Life goes on

Last night I had very little sleep. I received a work email at around 11.30pm and stupidly I looked at it. I won’t go into details but I’m currently in one of those situations where I’ve taken on an additional role, not been paid for it but I wanted to do it to support my team. My grade for my regular post is significantly lower than anyone else doing the same job across the UK anyway and my employers have never been too fussed by that. Anyway, the long and short is the email made me feel incredibly devalued and demotivated. I have made a decision that I won’t continue with the additional role because the offer of any pay increase is minimal in real terms and the trust (I work for the NHS) won’t address any of the issues I have raised. They want me to continue working like a crazy woman but only do the bare minimum to support me. I would be a total mug to carry on.

Many reading this will wonder what the issue is. If the package isn’t right, don’t do it. The problem is more complex than that. When I’m challenged at work and have responsibility for making changes and decisions, although stressful, it motivates me. It actually keeps boredom and depression at bay. I want to make changes and influence our service for the families, children and adults we treat. I get a real buzz from that. It’s only possible to be influential if you are in certain positions and are mixing in certain circles. However, if I continue to invest the same level of time and energy with absolutely no recognition or support, I’ll likely end up struggling with my mental health anyway, just from the stress and resentment alone.

What to do? I don’t have the answer. Maybe it’s time for a change anyway. I’m limited with where I can go with my specialist clinical skill set and location constraints. I’ve considered volunteering for the Samaritans and have applied. I was going to put this on hold due to work pressures and time commitments but maybe that’s the way forward now. I’ve considered further education and completing a masters or even a PhD … finally using research to validate a patient outcome measure I developed years ago. Last night I was so wound up and frustrated at reading the email. This morning I cried big tears as I wrote to the individual whose role I have been covering, informing them I would not be continuing. Now, though I feel sad about the situation, I am already looking ahead and making new plans. I recognise this is so different to where I was a year ago. I’m not hungover, jaded and feeling sorry for myself. I’m calm and I will manage. I am hurting though. Life always seems to throw up little challenges and tests along the way. Decisions to be made. Keeps us on our toes I guess. Dealing with them sober is the only way I can cope. Thank God I am sober.

Love Claire xx

36 thoughts on “Life goes on”

  1. wow, so you officially quit the additional role? It would have taken me weeks of tortuous hesitation before finally making the decision to preserve my own wellbeing. I am very impressed! Man, yes… dealing with life’s challenges while sober really is something. Sending lots of hugs xxxx Anne

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    1. I haven’t quit yet but said I will be handing it back if the situation pans out as I predict it will. It’s a decision I knew I would always be forced to make if the trust didn’t finally take my job and the new responsibilities seriously. I’m already underpaid massively doing the ‘normal’ amount so to add even more on top which takes more time and has huge responsibility with very little change is madness to consider long term. I’m struggling today though. It’s knocked me off my feet … literally. I’ve moved from sofa to bed to sofa to bed and that’s it for today. Not quite as resilient as I thought. Xxx

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      1. yes it sounds like complete madness! Setting boundaries is so hard but it seems like you are really honoring yourself despite the difficult situation, and that is huge! On the contrary, very very resilient! (It’s OK to be on the sofa and in bed! ❤ ) xxx Anne

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    1. Thanks. I have to be honest, I’m not quite as resilient as I sound. It’s been a ‘bad’ day. One of those where I don’t move and can’t process or engage. I can’t work out why certain things just knock me off my stride so dramatically. I was getting in a state. Starting that self criticism .. Claire you are wasting a day, get up, go for a walk, do yoga etc etc. Suddenly I thought … if I was poorly today with physical symptoms, I’d give myself the day off from expectations and life. So that’s what I’m doing and it has helped a little. X

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  2. Good for you, Claire!! It does sound sad and frustrating and incredibly disappointing, but look at you wasting no time setting your firm boundary! That’s awesome. I’m so happy for you! On to the next better thing! 😘👍🏻

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    1. Thanks. It’s not been a good day and I’ve been trying to battle with myself over that. But you have just boosted me .. I have set the boundary. I gave it a shot, it hasn’t worked out and it will make me unhappy in the long run to keep on going. So one day to feel miserable about it and give up on things a bit is ok. Back on my game tomorrow. Hope you are ok leafy? 😘 xx

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      1. That sounds about right. Let yourself feel sad today, and tomorrow is a new day! But if you still feel sad about it tomorrow, still seems OK to me. Sometimes, it feels sad to do the right thing just because we wanted it to work out another way. The important thing is that you set yourself up for not feeling used and resentful later. Yay! I’m doing fine. I’ll post something soon. xx

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  3. I’m sorry things are tough, and you are feeling undervalued. You don’t deserve that. Hang in there as you wade through the weeds. You will figure it out. Love and hugs! 💕

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    1. I’ve just read four comments on here and it’s amazing how much it’s helped me already. It’s been a tricky day and I have really done absolutely nothing. But actually that’s ok isn’t it? Let myself recover from the 3 months of total energy I put into it and the disappointment, cry and be sad today and then reset and go again. Love and hugs to you too 💕

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      1. Yes, I know what a good heart you have and how much you want to make a positive difference. That is so admirable. You also need to remember to take care of yourself as well. Good to do nothing and just be sometimes! 💕👍🏻

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  4. Claire , it’s often the case that those who deserve to move up and who put in the hours whilst the undeserving rise. It’s shitty but you know you’ve done a good job. Shame on those above you who’ve treated you so shabbily. Rest, recharge, recuperate. You owe that to yourself. Then make your play, you’ll know what to do and maybe people on your trust will finally see they can’t take you for granted. Take care Claire. We’re rooting for you🤗x

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    1. Thank you Jim. I have certainly taken today as a ‘rest day’ and to be honest I do feel better for allowing myself that time to get over the shock of it. I even eventually got out of my pjs and managed 25 minutes of yoga. I think that’s a tick ✔️. It does feel unfair sometimes and I really wanted to do good things to support our families and children (and adults too). I’ll just do that through my speech therapy input and leave the more strategic stuff to others who no doubt will be paid for it. I appreciate you rooting for me. Claire xxx 🤗

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    1. You know, maybe it is. Spend the time I will have teaching myself new skills or volunteering or finding new hobbies. It doesn’t have to be related to my work or paid. The world is my oyster. 😊🤗❤️

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  5. I can relate to that devalued feeling Claire – sadly all over the NHS in spite of the clapping. Well done for putting your well being first – good things will come from that whatever path you take – love and hugs xx💞💞

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    1. It’s a difficult place to work as a clinician I think. I believe wholeheartedly in it but there is so much red tape, waste and focus on cost improvements it becomes impossible to continue doing your job. There are all people who seem to be in positions of management and leadership that have absolutely no idea about anything much. It’s soul destroying. Xxx

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      1. My work is getting similar as they have a bigger layer of middle management who’s job is essentially to move information around and scrutinise those of us doing – I think it’s a societal issue whereby we focus too much on recording and data to the detriment of clinical skill and experience, professionalism etc – these are devalued which is why as clinicians we feel devalued.managed better in some places than others but it’s systemic – don’t know if it helps to see it as part of a bigger problem – it drove me away and others as it’s so depressing if you want to give a good service – take care of yourself and try to protect yourself from it as much as you can xxxx

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      2. I agree. It is part of the bigger picture. So sad and frustrating. The pressure always seems to be placed on the clinicians to increase efficiency and the blame put into their court for failure to Adele to this. Yet the ridiculous tick box processes that are mandatory and the amount of procedures produced to say even the most basic of things. SOPs to say how SOPs should be written and adhered to! It’s a crazy way to manage. Xx

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  6. aww…sorry to hear it..I was once in a similar situation and stayed far longer than i should have..as you phrased it , sort of, “waiting for it to pan out” as i predicted – and , of course it did. My salaried clinical education position became a catch all for anything and everything that no one else wanted to deal with- meaning 60-70 hrs a week ( not the original 40), excessive driving, late nights and weekends, additional responsibilities and no additional pay. Eventually i had to walk away to keep my sanity, despite all my initial thoughts of being able to handle whatever came my way because it was serving others. Sometimes, we have to care for ourselves to be able to more effectively serve…be kind to yourself and try to keep it all in a healthy perspective…hugs!!

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    1. Sometimes you have to weigh up if what you want is going to cost you too much personally. These situations have a habit of snowballing and like you said, you become a dumping ground and people take advantage. I’m not willing to let that happen. Sometimes what you want comes at too great a cost. Xx

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  7. Having worked in the NHS I kinda know that feeling. I ended up managing 2 departments on top of mine, plus the day job. Yes I so wanted to do it. So enjoyed the challenge but eventually you are taking for granted. It just becomes wrapped up as what is in your basic role. It’s grinds you down. I think it’s the best thing you have done. The Samaritans sounds like such a great option for you. Will be definitely valued there.
    Sorry I was late…. my admin has broken down.

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    1. That’s ok. Better late than never ☺️
      I think, even though we want it sometimes, the price we are expected to pay is far too high. Doing more and more for less and less just becomes soul destroying eventually.

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  8. Sometimes you have that friend that is never on top of comments when needed! Sorry!! 😞
    Having days off, and completely off is needed. I’m glad you did that. ❤️ I’m currently running on fumes. I wanted a break this past weekend but that didn’t happen. I think I need to make one this coming weekend. I am so glad your dealing with all this sober! You are amazing and are really defining yourself! Love ya!!! ❤️

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    1. Don’t ever worry about not commenting. It’s hard to keep up with it all. I know that running on fumes feeling. I don’t feel very amazing today I have to say. Sometimes it’s all a bit like hard work isn’t it? I have nothing to complain about and so much to be grateful for but just sometimes I yearn for a little but more, something else. Then I feel guilty about that. Ho hum.

      Did your daughter have her celebrations? 😘 🤗

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  9. I sympathize. I work for the government in the US and individuals have absolutely no ability to fix problems or make improvements to the system. I’ve been totally disillusioned about any hope of progress in American society and I can’t imagine other governments are much different.

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    1. It’s soul destroying isn’t it? Hard to know what to do sometimes. Do you keep trying, plugging away but the likelihood is you’ll never get anywhere. Or do you put up a huge wall, do the minimum that the job requires, tick the boxes, keep your mouth shut and ensure no attachment to the outcomes? Feels a bit like Hobson’s choice to me.

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