Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

My Inspirations

My Inspirations are everyday people who have massive hearts of gold and who, without even knowing, have truly touched and changed my life.

Today's inspiration is a little lady who believed in my ability right from the first time we meet... in a job interview.

I was so nervous, but somehow her relaxed manner and warm greating helped to calm my nerves.

While I didn't win the position that I had applied for, this lady asked me to do some casual work for the company.

At this point in my career I didn't even know how to answer an office phone! She took me under her wing as her little apprentice and taught me so much, particularly about how one should manage.

When the  opportunities arose for promotions it was her that guided me and gave me the confidence to apply.

Her name is Siobhan. Siobhan was a shining light at the end of a dark tunnel for me when I fell ill with my depression. It must of been so hard for her to watch her bright and outgoing apprentice turn into a quiet, self doubting shadow of her former self.

But she stood strong and helped me to seek the guidance that I needed in a support officer.

When I fell so ill that I could barely function, she supported me in having time off.

When I was starting to find my feet again, Siobhan helped me to create a return to work plan where I'd start 3 days a week for a couple of hours each time until I built back up to full time work over a 10 week plan.

Her amazing support, one on one meetings, non  judgment, management and genuine caring was what helped me to return to full time work in roughly 6 weeks after 3 months off and still battling severe crippling anxiety.

I still remember my first day back at work so clearly. I must have entered the sliding front doors 100 times before that day, but my anxiety made it feel like a marathon to approach and walk in. My throat was in my stomach and I felt like vomiting. My head was screaming run because I was panicking. I remember seeing  Siobhan a friendly familiar face inside and thinking no, I can do this.

I'm so grateful for her help during this time.

Her belief in me is what got me through and back to work. She saw something in me right from the beginning and she never gave up on me when others would've fired my butt! Siobhan helped others to understand my situation while still maintaining confidentiality.

Siobhan is everything a manager should be; open to new ideas, willing to give new initiatives a go, approachable, flexible yet firm, incredibly intelligent and friendly.

I'm proud to now call her a friend. Not only is she a great manager bit she's also an awesome mum to two children who she conceived via IVF and very bravely wrote about for my blog.

She loves her g and ts and I really miss her laugh and presence.

So to Siobhan, you kick started my career and taught me how far a Bachelor of Arts could get you with hard work and determination. You have set the bar so high for my current and future managers. You deserve every success that comes your way.

To other managers out there, you could certainly learn a lot from  Siobhan a approach to helping colleagues with a mental illness.

And to my readers, I hope you have a positive experience like I did returning to work after being ill. Don't jump to conclusions that your work place won't understand or help because there are some real Angels out there!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

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