I’ve been slacking – 1000%. Wednesday after treatment a lot of things (good) started happening, and I wanted to wait to blog until yesterday so I could spell it all out. Then yesterday afternoon came, and I was not as “jubilant” as I hoped to be. I felt good about it all, don’t get me wrong. But something was hanging over me. That something is today. It’s my 53rd birthday.
I feel RIDICULOUS, because I should be nothing but grateful and amazed that I’m even alive. I am, but I don’t FEEL the way I wish I did. For more than a decade now, I have come to get really sullen around my birthday. I have no idea why. I know I now have purpose, and a wonderful life, and yet this day of my birth brings on feelings of sadness. Additionally, for the last 20 years and 6 months, I have been sober on this day. My “birth”day and my sobriety date are exactly 6 months to the day apart. So instead of celebrating being “born”, I’ve celebrated being “sober” an additional 6 months.
Now, the thing I have been so vague about – DRUM ROLL…………….. I left my job that I’ve been at for 5+ years yesterday. The environment and management at that job, which I loved so much for years, and was very good at, had a complete change in management in January and the best way to put it is that it got turned into EVERYTHING I ever hated about “sales”. It wasn’t simply the job description, it was more about the incredibly horrifying Sales Manager and his style of managing that completely destroyed the entire makeup of everything that job used to be. Not just for me, but for a very large amount of people. After struggling, fighting, adjusting, etc. – for 6 months – I cracked. Their new way of doing things broke me as a person. And let me tell you – it wasn’t because I, or anyone else there, was flawed. We were all VERY good at our jobs. None of us know for sure what brought about the owner bringing in new “management” that would turn the business upside down, although there is speculation. The bottom line is, it’s not MY business, and after trying everything and anything, I had to remove myself from the situation before it killed me mentally. I went on disability on June 7th. My doctor’s orders were to first CALM DOWN – before I cracked completely. My brain was ZOOOOMING around with what am I going to do, I can’t do that job, what if I can when I feel better, and then – God forbid – I have to look for a new job, as a woman in her 50’s??? So, I did as I was told, and took the time to calm my brain.
I was supposed to go back after 3 weeks, and almost lost my mind the week before at the thought of going back. My disability was extended through August 9th. Eventually I started looking at job openings just to take the “WTF” out of it. Looking for jobs is scary as hell. And, I”ve made very good money doing sales. The one thing I knew – I WAS NOT EVER DOING SALES AGAIN!!!! Which leaves the other options being a LOT less money in any other field. Thankfully, I was able to pay off bills, we are not in debt, and other than rent and utilities, my husband and I both have car payments – that’s it. However, I know what my talents are, what I’m good at, and even though I wasn’t going to do sales, I couldn’t imagine how I would find something out there that I could enjoy, do well, and not only pay bills but also be able to continue to save money, and not end up cutting into my savings or investments. Finding jobs that are not in sales, that pay very well, are few and far between. This added to the stress.
Keep in mind that in the middle of this, I saw my mother in person for the first time in over a year. And the rest of the women on that side of the family that pushed the “no contact” situation into what it is today. That day is what started me down the depressive spiral, in addition to anxiety.
A few weeks ago, I found the perfect opportunity. NO sales, doing exactly what I’m VERY good at, with an amazing salary. Phone interview, in person interview, and they made me an offer! YAY!!! I had to do a complete background check, (work history, criminal history, drug screening, etc.), which I wasn’t worried about at all. I’ve never had to do one before. They wanted me to to start on 8/9/21 – the exact day I was supposed to go back to “work” after disability. Perfect! The issues started with the company my new employer uses to do the background check. To say they made EVERYTHING more difficult than it should have been is an understatement. They would supposedly call to check the “facts”, and not be able to reach people, but then people were telling me they were getting voicemails that were in broken English and they didn’t know who to call back. Then they said they couldn’t get in touch with my high school to verify I graduated in 1986 – 35 years ago!!!! This lead to me finding out my mother closed the safety deposit box we shared, without telling me, way before the “not speaking” thing started, and my high school diploma was in there.OH MY GOD!!!! So, now it’s the point where I want to give the appropriate “2 weeks notice” to my job, and my background report isn’t complete – still – because the company doing it seems to be completely incompetent.
I jumped through every hoop possible, made countless phone calls spending hours on the phone – doing everything possible to get the information they couldn’t get themselves. Finally, just this Tuesday – 3 days ago – the report was completed, and I was officially ready to start my new job as scheduled. I had already written my resignation letter, included the letter from my doctor saying returning to my original job would be detrimental to my health, and I sent it Tuesday night. No response from them until Wednesday evening, when they accepted my resignation and said I could come pick up my “stuff” the next morning at 6:00am – which I did. That was yesterday.
HUGE relief. All is said and done, and I should be elated. I’m VERY pleased because I feel like a huge amount of stress has been removed, and with TMS, things are only going to get better from here. So why, I kept thinking, am I still feeling down? Then it hit me – it’s my birthday.
The main reason I keep bringing this up is because I want people to understand that with a disease or illness like this, the things that trigger our issues can seem completely ridiculous or even crazy. I’m here to tell you, they feel like that to me too. I want to make sense of it. I want to understand why. What I have to remember is that it doesn’t matter how weird the reason looks – what matters is what we do to minimize the blowback, not beat ourselves up, and recognize that if the trigger is something we have no control over – like a “date” on the calendar – then we need to be kind and understanding when that date comes around. As long as we are open to accepting or seeing the “why” if it ever shows itself, then we are on the right path. Sometimes we don’t get to know “why”. What matters is what we do to protect ourselves, care for ourselves, and be kind.
Going to treatment soon, and then tonight, my mother in law is having us over for a birthday celebration for me. God Bless my husband and his family. They truly do love me – in spite of what I think of myself some of the time.
Until next week………
KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!