As stated at great length in my previous post, life hasn’t been so good for the past six months. Though things are turning around for the better now, there are still the lingering effects. Anxiety still creeps in on a daily basis and strangely enough at moments where I should be at ease.
For example, today I started a new job. While I had manageable “first day of a new job” jitters, it wasn’t until I got home from work and sat on the couch that I began to feel on edge. There was nervousness in my chest. It felt heavy and constricting. An uneasy feeling was stretching down from my esophagus and into my stomach. Taking a full breath was difficult. I couldn’t tell you why I was feeling like this. I sat for an hour watching television hoping to distract myself, but I couldn’t help to think upon those feelings until I came upon the realization of the underlying cause: I’m fearful of losing my job again as I did back in July.
Even though deep down in the core of my being, I know my previous job terminated me through no fault of my own, the distress is still there. I’ve been “joking” about it since getting the new job offer, but it was merely an attempt at disguising the doubts. Saying things like “I won’t count my chickens before they hatch again” and “I won’t get too excited about this job until I get past the three-week mark” were saying my true feelings aloud but dismissing and internalizing them at the same time.
Over the last six months, I’ve done a ton of self-examination and soul searching to understand my ticks and triggers. Learning to cope with destructive feelings hasn’t been easy. Most of the time, I didn’t have much success. Losing my job again in July was hitting rock bottom. Feeling overwhelmed, I couldn’t stop sobbing. I was shattered and in pain. All those horrible thoughts about myself for the past six months seemed to be fulfilled.
I felt like a loser. I felt as if everyone else around me thought I was a loser. I felt as if I was a disappointment to those who I loved. I thought I was going to lose Mrs. Gravy because I couldn’t get my act together. I didn’t feel worthy of love.
Mrs. Gravy in her infinite wisdom and extreme patience consoled me through all the nonsense I spewed and rebuked every claim I made. No, I wasn’t a loser. It wasn’t my fault in January, and it wasn’t my fault in July. Everyone else around me didn’t think I was a loser. They knew what happened and didn’t blame me for it. They felt the pain with me and offered their support. I wasn’t a disappointment to those who I loved. Mrs. Gravy said she wouldn’t leave me. Then she asked me why I had such a negative perspective and I couldn’t answer her.
Allowing myself to fall into despair, I’d spent so much time dwelling on negativity, I ended up creating a narrative in my own mind which corrupted and twisted the positive forces in my life into another energy generating fear.
It was through this understanding that I realized I’d allowed forces beyond my control to envelope my mind and determine my self-worth. Living with the trauma of the past in the present and fearing the future, I wasn’t ever going to be able to pull myself out of the hole I’d crawled into.
And so I learned to let it all go…
(One more post tomorrow and I promise it’ll be positive!)