The theme for today’s World Mental Health Day is workplace wellbeing.
Regular readers of my blog will know that I talk about work at least every other Sunday when we’re catching up for a coffee. Readers who may have stuck around for a while know that I had some problems in 2016. Work wasn’t the only reason, but it was one of them.
I don’t consider work to be real life. I don’t mean that in the sense of it being make believe, I mean it not being real life, with real as in “proper”, I guess. I’ve worked with some people who I doubt act at home as they do in the office and I’ve always been of the view that work is a facilitator to more important things for me.
There was a point then, where going to work was a way to escape sh*tty things that were happening in real life. Not quite as fun as other pursuits that can take your mind of things, but kind of useful given that it happens for long periods throughout the week.
The way 2015 finished for me, though, I ended up without a place to hide because my non-real life had turned real when the work I was doing was resulting in my friends losing their jobs. So it was a bit of a rock and hard place for me personally. I couldn’t go anywhere to forget and I couldn’t do anything to fix.
Thankfully I had a supportive boss who didn’t need me to go in to all the details of my personal life. He just need to know that I was struggling and he trusted me to work the best as I could, when I could. He accepted that when my head wasn’t in it, I just needed to be somewhere else to recharge. I wouldn’t be doing anything productive for work anyway.
It’s a message the was emphasised for me during my own struggles, but one which I’ve always tried to put in to practice at work. Everyone has something else going on that’s more important than something else and if I can influence something in the work place to make it better, even with people I don’t know socially, then my view is that that’s something I need to do.
I’ll always be grateful to my boss for his help, not least then.
It was interesting on my to work the other day, before I realised what day today was, I suddenly thought about the counsellor I was seeing at that time. Her name was Nicola, and she was awesome. She has literally been one of the most important people in my life, ever, and I only knew her for 6 weeks.
I guess that in any environment, whatever your expertise, you have the power to help people.
If you fancy making a donation, maybe give one to Mind? Thanks.