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Disability Narratives

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Interview excerpt: Stella describes how the environment she worked in interacted with her mental health so that she felt anxious and devalued.

Image representing Stella© Disability Narratives

And I felt like I had no one to speak to. And I suppose its environmental factors, if you want to put it that way, you know. So it's like kind of not really anyone to talk to at work. And I do - I mean, I don't chit-chat all day, but I do like to have a bit of a blether now and again. The room itself was incredibly dark. No natural light. As I've been - you know - I've been leaving now to start my new sort of post, and the place is incredibly cold, people sitting in jackets and stuff like that. And that's not a nice place to work in. So I was feeling like shit at home [laugh], and my relationship was falling apart, and I just - you know - I just wanted to go home. And then I was coming into work, and it was just dark and miserable, and the work I was doing wasn't interesting me.

And it grinds you down, grinds you down. So, but again, its things that are fixable. But [sigh] I suppose by the time they get so bad that you have to - Or by the time things were so bad that I felt I had to say something, that I couldn't take this any more, like the damage is already done. That it's cold. You know? And I mean that kind of adds to the feeling of just feeling [sigh], feeling like you have no status. Like you're not valued, you're just sort of shoved in this place. You know, and you're just expected to get on with it, and deal with it. And it's just - it's not - it's not good. I don't know what benefits - what benefit would that have? So I'm self-doubting myself, because I'm saying like that's not depression, Stella, that's just like - you know, it's just a dark room. But I guess if I had some sort of physical disability, and my workspace made it difficult for me to work, I would have no - or I might have no doubt in saying like - you know - that this wasn't suitable for me. Like my wheelchair couldn't fit under, or - you know - I can't get up the stairs with, like this. You know?  But again it's just - it's just a dark room. But your physical environment - it does matter.