• Michelle Partington

Losing a career because of my career.

So I walk out of bingo Sunday and walk across to Tesco at 3.40 knowing the store closed at 4. At warp speed I worked my way through, focused entirely on the electrical department. I was lucky enough to have received some pennies in my birthday box and wanted to treat myself to a TV for my new TV bed so I had to go in. I go directly to have a look at the TV and immediately found the one I wanted, took the ticket to the counter which had no queue only to find they had sold out. So I focused my sights on the exit and left. What is so amazing about that I hear some say. Well I did all that without headphones!! Granted there was hardly any customers about but it was an achievement for me.

I was going to write this Sunday but but then I fell asleep. Then I was going to raise the blog yesterday but I was shattered, and after 6 hours of sweeping a warehouse, yes 6 hours, my arms felt like lead and my fingers were aching like they had never been used before!! It was great to be doing some work again and being productive. Sweeping a warehouse floor was a far cry from the RAF granted but at least I had a purpose. I really miss the RAF in so many ways, not the deployments but definitely the military camaraderie. Every time I think about it I feel a wave of melancholy wash over me. Where I am now can’t be further from the career I saw myself having until I retire. Nowadays I neither have the need nor the inclination to shower and dress myself. Some days I feel as gloomy as the grey and overcast days and I just can’t find the strength to even speak. Not having a job is just giving me too much time to think and dwell into a pit of emotions. Most days I feel sick to the stomach, scared, isolated, completely lost, and truly fearful of what sort of future lies ahead for me.

It was really difficult to go from Afghanistan, to my desk in an open plan office to then doing nothing. I don’t feel I have any worth or purpose if I don’t have my work. I never thought I would be anywhere other than in the RAF but I’m going to have to go and find out. I kinda miss the organisation, structure and order that military life brought with it. My sister put a post on Facebook of an amazing tree house in the middle of nowhere and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to run away and live somewhere like that. No hassles, no triggers, just me and my girl. I could just pack everything I can carry, which to be fair could be a lot seeing as I yomped around Afghanistan with a burgen on my back, and just disappear. Problem is that life has a way of forcing us to deal with things so I, as well as all you fighting the same, have no choice but to find and maintain the motivation to trudge on. Helping out my Daddy Dave yesterday was a good thing for me. The voluntary work at the Centurion Veterans Centre and the local hospice will do me good. Getting out of the house, out of the perils of my mind and being around others.

Besides getting out of bed for my doggie, work will give me a purpose again. A purpose to drag myself out of the stranglehold of PTSD. Although getting out of bed will now be a further struggle because today I returned to the supermarket, again I went direct to the electrical department and picked up the slip to take to the counter. The shop lady had to go and look in the back whilst I waited at the counter. I put my headphones on and watched everyone go by. Finally she returned with my 40″ smart TV for my TV bed. I paid the lady and left with a successful smile on my face 😜

Each and every one of you who is fighting demons , do so beside me, let’s walk each other through it. Instead of refusing to accept that something is different for us now, we need to learn to embrace who we are in the here and now. So let’s bury 2014 and set off 2015 with a more positive approach, find our voices and let’s try to stamp out stigma xx


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