Exposing the truth about my health issues
During the past 4 years I have been struggling with something that not many people know and those that do have only found out very recently. I don't really want to get into all the details about all my issues but I will discuss a little about what I am going through and what it means for myself and ACGG's future.
I came from a great job that I loved and paid well for being a Chef in this industry. I was the head chef and finally achieved what I had set out to achieve, have my very own school account. I was a chef/cook for over 20 years and that was all I really knew how to do. I was also very good at it, without trying to sound cocky. I could do things that many others couldn't and I miss the industry each and every day.
For some time while at my last job I was being harassed by a staff member(s) constantly. They set out to try and have me fired,suspended and attempted to have me removed from my position over the years. They went as far as phoning the health board, the labour board, phoning the higher ups of the company I worked for and also going to the very top of our Unions management. She even went to the very lowest of lows and tried to turn staff against me and also doing everything in their power to restrict me from not only doing my job but going as far as pushing back from any changes and improvements I was tasked to accomplish as the head chef of the account.
For years I tolerated this and endured this and attempted to move forward, but, I ending up giving up and leaving my job when I could no longer tolerate these things anymore. Yes I filed complaints, yes management knew, yes the union knew yes, yes, yes......They all knew just how I was being treated and harassed but in the end enough was not done to make my employment there safe and free from this torture I was enduring day in and out.
This led to bouts of severe depression, anxiety, massive amounts of stress and also some other serious health issues.
During my final months with company I had been told to “Forget about being harassed and move on”,”you deserved this”,”this is your fault”, “you asked for this” ,”men can't be harassed”, “you need to harden up Zenon” and many others but these are the ones that stick with me even till today.
And before anyone asks who said these things it was management, close friends and family and workers who felt that the situation wasn't as extreme as I made it to be. Remember men can't be harassed.
So why am I talking about this now and not before? Well for one I couldn't because of an NDA. Which I haven't exploited in anyway saying what I have but also my mental state. That's right men, as strong as we are, as tough as we can seem, as masculine as we may let other perceive us, we are just as susceptible to mental breakdowns as everyone else is. We don't talk about it, I know we should, but we feel that we need to be stronger for others and that is a very bad thing to do. I am living proof.
What makes all of this more concerning and sad is that it had taken me 2.5 years of hiding all my feelings and demons to finally ask for help and try and improve my quality of life.
My family suffered and many other suffered from my demons. Yes, I suffered as well but again I didn't realize just how bad I was not only hurting myself but all those around me. Even after all the negative feelings and thoughts I had, short tempers and even the thoughts of how I could exit this world and how I would do it, I am still amazingly here able to tell my story to others today.
In early 2020 just before covid fucked me up even more, I started the journey to try and heal myself and improve my life. Again, in secret, with only a couple people knowing what was happening. Doctor visits, doctor tests, therapist sessions and now trying to control all the feelings with medication and also mental check systems developed thorough the therapy I started my journey on healing and trying to enjoy life yet again.
Over the next few months more and more was found out and exposed and eventually I was made aware that things were even more serious than anticipated and it was revealed that what I was going through was larger and more involved than thought. I went from having a mental illness to a mental disease. What I unfortunately suffer from will be with me for the rest of my life. I will need to endure this forever and I will now need to find a way to deal and accept it each and every day. Yes medication is required and needed to be taken each and every day but also having these systems in place to help me understand and cope with the challenges are at the forefront of my recovery.
I am not telling you all this for sympathy, empathy, for attention or any other reasons which you can imagine, I am telling you this because even still, I feel like others have it far worse than I do and I feel that there are many others just like me hiding their issues, their demons, their sadness from loved and that just breaks my heart because I know just what you are going through and I am so sorry you are doing this alone and encourage you to reach out to someone and get the help in which you DESERVE.
It is not easy, this is actually one of the hardest thing I have ever had to do but it is worth it, believe me. On a business side of all this it does suffer. The medication has some very serious side effects on me and in the beginning while attempting to find the right dose things got a lot worse before they got what is considered “better.”
Honestly there are days I cannot get out of bed, no matter what I try. There are days that I get out of bed but cannot focus safely to go in the shop and run a 2000rpm lathe all while trying not to lose a finger or rip a hand off. There are also days that I totally miss and forget overall. But every now and again there are good days. While they are far and few between they are there and I try to make the most out of them when I have them.
Orders take longer because of this, yes you need to wait. I have thought about closing down but ACGG has helped me through so much that I am not willing to lose that as well. Health is at the forefront of life but also having a revenue stream is needed. I could simply apply for disability, hope to get it and then close everything down but that is not me that's not going to help me and honestly that's not what I need for my recovery and my life's journey.
I need the interaction with all of you, I crave it. I need to get back out into the community and form friendships as covid stripped that away from me and made things that much harder for me. I require that feeling of “purpose” my business brings to myself. I just want to help others and that is what ACGG does for me. You hear it all the time about people having a calling, a purpose, a reason to be alive. This company really feels like that for me and I am not going to allow anyone or anything to also take that feeling away from me.
So much has been taken away from me over the years. It is time for that to end. I am taking back my feelings and emotions. I am taking back my pride and integrity. I am taking back what is rightfully mine. I am taking back my life and Nothing and No One is going to stop me or get in my way.
I accept all these new challenges I have to deal with. I accept my faults and my troubles. I do not accept hate, untruth, negativity or disrespect. I cannot change what happened in my past but I sure as hell can improve and mold my future. If I can do it so can you. I encourage you to please do.
It won't be easy, it will come with many more struggles and bad days but as long as I keep trying and growing I will get better and eventually I will start having more good days than bad and I will begin to feel whole again.
You are loved and you are needed in this world. Do not think otherwise.
If you need help reach out to your doctor.
Reach out to other avenues such as www.betterhelp.com to speak with a therapist
Canada's suicide hotline number is 833-456-4566
American suicide hotline number is 1-800-273-8255
Do not think you can't do this. You can. You just need the proper guidance and I wish for you to find that.