I can.

This past year, I was in a bad situation at work. I’ve been told that I am not capable of being a leader and because of this, I turned down a possible promotion and I was left feeling inadequate and slow when it comes to grasping work information. I was made fun of when I admitted not knowing a certain topic and shamed for not knowing a simple concept that everybody, apparently, should know. I don’t like conflict, I stay away from them if I can. I brushed off and ignore what was thrown at me. I go to work, do my best and then go home, either crying or in a bad mood.

It was like a switch was turned on. One day, I’m my old self – chatty and full of gusto to learn. Next day, I didn’t want to go to work, I was crying and feeling anxious. I hated myself for feeling this way. It is just work, I have to be professional. I know this, but my heart and mind are not happy.

After talking to several people, I’ve learned that I have depression and anxiety. And that I am being bullied. They are not hurting me physically, but they are affecting my mental health. I was so happy that I got chosen to be the interim lead but that happiness quickly turned to regret and having all these questions why I took the position. I got scared of what they will do. I felt powerless, I doubted my lead and myself. I’ve let them win. I was crippled by what others think about me that I forgot of what I am capable of doing. Words, it only took words, for me to feel this way.

Over the past year, I’ve tried to take control back. Control over myself, especially my thoughts. It was a rough year but I did my best. There are days that anxiety and panic attacks took over and I would stay at home, crying or trying to calm myself down. But there are days that I felt like a winner – because I showed up and I got through the day without a single bad thought coming to mind.

We got our performance review today and I received a good review. When I saw my paperwork, I wanted to cry. I was worried that because of what I’ve been going through, it’ll affect my job. I was so relieved that it didn’t. I did whatever task assigned to me, asked questions when I needed to and avoided the negativity and silent hostility thrown towards me. It is not easy, there were days when I wanted to quit and look for another job.

I am going to celebrate this win. It is such a big deal for me. This made me think that I may be anxious and have depression, but this doesn’t make me a lesser person. I can do anything that I put my mind into. I am able to accomplish anything my heart desires. I can.

I can and I will.

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