I’m reminded of lyrics from one of my favorite songs:
“I’m not quite what I thought I was, but, then again, I may have been more…”
Almost a year ago, each and every aspect of my life not only changed, but changed dramatically. There is not one part of me that wasn’t completely and totally upheaved, rearranged, and left in a big heaping mess.
Some of this was my own doing.
Like my former job.
I had been struggling in that position for some time, and I simply couldn’t do it anymore. Once upon a time, when I did that job, I was able to feel like I was genuinely helping people. Policy changes took that feeling away from me and, subsequently, sucked the joy out of the job for me. It got to the point where I had a fucking FMLA case on file for the anxiety attacks I would have in the middle of the day while I was working. Part of me feels infinitely grateful that this was available to me, but, at the end of the day, I really had to stop and ask myself “should I need FMLA time and drugs in order to be able to cope with my job?” That answer simply had to be a resounding “no.”
So, I left a job I had for the better part of my adult life. I left good benefits, a lot of paid vacation time, great wages, and, more importantly, people I adored. I left for my sanity. That had to be more important.
Some of this was a joint effort.
My long term relationship ended. I don’t want to say too much about that because there are people out there who do not deserve to have this information. All it’s really necessary to say is that this devastated me for many reasons.
Never before had I been forced to walk away while I still was very much in love with someone.
Addiction is a bitch, and that bitch certainly took her toll. In an effort to try not to be an enabler, I stepped back. I thought I was doing that new-agey thing and “holding space” for my love (some of you know what that means. For those who don’t, Google is your friend). I thought I was loving without condition. I thought I was being there without being a nag, preachy, or domineering.
You can say “I’m here for you,” until you’re blue in the face, and none of it means anything if no asking is going on.
All of this was met with accusations of neglect and not caring.
Well… it’s done. Nothing I can do about it now but learn, grow, and move on.
I’m not talking about the parts that piss me off the absolute most about all of this. If you simply HAVE to know, ask. If I feel like talking about it, I’ll tell you. If I tell you as kindly as I can that it isn’t any of your business, try not to let that get you down.
So… Some of these things, I’ve handled pretty goddamn well if I do say so myself. It’s only a year later, and I feel like I can cope, and I feel like I can do better and BE better.
During this process, though, did any of you know I legitimately had a nervous breakdown? No? Well, that’s good. That’s kind of between me and my doctor, but you know, this normal reaction to everygoddamnthing about my life being thrown in a blender, tossed all around, and left in a fucking dirty, nasty heap for me to sort, rearrange, and clean up all on my own (I’m talking about my own, personal, internal and figurative mess) has cost me some relationships I used to value.
I’m sure I’ve let some people down. I’m sure this particular snapshot they’ve gotten to see of me and my life leads them to think I’m not what they thought I was. Well, guess what? This has led me to see that they aren’t what I thought they were, either. There are some “hey kettle” conversations looming that are far overdue.
Diminished in one another’s eyes is okay, but now it’s time to move on, and it’s also of value to recall, at pertinent times, who kicked me when I was down. Not in a grudge kind of way, but in that healthy way of knowing with whom I can and can not extend myself in any kind of meaningful way.
Yes, life has brought me a lot of changes this year. I’m not at the point, yet, where I’m thankful for any of the upheaval, but I’m getting there. Every day, I feel it.
Whether or not you see it, well, that’s on you.