Gonna stay true to form here folks and just open a vein and start writing.
Last week I accepted a position back in the medical field that I absolutely did not want to take. The only reason I went in for the interview was because one of my best friends told me they needed someone and it would be a chance to work with her again. My friend Stacy and I have one of the best working relationships and friendships on the planet. Not only do we have the same work ethic but there is no ego, we have been each other’s bosses at one time or another and co-workers at one time or another and never has our own ego or bullshit gotten in the way of doing a stellar job for whoever we were working for at the time. So a chance to work again with my bff and have a steady, reliable income coming in while I sort out this writing business…it was appealing. Sorta.
During the interview I knew I was going to land the job and I began to have a visceral reaction to it. I felt anxious. My palms were sweating, I could feel a trickle of sweat rolling down my lower back. I started to feel an overwhelming sense of nausea and to be honest I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.
When it was over I sat in my car and cried. What was I doing? Was I giving up on my dream? Why was I considering going back into the medical field? Was this going to be my life again? A 7 to 5 , 10 hour a day 5 day a week job?
Of course later I received a call, then an email offering me the position and numb, I accepted. I would start the following week on Wednesday. From that point forward I was consumed with depression. I felt like I was failing, going backwards out of practicality and I hated myself. I spent the following days either crying in bed, crying in the shower, crying in my car or crying at the beach.
I didn’t think it was possible to feel as low as I felt. Most people would look at that and think very rationally and say “hey, you were offered a job right off the bat doing something you know you do well and making a paycheck, there are worse things”
and those people would be right to think that way, but that is not the way that my brain processes things…well actually it does, but I ignore the rational and my brain goes into overdrive and to put it blunt, I felt like a caged wild animal.
I felt the creativity draining from every tear I spilled and finally on Monday I completely shut down. Starting day was getting closer and I lost it. I knew I was going to have to go purchase scrubs again to work in the OR and a stethoscope and I kept putting it off, waiting until the last day to do it. On Monday I cried for hours and couldn’t keep the anxiety away. I went to the ocean which is where I always go when I am overwhelmed and I sat in the pouring rain by myself on an empty beach and cried for about 4 hours. After picking myself up and returning home I spent an additional few hours soaking in my bathtub, with candles and bubbles in hopes that it would make me feel better and I cried because what I wanted to do was rear back, open my mouth and let the blood curling scream that was trapped within…out…and I couldn’t bring myself to let the animal howl.
So I cried…and then decided to head back to the beach for some clarity or to be struck by lightening, or have a rogue wave come up and swallow me whole…anything. Nothing came to take me away from my pain and disappointment. Nothing came.
So home again and off to bed and prayed not to wake up and that didn’t happen either…when I woke Tuesday morning, I do what I always do…feed cat, feed dog…I looked at my rescue pitbull, my Juliet, my soulmate and said out loud
“If mommy takes this job, it will be the end of her. It will kill me”
I can’t explain to you how utterly conflicted I was about something seemingly so simple, except to say I felt pressure to take a practical job so I could pay my bills and look for something else while passing the time. But I knew…with my entire being that if I accepted less from myself that I would not survive that choice.
It’s a terrifying place to be. It’s terrifying to know what your limitations are, what your mental stability or lack thereof is, to know the very thing that will break you and to be nudging your own self closer and closer to that choice so you can be “practical” and appease the people in your life.
It is terrifying to know that you are prepared to die. That the sadness that consumes you has finally won and you are no longer willing or able to battle it.
It. is. terrifying. I was as close to the edge as I could get and starting my decent into hell. And I was just fine with it and that is the absolute of my truth.
But it was exactly where my heart and mind were…until I received an email in the middle of the day…from the Dr’s office, essentially telling me that they were so sorry but the nurse I was to replace was starting to perform better than they expected and they needed to stick it out with her since they had already invested so much time in her training…so I would NOT be getting the job after all.
The relief I felt…there are no words. But I felt myself exhale for the first time in 2 days.
I feel that was the Universe and it’s divine intervention…saving me from myself…
making the choice for me because it knew I was incapable of saving myself…incapable of escaping a practicality that would have killed me, incapable of stepping back off that ledge.
I am being divinely guided….I have a purpose here. My voice…as fucked up as it is needs to be heard. I know I am not the only one struggling with these thoughts, these terrifying, unsettling thoughts. I know these thoughts are not easy for my friends and family to read but it is who I am. I struggle on a daily basis to fight these demons back and they aren’t going without a fight, they have teeth.
All I can do is be grateful that I have made it another day and that for now I am battered but alive. I just have to find my way back to living.