I’ve often found myself thinking, where has 2018 gone? 2018… Whoa boy what a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s certainly changed me as a person. For the better? I hope so.
Right at the very first day of the year I was in my previous job, we all get out annual pay review letter. Well I say letter, it was an email. People’s emails varied greatly. Mine? Mine basically told me I wasn’t good at my job and my pay review in return for all the overtime I put in, all my efforts spent in the past 4 and a bit years of my job to be basically told I was bad at it. I already felt like I was being used as cheap labour and I had been told on numerous occasions by people working there I was being used as I was cheap labour. But this put the final nail in the coffin for me.
I vowed to myself that I’d hand in my notice within the month. I’d been looking for a job previously however, I had not been successful in my endeavours. I applied for literally almost anything in the i.t industry. I wanted out. Within the next couple days I got invited to an interview, passed the interview and handed my notice in.
It was one of the weirdest but amazing feelings knowing I was actually starting a new chapter in my life.
As I served my month’s notice at my old workplace, being worked to the bone getting all my knowledge of the systems onto paper as I was getting to be one of the longest standing employees there a situation developed that I never thought would happen.
I fell in love. For the sake of this post (and because as you will read it didn’t end well) I’ll leave their name out of this. Things went extremely well over the next couple months. My overall mental health improved, I was happier more of the time and I looked forward to what each new day had in store for me. I started dealing with my OCD with he help of her which although did overwhelm me at one point and I did have a panic attack it has not put me off wanting to recover.
But there was something I was doing as I was wrapping myself in this new found feeling. I was pushing people away. People I shouldn’t have been pushing away.
So far 2018 was going well yeah? Well here’s where it all falls apart.
Come April things went off in my relationship. The woman I loved had essentially ghosted me. She barely spoke and when she did, it was one or two sentences at the max. It crushed me for weeks as I tried time and time again to get her to speak to me. In the end I threw out the question “do you love me” and the response I got back shattered my world. “No not really”. I broke down into tears. I didn’t know what to do.
In the heat of the moment I was talking to people in the group of friends we were part of and I said one sentence that I’ll admit I should of never said as I would never action it on anyone EVER. But it was with a friend who promised not to talk to other people about it right? Wrong. They forwarded the screenshot to one person who, in turn, forwarded that screenshot to a lot of people. When I tried to get answers and reverse what I said I was blocked on every platform by everyone.
I just watched my life crumble before me and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
I grovelled back to the two friends I pushed away to a great extent and told them what had happened and to my surprise they were on my side. I have vowed to myself never to push them away under any circumstances, no matter the cost.
Over the couple weeks / month or so I felt worthless, I didn’t want to live, I practically starved myself, maybe having an intake food wise of about 400 calories. I turned to drink heavily, substituting it for food sometimes as it was something that made me feel slightly better. My sleeping pattern was ruined and I’d just cry on a night to let out some of the emotional pain.
Looking back on that, I got a lot of people worried about my health and I was being a complete dick.
About mid April I threw myself I threw myself into The Geek Asylum and got talking to a bunch of really cool people who I still speak to and most notably I bumped into a small Rooster Teeth NE group that has cropped up. I joined it and as a few other people joined I created a group chat and we all got talking.
We eventually set a date on meeting and going for drinks. That day came and we all had great fun and that led to our next meet of mini golf (of which I damaged muscles attaching me kneecap to my leg which was painful).
Most important of all, I started to feel myself again. I put drink down almost completely and and I was sleeping properly again.
Over the next few months I integrated myself with the RT community more. I wanted to pour the love I got from the RT community when I needed it most back into people who need it and I’m still doing it now. I attended RTX Austin and had the absolute honor of being on stage as part of a panel.
Then once I came back from RTX Austin a couple weeks later I got a message inviting me to be on the RTUK CommuniTea panel and my face lit up. I’d never ever thought I’d be in a position where I could sit in front of people and talk about stuff I absolutely love.
After RTX London I attended EGX of which I had a blast and fast forward a month and here I am writing this post. Over the course of the year I’ve lost 5″ of my waist and I’ve dropped from an XL shirt size to a M. I still have bad days / weeks as my brain brings up the past but that’s my overthinking nature unfortunately. But at the end of the day, I have the best friends at my side, a RT community there to support me and although I’ve still got some way to go before I can truly lay my bad thoughts / memories to rest, it’s a journey I’m now strong enough and willing enough to take.