Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Taking back my life

Depression, the huge mistake I made which caused it and getting over it.

As a child, life was fairly easy. I was always good at making friends and was always able to stand up for myself so bullying wasn’t ever a problem for me. I had a really happy childhood and things were always bright and I have so many happy memories. In my early adult years, I began to become more popular and thrived on the positive attention. I was well known in my circles and would be greeted with adoration by people within my community. I had an incredible amount of friends and I was completely driven by their love for me. I spent so much time doing everything I could for my friends and I would run from one event to the next to please everyone. After all I was loved and needed to return the favour. How can positive attention be a bad thing? I mean everyone loves attention, right?

I was indeed filled with confidence as I walked through the streets of my city. I had a very positive energy about me and I eluded complete control of this incredibly amazing person who I thought I was. I had created my opinion of myself and my self worth based on how everyone saw me…which was great while everyone cherished me and made me the centre of attention.

I had literally handed over the remote control to my life to everyone else. I had no control of my life. Not only had I allowed myself to build Me on how everyone else saw me but I managed to hand my remote control over to people who would soon destroy my happiness. When a house is built, the most important first step is building a strong foundation. My house did not have a foundation and therefore could never withstand the harshest of storms.

As my life was hit by some harsh storms, I crumbled. The person that I had built on everyone else’s opinions could not stand alone. I became very depressed and felt completely hopeless. I had absolutely no want to live and more and more I felt that dying would be the best escape. I had no idea that I had in fact caused this problem. It was not the people who had broken me down because if I had built myself worth and self opinion on ME, I would not have been so easily broken.

Six months after being diagnosed with depression I found myself hitting rock bottom. The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way to go is up. When I had nothing left I was forced to learn my mistake and I started my journey of recovery.

Living my life for everyone else had left me completely exhausted and unable to even get out of bed in the morning.

I sat down all by myself and started to get to know me. At first I wrote down my positives and negatives and though the list of positives which I could think of was only one or two things, the negative list seemed endless. How could everyone around me have seen me as an incredibly strong and amazing woman when I myself was unable to think of more than two positive things about me. Luckily I was soon to realize that my mind was completely over powered by depression and I did in fact have lots of positives. So with time, my list grew and the negatives did not seem all that bad anymore. Now was the time to make it. Now was the time to stop giving my energy to everyone else and now was the time to build my self worth on me.

Getting to know me and the journey of self discovery is one that teaches me every day. I have so much to give but never again will I allow people to just take. Giving is on my time and by my rules. I love giving and I truly feel the need to give back as I have been so richly blessed along the way that it would be a complete sin to not pass on blessings.

I have learned exactly what I should not be doing and what I do not want to do. Things that drain me are being cut out of my life.

I cannot choose which cards life has to deal me but I can choose how I play the cards which I am dealt. I choose to paint a beautiful picture and leave the sadness and regret behind. I will take what I need to from construction criticism but I will not allow negativity to define me. I am worth so much more than what everyone thinks of me and I will continue to walk my journey as the whole me. I choose to love the things that are positive and accept the things about me that aren’t so great. I am a whole person and I am the only perfect me.

In the famous and wonderful words of Dr Suess “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Be yourself, build your own foundation and when the storm comes, your house will remain strong and steadfast.

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Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

I can’t get into the mind of another

I am not a judgmental person at all in general, I really don’t care what people do and don’t judge them for doing crazy or even stupid things. However, when it comes to people who abuse others, I can be very judgmental, though probably not my place to be. When I see bad parenting or a child or person suffering at the hands of another person, I get really angry.

Being foster mom to two abused children (now adults), who came to live with me over six years ago, it really hits a nerve when abuse rears its ugly head around me. It is very close to home and I am very quick to get up in arms. I have seen abuse on too many occasions. It happens everywhere. Last year I had an extra child placed with me as place of safety because of her terrible home situation. This year once again there is a child who is being abused at home that my children know. The truth is that it is absolutely everywhere, and many people are trapped in a situation of abuse because they are frightened to do anything about it, they are dependent on the perpetrator or for whatever their reason may be. Some people (particularly people who were abused from childhood) have been abused for so long that they only know abuse, there is no sense of it being wrong in their minds because it is all that they know.

Abuse is a vicious circle and some people are unable or unwilling to break that circle. When I was abused, I could not understand why the perpetrator wanted to do the same thing that he was subjected to his whole life. I really struggled to understand why he did not want to be different having seen the trauma that abuse causes. For me it was unthinkable that an adult could not see right from wrong and not choose to do what is right. I really struggled to understand why he abused me and what made him do it. I spent a long time really trying to figure it out and to be honest, I don’t think I ever will. The truth is I cannot truly understand how another person thinks. We are all different and we cannot get inside the mind of someone else. Nor do we actually know each other’s full journey or what people have been through.

Trying to understand someone can be infuriating as well as impossible. I cannot think the way he thinks, and I need to stop trying to, the truth is that my mind cannot comprehend the reasoning behind his behaviour. If I do something wrong, I can look at the situation, analyze it and find what lead to me doing it and I can apologise, grow and learn from my mistake. I cannot make the person behind my abuse learn from his mistakes and I cannot truly know what lead to his behaviour. As much as I always feel the need to analyze everything and come to a reasonable conclusion, I have had to learn that I cannot understand everyone, and I cannot always find a conclusion. Sometimes I just have to understand that I am not that person and cannot think like they do. I can draw my own conclusions and speculate, however is this really any help at all?

I believe that abuse was a normal condition for my abuser. But I thought that he would be able to see the damage and not want to continue the cycle. I became angry that he didn’t stop the cycle, that he abused me even though he “loved” me. He never wanted to protect me from abuse, that is what cut the deepest. Why would someone who loves me want to hurt me? You see I cannot understand because I am not aware of all of the facts of his childhood. It is not something that men talk about, especially in the family that he came from. Boys don’t cry, and men don’t need help. It is a dangerous situation because children suffering from any form of trauma are not treated or given any form of help.

I cannot fix anyone, and I should stop trying. I cannot help someone who does not want to help themselves. The only person I am in control of is me. I can be a positive influence and I can share my experience but thinking I can fix the person that caused the problem is really just silly.

In a more recent incident I was sitting with a lady who does a lot of welfare work and she was telling me about some of the cases where the mothers keep having children with different men and the men leave and the mothers abuse their children. I was so disgusted and said, “how dare they, they have no right, they are adults and should know better”. Her answer to me was extremely blunt and hit me like a bucket of cold water. She said, “how can they know that it is wrong if they have never known anything else?”

The Jungle book springs to mind. Mowgli, a little boy raised by wolves in the jungle, rejected humankind despite being human, the animals were all he knew. This I feel to be a great example. Mowgli did not know humans and therefore he rejected them. And honestly who am I to judge anyone in any way. Yes, abuse makes me angry and I want to judge but it is not my place. I do not know the background, I do not know why a mother abuses her children and if it is all that she has ever known, then how can she know different.

I feel that there is a desperate need for education, we need to educate children and make sure that they understand what abuse is. Education will ensure that should a child or adult find themselves in an abusive situation, they will be able to identify it as such. More emphasis needs to be put on emotional abuse, emotional abuse is what stops people sharing their stories as well as causing the victim to feel unwarranted guilt.

I have every right to be angry for the way I have been mistreated but I cannot expect to understand the reasons why people in the past chose to abuse me or what lead them to become abusive in the first place. The only thing I can do is choose to tell my story and choose to make a difference in the lives of others.

I want to be a pillar of strength for anyone facing abuse and I know that in my own way, I can help victims to become survivors.

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

The “people pleaser” – bomb waiting to explode!

I love people and I love being loved and appreciated by people.  I love being popular and I love positive attention.  This is one of the major contributors to me falling into depression.  Another major factor was my history of abuse and me identifying with abuse and allowing it to continue without realising it.

As far back as I can remember I have always gone out of my way for everyone around me, winning favour where ever I could and giving so much to the people around me.  I gave and gave, and everyone took and took.  As long as I was giving, I felt great because I thought that people liked me.  I was confident and happy while not realising that I was being completely drained.  I remember running from one get together to the next, never wanting to disappoint anyone by saying no.  My weekends were completely exhausting, and I was feeling as if I was drowning.  I was absolutely exhausted at the start of each week and I never felt rested at all.  I was literally driving on fumes and not coping with day to day things.  My concentration levels were really low, and I was wasting excessive amounts of time rechecking simple things because I had been unable to concentrate properly in the first place.  Small tasks felt like huge mountains and I was waking up each day feeling exhausted and dreading the day ahead.  I was simply wishing my days away.  Waiting for home time, waiting for bed time, waiting for a break that I could just sit and breathe.

Tanu B. Singh.  said:

“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice because the flow has passed and will never pass again. Enjoy every moment.”

I was watching time go by, not realising that I could never get time back.  I was in zombie mode and I was literally wasting my life.  All because I wanted to please everyone. Time is a very valuable commodity, wasting it is a tragedy.

At the end of the day I was only damaging myself.  I had become so used to putting everyone else first that I had become someone that I wasn’t.  I had become the person everyone wanted me to be instead of being true to myself.  I had to hit rock bottom before I even noticed how far I had slipped into the very damaging world of the people pleaser.  I have a terrible habit of trying to save the wounded and find the lost.  This is the very reason that I got into the first abusive relationship at 17.  The guy I got involved with needed saving, needed me, or so I thought.  Although I wouldn’t go back and change the past, I need to remind myself to stop putting everyone else first constantly.

Not only is people pleasing completely draining, it is very dangerous because as quickly as you build your self-esteem up on the positive attention from people, your self-esteem can be broken in an instant by negative attention.  You make yourself completely vulnerable to being made or broken by people.  People’s behaviour is completely out of your control, but you are basing your self-esteem on them.  This is without a doubt the most dangerous thing you can do and the effects on your mental health are catastrophic.  It takes one person to knock you down into the pits of depression or to give you an anxiety disorder.  And at the same time you have completely lost yourself.

Suddenly the people pleaser is faced with turmoil and this is when I was given the amazing opportunity to find myself.  This was the time to get to know me and to learn how to set strict boundaries and put me first.  We grow up being told not to be selfish and to give unto others, but I am telling you right now, be selfish, look after yourself, put yourself first.  Take time to get to know yourself, take time to grow, learn, and better yourself.  Take the time to build your self-esteem on YOU.  You are the only solid foundation on which to build your self-esteem.  If you build your self-esteem on others, you give them the power to destroy you.  Never mind the fact that you are left completely emotionally exhausted pleasing everyone and having nothing left for yourself.

I am not saying don’t do anything for anyone else, I am saying put you first.  Set boundaries, be assertive and learn to say no.  Give yourself time and love yourself first.  Spend time with yourself, take time out of your day to spend on you.  Stop wasting energy on what other people think of you.  What people think of you is entirely their business.  What you think of yourself is your business.  And if you have areas within you that you need to work on, do it.  Fix the things you don’t like and be the best version of you.

Doing good for others is healthy and creates happiness, don’t confuse this with being a people pleaser.  Giving is good but trying to please everyone is when giving becomes dangerous.  When you look after yourself first, you become content, happy and confident and you are able to analyse and decide what you want to give and to who.

Take time to do something that is purely for you.  Paint, draw, write, whatever you enjoy doing, find a hobby.  The satisfaction you get out of doing something you enjoy for you is worth all the weight in gold.  Remember you are the only person who truly knows you, so change what you don’t like and learn to love yourself.  Loving yourself is truly the very best thing you can do for you and everyone around you.

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

Know your worth!

Knowing your worth when the world is showing you the middle finger is something that you just have to do!

I know who I am, I am confident, and I know what an incredible benefit I am to so many people. In business, I am strong, people orientated and incredibly hard working. In relationships I give more than my fair share. I am an amazing friend and someone who my friends cherish and admire. But so many times on my journey I have been fed up with the world, over how much I have been done in, ignored and been swept aside.

Knowing my worth in the lowest and loneliest times has been tough but been an experience that cannot be measured. I have always been a popular person, I have always made friends easily and been liked by people. I made one grave mistake…I built my opinion on what everyone else thought of me and so I felt fabulous since everyone liked me but suddenly when someone attacked me and actively disliked me I doubted myself. This is a dangerous thing, stop basing your self-esteem and self-worth on what other people think of you. If they don’t like you, that is there problem and not yours! Get to know yourself, love yourself, respect yourself and know your worth. Work on improving the things that you don’t like about yourself and be the best version of you possible! When you know who you are, people’s negative opinions do not matter to you and won’t knock you down.

Having come from a place of abuse, it took time to realise my worth and find myself. Getting to know Lisa was a fulfilling journey. Suddenly I was standing in the mirror and appreciating the view. Seeing myself for who I am and seeing the value within me. Something I had never noticed or appreciated because I had never really taken the time to get to know me.

Life has a funny way of teaching you, and often you are left shut out in the cold and feeling very alone. Wondering where the people are who you have been there for through thick and thin. When you are at your lowest suddenly everyone seems to fade away. Life is busy, right, people are busy, people get caught up in their lives and so they seem to forget about you. I sit in a dark corner thinking about who loves me and who my friends are and what we have been through, but I am all alone. Where is everyone? Where are the people who are meant to be here for me? I can’t find them, and truth be told, I don’t want to have to. In a way I feel that they should just be there and almost excepting that they know that I need them.

They don’t know I need them and in a way I am too arrogant to reach out. I have always been there when they have needed me but where are they now that I need them? Come on, Lisa, Grow up! How can I expect people to just know that I need them? Silly girl!

Not only do I feel that the people who should be there aren’t, the world keeps on showing me a BIG ZAP SIGN. Everywhere I look, I get shown away.

Can the world see what I am? And if they can, can they see my tears, can they see my worth? Sometimes I feel like I am constantly being tested. I know my worth and I am steadfast in who I am. I know what I have achieved, and I am proud of who I am. Somehow, I feel like no one else sees it.

It is right then when I need to find the strength to carry myself, lift myself up and show the world who I am. If you can’t see me, then I am going to show you who I am and what I have to offer. Sometimes the key is within me, sometimes I have to unlock the door myself and not expect it to be opened for me. It is up to me to show the world who I am and start my new chapter. If I am not going to write my own book, then who will? This is my journey, this is my life and it is up to me to make my journey count.

The funny thing is when I reach out, everyone is there for me. All the people that I felt had left me in the dark, came to my aid when I just reached out. Life has a way of showing you which friends matter, which friends are actually friends and which friends have faded into the past. I am blessed in many ways, but I count my richest of blessings in the people I have who I am lucky enough to call my friends. My family is incredible and have literally carried me through the tough times. Friends and family, the people who no matter what, know my worth and support me no matter what I am going through. I always remember the quote “God doesn’t give you the people that you want, God gives you the people that you need”. And God knows me best. He has never forsaken me when it comes to putting people I need in my life.

Sometimes I have to take a step back, reach out, put my arrogance aside and low and behold, I have an army. An incredible army of amazing and completely different people standing behind me and supporting me. An army willing to fight for me and face the battle head on. But I know that I am the commander of my army and without me reaching put to my army, they could never know that I need them.

If doors are slamming in my face then those are the doors that are not meant to be. The bigger better things are behind the doors which will be opened for me.

If the world doesn’t see me, then I am going to make the world see me.

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Uncategorized

When past abuse bites hard

Abuse in any form takes hard work and dedication to overcome. I am stronger, I am a different person and I am the person I am because of what I have been through. Coming out of the abusive relationship, I had no idea who I was. I was broken, confused and just lost. I dedicated my time to writing and coming to terms with what I had been through. It is very difficult, but at the end of the day I would not go back and change what I have been through. It made me who I am today, it made me stronger, it taught me a lot and most of all it gave me the opportunity to help others who have been through it. If I can make a difference in one life then I am blessed.

I feel very strongly about abuse, it is everywhere. When I talk to people, I can’t believe how common it is. I wish I could just wipe all abuse off of the earth, but alas all I can do is help in my own small way.

Abuse tends to come back to bite when you least expect it. When you know that you have moved on and are stronger and healed. A very special friend of mine received a phone call recently from a family member of her ex’s new girlfriend, complaining about the way she is being treated. She was concerned for her family member and wanted to find out more about the man she is dating who is my friend’s ex. Without going into too much detail, my friend was left absolutely devastated. All of the pain and emotions came flooding back. I have been here on more than one occasion, one in particular my ex called me to tell me that he had beaten his girlfriend at the time and I cried on the phone and I said he should have learnt through losing me. I could not understand why the abuse was carrying on with his next girlfriend. The truth is it still is although the wonderful lady he called me about has moved on and has a beautiful life with a beautiful daughter. My point here is that like all bad experiences they sometimes haunt you with the smallest thing triggering a flood of emotions, pain and memories. So, no matter how far you have gotten at times you get stung by the memories of hell.

I spoke to my friend and I explained that her reaction was normal and that she has come so far, I am super proud of my gorgeous friend. She is a strong, beautiful, intelligent lady and she is going to go much further than she ever imagined.

Having once been a victim of abuse means that no matter how much I have healed every now and then something comes along to take me back to the pain. I can be brought suddenly down to my knees, with an agonizing thump, with the smallest reminder. A reminder that puts me back in the situation that caused all of the damage to begin with. Having said that, I am no longer a victim but a survivor, I am the victor of my circumstances and I am going make a difference.

The most valuable advice that I can give is if you are covering up for things in a relationship, lying and pretending everything is okay then there is a problem. I built up a wall of lies when I was in an abusive relationship. No one knew I was abused. I kept on making excuses and pretending. THIS IS THE BIGGEST WARNING SIGN, A RED LIGHT. Being abused is embarrassing, I didn’t want to tell people. I didn’t want them to know. And most of all I didn’t not want to talk about it, it made it even more real. When I started talking, I started healing and in healing I got to know me for me and I got to love the incredible woman that I am.

The road has not been smooth, at one point I had been in another abusive situation and when I was given help and guidance by professionals, they immediately picked up that I identified with abuse. I so easily accepted abuse almost as the norm. I am an intelligent woman but having been groomed in abuse at such a young age, I was exactly that, groomed in abuse.

I know the signs, I am a strong woman and through experience I have gained strength, character, wisdom, courage and even forgiveness. I am the master of my own destiny and I will not allow abuse into my life.

Hold your head up high, know your worth, stand your ground and most of all ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

Keeping my cool

We certainly are living in interesting times.  People everywhere just seem to be angry and aggressive.  You can’t pull out of your drive way in the morning without someone flying up a residential road and hooting like a crazy person even though they are not even near you yet.  This is a daily occurrence.  If someone dares to actually wait for the robot (traffic light) to turn green, they are hooted at and have all sorts and vulgar language and hand signs thrown at them.  People swearing at other drivers for no apparent reason other than the sheer delay caused by traffic.  Why is the world so angry?  I get it, we are living in stressful times, we are all under pressure and everywhere you look you are hit with bad news.  I personally do not watch the news.  I also limit the amount of time I spend on social media because social media is a great tool for those negative people to ensure that they spread the negativity.  I guess misery loves company and we all those Facebook friends who have to spread misery, the ones that you unfollow to avoid seeing another post bitching about something or other.  There is always something to bitch about, even if they have to dig or stalk the other negative trolls to find something, they will find something to share.  I went off Facebook for over a year for this very reason.  I have become much better at scrolling past the “feel bad” stuff.  Quite frankly I don’t need it or want it in my life.  But as life goes sometimes it comes flying right at you like bat out of hell.

I am pretty calm, even when the taxi cuts in front of me.  My thinking is that me shouting at him makes no difference in his life but it does make me unhappy and probably pushes my blood pressure up so what is the point really??

I am very good under pressure and very good at calming a situation down.  One of the reasons I absolutely thrived in the hospitality industry is just that, I am able to calm people down.  How do I do it?  If I think about it, I always start by apologising and then asking how I can help the situation or the other way around, depending on the situation.

Today was no different, I get a phone call, after I have done more than my fair share of preparation for the event and even gone so far as doing other people’s work.  The colourful words being shouted at me were fun to say the least.  I calmly said, “I am sorry that you are so stressed out but what can I do to help you?”  He was struggling to paste a schedule into a document and getting himself into a complete state.  Obviously a very stressful day!  Needless to say, I asked him to send me both the schedule and the document and I would see what I could do.  While I was working on the task, including fixing errors as I came across them, the phone rang again.  “Lisa, I am terribly sorry about how I spoke to you, it was unforgivable, I am just under so much pressure and I am very stressed.” I responded that it was no problem at all and that I would have his document to him within half an hour.

Following that he called me back to thank me profusely and everyone was all happy and what needed to be done was done and dusted.

A situation which could have spiraled into a nasty fight, leaving everyone upset and offended, was calmed and sorted out and put to bed.

I have to say, this is something that has taken me years to be in total control over, my reactions in situations similar to this.  I will also say that even now I sometimes lose it and blow a fuse.  I always joke about having an Irish temper.  I noticed very young that I had a temper when I hit a boy who pushed my cousin, or threw a boy off his bike who came to beat my little brother up.  But I have to say thought the trigger is definitely attacking someone I love in the most extreme of cases, I have mastered the art of controlling my temper most of the time and in most situations.  This did not come over night at all, it took years of practice and being conscious of my thoughts when a volatile situation presents itself.  Being mindful of my thoughts before they become actions.  Before I react on a thought I recognise it and then I am able to act the way that I choose to.  Of course, I am the first to admit that I have lost my cool from time to time, but I have to say, I truly have come a very long way and I look forward to changing in other areas.  Be mindful in all that you do and you will not only get the best out of life but you will feel great too.

Start small, start with the person who skips a red robot, or the person who pushes in front of you at the supermarket.  The only thing you are in control of is your reaction to a situation and you can either make it or break it.  So, I say MAKE IT! Make your mark and remember to have fun while doing it.

Be someone that people have nice things to say about. 🙂

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

I have been knocked down but I cannot let this break my spirit

I was offered a job last year in the hospitality industry, which was all new to me.  Absolutely everything other than the accounts side was all new.  I had never worked on a POS system, I had never been a responsible for a restaurant, bar or venue and now I was responsible for all 3.  The first day, I was put on a massive, high profile wedding and had to quickly work out the POS system for myself (it had been installed that same day and no one else knew how to work it.

There really is nothing like a big challenge to get me going, I love it! I had some staff under me, helping with drink orders.  I had to host the wedding as well as manage the staff and of course keep the clients happy.

I have to say; my biggest asset is my people skills.  I love people, I love interacting with people and I just have an amazing way with people.  My current boss says that I have a certain way with people, that is unmatched and that I could probably sell poo to a sewerage plant! This is a man I have worked with for a long time and knows me very well.  I have a certain ability to put out fires when customers are unhappy and it really comes in handy as you can imagine.

Here I was, completely new to all of this and I nailed it!  The guests at the wedding, one of them being the sister of the bride even followed me to another function on the premises to party with me there.  What an incredible experience it was.  First off, I was witness to an incredible traditional black wedding, guests were in traditional clothing and they looked incredible.  What I loved was the mix of traditions.  Some in Zulu attire with and some in Souto and Xhosa attire, vibrant in colour.  What a sight it was.  The traditional dancing began as they walked in and everyone joined in.  I have so much respect for this incredible country.  The culture and the traditions, all vastly different but all respected by one another.  This for me was a celebration of how incredible my country actually is.

What really was incredibly special for me on that first night was when these beautifully dressed young black ladies walked into a very Afrikaans party at the other side of the property.  At first the black beauties were not sure how to handle the situation, I am quite sure that they had never ever heard the Afrikaans music which was playing.  Something very special happened just then in the mist of the awkwardness.  The DJ put on a traditional black song and the ladies started dancing.  The Afrikaans ladies (in SA we call them “Tannies”) ran to meet me and the ladies on the dance floor and asked them to show them how to dance like them.  This was the most awesome experience, if I have to pick one occasion that made 2017 extra special, this was it!

I danced with them, smiling and laughing and bursting with pride as a South African.  We obviously couldn’t stay long as we had to return to the wedding but the short time at that party was more than enough to take in the incredible experience.  What a first day it was! Absolutely incredible, breath taking and just left me with warmth and fulfillment. Suddenly I found myself with a new-found energy, revitalized and rejuvenated.  Life has never been easy for me, since my 20’s but I have always been very blessed.  I had had a very difficult year and this was exactly what I needed to give me the drive to become more.  So, I was immediately hired on a permanent basis, not knowing the politics which was running wild in the place.  I was incredibly proud of myself for how quickly I learnt, and just did everything that had to be done.  I fitted in so well and I grew immensely in this time.  My self-confidence was at an all-time high and I was feeling great.  I was growing daily, and I was loving working with customers all day.

I was working sometimes 14 hour days but was completely satisfied with my work.  The reality is that I was doing a really good job and the customers took to me immediately.  I truly felt like I had found my place.  Unfortunately, it was to come to an abrupt end when I began to get treated very badly and basically pushed out.  My knowledge had apparently made the wrong person look bad.  Suddenly I was being made the target of a blaming game.  I was being blamed for all sorts and none of the facts were being taken into account.

I walked out and I had my head up high, I did my best, I mastered a completely new industry to me and I learned so much.  I did so well! I cannot allow the way I was treated to break my spirit.  I know how well I did and I know that I will be missed by many.  As I said goodbye, the staff were devastated and the customers that were there were visibly upset.  I made my mark, I made a difference and I left my mark!  I took an incredible amount of value out of the experience and I made myself proud.  I made friends and I made memories.  I feel great, I am confident and I will not allow nastiness to break my spirit.  On to bigger and better things!

The truth is I am sure of who I am, I am proud of what I accomplished and I am steadfast in my values and grounding.

I will not let this break my spirit because I know my achievements and I know myself, I am so grateful for the lessons and the knowledge that I gained and I am ready to tackle life’s next chapter.