I expected this blog to be short-lived. In fact, I almost deleted the whole thing a couple of months ago. At this point, I am so grateful that I logged this journey through the hell of a bad job and the worst bout of depression I’ve ever had.
I actually think from time to time “Oh, it wasn’t that bad.” If I read any random post from the last year, I can see that it was, indeed, that bad. A person might wonder what value that has, but it helps me tremendously to realize that I am not exaggerating the severity of the depression, or the severity of the abusive climate I have been in. It has been difficult.
God has been so very good to me. He has gotten me through each and every day. He has provided a way out that I never saw coming. All with impeccable timing.
If this new/old job had been presented to me a year ago, I would have turned it down. I still had the illusion that my career trend needed to be upward. When it almost ended, and I realized how relieved I was, I realized that I may have gotten as far, or further, than I ever needed – career-wise. I am not meant to be in the ivory tower with all those folks. I am happy to be with regular workers working with real patients – real people with names we actually care about individually. Not just collectively, the great abstract, “the patients.” No, we know these men and women. They are real.
My pride has been decimated. Although it was terrible, and the treatment was not right or justified, my pride probably needed trimming a bit. I will certainly bring a different attitude to the workplace than I had before. Happy to be a worker among workers, happy to be where I am, and not dreaming to be somewhere else. I’ve been “somewhere else,” and it nearly killed me.
Yesterday I attended a party where a long time friend was celebrating 30 years of sobriety. It was lovely. Sitting outdoors on a warm May afternoon. Her husband had supplied the food. When I got there I was starving and was confronted with a choice of ribs, barbequed beef, or barbequed chicken. There were a couple of dried up beans on the bottom of a dish. And for a vegetable? Tortilla chips. I broke down and had a piece of chicken. Then instead of going to Mass as I had planned, I ran home in horrible stomach pain.
So, this morning I went to a meeting at 7:30 and Mass at 10:30. It was a revelation to me. I invariably go to Mass either on Saturday evening or early Sunday morning – never after 8 a.m. Amazing to be at this Mass with young families, a full choir, and a leisurely pace. No other Masses followed, so we had Pentecost Sunday at a pace worthy of Pentecost Sunday. We were dressed in our red, interesting to see the variations. There is a shade of red-orange I call “Pentecost Red,” and whenever I see it, I buy it. I love it, and I love to wear it on Pentecost and Palm Sunday.
As I got to Mass and lit a candle, I wondered why it is that I always try to “squeeze” Mass into Saturday night or early Sunday morning. It often causes me anxiety and rushing all over the place. I was “forced” to go to this later Mass today and found that I loved it. Why can’t I consider Mass the central part of my Sunday? And try to rest for the remainder of the day. I might actually feel better if I did that. We’ll see.
I want to thank anyone who has stuck with me for the last year as I have logged my daily journey. It can’t have been fun to read. It certainly wasn’t fun to write most of it. But in posting it here, I frequently found that I was not alone. That is the most important thing of all.