General Mish Mash

Unplugged – Part 3

Unplugged - Part 3

If you have not yet read Min Unplugged – Part 1 and Unplugged – Part 2, then I recommend you read them before reading this, so that Part 3 makes more sense to you!

Before I get into Part 3, I want to acknowledge that far worse things happen to people than what happened to me in this story.  I’m telling this story – not because I want attention or sympathy but because I know that unfortunately this kind of thing happens all the time.  By sharing my story it brings the subject of workplace stress and mistreatment into the open and hopefully begins a dialogue on the subject.  It shows how workplace mistreatment can affect a person and their families, and it also provides an opportunity for me to share the lessons I have learned as a consequence – though I believe the lessons learned would be different to each person.

Part 2 ended with these words:  Medically, I was affected both physically and mentally.

I was completely broken.

The day after the incident I went to the doctor because I was concerned about my racing heart, my inability to sleep and the strange buzzing of stress I could feel beneath my skin.  I was prescribed something that would supposedly help me sleep.  It didn’t.

I’m not sure how many days had passed before I was back at the doctors.  My sister took me.  My family had all come to my home armed with flowers, food and lots of concern.   My condition had deteriorated very rapidly.

Doctors tell me that (based on the many varied tests I had) it appears that before the incident had even occurred, I was most likely suffering with chronic stress.  This is stress that is endured over an extended period.  I was unaware of this because living with stress had become my normal.  If you refer back to Part 1 – you will recall the conditions and workload that I was enduring  (and I didn’t tell the half of it!).

Following the incident, my nervous system went into overdrive (sort of a meltdown!).  My heart was racing too fast.  There was a strange buzzing all over my body.  I could feel it under my skin and in my veins.  I couldn’t concentrate.  My thoughts were racing and swirling.  I couldn’t sleep.  I was devastated.  I was exhausted (adrenal fatigue).  I felt panic and fear (anxiety).  Pretty soon depression set in.   I could do nothing except lie in bed and cry.  It was at this point that the family rallied and my sister took me to the doctor.

I ended up spending a week in hospital.  This is not because the doctors told me to but because I requested it and they thought it was a good idea.  I didn’t like my kids seeing me in the state I was in.  I also needed to escape responsibilities.  I didn’t want the reminders of dinners needing to be cooked, clothes needing to be washed, floors needing to be cleaned etc etc.  I needed time out from everything.  I really should have stayed longer than a week but my birthday was coming up and I felt it would be unfair on my kids for me to be in hospital on my birthday – so I came out the day before my birthday.

That time in hospital was confronting and scary but eventually a relief to have escaped the guilt associated with all the ‘stuff’ I was unable to do and to have a quiet, safe haven away from real life.  They prescribed strong sleeping tablets that knocked me out and finally I could sleep … but I felt like slightly zombie-like through the day.  They also prescribed Valium to calm the anxiety.  I refused anti-depressants (you’ll find out why later in the story).

Once home again, there was months spent lolling around the house watching television, reading books (when I could concentrate again), occasionally meeting a friend for coffee … but not much more.  For much of that time, I was unable even to do the most basic of household tasks.  My husband cooked dinner for quite some time before I was able to do it again.  I would put a load of washing in the machine and then forget about it.  My concentration was extremely poor and my memory was badly affected.  I couldn’t handle doing much at all.  I couldn’t organise my days.  I was very confused.  I joined a new local gym – determined to at least try and keep fit and slim.  I tried, but failed to keep up with this.  My new companion ‘anxiety’ was causing me so much fear and angst and it had reduced my comfort zone circle significantly (eg HOME, local cafe, parents house, sisters house … THE END).

Eventually, I started to cook dinner again.  Firstly just once or twice a week and eventually more nights a week.  I managed to put a load of washing on and remember that I had.  I still couldn’t do too much in one day but I started to manage a little more.

By September 2012, I began to feel like I needed more than just the odd bit of housework.   I was used to being busy and having goals and timelines to meet.  I needed an outlet.  I needed a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

A friend had drawn my attention to an article published in U Magazine (a magazine inserted into Brisbane’s Sunday Mail newspaper) on a Brisbane mum called Hailey Bartholomew who had begun a 365 Grateful project.  My friend thinks I am very creative and she suggested this might be something I would like to do.  I did think the 365 Grateful project would be a great idea.  I had never heard of such a thing before.  I thought it would help me see all those little things that I have in my life to be grateful for.

During the time I had been home, I had been reading quite a few blogs regularly and secretly thought I would love to have one of my own.  The idea of a 365 Grateful Project is what set my thought process into motion.

On 19 September 2012, I started my blog.  I jumped in without thinking too much about it.  I thought if I thought about it too much I would never do it.  Fear would take over.  I didn’t know what to call it because apart from the planned 365 Grateful Project, I didn’t know what I was going to blog about.  I thought I would blog about a mish mash of stuff and so ended up calling the blog MinsMash.

Since starting the blog, I have been on a journey, with all of you, of rediscovering who I am, what makes me happy and what my future might possibly look like!

Read more in Unplugged – Part 4

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Note about the photo for Unplugged Part 3.  These photo’s are not my own and photo credits are below.  I liked the unplugged picture because not only does it represent ‘unplugged’ but the green leaf growth represents ‘re-birth’, ‘a new start’, ‘a new beginning’.   I liked the photograph of the lady in distress because it shows a person broken – just like I was.

Photo credits:  Unplugged Photo | Distressed lady Photo

Linking up today with Essentially Jess’s #IBOT

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19 replies »

  1. I am so happy you chose to start your blog as a way to rediscover yourself and in by doing so you have included us on your journey.
    That’s what I love about blogs…they are a way we can all come together,to share in the good and the bad ,giving us the comfort of knowing we are not alone.x

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    • Thank you Deby! It is not easy to share all this but I don’t want these kind of issues to be swept under the carpet. They affect so many. Not just me. I hope if there is anyone out there that has been through something similar to me – that these posts make them not feel so alone and that they offer some hope and comfort. xo

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  2. Well I for one am VERY glad you just jumped into this blogging thing, feet first. Which when you think about it is pretty amazing given your state of mind at the time! Still I know how it is, I started Footprints when I was in the grip of PND would you believe!!!!

    Roll on 29 May xxx

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    • Thanks Janet! It sure was feet first … and blindfolded … and not in the best state of mind! Ahhh PND – well you certainly achieved a lot with that. Imagine what you can achieve now?!! Yep – roll on 29 May…I’m really looking forward to it! 🙂 xo

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  3. Sounds really horrible mate, I’m so sorry you had to go through something like that, and because of work of all things. I’m glad that starting a blog has helped in some way, that to me is what blogging is all about!

    #teamIBOT was here!

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  4. Oh, Min…what tough, tough times! As they say, it’s always darkest before the light. It’s good to share this because as you say, others shouldn’t have to go through similar nasty circumstances.
    Glad that you had the support to ease back into life again.

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    • Thanks Grace – I never planned to share this but there is something about the blogging world that makes you want to share this stuff!! Lol I also hope that anyone else out there that has been through something similar – who might happen to read this – not feel quite so alone and hopefully inspired and hopeful that there is a way to move forward through this stuff.

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  5. It sounds like you found the perfect outlet Mins, glad to hear it. Work stress is so frustrating, I can’t imagine what you went through. Am very happy you are nearly out the other side though! Em x

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    • Thanks Em. It was a combination of work stress and injustice and mis-treatment that led to what happened to me. I’m nearly out the other side but I will be a different me on the other side. You’ll hear about that in Part 4 😉 xo

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  6. Oh wow Min, it sounds like you had some really dark times back then. I’ve been trying to work out the time line and now realised this was all pre-blog. I haven’t seen that side of you in your writing until now, so it’s obviously been a really great outlet for you. So glad that you can write the story down now though. That must be a huge sense of relief, and also bring a lot of closure.

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    • Hi Jess – yes the incident happened in May 2012. I started my blog in September 2012. So a lot was pre-blog but also some during blog! Blogging has been a great outlet, as well as learning photography! It hasn’t always been easy though – particularly during hard and/or dark times but I am so glad I started this blog as it has kind of been like self-therapy! xo

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  7. Hey, Minsmash,

    BTW, did you get the notification I sent you about nominating you for the Liebster award? Anyway, will be anxious to hear why you chose not to take anti-depressants. Don’t know which blog I’m posting from right now, but you might be interested in “depressionsgift” which is the blog devoted to the discussion of depression.

    Being betrayed is an awful experience but I’m glad you’re blogging about it. It takes some of the sting out of it.

    (Finally, for some strange reason I’m getting multiple notifications via my e-mail about the same posts. Just started happening last week. Anyone else have this problem?)

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    • Hi Rebecca – Yes I did get your msg nominating me for a Liebster award. So sorry I hadn’t yet got back to you. I was trying to find a contact email on your blog but couldn’t find one. Thank you for nominating me – I am so honoured to be chosen! I have been nominated for this award three times before but each time is always such a buzz for me 🙂 I am not sure when I will get the time to do the post though as my time is a bit limited at the moment. It is on my list though! With regards to you getting multiple notifications via e-mail – I have no idea about that. I’m not getting multiples from blogs I follow? Re your other questions – you’ll find out in Part 4 and it looks like I’m going to need a Part 5! Min xo

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  8. Min, it’s wonderful that blogging has helped you, and you’re so brave putting your story out there! Very generous too, as it may help others in the same situation.
    I was lucky enough to hear Hailey speak at a function last year, and she is very inspiring.
    Good on you for coming through this dark patch x

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    • Thanks Lisa. I hope I have done the right thing by putting it out there! I am hoping it may help others in the same or similar situation – ie let them know they are not alone and also that there is light at the end of the tunnel. You are so lucky to have heard Hailey speak. I would love to meet her! Min xo

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  9. Min, I’m so happy you decided to join the blogging world. It’s important to share your story here with us because we can know you more but also, and as you said, because it will certainly help other people who are in the same situation. Work can take so much place in our life. When something like what happened to you arrive, I can understand the feeling of betrayal, emptiness and stress. But, I’m so glad you found another way to express yourself and do something you love.

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