My Latest Blog


#1

Good morning everyone,

In my latest Blog I tackle working as a solitary VA and mental health.

Thanks for reading everyone,

Liam


#2

Thanks for posting it on here. It’s great to read. I totally agree with you that lots of people would find it difficult to work in solitary confinement, but you know, as a loner myself, I have kind of been working up to it my entire life.

I don’t mind that there are no physical team maters - there are certainly lots of virtual ones. It’s great! But networking online is definitely key to making up for lack of a physical network.

Best wishes
Jacquie


#3

Hi Jacquie, thanks for your kind words.

In truth when I went through my dark period there was still a stigma attached to anxiety and depression etc but thankfully now the world has changed , for the better. The media have gradually brought it out from the wilderness. People are no longer afraid to talk about what once was a taboo subject. This, in my opinion has saved lives.

Don’t get me wrong though, although I like my own company I do appreciate interaction with others and I agree totally with what you say - online networking is the way forward for me too!

Liam


#4

Hi Liam

You’ve written a wonderful blog and one which resonates so closely to my own story. I suffer from severe anxiety myself (GAD and social anxiety), along with agoraphobia and depression (what a combo!). I struggle to leave the house apart from the ‘good days’ where I can thankfully still go out for a walk around my beautiful village. It’s a tough beast to live with.

I too had the ‘get on with it’ mentality which I somehow continued with in my corporate life for 5 years. It was not a good life, I was not living, just merely bouncing around from one panic attack to another. It was exhausting. Depression arose from the sense that I had so much to offer in my career but, despite my best efforts, my anxiety would constantly hold me back.

When I was made redundant I took control of my life and made the changes I needed to get myself back on track. Becoming a VA allowed me to focus on each part of my recovery at a time. The depression rarely rears it’s ugly head as the state of my mental health does not effect my ability to offer my clients a fantastic service. I am incredibly fulfilled and love my work. I can work from home which means I can tackle my agoraphobia under controlled conditions instead of constantly pushing myself into a relapse trying to get into the office 5 days a week (that was not the best time of my life!). It also encourages me to push myself. I want to support my clients, I want my business to be a success, so I constantly strive to be the best version of me that I can be in that moment. I’m currently focussing on getting my social anxiety under control and it’s working. I can ease myself into interactions with others, I can decide how many calls and meeting to book each week, I can decide how many times I respond to posts and put myself out there. It work so beautifully.

If anyone else is in a similar position then do seek help. I have been through CBT multiple times, each time learning new techniques and improving just a little more. I also have regular appointments with a therapist. It is all about finding what works for you, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone when you can and showing some self compassion when you need to.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog Liam. Isn’t it nice that the stigma has now been lifted and we can share our stories with others in the hope it may help others.

And for anyone reading this, please don’t shun those with mental health issues. You will never know the strength and perseverance it takes. We have so much to give if you provide us with the chance.

Best of luck with everything

Emilie


#5

Wow Emilie, thanks so much for getting in touch, and for your kind words.

My anxiety was based around a very specific (and irrational) fear of something, which was a lot easier to pin down (I can imagine having GAD for instance would be a lot trickier to tackle).

So, by using this fear and taking it on head to head in the worst situations where this fear would materialise (through CBT) , gradually (if you can sit through it) it dissipates as it is essentially in the mind and has nowhere to go. It was a tough process and it involved doing the things that I least wanted to do, but I got there in the end and like I say, I still have some anxiety attacks (even today), but thankfully it’s under control. And it sounds very much like you are winning more battles than you are losing with it and you have built a business too!

Echo your thoughts Emilie. If anyone is struggling or just needs someone to touch base with then feel free to message me. It’s Liam@liamclaytonva.com.

Liam