Being Unemployed Because of Your Mental Health and How I've Been Tackling That

Hi Friends,

Is it vulnerability month or something?! Because here we go again with another thing that makes me feel hella exposeeeed!! I have been on the ups and downs of this one for quite some time now and I am JUST starting to not give any poops about it. Out of all the different parts of my recovery and healing, this has got to be the one that embarrasses me the most. The world we live in is obsessed with productivity and our careers tend to define a lot of who we are on a societal scale. Which grosses me out because we are more than a job title. That's not to say I don't understand the importance of having people contribute to things, it just sucks that there is a huge emphasis on this equating to how successful/useful/valuable of a human being we are. I didn't know how harmful this mindset can be until I was told not to work because of my mental state.

Me and PO

Who knew?!: My first job in Van was frundraising!

For those of you who have been here a while you know that I had to move from a city I call home to the city I came from (Calgary) because of my health. If you're new well, now you know! I was a workaholic, the person who spent 12+ hours at school, grinding my studies and a natural hustler. When I was told by my doctor that it would be in my best interest to take a break from school and work for my body to come back to a healthy state I resisted HARD. What started as a doctors note for a couple months turned into three more and turned into well I haven't worked since last August. At the end of the day I knew it was something I had to do. My health and honestly, my life were on the line. That didn't stop me from worrying though. What would people think? Am I now useless to all of society? What do I do with that time? What's healing and is it selfish?! How long does recovery take? All of it soaked and spun in my mind like a really full washing machine. I didn't realize how important it was for me to have a job or be in school until I started to reconnect with family and friends. "What are you doing here?", "How long are you staying?", "When are you leaving?", "There must be something you can do", "Are you really that sick?", "What's wrong with you?", "You look sick", and the best "So what do you do?". Out of all of the questions and comments I have had to navigate through that was the worst. Some people would try to come up with a plan for me or tell me to go back to school and I avoided and diverted these conversations like no other. I was SO EMBARRASSED! What I find interesting is that, had I broken a leg, I doubt any of them would be that insistent on me going back to my working life. At times it felt like I had to frame my doctors notes and point at them because maybe that would prove something to them. On top of all the judgement externally, I was struggling with my own inner voice of criticism.

In the beginning I got depressed and anxious thinking about not working so I started planning side hustles or looking for work and then I thought about my doctors notes and how I was too exhausted to keep up with any kind of conventional job which would then bring me back to feeling bad about myself. This cycle was consistent and left me feeling drained completely. I had been living on my own since 18 and mostly independent. My pride was in being self sufficient and not needing any help from anyone but as I'm sure you can imagine, there isn't a lot of cash flow in unemployment, it doesn't really work like that. I still had student loans, bills to pay, credit card debt (who knew dating gangsters was so expensive? Seriously if they were rolling in cash, how? Wut? Glad that part is over.) and that scared me. Especially when others pointed it out! Don't tell me about my cost of living, I'm already freaked about it!! I'm not quite sure if it was a movie, something I read, or something someone said but I had a reality check about my mindset around the whole thing. Taking time to heal wasn't something that just happened to me, it was a conscious choice. I chose life. As much time as it took, I shook the idea that I was a victim because I was not. Getting my health back meant everything to me and this was a necessary step to take in order for that to happen. In no way am I saying that it was easy but it has been well worth it. Still I didn't like talking about it very much. One day I opened up to my best friend and told her about how I felt and she said something like " Sahara, I think what you are doing is amazing. You work so damn hard on yourself and it is the coolest thing to watch". That changed what I thought quite a bit because now that I have dedicated time and space to myself, I have also been able to test drive and experience things to give back to all of you incredible beings on the Sunspot. It's a huge blessing to be able to do this because I know many folks think they can't/ don't acknowledge/ don't believe in taking this kind of break. What forced me out of work and school has turned out to be the biggest blessing and exactly what I needed. That is amazing!

work dogs

One of my fave parts was meeting great humans and their even better fluff babies!

My doctor and I have been coming back to this every now and again. A few months back I started studying holistic nutrition from a distance education program that allowed me to take classes from my house which was a huge win for me when I was low on energy. Now I'm at the point where I am looking at working again but I have to be careful not to fall back into old habits. I'm really excited but also nervous that my overworking patterns will kick in so everything I do will be a mindful decision. There are also some guidelines that I've set in place to keep myself happy and healthy along the way. I will only do something I like, I will only give what I can and no more, There must be space for my recovery and an understanding that this is my priority over everything, I must make time to take care of myself, plus a few others. To some of you this might sound like I live in a dream world or have unrealistic standards. Truthfully, this is what is going to keep me in check and really has nothing to do with what you think. On a less sassy pants note, I would recommend trying out a few non negotiable guidelines for yourself because they change everything! You don't have to settle for anything less than what you want.

Since that mindset shift I have been chasing fun, my passions, bliss and nothing else. I simply fill my time with things that are important and make me happy. The rest I have no space for. Life is so valuable and every moment is worth attention and care. If you have had a hard time with being unable to work, being on disability leave, getting low income support, giving yourself love, or receiving judgement on any of those things, I see you! It's a weird place to be in and there can be a lot of shame and guilt surrounding it. You can do this, things have a way of working out in the most unexpected ways sometimes.

This is the part of the post where I tell you that I will soon be offering energy healing sessions!! You'll be able to book here on the blog so that it's super easy. I work with anything from physical to mental which are often connected. I would love to see some of your beautiful faces in a one on one environment!

If you have any questions or comments about this post or anything to do with energy healing please don't hesitate to contact me here or on Instagram.

Love and Light,

Sahara