Long trail of beads
I’ve just awoken from a dream and it’s left me thinking a lot about me and what I class as a real sense of achievement and in relating it to my life as it is right now.
I don’t know if I will succeed in explaining myself so great, so I do hope that I get the right message across without confusion.
I am living a life right now of non-achievement. (Maybe another word can be used in place of this one?). As many people who work in the mental health field will tell a depressed person like me, ‘just breathing is an achievement’ or ‘just make it your aim to get up in the morning and brush your teeth, and that’s all’. Whilst I see the common sense in this all, it still saddens me. You may say this is my ‘level’ right now, but that still saddens me when I feel like I could be achieving so much more than I have done in the last 4 years.
I am definitely not one to be searching for fame and fortune, really I’m not. When I was working 4 years ago until I had the breakdown and was forced to leave my job due to going in to hospital several months later, that seemed like the end of that era for me and I don’t feel like I can get certain things back from those times.
First of all, I don’t want to go back to this company or work in this field as for me, it’s a bit of a moral issue being involved in gambling type things.
I know I can’t say ‘but this’ and ‘but that’, but I was earning really very decent money. For a 21 year old to 25 year old, in those 4 years, I was making more than a decent amount of money. I won’t sugar coat this and say I was rich or anything, but it was certainly the most stable time of my life (ever) where money was no issue whatsoever.
Because the area of work it was in, I did actually start to think about leaving it before I even got sick. It started to become an issue. But in these times, I was doing some anti-fraud work for this company and I won’t go in to the complexities of it all, but just because of my attentive eye, I caught a fraud ring of money launderers. I didn’t have a degree or any qualification in this so even it was such an accomplishment, I can talk about it in future interviews for work for example, but I can not really go in to this field without having a background knowledge in it in which you learn from a degree. 9You need much higher skills an knowledge). I did this fraud investigation and found about 18 customers who were using fake credit cards and then sending the money between Paypal type accounts. For the first time ever, because of the amount of fraud we were talking about, I actually got the go-ahead to nail these people and we got private investigators on foot in these areas in Europe and cracked them all. This saved the company paying out over $500,000 USD! Half a million Dollars. And did I get a bonus or anything from it, no, but I was still so chuffed with myself and what I had succeeded in doing, the money didn’t even matter.
That example was on of many. Especially in that job. I gained so much experience working there it’s crazy. I started off in customer service, working horrible shift work like 11pm-7am then coming back at 3pm-11pm to work and it was tough. But I worked my a** off and after several months got a promotions, then another, then another. Even they weren’t recognised between my boss and myself and other workers, but again, that was something I didn’t and don’t need. I’m too shy for that anyway. A sense of achievement for me doesn’t need to be someone else telling me how good I did at something. Just that I know it myself in my heart is good enough for me.
It’s not all grand and wow before 4 years ago though. I wasn’t happy even with the money, but I was happier. As in the sense of having no stresses at all about money. Being able to afford membership at a local gym which I actually went to also (!) and other examples, if my laptop broke, no worries, the next day, go and buy one. But I wasn’t even such a material person and still am not. When I was making all of this money in my job, I simply let is accumulate and told myself that it will be used ‘for a rainy day’. It’s sad to think how 2010 did bring me that rainy day and oh boy, it was a rainy day. A monsoon. Tragic and heartbreaking. I broke. And since, it’s all gone so far, It’s hard to see that I will be able to get back to any of this. All of my hard earned money went on a private psychiatrist and private psychologist. I met with the psychologist for 10 months twice a week and told myself that even if all my savings will go, my health is of main importance. I would NEVER have knows that my money not only dwindled away, but that I never got my health back and all I did was deteriorate for the first year until I entered hospital for the first time, broke, broken, and broke in many other ways.
In this dream I started speaking about that I had this morning, it was very strange but there were a table full of books and notebooks and bits and pieces and beads threaded together. And everyone had one attempt at lifting something up and there it had a label on it with a number written on it. You could pick up a blank notebook and it would say 10,387. Then there were the ‘riskier’ ones with the beads as you could just pick up one bead and these were known for some reason to be a risk taking thing. But if you did choose the right bead then you would have great rewards. In the dream, it wasn’t even to do with winning money. The number on the item was just like playing a game. The person with the highest number, won. I chose the beads. I held one and started pulling and there were some people around the table and I pulled and pulled and the thread and beads kept coming and coming and coming. I was ecstatic. But calm. Like I say, there was no real grand reason to become the winner, but as the beads kept coming threaded on to this string, everyone watched in amazement and were telling me it’s amazing, it’s beautiful that I had taken a chance and look what I had achieved etc. It was just such a nice feeling.
Comparing my dream to real life today, it honestly saddens me. Now. I don’t want people to be obvious here and say ‘but you are sick’ etc. I KNOW all of these things. But oh how I yearn for this real sense of achievement. A sense of achievement outside of mental health. More than me just getting up in the morning and that being enough and me ‘succeeding’ when I went to the mall yesterday and lasted 30 minutes there instead of the 10 minutes I was there last time. I don’t see these as real achievements. I on one hand agree that these can be termed as that, but I am talking about other life matters, like I say, that are non-related to mental health and health. Like the example in the job I had where I just got one little ‘well done, good work’ from my boss when it was a huge thing but it didn’t bother me. And how in my dream, I took a risk and it paid off. It doesn’t surprise me that I’ve been feeling like this quite a bit in the last week or so, and it doesn’t feel like that feeling is or will go away for that long. It’s been a positive feeling, like I am getting some of my confidence back.
I know I have said it a hundred times, but this time, I feel different. Not that I am going to conquer the world or go back to a job similar and do something so great all again… I know that I need to put hard work and time in to it, just like I had to do in my job. I had to start down at the bottom and work my way up. But I feel like it’s possible. Even without official studies that I have done (which is a 1 year diploma in art and design and 1 year out of 3 year fine art degree), I still feel like I can be an asset to a company in the work field. An asset to myself. Even then, I wonder about expanding that to different areas of my life, like possibly studying even… I look and look and never find something that interests me in the slightest though! I do however feel like I am getting a little confidence back and it was related in that dream in this gentle subtle way, but is one of the very few dreams I have woken up to in my entire life, and actually felt positive about and gave me a good feeling.