When I quit the Terrible Job in 2013, I could not imagine that a day would ever come when I would actually feel good enough to want to celebrate my freedom from that “prison” of a workplace.
At the time, I was devastated. I count the loss of a good-paying job at the age of 51 (almost 52) as one of the lowest moments in my life. That day I was completely overwhelmed with feelings of fear, regret, shame, loss, abandonment and betrayal. I knew that if I stayed there it could very well be the death of me. But giving up and leaving that place and those people felt only a teeny weeny bit better.
As I look back over the past many months, I feel proud that I listened to my gut and followed my instincts about the right way to heal. My instincts have proven to be right. I am getting better. My mental and emotional illness is steadily receding. The real “me” is slowly re-emerging. There is much more work to do. But now it actually feels do-able.
The one year anniversary felt nothing like this. In fact, I felt bad that it had been a whole year and there was so little improvement. Anxiety ruled every single day. Sleep was my best friend. It seemed hopeless. I mean, a whole year!!!! That’s a long time. I’ll NEVER feel good again. I’ll NEVER want to do things or be with people or accomplish anything. My life will ALWAYS suck.
How pleased I am to be wrong! It is not hopeless. I will want to do things again and be with people and accomplish things. My life will not suck after all and now I know this.
My two year anniversary celebration will involve restaurant food, permission to boast, and some kind of reasonably priced gift. I checked in with Hallmark for inspiration and learned that the modern gift for a second wedding anniversary is china.
Yes, I know this isn’t a wedding anniversary but to me it is nearly as important. Quitting the Terrible Job was a similarly life-changing event. Anyway… since china is out of the question, I will attempt to inspire myself with the traditional gift–cotton–which should be challenging. The actual day is about six weeks away so there is plenty of time to come up with something appropriately special. No pressure!
I am really liking this new way of feeling.