Anthony’s story of rocking it at 57 despite his depression struggles
Anthony was born in Belize and moved to London when he was quite young. He used to work in IT as a highly paid executive. Anthony recalls:
“I was married to my work and didn’t give enough time to my family and especially my wife. I thought providing a big house, a big car and all the luxuries was my duty and so I worked and travelled a lot on my job. We had three kids who are now 25, 23 & 21 years old and my wife brought them up beautifully. However our relationship didn’t survive and she wanted us to separate. I came from a broken home so I did not want to put my kids through the same. We got divorce on friendly terms and I moved to Greece where I set up my own IT business. However staying away from my children was very hard and I decided to come back to London. I started looking for a job but got nothing, maybe because of my age. Things spiralled and depression hit me hard. I got chronic insomnia, couldn’t read or concentrate and felt judged by family & friends.
I saw my GP and then started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with IAPT (NHS Service). I dropped it after 6 weeks, went back and forth with it over a period of 2 years. After completing the CBT, I had an assessment with DWP work coach for my mental health and was signed off sick for a year. Despite the struggles, I did not want to sit for 1 year and do nothing so I asked JCP to help me find work. They referred me to Twining and I met Perry, their employment specialist (ES).
Perry and I connected immediately as we both are gooners (supporters of Arsenal) and talking about our passion football broke the ice right away. He supported me in preparing myself to start work again. He particularly helped me formulate interview questions by keeping my mental health in check. We did mock interviews where we figured out my strengths, weaknesses and how to concoct them in a positive light. Working with him helped me shatter the prejudices & irrational fears I was dealing with.
I got a job offer and started working as the operations manager, soon I became the Head of New Business and started bringing in new profitable humanitarian projects to the start-up. I am now working with new people and loving it. Without Perry’s support it would have taken me much longer to stand back on my ground. Thank you Perry & Twining for your support.”