuinely feels like it just stays in my stomach forever.

To not know when we can go home so I can work on my interview prep that I have planned and after having been dragged on a dog walk I doubt I’ll have the energy to read, process information and write.

I can’t be the only one to feel this way. The only one to just not fit in…

The only one who just does not get on with there family full stop but until a job comes it’s way in a formal manner cannot do anything but live with them.

The one who desperately tries to please everyone but it’s never enough….

And I need someone to talk to. I think everyone needs someone to talk to if there in this situation. They need to feel loved, accepted, cared for. And society needs to help facilitate this. Going back to my previous post this may be a situation where social media is a force for good. But we also need real people in the real world to talk to.

I think this is why many people who report similar situation end up in abusive relationships… because it’s so easy to get sucked in and give the benefit of the doubt if you’ve never felt loved accepted or listened to.

Us more than ever, need safe spaces. Need an out, need options.

Need unconditional love. And at the very least – like minded people to talk to. To lessen the feelings of loneliness.

We need hope and faith that there is always and out and it will get better. At some point it will. Maybe not now and maybe not forever.

We need to see the light. To understand it’s not because it’s something wrong with us. And it’s also not our fault.

I find because of my experience I put a lot of blame on myself.

But anyway. I’m aware this post had no structure. I just want everyone to think. To think about what they could do to those of us in society who don’t look lonely but are. I want everyone to remember that they can’t see what happens behind closed doors and to look for warning signs.

Is someone quieter than usual, on the contrary are they being more needy than usual, are they acting out at school, grades dropping, self harming. Are they placing blame on themselves a lot, or making any other concerning statements? Less active on social media?

Keep an eye out on things and take action. It doesn’t have to be huge. It can be as little as just reaching out. But I do hope those in power to change things take action. Build awareness and programmes in the community to help us feel included.

Those of us left out. Left behind. Misunderstood. We deserve more.

Dealing with family

Family. You either love them or hate them, or maybe it’s a bit of both.

This blog post will be about dealing with family and the difficulties there, especially if, like me you are unfortunately graced with family whom you aren’t all that close to be that for any reason.

Speaking for myself it stems from an emotional neglect and medical neglect with I keep on blaming myself for.

So many years went by with my parents not knowing me at all. Where they didn’t have the time for me, didn’t support me the way I needed them to and didn’t accept me for me. And now – living with them again. Well I can’t say it’s easy.

Now, my current position means I am definitely not one for giving advice in negotiating and managing relationships with family. But I do hope the rest of this post may help give anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation some solace.

You are not alone. I know I feels like it. I do. I know emotional abuse, neglect, or any other negative family member can cause you to feel incredibly alone. It harms your development and the harm will never leave. But you are not alone. There will always be someone you can talk to – there are phone lines, there’s 7 cups of tea. So even if there is no one in the real world – you are not alone.

I know it sounds corny but it will all work out in the end and everything happens for a reason. Yes the harm is long lasting and there will be nights you spend in tears, having flashbacks. If you have younger siblings, yes this will hurt when they are being treated better than you are.

But I promise you. It will work out.

And if anyone ever needs to vent you can always DM be on insta @Spoonielivingfree. 6595526295_7fa79fd6e7_z

Gaining Perspective, learning to go easy on myself while I can.

Hello, so frequent readers of my blog will know that I have recently been going through a lot of feelings of guilt, weakness and denial. But recently I feel I have found some perspective or atleast I am starting to get over those feelings for the time being.

I guess it comes from the perspective of others, and those others not being my parents. Whom are like they are and pushy like they are about certain things, one being me having a part time job and working that job regularly because they worry. And because they don’t understand. They don’t understand that I am chronically ill. Heck I don’t think they even know. I know I’ve never told them. And not only that- they don’t realise how full on being a law student is. Especially if a) you want a good degree classification and b) you’re not super intelligent. Yeah, life was all fun and games in first term. I did manage to study adequately and for the last couple of weeks of term, commit to rehearsals,  work a couple of shifts and socialise a lot. Yeah, I did push my body too far. I was so ill and my chronic illness was so bad, even for weeks after term ended but I did manage to do it all.

But now I’ve realised, and this is because I’ve realised if I do work, I need a new job. And all Other jobs will provide regular commitment of hours that it’s just not going to be practicable.Not for my health and not for my grades. More not for my grades to be honest. Because I am going to have to start revising for exams now, start making proper notes and taking things more seriously. Which takes up time, it means I do have to do some studying over the weekend, when before I had weekends free to netflix and chill or go on autumnal walks.

And for a while I beat myself up over that, beat myself up for taking the easy way out. But the reality of it is – as long as I stick to some sort of budget I don’t need the extra money this year. So why would I add the stress and strain of regular working hours on top of uni, drama (the love of my life) being chronically ill and maintaining a social life. I might look out for when uni are next recruiting student ambassadors so that way I can still have some income but until then. I will quite happily not work regularly and try not to feel shame for that.

Fact of the matter is I am a productive uni student, not the most productive but I am productive and I do try hard and work hard. So why should I feel guilty about not doing enough? When I do do enough.

When your school uniform is triggering!

Year 11. So not aloud any new uniform. My school skirt. At the beginning of year 11 I had to roll it up 3 times or it would fall down. Now I can only roll it once. Unless on my waist (but then it looks slutty)

My skirt is designed to be tight. I hate feeling my clothes on me. Makes me feel fat. It’s like I can feel my fat on my body when I wear close fitting clothing. As I realize I can no longer have it right round my hips. No longer roll it up as much as before I feel like and obese monstrosity. How can someone gain so much weight in such a short amount of time? 

The fact that it’s tighter than it ever was. Well that’s how I feel. I try to make it as tight as possible. Make myself feel as small as possible despite knowing of the monstrosity I am.

Feeling it getting tighter makes me feel awful. Triggers me into restriction. Relapse. Thankfully though so far my school skirt has only caused a few minor slip-ups. Still I can’t wait until I’m rid of it forever! I take is off for PE. Take it off in the evenings. I see my fat spill out. Signs of the obese pig I am. Heavier than I’ve ever been. Higher BMI than ever before. I used to try and kid myself I was still thin but where’s the reasoning in that? All that will do is cause me to eat more and in hand become more and more obese. 

I don’t allow myself to not roll up my skirt at-all. Why? Because then I’m allowing myself to be fat. Same reason why I don’t accept compliments about me. It allows me to accept my flaws and why should I accept my flaws when for the last 6 years I am been aiming for perfection?

So How can you combat the wrath of the triggering, tight school skirt? (and other items of uniform)…

Well I feel what makes uniform of any type different to our every day casual clothing is that we have to wear it A LOT. For school uniform 5 days a week 7-8 hours a day. MINIMUM! There’s not really a way to avoid triggering uniform especially if it’s school uniform and your in your last year and your mum won’t buy you anything new. I know some schools will provide students with uniform. But who wants old and worn clothing?  No girl wants that.

I guess the way to deal with triggering uniform would simply be learning to accept yourself for who you are. I know simply said but not simply done. Only in learning to accept yourself and accepting your flaws, will you truly be accepted into society. By learning to love and accept yourself people will love you more because you, yourself will be the most exciting person you can be when you discover true acceptance of yourself. 

 

So I guess that’s it really. The Journey of recovery. Finding yourself. Accepting yourself. Knowing that your body’s changing. You may lose, gain. Overshoot, undershoot. You may be one of those lucky ones in which the weight restoration process goes smoothly. Physical recovery may come quick for you. 

Yes recovery may be a long and hard journey and your weight may feature all over the BMI section throughout but it is all part of a good Journey. Your on the road to enjoying life once more. Living instead of just surviving.