Yesterday I parted ways with the company I have been with for the better part of the past year. My role with this organization was my first step in a return to the professional workforce after leaving the alcohol industry and giving up drinking last year, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunities I've had and the leadership I have benefited from throughout my employment there.
My decision to move on stems, as many decisions I make seem to, from a deep desire to make changes in my life that I have previously been too afraid to make. There was a catalyst of sorts that forced me to answer the questions that I have been asking myself for months now; questions such as “what am I doing here?” and “am I truly committed to this company and its goals?”
The answer, unfortunately, is no. I am not 100% committed to the goals of the organization I have been working for (although I believe that they are noble and important goals), and what I have been doing is allowing fear to govern the decisions I make about how I will live my life.
When I look at the struggles I have faced in overcoming depression and alcohol addiction I am overwhelmed by just how fortunate I have been to have access to so many resources and support structures. I feel a strong sense of obligation to use my experience to meet others where they are at and help them to face their own struggles. Every day I spend not working towards that goal feels like a day wasted, and I have become increasingly frustrated with myself for letting my fear of the possibility of reduced income and the unknown stand in the way of chasing and embracing a career in which I can have a real and positive effect.
The way we talk about mental illness and addictions in this city, this province, and this country needs to shift and I am ready to embrace my role in changing that conversation. Am I worried about what will happen in my life as I move forward in figuring all of this out? Of course, but I am also excited by the possibility of living up to my potential and having a real impact on making the lives of those who are struggling more manageable.
So, with all of this in mind, I have begun reaching out to my network for support and guidance as I decide what comes next. Friends of friends who are already working in the realm of mental health and addictions have been kind enough to answer my questions and lend me their insight, and I welcome anyone to contact me with information that might help me in making this transition. For now I will be looking for part time work as I gear up to accelerate the completion of my bachelor’s degree (almost done!) and am also in the market for volunteer opportunities where I can learn more about the field and begin to make a more substantial impact.
Things are about to get interesting.