More Than Just a Job...


I can't believe it's been three months since I last wrote. Although, it looks like a pattern. It was three months between the last two blogs as well.

As always, there's plenty of fodder, just little time. Or desire.

I'm still single (after nearly two years), got a puppy, got a new job, lost an ex-husband... a man I was still close with, Who I loved more than all the others. And I have loved many. But I can't speak of that, still.
Only one ever came close to him. The last serious one. And I thought he may have been the "one who got away." Turns out I was wrong.

Anyway...

It's unusual for me to lose interest in writing, even if only for a couple months. Writing and singing are the two things that are steadfast passions. Unlike most everything else that I pick up and put down, eventually, or sooner than later. Hobbies, habits, jobs, pets, homes, relationships...

The new job isn't something I imagine being on my pick-up-put-down list. I get paid to create content for social media, newsletters, flyers, website material... Sometimes I pinch myself. I can't believe I finally landed a job doing what I've wanted to do for so very long. It might not pay as much as I'd like, but I'm making enough to comfortably pay my bills (and to support my flight of obsessive hobbies and habits). And honestly, the rest makes it worth it…

It is sometimes stressful, like any job. I'm always busy, there are always projects to work on. Often many at once, all with fast-approaching deadlines. And even though I am designing, my creativity is a bit stunted, simply due to the nature of the business. It is a nonprofit, state-contracted adoption and foster organization, "A Family for ME." 

But there are so many perks... I am the only one in the office 90% of the time (since COVID, no one across the state has really gone back to work in-office). There are no hovering micro-managers, I make my own hours, I work from home when I want... it's almost kind of perfect. Not to mention, the mission. Working for an organization that makes a difference in the world is pretty amazing. More specifically, in a child's world. And that's really something. 

And there's this one other thing that makes it really awesome. A story I haven't told anyone. But since I'm always so transparent when I'm blogging (much to the dismay of all three of my ex-husbands), I'll tell it now. 

It was the week before Christmas, and after two interviews and accepting the job offer, I was on top of the world. I was consumed with giddiness. The year-long jobless dry spell was over, AND the job was something I actually wanted to be doing, the kind of job I'd been gunning for, for such a long time. I was insanely happy.

That was Thursday.

On Friday morning, I woke in a panic. A debilitating, paralyzing panic. And that was the start of a weekend-long nervous breakdown (as my shrink described it).

Yes, I have a shrink. And certain "conditions" that I am medicated for in order to make life manageable... But I've never really gone crazy.

I called her ("the shrink") Friday morning, literally losing it. I was yelling and sobbing and insanely pacing the house, and I couldn't breathe through it all. It was the most awful thing I've felt. I'd never experienced something like that before. And I was in shock. I'm usually quite in control. But I had lost it, any hope of control, not even a shred.

She did her best to talk me off the ledge, asked me if I needed to be hospitalized... what?? Hell to the No. She assured me that she would be available 'round the clock, told me to keep 911 handy, and prescribed a sedative.

I managed to drive myself to the pharmacy, but I imagine I definitely looked the part of crazy when I got there.

The sedative got me through most of Saturday, Christmas day. When I felt the break closing in, I went to the cupboard for another. Or went to the bathroom to lose it a little to release some of the pressure. Christmas was an all-day family affair, and it really was lovely. Aside from trying to remain in control all day. It was exhausting.

At nearly 9 o'clock, everyone but mom had left. Halfway out the door, she said, "Now go get some rest, you're going to need it for your new job on Monday." And that was the moment the sedatives failed me and I gave in to the crazy. Again.
I clearly remember the look on her face. One foot in the house, one foot on the porch, her jaw dropping in sync with her bags full of Christmas goodies.

She sat at the table with me and listened while I tried to speak, more yelling and sobbing, repeating a cycle of getting up and pacing, and sitting back down and bouncing my feet on the floor, getting back up and pacing... rinse, wash, repeat. More yelling, more sobbing. 
And I'm sure she'll clearly remember my face, too. I could feel the look on my face. Terror, desperation, fury, shame... an angry, warped swirling of crazy on my face. I could feel it.
She, too eventually talked me off the ledge, at least a little. I don't know how much time passed. But eventually, she felt it was safe enough to leave me alone.

And after hours of that continuing, and two more sedatives washed down with Bailey's, I finally exhausted myself enough to sleep.

Sunday was more of the same.

Sunday evening, I wrote an email to the two women that hired me. I didn't know what else to say, so I told the truth. I vaguely explained my unexplainable reaction. I was shocked at myself, ashamed. I felt so fortunate for the opportunity and so grateful for them offering it to me, but I just couldn't accept the job. 

The rest of the night I spent sobbing. In relief, and in shame.

I slept soundly. So soundly I didn't hear my phone ring in the morning. I woke to a voicemail from one of the women, the one who would become my supervisor. She said she had something she wanted to talk to me about. I almost didn't return her call, I was so embarrassed.

She and the other supervisor had discussed things. She thanked me for my email, for being so honest and transparent. That was part of the reason they were calling me back. She suggested we start out slowly, maybe 20 hours a week or so, for the first few months if need be. Take the pressure off, and let me slowly ease into it. 

WHAT??? Really??? I was stunned. I imagine my jaw dropped as far as my mother's had. If not even farther.

And, long story short (it really was long, wasn't it... sorry), here I am, the "marketing and communications specialist" for A Family for ME. 

Because of a weekend-long nervous breakdown, because of my nature of being an over-sharer, because of a woman and a company that appreciated my transparency, understood my "condition(s)," and recognized my value.

Now, if only I had someone, a life partner, to share all of this with (other than Blaze and the new puppy, Oscar), that would be really cool. 

Regardless, I'm still pretty damn grateful for this.

Life might not be good, but it's okay. And that's as close to positivity as you'll get from me.  :)

Unwell