Last year I posted about some parts of my journey into getting my life back on track after (and during) considerable bad health and other difficult personal circumstances.
At the time of posting I was just trying to organise and begin some voluntary work to get me back into the work place and get me recent experience to enable me to get back into paid work once more. Also, I was hoping, to try and improve my anxiety which has worsened over the past couple of years (after starting when I became ill with IBD and other related problems).
At the time, even making small steps to get my life back on track seemed to be met with big stumbling blocks, which when you feel like you've got everything against you and you are using all your emotional strength just to get that far, to be met by a brick wall can be quite distressing!
To start my position at the hospital I needed to have appropriate identification, in this case I needed a passport and my current one had just ran out! Great timing! I had no money to get a new one and no other appropriate identification and seemingly no way to get round the problem and was feeling quite defeatist at points (which can clearly be noticed in my quite negative post from last year)!
After finally getting some funds (through a small loan) and a couple more hiccups I finally got an application for renewal sent off.
Long story short I finally started the voluntary work in May last year at a local hospital.
I'm working on a stroke ward and on the waiting list to help on the children's wards, which not surprisingly are popular positions.
I'm just doing one shift a week at the moment and only during term time as there is no one regularly to have G during the holidays. I do basic tasks and errands so it can be frustrating wishing I was doing more (having a medical role, wishing I could help in other ways when it's needed etc) but it does help psychologically being back in the work place (as anyone who has been out of work for a while will know....it's awful!) and it is good to be helping in some way.
It is a step in the right direction, which may seem small to anyone reading, but it's a big one for me and a it's hurdle I've managed to jump over.
I am still struggling with my anxiety, but working in a hospital helps. I also now have the possibility I might be able to start volunteering again at the local (ish) animal sanctuary, where last year transport was an issue. A younger family member (who would have transport) needs some work experience and support and the animal sanctuary may be a great place to do it.
I would love to help out there again. The sanctuary is a charity so relies on donations and volunteers, and along side being an animal lover, I did a lot of charity and fundraising activities before developing Crohn's. It's something I'm still passionate about and enjoy but I'm now very limited in what I can do, but this is still one way I could help.
I am hoping soon I will have enough experience I can use for a reference and then the battle to get back into paid work will properly begin!