The world is full of triggers

…I exclaimed earlier today at a peer support group I was facilitating. That’s all I’ll say about the content of that group, as confidentiality is of much importance. I don’t usually run groups, as I like to attend them (help yourself first so you can better help others). What I love doing at my association is to try to influence the future of support and treatment for people with ED, and their loved ones, by working instead on the board of the association (Etelän-SYLI ry that is), and offering my many and varied opinions to anywhere people will listen to them. I have such bad experiences of unprofessional and untimely treatment that I really want to try to change how some people in various (mental) healthcare professions view this illness and treat it. I do wish someone would one day pay me to do this work so I could focus all my energy into it instead of worrying about money/unemployment/employment.

Let me tell you, the burden of the proletariat truly is one of my biggest triggers and anxiety-inducers in life. The labour market really hasn’t treated me so well. I need my association because at times, when I get nowhere in the (un)employment market and make tens of job applications that just seem to disappear into the void, my association and the work I do there, and the people who show me appreciation of what I can contribute to the world, is what keeps me going. I lived, studied and worked abroad for 10 years and it seems that the Finnish job market doesn’t value my foreign background very much at all. Some jobs I can’t even apply for, because they require a Finnish qualification. Some I can, and do, and never hear back. Living in Helsinki, the market is particularly ruthless and full of folks with probably very good Finnish degrees. They I guess get the jobs.

I have been unemployed for 1,5 months now. I know it’s not much but I hate being unemployed and would love to work. I have been seeking a part-time job in the third sector and thought I had lucked out last week. I was invited to an interview and promised some hourly work, starting from one day a week, but probably increasing to some more, as another person with a part-time position with the organisation was leaving soon. The salary was discussed, I was told I would be sent a more detailed role description of the work I would be doing. I told my loved ones I had gotten a job – I was happy.

Today I received an email from the organisation saying they need to check whether there is funding for my role. I was told at interview there was funding. I stopped looking for work after the interview as I had accepted the position. I felt lead-on and disappointed.

I am telling you this dear reader, as I am identifying again my top 1 trigger in life – what I perceive to be unfair treatment. The Finnish labour market, to me, has treated me unfairly. I have not been given many breaks at all. Today’s bad news was another slap in the face and in my mind, especially on a bad day, all of my difficulties and disappointments in this field, and any other field in life, quickly start accumulating to a big mass of doom. Anxiety rises, drowns me. It feels horrible.

When I am encased in my illness I feel every disappointment is the last one. Like that if indeed this job falls through it will be the last chance I’ll ever get at employment, and that I shall die tomorrow, under some bridge, out of hunger. Being triggered happily no longer means triggered into bingeing/purging, like it used to, but it still means being triggered into a steep downhill run on the doom rollercoaster.

I didn’t crash though, and I am calming down slowly. I am trying to put this unfortunate  incident into its proper place in my life. In a year I may not remember this at all. It has nothing to do with my success in life in general, or my worth as a person, or the other situations of similar nature I have been in. The whole world doesn’t actively conspire against me and I will indeed find another job eventually. I am a legit human with skills and someday someone will see that.

On days like this past one, I find it’s especially golden to keep one’s wits with oneself. Put simply, I have to eat properly if I want to reason myself out of the doom. If my mind doesn’t work the illness finds extra fuel in any misfortune that I should encounter. Fuel for ideas like ‘You’re a bad person and no-one wants you’ or ‘People are actively against you and so they should’ or ‘You have no skills or value and should not be appreciated by anyone ever’. Y’know, just the usual ED chat, able to drive most people to insanity and beyond.

Fuck it. I go on. The ED can suck it. The job market will be conquered by Pihla one day, like Pihla will conquer the mighty mountain that is recovery and shove the ED off the highest peak of the mountain with maximum power of spirit. Applying the unique Finnish ‘sisu’, which roughly translates as guts and major resilience. Sometimes I think it might as well be my middle name. 🙂

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