Can’t believe it’s two years this week since I became an NHS pensioner 

For the last couple of years working in my management job I was incredibly stressed and unhappy. It hadn’t always been that way. I had enjoyed many happy years firstly as a “hand on” nurse and then supporting front line staff improve their clinical practice but with more and more cut backs the job I loved and the team I led were suddenly axed and I was shoehorned in to a job requiring me to meet what I considered to be meaningless performance targets. 
 
I had no real say over what I was doing anymore, I was angry, deeply upset and my stress levels were through the roof. My therapy and training practice didn’t generate enough to pay my bills and I didn’t want to completely leave the NHS anyway as it’s in my blood. 
Looking back I know now that I was stuck in a negative circle of anger, anxiety and denial. I could have applied for other jobs but I had got myself so stressed that I had completely lost all confidence in my ability and at 56 I truly believed that I was fit only for the scrap heap. 
 
I went on like that for a good 18 months before an upsetting incident in my personal life finally tipped me over the edge and I went in to a complete meltdown. I knew at that point that in order to get better I needed to get out and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. 
 
Fast forward 2 years and my life is so different. Juggling work as a bank staff nurse with my private therapies and work for safeguarding adults suits me perfectly. I know that every aspect of my work makes a difference to the quality of people’s lives and that Is the reason why I became a nurse in the first place. I feel deeply fulfilled, I chose when I work and how often. I have some amazing support colleagues in my NHS work who I know value me and care about me and I love the group of patients i work with. In my private practice I am able to utilise a lot of interventions that are not available in the NHS and I have had the honour of working with some truly inspiring clients. 
On a personal level I feel 20 years younger, my mental health improved as soon as I took the decision to go, my confidence returned gradually and I “found” myself again. I wake up every morning happy and looking forward to the day ahead and life is good. 
 
If you are stuck in a job that you hate please don’t be like I was and wait till it’s almost destroyed you, it really isn’t worth it. Talk to you manager or if you can’t do that, talk to someone you trust. If you are stressed and you work somewhere with an occupational health department go see them - if they are anything like mine they will really help. If you don’t have an occupational health department, talk to your GP, contact MIND, or see a private therapist. 
 
There is help out there. 
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