It started about three weeks ago. I began feeling lost and overwhelmed with my job. I made the statement, “I hate doing…”, to a co-worker. That statement itself was not the real surprise, because I was clear from the start that I was not overly excited about taking on this particular job within the organisation that I work for. The surprising part is that I actually said it. I had come to a place where I felt the need to speak this out loud. That’s what made it real for me. This thought was no longer confined to the private walls of my mind. I had let it come out of my mouth in a conversation. It now hangs in the glaring light of day. You need to understand that I am so very grateful for the job I have. I can not begin to explain all the joys and proud moments I have been blessed with during my time in this organisation.
I work in the social services field. On a daily basis I get to interact with individuals that have encountered so many injustices in their lifetime. I get to sit across from some of the bravest individuals that walk the streets of my community. I am trusted to “hold a space” for them in their most vulnerable times. The sheer volume of experience they carry often overcomes the space. The stories they have to tell are so vast that one can easily drown in them if not careful.
I take pride in what I do, whether that be at work or on my own time. I believe that when you do something you should do it to the best of your ability. If you are going to do a half-ass a job, just don’t do it.
So back to approximately three weeks ago. I all of a sudden felt like I was in the wrong place at work. I would have appointments with clients and just not feel like I was doing my job right. I started to look at the job like a chore rather than a pleasure. Then slowly day by day I started questioning my choices in life. Each day became harder and harder to face. It dawned on me that I was probably having a mid-life crisis! Of course I thought, that is what the problem is. I am just experiencing some boredom or some such thing.
Let me tell you, I thought I had nailed down then. However, pinning it on a mid-life crisis was not bringing me much comfort because up until that point I never believed that to be a real thing. At least it was something I could work with though, having a name for this insanity was better than it being a dark abyss. It gave me a place where I was unable to find a footing.
Up until a few weeks ago I was on fire! I could not believe how lucky I was to have a job that fulfilled me to what seemed an unnatural degree. How many people in life get to say they absolutely love their job? Unfortunately, I think that number is so tragically low.
Now I was two weeks into this crisis that had come at me out of the dark. I think I am working through it. I feel like I have had my little breakdown and am now on the up-swing. I think I can leave this sad state behind me. Boy was I wrong.
I am now three weeks into this free fall. That abyss I saw from a distance the prvious week is now all around me. I am lost in it. This makes me angry because I have worked so hard these past three years to trudge my way through the mud that would constantly threaten to suck me under. I do not even have a reason to be here again, at least that is what I think. This scares me because I now wonder if I have been holding on to false assurances that I am ok. I thought I was being proactive in building a strong foundation for myself. My life these past three years has been about discovering myself in the most authentic ways possible. So how can I be here? What have I overlooked or done wrong?Why was this not avoidable? I know this is not a mid-life crisis. It is a crisis of my mind and my spirit. What ever the heck that really means I do not know.
Now sitting at the table writing this, these words form in my mind,…”Vicky, yes, you are “there” again. But recall the last time you got lost, you were not able to find your way through the darkness for a very long time. So much self harm was done during those long dark walks. Look at it this time, you have been able to find a footing so much sooner. You have found your bearings in record time. Does this make it any less traumatic, no not right now, but it will speed up the healing time. Light will get in much quicker than it ever has”.
This sliver of light has broken through the darkness and it seems to be giving me some shred of reassurance that I am not in a complete tail spin. I do not know how long this confidence will last. I am unsure as to whether this is a sign that I need to change something in my life or that I am on the right path and all the work I have done is paying off. In this moment I believe I should make changes. What that looks like is not at all clear.