I’ve been absent as I’ve been particularly stressed. How am I coping? Not particularly well, but I haven’t fallen apart. The reason I haven’t fallen apart is not because I’m resilient or even because I have been using all the techniques in the world. The reason I’m still ok is because of the people I have surrounded myself with. You don’t need to always inwardly cope with anxiety, you can lean outwardly on others. Too many of us stay in relationships, friendships, jobs where the life is literally being sucked out of us. And I find it’s lack of confidence in our ourselves. Spending too much time in a bad situation can impact on your health. My situation is temporary. We’re nearly at the end. But even still, the effort and time and stress I went through wasn’t appreciated. It didn’t even seem to be a consideration. So, although the situation is going to improve, I’m feeling brave enough in myself and my ability not to be taken for granted. Now for some people change is scary. I’m not one of those people. I thrive on new connections, new environments and steep learning curves. Does this mean I won’t feel like an out of place looser for the first 3 months? Nope. It’s horrible trying to find a “clique” in a new organisation. I’m not making any immediate decisions, but I am going to start making steps to where I would like to be, because I need an environment where I’m appreciated. It’s pretty much the only thing I require to flourish. I need to know I’m valued and what I’m doing is valued. I crave approval; feedback is such an important thing for me. It genuinely affects me and my self-esteem when I’m in a toxic culture. Life’s too short to put up with environments that don’t grow you. You deserve to feel worthy! And this is why I’m insanely grateful for the beautiful people in my life who have been supporting me, so this has affected me as little as possible. I made time for myself and those people made time for me when I needed them, showered me love, built me up and protected my spark. Having quality people in your life is important. When I feel loved I cope better. I’m the type of person who cares about everyone and I don’t just say that. I feel genuine empathy and compassion for people I barely know, or people who aren’t even nice to me. It’s exhausting. So, I have to be very careful about the people I surround myself with. It’s taken me a long time to learn that some people just like the way I make them feel for themselves and don’t care about me in anyway. These people are fairly easy to spot in their behaviours – one sided conversations, aren’t genuinely interested in you, aren’t concerned how you are, they’re too busy, careless comments. The people you should have in your life – make time for you, you feel like your true self around, they’re present and really listen, you feel like they have your best interest at heart. Good friends build you up and encourage you to be confident in who you are. I understand we live in a culture where building yourself up is seen as extremely self-centered, but honestly my heads to far up my own ass to really care about those kinds of opinions. I’m smart, I’m good enough and hella capable. Right now, I’m also tired, possible a bit burnt out and stressed, but it’s just temporary. I’m stronger than this. And if you haven’t been told recently (by someone or yourself) you’re stronger than this, you will get through it, it will pass, you are amazing! And if you don’t feel like you can, find someone who does make you feel like you can. Even if it’s one step at a time.