Most of you have figured out by now that I’m a pretty open book. Sometimes I find myself thinking “No one wants to hear about this stuff….this is the stuff we don’t like talking about.” But you know what? That’s why I write. That’s why I blog…to be present in my life with myself, and just in case there’s that one person that can read my rambling and think “YES. Me TOO.”
I spent the first half of my life overly concerned with the perceptions others had of me. I would literally lay awake in bed at night agonizing over what others were going to say to me the next day, or what I assumed they were thinking of me. We’ve talked about this before, haven’t we? Moreover me and that pesky Adversity thing? We go waaaay back.
The most important thing is that I learned how to bounce back. Someone says something nasty about you? Ok! If it isn’t true, you just bounce back and let them hate. You’re having a tough time with work/school/family and you’re feeling down? Ok! You got this-make necessary adjustments and bounce back! Seems like its one of those things that is impossible…until you start doing it.
Over the past year, I’ve realized that I’m having an unusually hard time bouncing back. Last year around the holidays, a really uncomfortable situation unfolded at work for me. I’m a person who tries to make the most of being at work, and generally get along with everyone. So when I have to be the one to make waves and speak up when I feel something is wrong/inappropriate, it’s taken a lot of time and consideration for me to do! So imagine my surprise when it turned into an utter fiasco. Constantly being asked questions about the situation, tracking each and every interaction in my phone for a “timeline” of “evidence,” all to result in essentially being told “Boys will be boys!” and “Be very straightforward with them!” (Uh, hi! Have we met? I have NO issues being straightforward, kthanxbye). And then what did they do? Virtually nothing.
So now, I’m facing a few different disappointments. 1) What did I ever do to lend myself as someone who can’t be believed about something so serious, especially when I’m not one to face discipline or drama work? 2) DID HE JUST SAY “BOYS WILL BE BOYS” IN 2018??? TO MY FACE?!??!!
3) Why am I, once again, so bothered by this notion that they don’t respect/believe me enough to do something about this? My formal complaint was actually a catalyst for other people speaking up (but of course, they hit us with the too little, too late, “should have filed a report” thing), and I left each sit-down thinking “I kept meticulous track of these incidents and gave details and stuck to the facts. Everything will be ok.” But I was incorrect. And I was utterly hurt and disappointed.
So now, I face a dilemma everyone eventually does: Do I let my pride and anger and hurt dictate my next move and say “Screw y’all, I’m out!!!!”? Or do I “act like an adult” and be more practical? Bills to pay, plans on the calendar…I need my paycheck as much as the next person.
I stayed. And realized I was having the hardest time getting up to go to work if I knew this person would be there. On two occasions, I worked with this person and broke out in hives. Years of working with health professionals have taught me that the body will let you know what it needs, but damn! I would get teary-eyed when I’d be pulled in the office to go over updates or when I reported a new incident with this person (because don’t EVER tell me there isn’t enough documentation-you’ll get what you asked for). Some nights, I called out sick, preferring to spend my annual leave over spending 12 hours in the building with the guy. This feeling, this hurt and disappointment….it took over everything.
And I kept waiting for the bounce-back. Kept dragging myself into work and trying to work through it. Kept being civil and doing what I could to make sure nobody could say I was being dramatic or salty after all was said and done (read: basically nothing was done), and it never came. And here I am, 9 months later, and although this person recently left on their own accord, I’m still here, and I still struggle to find the same passion for what I do. Or maybe just for where I do it.
I’d lay in bed way past the point of being tired, but couldn’t sleep. I’d feel the longing to be back on my walks outdoors, but just wouldn’t let myself go. I’d feel all this sadness and rage and restlessness making itself at home in my body, making itself known through aches and pains and tension, and couldn’t bring myself to go see my Chiropractor (who can see right through me, because my body never lies to her on that damn table). I’d get back to those old Binge Eating Disorder coping mechanisms and mask my feelings with trips to 7-11 and ridiculous amounts of candy or egg-less cookie dough, and then stay awake again because guilt doesn’t make a good bed mate
So many good things happened, meanwhile. Two countries visited, a proposal from the man I love, my mom moved back to California, I re-launched and re-branded my blog…this couldn’t be Depression? People with “The D Word” don’t have good things happening too, right (insert eye roll here)?
I’m not in a hurry to leave this earth. I have a job, a car, a roof over my head, food to eat, and even extra money to go buy shit at 7-11 to sit by myself and eat more than I want to, so it can’t be all bad, right? WRONG.
I strive to be a solution-oriented person, and the solutions may seem to be obvious: Get a job at another agency. Maybe just go into a new field? But the intricacies are there-losing seniority and starting at the bottom of the barrel again. Starting a new job when we are just finally starting to get into our groove and have a wedding to plan…there’s a lot to consider.
I decided to go back to therapy (I’m that asshole that goes to a couple of sessions and thinks “Cool, we are good now!”), I’ve been investing more time and effort into this blog, my other true passion, and trying to weigh out my options in terms of branching out in the future as a full-time Blogger. Others suggested I look into Life Coaching (which seems hilarious ay this particular juncture in my own life), and the Universe randomly connected me with someone who not only helped me elevate Curves and a Carry On, but also happens to be a Life Coach herself and she gave me info for the program she attended!
The tunnel is long, but I see the light at the end of it. It’s just a little dim, and I’m still a little sad. But I am so grateful to be in a place where I can acknowledge that, work to process it (even if its taking forever), and know to reach out for help when I need it. Sometimes I have to look past my ability to juggle a lot of adversity and emotions, and take care of myself.
So maybe I’m not ok. But that’s ok.
*I’m not a doctor or mental health pro, so I only know what works for me and how I process these emotions. If you’re in need of assistance, be sure to consult a physician. Also, you can use the below resources if you find yourself in need!**
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255