Sunday, February 24, 2019

A few weeks in the cyclone of the tornado...

What a few weeks it has been.  

I left my job, resigned without notice a couple of weeks ago.  The hardest thing I have ever done, but it had to be done.  The past two weeks have been full of discovery.  Some pleasant, some unpleasant, and some introspection.  There has been a lot of betrayal and malice that led to my resigning, there have been subsequent betrayals, and there are the ancillary betrayals...  But there have been the unexpected support from unexpected places, and that is what I focus on, not the people who, directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, fell a bit short.  I have cut out any social media feeds that would give me information about my old organization, directly or indirectly.  I wish them the best and much success.  I have moved on.

Shortly after I quit my job, (like three days after) my dear friend ended up in CCU on life support and initially, was not expected to live, and if so, she would most likely be an amputee as her legs were not getting sufficient blood flow, despite being on an ECMO protocol.  She is getting incrementally better, but it will be a LONG recovery for her.  When I heard the news, I sobbed.  I have every day that I can, and I will continue to do so.

I got away for five days and visited a southern state, and I needed that.  I was a hot mess and still so raw, not sleeping at all - and what I did not recognize initially as anxiety reared its head.  I had a series of panic attacks riding down, and things were okay the rest of the trip, but a couple of days later it was back.  (I know realize that many were prompted by folks talking about my former job generically, as I was clear to all parties that I did not want specifics or to speculate...) I did not sleep at all Monday night, and even when I was trying to eat I had to get up and move, and was feeling extremely claustrophobic.  That is why I did not recognize the feeling as panic attacks, as I attributed no emotion to them, I did not feel a sense of impending doom, and generally I am not prone to depression or anxiety.  Tuesday was full of feeling claustrophobic and I even had to put down my soup I was eating for lunch and walk around.  I decided that this could be a possibility, and I know that it is situational, and I know that exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant and anti-anxiety remedy.  I was finishing my cool-down after a run on the treadmill at the gym, and I had the mother of all panic attacks.  I left the gym quickly and driving seemed to help.   My neighbor stopped me to tell me he was moving, and he asked if I were on vacation.  I told him I had resigned, and he talked about a similar situation he experienced 15 years ago and about the depression and anxiety he faced, and to not let it impact me like it impacted him.  I felt another wave of claustrophobia coming on, so I excused myself and I ran in my place to get my insurance card and to call my doctor.  I could not make sense of the voicemail menu, so I decided to drive across the highway to his office.  By the time I got there, I was a sobbing mess.  Luckily he had an appointment cancel, and he could see me. I was prescribed a low dose of a SSRI daily, with the intent of weaning off in a month or so, and also a med for anxiety as needed.  I have done well, and the panic attacks are not happening now.  I consider that a win, because I would not have asked for help and would have just powered through at one time.  

Financially I am okay, and I have several months before I have jump back in.  I am looking now, but I have the luxury of being selective.  

I am setting structure to my days, exercising, doing things around my place, going to visit my friend in CCU, and going to a coffee shop and working.  I have a panel presentation next month, and I remain on a couple of boards.  I do most of my job hunting from the coffee shop and most of my applying from home in the evenings.  I plan on losing the 30 lbs that working 70-80 hours helped me gain.  

My cats are thriving, and I am reconnecting with friends that I have neglected for the last 18 months or better.  Tonight a friend asked what was different about me, that I looked rested, glowing, and like I had had a face lift.  I told her I had left my job, and she was happy for me.  The consensus of group I was out with was 'GOOD'.

I am about to embark on a new chapter, and it is exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  And my hoarding mother?  She is back to her repertoire of usual subjects.  The neighbor that is harassing her.  Poop.  Moles.  General paranoias.  I have ceased to be a focus since I am not discussing the specifics of what led me to quit my job, and am not telling her a whole lot of detail about anything.

Onward and upward...

Friday, February 8, 2019

She had a glimmer...

I think 2019 is my year for saying 'enough'.  It is not even 6 weeks in and I have set some strong boundaries with a few folks that needed it, and I resigned my position today, without notice, as things had devolved until I was in most untenable situation and was being treated in an hostile, unprofessional, and abusive manner.  I am sad because I love the agency, the people we serve, and my dedicated staff, but I could not stand one more moment.  

I finally shared with my hoarding mother about Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.  She was so angry, but supportive.  I was shocked.  She offered to let me stay at her home and acknowledged it was beyond her.  (I will pass... But appreciated the thought.)  Today was the day.  She then used things as a springboard to talk about work issues from 50 years ago...

At least there was a glimmer.  I have ugly cried all day, and I need to get myself together as a friend is picking me up to go to another friend's art showing.

Have a good weekend.