Rebounds, Meltdowns, and Grief

Is there such a thing as a rebound job?  Like when you are dating someone and then break up, the next relationship is supposed to be your rebound relationship.  It’s typically not going to go anywhere.  It’s just there to act as a springboard to get you back into the world of dating new people.  Does that happen with work also?

2 months ago I found myself unemployed after spending 7 years in a committed relationship with a company, and 20 years in that particular field.  Last week I went back to work in a completely different environment.  It was a large office.  It was in the medical field.  Just everything was different.  And my anxiety shot through the roof.  Today I melted down and left.  I think I knew from the get-go that this job wasn’t going to be right for me, but a friend recommended me to the hiring manager and I didn’t want to disappoint her.  Too late now!

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So, I ask again, is there such a thing as a rebound job?  I’ve popped the cherry on working in a different profession.  I’ve put a bit of employment distance between me and my former career.  Is it alright to move forward now?

I’ll be honest about how I’m feeling right now.  It may come off as whining, but that is not how I intend it, so we’ll see what happens.

Right now I am beating myself up pretty badly.  Right now I am feeling useless and worthless and all the default negative thoughts that I always have.  Right now I am jumping to worst-case scenarios in the event that I don’t find a job.  Will be be able to pay the bills?  Will we be able to pay the rent?  How will we pay for Nathan’s meds?  How will be buy groceries?  Right now I jut want to hide.  Two are my friends has each texted me several times within the past couple of hours and I can’t bring myself to respond to them because I don’t want to talk.  I just want to be invisible and sad for a while.

I was thinking about something yesterday . . . the grief process regarding my former career.  I don’t think I have grieved the loss of that career yet.  Up until now my unemployment has been taken up with searching for a new job, commitments to church, and other distractions.  I have not taken time to actually grieve my former life.  I think that started to come to a head last week when I tried going back to work at a new job.  Putting on a uniform and sitting training forced me to realize that my unemployment was not a pleasant vacation, a sabbatical, or even a leave of absence.  The career I sought single-mindedly from the age of 14 is over.  28 years.

It’s been two months since I was fired and I have not cried.  I have not gotten angry.  I have not felt anything.  Until the last few days.  Getting fired, for me, felt like nothing more than going to the grocery store to pick up toilet paper.  Maybe some part of me held out hope that my career wasn’t over.  If you are familiar with any recovery program then you know that feeling is called denial.  Today it all came to a head and in the middle of a small room, surrounded by 5 other women, I had a meltdown and ran away.

Do I have a place in the world beyond my former career?

Do I have a purpose?

Do I have any worth?

Who am I if I am not who I used to be?

Until next time . . .

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