Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, December 27, 2012

#2013Countdown: What were your lowest points this year? Why?

This prompt is a doosie. I find myself retracting from it because sharing my low points becomes instantly and intimately personal. But, in the vein of developing this blog and my writing, I'm going to participate.

Easily, the lowest point of 2012 for me was being laid off from my job. I had been with the company over seven years, and I had been in my current position for just over two years. I adored the 'family' I had built there, and I had become so comfortable. I had also worked my way up and built something of my dream working scenario: I had a great, trust relationship with my boss; I was working on projects that excited me and used my skills; I had total flexibility in my schedule and working location (I worked from my couch most days); and I had great benefits, including a whopping seven weeks of vacation time.

I can't say the news was a shock, but it was surprising nonetheless. I thought maybe my position was valuable enough to save me, but no one was safe. That said, the shock of the whole situation was how I handled it. I have never been the most positive person, and I never handled change well AT ALL. Yet, I rolled with this, and, c'mon, this is a huge life change. I accepted it, however. I never placed blame, if anything, I was grateful. It didn't take a lot of effort on my part to see the positive and commit to moving on and growing.

BUT... That's not to say it was easy. Almost three months went by before I started really struggling with negative feelings. I still didn't blame myself or my employer for my situation. I wasn't angry or bitter. I still knew that this would ultimately be a good thing, but I found myself having a hard time seeing the forest while mired in the trees. I did get depressed. Once the weather turned, and I could no longer easily run outside or head to the beach, I withdrew. I stopped seeing a lot of my friends -- I was afraid of spending money on going out. I lost all structure in my days; I stayed up late and night and slept in far later than I had in years. I blankly stared at daytime television. Sure, I was still looking for jobs everyday and sending out resumes, but several rejections had me questioning if I was really cut out for what I was doing. I questioned my professional value. I considered giving up. I became stressed to an unhealthy level about money and my future, and this impacted my relationships. It was definitely a deep low.

At the same time, I was having an increasingly hard time in my romantic relationship, and nothing I did seemed to help. This only contributed to my stress and questioning of worth. I admit I lost sight of who I was at the lowest of the low.

It was hard to 'keep the faith' as they say, and I considered giving up. I saw myself going back to a retail job and living a miserable, lonely existence. (Yes, I have an over-active imagination, for better or for worse.) Thankfully, none of this happened, and things turned around at the perfect time.

Those four months of unemployment were the best and worst time of my 2012. It was never an even keel, and it was definitely a growing experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

It's hard to talk about the low times; no one likes to hear about the sadness and the pain. Let's talk about it though: What were your lowest points of 2012 and why? I'll even add my own question: How did you overcome? What did you learn?

No comments: