A post that’s been sitting in my drafts for several weeks, something I’ve typed and retyped and hovered over the publish button. If you’re reading this, then I finally pressed publish and it took some nerve to do so.
Something I’ve kept very private recently is how unhappy I’ve been. You might’ve seen the odd tweet from me, but otherwise I’ve kept it all under wraps. There’s been a few reasons for this, firstly y’know the phrase ‘fuelling the fire’ well I knew fine well if I was to be more open about being unhappy and the reasons why, it would only encourage certain individuals. Trust me, I’m no stranger to bullying.
Imagine waking up every weekday, dreading the day ahead. Stressing about what might happen, what someone might say before you’ve even got up and had a cuppa. It’s like having the Sunday night blues, but every night – to the point where it impacts your Friday and Saturday evenings. Two days that should never be welcome to thoughts of work. Then Sunday; well that awful feeling came creeping up from the moment my eyes flickered open and only got progressively worse. I had to do something about it.
Stupidly, perhaps, I thought it was my own fault. I was too sensitive, reading things the wrong way but when I found myself reassured by friends and family, and I could go to blog events and feel welcomed and actually appreciated, I realised it certainly wasn’t me. It was the toxic individuals who had decided for whatever reason, they didn’t like me.
I guess a part of it comes down to blogging and Hello Freckles. I don’t expect everyone to understand what I do on the internet and that’s totally fine. But it’s another thing to be mocked and made to feel less worthy because of something you do outside of work and something you’re actually proud of. A brand I’m trying to grow and working on myself in any free moment outside of the 9-5.
So I quit. I worked my notice and got out of that environment. I’d had enough of the snide remarks, being purposefully ignored and everything else that came along with it. It was bullying and something I didn’t want to admit I was going through, At first I didn’t want to tell anyone how down I was feeling but it was clearly impacting on my life outside of work. Family, friends, relationships and even blogging to some extent too. I’d come home feeling awful, sometimes to the point of being ill and the last thing I’d want to do would be open up my laptop and type up some content about the latest launch party I attended, or a style piece. Yes I was in a stable permanent job but it was clear I had no room to grow and progress within the business, my wage wasn’t anywhere near enough a reason to stay and I didn’t feel valued. Life is too short to be unhappy and we can always make a change.
Thankfully I have a strong support network who backed my decision and I’m lucky that my current situation doesn’t involve paying off a mortgage or looking after a family. I realise that I am grateful and I know there may be others out there who have experienced this and aren’t able to get out as easy.
I’m not sharing this as a ‘look at me, I quit’ and expecting praise from my decision. Sometimes fellow bloggers or PRs will ask about work and I initially feel a bit embarrassed to say “oh actually I’m not there anymore..etc.” but why should I be embarrassed for doing something that I did for valid reasons? Sitting down to write this post, I wasn’t sure where to start or even how much I would or should be sharing. I just felt I needed to share my thoughts in the hope that it might help others. What I dealt with on a daily basis was awful. At first I didn’t recognise it as bullying, but maybe I was naive to think it was just a blip, a fad, something I’d work through. Months later when things weren’t any better and my self confidence had almost drained I realised I needed to step up and do something. It is never okay to purposefully make someone feel bad, to make them question their own decisions, to make them feel so low about themselves. I honestly never thought I would experience something like this from grown adults my age and older, but I did.
What I’m realising now, whilst I piece myself back together; it doesn’t make me any less of a person. I shouldn’t be embarrassed or feel like I failed. I worked there for a considerable amount of time, I worked hard and did just as much as other colleagues did, yet never reaped the same rewards. I got up, I left and I’m moving on to better things. Whether this time out will allow me to focus on blogging and pushing this to where I’d like it to take me, we’ll have to see. If I find myself working in another 9-5 role, then great. I’m not against that by any means but for now I need to put my happiness (and my health) first.
I just hope that anyone who reads this and has gone through a similar situation knows one thing; you’re not alone. Whether you want to talk to a seemingly ‘stranger on the internet’ i.e. me, about it or not, you’re more than welcome to. Just promise me you will talk to someone and know deep down that your personal happiness is the most important thing. You’re a much bigger, better person than those who try to bring you down.