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Emerging from the cocoon

At the end of 2020 just after the Christmas and New Year period after a 6 month break following my Psychiatric Hospitalisation in 2019 I received a clear message from my guides and my higher-self that the best way to come back to myself and my inner sovereignty was to return to the 9-5. I felt like a complete fraud. For 2 years....I had been full-time in my business and had recently returned to study to pursue my dream of becoming a counsellor/therapist.

Following my hospitalisation my entire world cracked and fell around me. The heavy depot drugs they had me on meant that I would receive 3 months world of medication in any one go and I was left completely zombified and almost lifeless. Hence my 6 month break. After narrowly avoiding a suicide attempt only a few months prior and deciding to do anything in my power to avoid hitting the absolute bottom of the rock bottoms I decided to listen to my intuition and start interviewing for work.

"What would everyone think? I thought. Would they see me as an absolute imposter. I had been on my high horse about how I had escaped the 9-5 and here I was returning and going back. I interviewed for a two month data entry level role at Service IQ in December of 2019 to commence work in January and was successful. I remember waking up at the beginning of my intended first day wondering how I was going to possibly survive the day. I was an absolute shell of myself and my flightyness and ungrounded energy felt like a real problem to me. I walked into the building and sat at my desk and remember just telling myself to take it minute by minute hour by hour. Data entry and simple tracking tasks turned out to be the best thing for me. It required minimal brain power and I was able to find some grounding and stability that I had struggled to find being away from work and purpose all these months. I began to feel like I was contributing to society again. Being amongst people in the role was the best thing for me and I was surrounded by wonderful colleagues and had a really understanding manager.

I ended the contract when it came up for renewal and was in the final stages of interviewing for another role when covid came knocking on New Zealands door for the first time and we went into lockdown. I was living with my grandmother at the time and I spent the lockdown period with her, planning my next move, enjoying my new grounded energy and to be honest, feeling a little less like a cretin in society because everyone was taking it slow like me due to the pandemic. When we went into the next lockdown phase and were allowed to slowly return to society I interviewed during lockdown for a roll at the Ministry of Education. A six month contract in the service desk and I was successful. I had the most amazing team and manager and I was really well looked after and taken care of there. I met some wonderful people and was able to feel secure enough to leave the safety nest of Grandmas house and apply to go flatting again. I felt nervous to go out on my own and live in a flatting environment again after the breakdown of my relationship but it felt like the next step to securing my independence. I ended up moving into the first place that I interviewed for. I missed out on the room I wanted there but ended up accepting a small room at the bottom of a townhouse that I ended up naming my "womb" room because of it's size and lack of sun. This was so be my safe space for the following two years while I incubated and continued to find my stability and grounding.

I had a wonderful flatmate there who became a friend who completely took me under her wing. She taught me some wonderful life skills. Some I had never learnt, some I had forgotten and some I had never really prioritised. She reminded me of the importance of active listening, being present with my friends and putting my phone down when spending time with people. During my busy years being so passionate about scaling my business I'd forgotten about some of these basics. This was one of the contributing factors in the breakdown of my four year relationship.

At the end of my 6 month contract at the Ministry of Education I took another short contract with Worksafe in the Mining and Quarrying team. It was masculine, structured and I had an hilarious manager that also took me under his wing but when the opportunity of the stability of a permanent position came up as well as the chance to glance into the world of healthcare and perhaps see a lense into New Zealands mental health system I couldn't say no and I joined the Workforce Team at TAS (Training and Advisory Services, NZ). Little did I know, they were about to go through a powerful transformation period and Merge into what was the be, Te Whatu Ora (Health NZ).

Working for TAS has been an absolute game changer for me. I've seen a window into the New Zealand Health Care system. I've understand the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes to care about the welfare of our people. I've seen a lense into the care of Pepi and Mama on the Wellchild Tamariki Ora project (which has been one of my favourite pieces of work). One of my favourite elements has been the people. When I moved into the services and collaboration team under the wing of my Manager my spirituality was respected and celebrated. I was able to talk openly about my gifts and sensitivities. I felt safe to be transparent about my journey with Bipolar in a completely judgement free environment. TAS were amazing last year when I fell wildly Ill with Covid and Bells Palsy and took almost 3 months of sick leave. During my time away it felt like covid activated something within me and I began to remember my initial impetus for wanting to do my counselling training. I began to think of ways that I could make a leap into study again. Financial pressures were my main concern. But after speaking with my partner and gaining his support I decided that in 2023 I would return to study to become a qualified counsellor and therapist.

Today will be my last day with TAS. My final day in the 9-5 scene for the foreseeable future. I truly have come full circle. I suppose the purpose of me writing this is a reminder that sometimes the path forward can involve a step back or a side step. You're never truly going backwards in this life. It may feel like it at the time but there's never truly a completely step back into the past. It's a new layer and new perspective. There is no shame in getting back on the horse and fumbling your way along. I remember when I first left the 9-5 world in 2017 and I swore never to return. But I never would've anticipated how much I would need it to find stability and grounding after such a tumultuous period in my life.

As I prepare to leave today to take two weeks to prepare to study at the end of this month I am reminded of how supported I have been my people since my 2019 tower moment. How surrounded in love I have been and how immensely grateful I am for the support that I have been given. I also want to give credit to my therapist and the EMDR modality that has absolutely changed my life. One of my inspirations for becoming a therapist myself. I wish to pass it on.

I leave you with this reflection on the archetype of the warrior.

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