Friday, 21 June 2013

I Really Want this to Work...And Everything Else Too...

So I have had 2 official shifts at the Homeless Charity. By the way I hate calling it that because it does have a name but I'm sure I'm 'not allowed' to put it here. Never been told I cant but I have a feeling it is probably breaking rules somewhere along the way. Anyway it is what it is.

I am at the dangerous stage now of wanting it to work out. Dangerous because this means I've settled there a little, dangerous because if the straw house gets blown now down I will feel pretty shit. People keep laughing at my pessimism and worrying and saying pointless things like 'but what reason have they to not want you?'. I find it so annoying because although they are being 'normal' and 'rational' it is like they think I'll just snap out of this state of mind and realise I'm being silly just because they laugh at me when I express these feelings. I tend to think they are under the impression that I don't fully believe that it would all go wrong and I'm just fishing for compliments etc, but the sad truth is I live in constant fear of everything going wrong. I walk along expecting to trip over, I go to the bus stop thinking I've already missed it, I meet friends and convince myself they only do it out of obligation or pity. And where does it get me? Nowhere, that's where. When bad things happen I still feel gutted and disappointed, even though I have supposedly anticipated them so it really serves no purpose- all this fretting.

I want this place to work because I'm craving some meaningful work, consistent, regular, smile making work. I want to 'fit in' to a group of people, feel part of a team, a part in a mechanism however small. I want a little patch of my life which is mine only, something I have made and I 'do' alone, independently. Whenever I have needed to fulfil this before I've used anorexia. The last time I felt this was when I was at work, and I left there in October. I lost a lot of what I thought of as 'me' when I left there.

Another thing that has happened kind of recently is that I have got a new support worker from the ED dept. This is the person who meets me once a week for a check in and lunch. The lady I used to have went off to have a baby so now I have a different lady. I was slightly apprehensive when this change first occurred because I got on so well with the first one and my pessimistic head was confidently telling me it just wasn't possible to get someone just as nice again-not me! But lo! It was proved wrong, and after 'settling in' with her I actually really like her.

She is a complete contrast from her predecessor who was quieter, more reserved and genteel.To begin with all I knew about her was that she was Scottish, that she got the job because originally she was on placement from uni where she is doing a masters in psychology, that she laughs often and loudly and that she always eats cheese sandwiches when we meet.

I am now very much more enlightened. She amazes me. Her life has been anything but bland. She isn't Scottish really since she grew up and lived most her life in Hong Kong. She has travelled all over and returned with many funny and amazing stories. She has been a restaurant manager in Hong Kong, Hotel manager in Guernsey, and then a shelf stacker in Sainsbury's (bit of a step down I'll admit but the contrast adds to the amazement) and much more. She is in a happy relationship, (like most people but me!)she seems to talk to everyone, and consequently has weird and wonderful connections all over the place. In short she has everything I want. Including cheese sandwiches which cause me extreme envy.

Ordinarily hearing of all her escapades and impossibly long list of careers at her age (she isn't especially young but neither is she yet 'middle aged') would make me feel like crawling under the table and crying in the miserable puddle of inferiority and failure that I am. But somehow she doesn't.

Her attitude when she relays her life is one not of self assured satisfaction that smacks of smugness, but is one of relaxed, casual narration that implies that she drifted into all these wonderful opportunities through a series of happy coincidences and luck. More importantly her enthusiasm for me to taste the sort of lifestyle she lives is impossible to resist. She leans forward in her seat, eyes widening, hands gesticulating and she illustrates all the doors that could open for me too. I find this a wonderfully selfless and generous quality.

I can wander through town to meet her in a state of bland indifference, only to part from her an hour or so later buzzing with ideas and a little light lit inside where before there was just gloom. Now, I wont lie and say this feeling of optimism lasts beyond an hour or two but I'm willing to enjoy the period that it does carry me forth. I take hope from the fact that there IS at least a candle within me that CAN be lit. I just need to work on making it more resilient to my winds of pessimism that keep snuffing it out.

After a long time of telling everyone, including myself, that I had no idea what I wanted to do and didn't really have any great talents apart from starving myself and screwing myself up, I am actually 'awakening' a little more. One revelation is that I now think I actually know what I want to do career wise.

I would love to be a writer. A journalist, a critic or commentator, anything that lets me paint my wages with words. Starting this blog made me realise that.

I am in need of another dose of my Lady Optimism, then maybe I will contact some publications and see if there are any opportunities for me there. I am sceptical because I have no real qualifications in that field except my GCSE and AS level English. You can but try. As my lady says 'it's all about having balls'. So true. Balls and Bullshit is my moto!

Oh I forgot one little snippet from my first shift at the Homeless place. It's just a silly little thing but I cant stop thinking about it. Well a couple of hours in another prospective volunteer arrived to do their taster day like I did. I was dreading having to work with them because when I'm a newbie in a place like that the last thing I want is to be around someone else who doesn't know their arse from their elbow either, because it just seems to make the whole scenario of finding your own feet more stressful. Also two newbies is twice as annoying for those supervising you and therefore heightens the likeliness of people getting irritated with your presence.

This attitude evaporated the moment the new person walked in the kitchen. Tall, slim, well dressed and extremely good looking. A warm smile and lovely eyes. Sold! The rest of the shift flew by in flutters of eye lashes (mine by the way!) and nervous conversation, but conversation none the less! God I hope he gets taken on and PLEASE let him be single, straight.... and like me.....not a tall order is it!? Yes it is! Boo!

I'll carry on dreaming.


  1. Awe Katie... I hope he does get taken on and I hope he likes you too...

    I'm thrilled you like your new support worker... I hope one day you feel some optimism.

    You really helped me to change my life around... I can't thank you enough... I'm very grateful ;-)

  2. PFFF i severely doubt it but it gives me something 'normal' to worry about at least!

    That's so lovely to hear, it means an awful lot


  3. Your new support worker sounds amazing
    And I know exactly how you feel after you meet her
    I feel the same way after meeting Mary
    She just has a way of putting things so it seems that every thing will be ok
    She asked me recently what my dream is
    I told her it was to write a book
    'So do it' she said 'What are you waiting for?'
    And you know what?
    I've started writing
    Like you a discovered a hidden love of writing when I started my blog
    So I've been writing everyday
    Not a lot
    Just enough so I feel like I've accomplished something
    Even if no one ever read it I just want to have my story down on paper

    I think positivity and enthusiasm are contagious
    Once we're around it, it catches and we become positive and optimistic too

    We all need someone like your support worker in our lives

    Oh and your tall stranger sounds very interesting
    Keep us posted!

    Take care x

    1. I'm glad you have a Mary in your life, I hope she helps you feel more hopeful because you're clearly such a strong and talented person.


  4. Your new ED support worker sounds amazing. I always love hearing impossibly long lists of careers and lifetime achievements. And you're right, the shelf-stacking adds to the contrast!

    I really hope this job gives you that fulfilled, meaningful, happy feeling. And do keep us updated on the tall handsome stranger! ;)


    1. Thanks bella,
      I hope you can be optimistic about your future too, for example you are a fantastic seamstress and that has nothing to do with anorexia!

  5. I get worried that I write too much about things I probably shouldn't write about too, e.g. professionals but I never mention names so I guess it's ok?

    I hope it does work out for you at the Homeless Shelter. I can totally relate to the constant fear of everything going wrong and nobody being able to understand that. I hate it so much when people tease me about fishing for compliments, because in reality, I can't cope with compliments!! Can you? You're not being silly at all, if you feel something, then it's your feelings and they are very real, even if no-one else can feel the same.

    Your new support worker sounds fabulous! I am so happy for you that you have someone like that in your life! And cherish those moments afterwards when you feel positive and optimistic! I have no doubt that you will reach your dreams!

    Ooh I can't wait to hear a story unravel about your tall, handsome stranger! Whit-woo!