I’ll be honest with you now – when I first became self-employed as a writer, a copywriter, I missed work.
I missed standing up in front of a class and educating and entertaining them, missed the banter, the bonhomie with students and leading a team of staff as Head of English.
My mind though and body was stressed to the hilt by 2013 and I knew I had to do something about it – Richard talked of plane crash thinking in a recent blog – and I like that analogy.
When my mental health had crashed, my first reaction was: I need to get back into the place that made me so unwell (schools) and it took me ages to throw off the institutional shackles of work.
I had no idea what to do: after a spell working for a local estate agency (property is a passion of mine, bizarrely) and setting up my own estate agency business.
I did what any teacher looking for income would do – I went back to teaching.
More illness and stress resurfaced – the cycle of misery recommenced.
I knew then that education was my plane crash moment.
No matter how good a teacher I was (and I was good), it had taken me to the brink of suicide and the troughs of clinical depression.
Self-employment became my escape tunnel to physical and mental sanity.
The brain fog that had clouded my thoughts for 3 years slowly dissipated and I could see a future mapped out – writing about property on Get Pro Copy Ltd, my copywriting business.
When that became successful, and I was making money and becoming my old self again, the next logical step was to create more self-employment opportunities – with website building and other spin offs from there.
Not drinking, getting a dog, leaving education have all been three key factors in my recovery.
I’ve learned new skills, developed a wide professional and personal network and my advice to anyone suffering from workplace stress is to leave it promptly.
Work for yourself, don’t make others rich and yourself miserable.
Find a job that will make you get up every day with a spring in your step.
I was institutionalised for 27 years, but I’ve seen the light – it’s called being freelance and self-employed with my only bosses now being my lovely wife and two delightful children.