Friday 21st December 2018
I am not going to be back in the office until after Christmas - it has been so full-on over the past few days and weeks that that feels really weird. We had a great party last night. Today I am driving to Somerset to take my mother to hospital. All being well, she and I are looking forward to going out to dinner tonight with friends and some other members of the family. It will be wonderful to spend some quality time with loved ones. The older I get the more I appreciate the importance of love and relationships. Is there someone or some people you can see or renew contact with at this festive time? My mother is sliding into severe dementia; I am so glad that we made and cherished our moments together over the years, as you can never get that time back.
Today's post is reflective and open. It is by Sara Duxbury, whose post last year caused a lot of positive and active discussion about mental health, friendship and the workplace. Sara is an amazing lady, full of energy and ideas; she works as a business psychologist and is Head of Commercial at Carter Corson. After studying Psychology, Sara commenced her career in Retail and held operational roles before moving into Learning and Development and through that into HR. She has been an award winning HR Director with particular expertise in Professional Services. Sara has an excellent reputation as a thought-leader and is an active and engaging member of the social media community; you can connect with her on Twitter (her handle is @SaraJDux).
All the illustrations and music in this post were selected by Sara herself.
#MyStory – the sequel
If last year’s blog was about putting myself out there, this year is about how I lost myself out there.
When I wrote my Advent Blog this time last year (http://kategl.blogspot.com/2018/01/mystory-day-37.html) the response I received was completely unprecedented. I was incredibly humbled by words of respect, admiration, love and the “we knew you were mad, and we love you anyway”. I was in fact quite speechless (which for those who know me, you will know the world must have been considerably quieter for a moment!). The whole experience at the time, felt like the ultimate high five!
Martin Luke Brown - Opalite
When I reflect on the year that has passed since, I can see that there have been unexpected consequences, which have caused me heartache
Having a public support network meant that what I used to keep private, I now get support from my work colleagues and my friends – I have help. I bet you’re thinking how can this be a bad thing Sara? But all my coping strategies involved up until then… me. To now have people caring and wanting to share the burden was and is strangely difficult. I find it hard not to withdraw.
My self-confidence took a serious battering – I felt afraid and doubted myself. I still do on an hourly/daily basis. By being so honest to myself, I think I have made myself vulnerable and my imposter syndrome just LOVES that. I’m still learning how to channel that negative drain into positive energy.
My worst fear did come true – some people did and do judge me. Some do view my behaviour without understanding where it might be coming from. I think if they could spend some time inside my head, they might be kinder?
I’m overdoing it – my off-switch has completely left the building. You know you need to look at your wellbeing when you are conducting a three-week sleep study on yourself to determine if you are getting enough sleep! Maybe I think I need to prove myself more? (see previous two points)
Linkin Park & Kiiara – Heavy
I remember disagreeing with quite a few people last year who described me as brave. I feel more like this year I have needed to be brave, and I think I will need to continue to be brave to begin/carry on making good choices in this brave new Dux world.
The Wombats – Lemon to a Knife Fight
I can only do my best and I think I need to learn that my best is good enough. Hope is seeing photos of me like the below (thank you Kelly Swingler!) where I see captured, just for a moment, a glimpse of that girl who still gets so much joy from a wonky life (especially if it involves tacos!).
So, if you are someone who doesn’t struggle with your mental health, use your powers for good.
To quote this awesome girl I know: “My biggest hope is that by sharing my story, you who are sitting there battling on both sides, or you managing someone with mental health struggles. Look at me and see you CAN be the best version of you, be DAMN good at what you do, and be a bit bat-shit crazy” Here’s to hope…
Curtis Walsh – Full Recovery