With a positive attitude, we can turn most things around, even major setbacks like retrenchment and depression!
These past three months have been a rollercoaster for me. I went from suffering work stress and being unfairly dismissed to experiencing extreme mental fatigue. When you’re a breadwinner and you get to this point, there’s nothing anyone can say or do to change the way you view your situation. And this can lead to severe depression – and that’s a lot of emotions to cope with. Trust me, I would never wish this on anyone, especially if you have a disability, because this is when you get to see just how unfair the world can be towards you.
Everyone and everything in our lives is there to give us the lesson we need most at a particular time. When you reach a point where your faith gets challenged, remember that the key is to focus on the higher power. The higher power knows what is beneficial to us; through that inner soft voice, we will be guided to the right path. Not knowing what to do can be worrying and challenging, but breaking your inner barriers and allowing yourself to be vulnerable for once can do you good.
I took myself down memory lane to remind myself how far I’ve come: what I’ve been through, especially since my car accident in 2003, and what has always sustained me.
I realised that throughout all my life and with each experience, I get to know who I am. And this is what builds my mental and emotional wellbeing. God has been faithful to me. He’s never let me down, even when I didn’t give Him much attention. He’s always been there for me, watching over me and reminding me always who I am.
Of course, having a secure nine-to-five job is great. Strutting your stuff and proving yourself and getting paid for doing that is wonderful. But what happens when you don’t have that secure job any longer? When you still have all the bills to pay and no other source of income? What then happens to your great talent? Will your talent die with your job or would you look at it as an opportunity to take you to the next level? I took a deep breath … and then I had an a-ha moment! My gift is what is going to sustain me through whatever comes next. Ultimately, I’m continuing to create a better me!
Tomorrow, no matter what, I will pick up from where I left off and create a better future.
Emilie Olifant is a disability activist, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. She is the director of the Emilie Olifant Foundation, an organisation that strives to address socio-economic issues experienced by people with disabilities. email: firstname.lastname@example.org