❌ Anon Story ❌
I started mining in 2012. I worked in geology and was a pit tech. I was absolutely loving life and the cash flow was awesome! I met a guy, fell pregnant and by the end of 2013 I was a mum. We moved to Victoria and my partner (at the time) did FIFO to the Pilbara. He was on a 2:1 roster. It was a hard job being a mum with a partner who worked away. It was hard for him too, gruelling days and a small donga that he called home for two weeks. We had a great life and no money troubles, We would talk daily including FaceTime, I was forever recording things our baby was doing and sending them to daddy. Baby #2 arrived in the middle of 2015, daddy missed his birth as he was flying back off swing from Perth. I was proposed too and our life was pretty awesome! 2days before we to go on an overseas holiday as a family, I learnt that my fiancé had been having an affair at site, for the past year. Things went down hill. We did couples counselling & I went to counselling alone. I found myself lost. I had become a stay at home mum, relied on my fiancé,had gained more weight than I realised and I was so unhappy with a failed relationship.
We decided to move back to WA and give it another crack. It didn’t work and things couldn’t be repaired. I forgave but just couldn’t forget.
The next few years would be a roller coaster of emotions but I had a great support network around me. I officially became a single mum and landed myself a job in mining again. It was time to find me again!
Working didn’t come without its challenges though. 5am starts and needing my children,(who were 2.5 and 4) cared for, not being able to get easily accessible care and all my family back in Victoria, I began welcoming aupairs into my home. Every morning I would leave, my 2.5 and 4 year old would cry because they missed their mummy and didn’t know any different than me staying at home, their world had been rocked with so many changes. It was devastating and many times I questioned if I was doing the right thing.
I worked back in geology department and I quickly settled in and made great work mates and relationships. I was on a 9:5 roster, 10hour days- I wasn’t getting home super late, I could still feed my babies dinner (they were adjusting well) and even attend kinder things as work was family friendly! Life was great! Work was never work for me, it became my place of happiness and somewhere i loved to be!
I was nominated for the Women in mining mentor program, met some amazing mentors, and spent time in Perth, had supportive managers. I assisted our HR manager on her project for the parents returning to work and spoke at two presentations & shared my story of returning to work.. I volunteered for things with my company with my boys, I thrived in my role, become a SHRep (safety, health rep) joined the social club committee and was absolutely in my element and loving my role and life. My relationship with the kids dad was in a good place and co-parenting became easy!
things in my life were absolutely rocking! I was happy, my boys were happy, I had the best friends and support and I had found love with an amazing man.
At the end of 2019 an opportunity presented, I was able to apply for a new department on site, which I thought would be great if I ever wanted to leave mining, I would have something behind me, for my boys and I. My partner supported me and so did my manager.
I applied for the job and was successful. I was beyond excited!
I started in January 2020. By March 2020 things had started to get harder within the department. I resigned from social committee and found I wasn’t doing the extra things I loved to do around site.
It started as small things that bothered me, I would write a sticky note for tomorrow’s job, stick it to the computer and the other person would throw that sticky note out. Then it was being spoken at, rather than being spoken to, walking on eggshells and wondering if I had taken “to long” on my morning delivery and feeling guilty about it, even though I was doing my job. I found myself apologising to other workers about the way they had been spoken too from the other person. Some mornings you would be greeted with a good morning, other mornings you wondered what you had done wrong. I had spoken with my supervisor and the department manager was aware.
By June, I purchased my first home, something I should’ve been absolutely celebrating- I wasn’t.. all I could see in my life was negativity..
I had officially broken, when I was told, in no polite manner, I didn’t pack the car correctly for delivery (there was no procedure and I was a believer of team work).
I was hating work and didn’t want to go in. I would take sick days, which just wasn’t like me. That was not my work ethic. I was doubting so much in my life.
By September 2020, my best friend was so concerned about me, she contacted my mum and my partner. I really needed help. It was effecting me in every aspect of my life.
i seeked out counselling through the EAP (employee assistance program) I was crying over everything. My supervisor was supportive and would check in on me and meet me for coffee, but it stopped there on the management chain. I took 2.5 weeks off for sick leave and I had this horrible feeling that I couldn’t shake. It was only when I would talk about work or people would ask how I was enjoying it, I would break and cry. I went from being a happy bubbly, loving life person to wanting to resign, looking for other jobs and finding myself withdrawing from things, from catch-ups with friends to social settings.
I then saw a Dr and I was diagnosed with work anxiety. He put me on a mental health care plan. I had never had anxiety before. It was crippling.
I got many coping tips and did 5 counselling sessions- 3 on the phone and 2 face to face. I had the most amazing support around me, my partner, my best friend and her hubby were absolute god sends and talking to my family and friends, helped a lot!
An opportunity presented that my old job was open again and I applied for it- I got it! When I was told I got my old position back, a weight was literally lifted off my chest.
I am back in my original department and absolutely loving life again! I have found my zest for life again and I am feeling great! I am me again!!
2020 was a hard year on everyone and for so many different reasons.
For me, loosing Myself was definitely the hardest. Had’ve it not been for my partner, my best friend, my family and my two boys, who knows what way life would’ve swung. I am thankful and blessed.
Reaching out is always the first hardest step! But know you’re not alone.. other people have been through feelings you’ve felt or emotions you’re struggling with. Sometimes it’s your friends who motion things before you do- listen to them as they are coming from a place of love!
I have chosen to share my story anonymously but if my story helps just one person, realise their worth and know that you really ARE not alone! I’m ok with that! I’d rather be listening to you than sharing your eulogy.. and I’m sure your friends and workmates feel the same!
just know that Mineset’s inbox is always open.. (mine is too- even though this post is anonymous)
I support Mineset and the direction they are heading.. we definitely need to break the stigma and I think this is something we can all do together..
Don’t be afraid to #startthechat