At university, I experienced a series of traumatic events including a house mate attempting to commit suicide. I lost a lot of weight due to stress and was in quite a vulnerable state. Over time I developed an eating disorder, largely as a coping mechanism.
Despite setbacks and various hospital admissions, I graduated from university with a 1st and passed my accountancy exams with flying colours. I took a position in London with long working hours and a lengthy commute but found it too demanding physically. Following doctor's recommendations I started working more locally but my health continued to decline.
Eventually, things culminated in yet another hospital admission after collapsing and needing ITU treatment. During this time, I was unable to work and had to rely heavily on my parents to support me financially in order to meet mortgage commitments. I don't know what I would have done without them.
I was desperate to get better and pushed myself to leave hospital before doctors recommended. On reflection I can see I went back to work too soon as I was using annual leave to cover appointments and to recuperate. It was completely unsustainable and eventually I was forced to stop working again.
I was aware of CABA and had wanted to go on some of their courses for a while. I thought that the 'Eat and exercise for energy' course may be helpful and so I signed up for the day. I am so glad that I did! The tutors were excellent and the day was incredibly rewarding. When the course trainer offered follow up sessions I jumped at the chance.
In terms of exercise, I learned low impact techniques to manage my osteoporosis. I also picked up nutrition tips that have been a benefit to my long-term health. My bone density is better than it was and I feel like I am taking proactive steps to improve my health.
I really recommend the CABA website which has some fantastic wellbeing resources designed to keep you focused on your health. It's particularly useful if you aren't able to attend one of the day courses.
My next goal is to go back to work. In order to help me CABA has offered me sessions to help me build my confidence and help me learn how to present my health challenges to an employer in a positive way - so I can pursue the opportunities I really want.
I'm so grateful for all of the support that CABA has given, and continues to give, to me. I would recommend them to anyone feeling that they could do with career or personal support.
How CABA can help
CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please contact us.