I have spent the better part of the 12 months in what some may call a paralyzed state. For the past year I have been unemployed and not by choice. I have been working since 16. I have been on my own since 16. I have been taking care of others since well about 6 years old. So this state of stillness for me has me feeling much like a snake coming out of its skin, however I could not see a purpose no matter how hard I tried.
See, the catalyst was losing my job. It wasn’t the job of my dreams by any means, but it was a job, my one source of income, sustenance and at the time, purpose. They way in which I lost this job was also in it of itself was shocking, mind-blowing, and dishonorable (on my employers end). So there was that, and I’ve been through some shit in my life so after the preliminary shock, in the words of Ariana Grande “Thank you, next”. Also a relationship I had ended too, so there was also that grand timing. It was pouring.
I decided I was going to take this opportunity to do some things I wouldn’t have had the chance to do. I got myself trained and certified in Reiki, I went on my first trip with my little sister to Belize just to be in nature, among communities and disconnect form the crazy. I even started this very blog during that time. I started working on an entrepreneurial venture for myself. I was I-N-S-P-I-R-E-D, until I wasn’t.
I was also interviewing, and historically I’ve gotten about 80% of the jobs I’ve applied for. This time it was different. Not only was I not getting call backs for positions I was beyond qualified for, I wasn’t landing the ones I was interviewing for. It started to feel like I was cursed, someone or something was out to get me. Thinking back now, those words started coming out of my mouth quite often, I. Was. Cursed.
For those of you who follow my blog, you know I’m also a mother. Now my children aren’t babies, my youngest is 13, however not being in a place where I could provide for my children as I had my entire life, started to scare the shit out of me. They went to live with their dad for awhile and I had tons of people telling me this was OK. This is where I meant to be in this moment. I had taken care of many others and it was OK for me to take some time to care for me. That all made sense, for like a day. I am a MOTHER, a PROVIDER, someone who takes care of others. That is and has always been my deepest sense of self worth.
Slowly, without real awareness I began to sink into a depression. I made excuses to isolate myself from others, even my children. I made myself unavailable to friends asking to meet for coffee or dinner. I told my sisters I wasn’t in the mood to go over. I didn’t want to do anything for my birthday. I began drinking at least a bottle of wine a day. I was sinking and there were people in my life who made mention that I needed to get out, jump off my couch and out of the funk I was in, but I didn’t care. I had become consumed by the dread of waking up and the excitement of going to sleep. That had become my life’s purpose.
Speaking of life purpose, that was eating away at me like a rotting corpse. How could I possibly blow this time in my life? What people would give to have a year to figure shit out sans a nagging boss and demanding 9-5! How dare I! Especially as I have continuously declared to those in my life that I am a woman on a mission. That I live for transformation. That I am not leaving this planet without having a positive impact on humanity. Shit, I was failing, and I was failing hard.
The beat up in my head was continuous. There wasn’t a Netflix binge that could shut the voices up. If only I had done this, if only I had not done that, it was fucking excruciating. I started to avoid speaking to people because of the course, the same questions would inevitably arise “So what have you been up to”? Umm, well I’ve been thinking… a lot. I never did tell anyone what I was thinking though. I never shared how during the walks back from the store I imagined walking in front of a car. Or how when I cooked, I imagined accidentally cutting myself. Or how I would fall asleep wishing how nice it would be if I just didn’t wake up. At the time, those thoughts, those feelings felt so normal. In hindsight, I can feel the intense pain I was in and realized I have a pretty high tolerance for pain.
Now I can admit that I’ve had some minor fleeting thoughts at one time or another in my life… but not like this. I wanted this to end. In my mind, I was losing, I was a loser, nothing was working and it was all my fault. The feelings continued to intensify and I was spending so much time alone I knew I was going to be in trouble soon. I started casually dating, just to have something to put on my calendar, in the future. Of course, all the dates were at my place because at that point, I did not want to leave my house and not just because I didn’t want to bump into my landlord.
Around the 7 month mark I had received yet another thank you but we’ve decided to go with another applicant email. That was it. I couldn’t continue to bear the financial, emotional, existential pressure I was under and also putting others under. I had become my very worst fucking nightmare, someone else’s burden. I remember waking up that day and deciding that was it, I was done. If I could not build a life on mission, if I could not take care of others, I served zero purpose. I made a few attempts at cutting my wrists which proved more difficult than I had imagined, so I drank about three bottles of wine, mixed that with some Cognac and about 30 Xanax pills and went to drift peacefully off to forever sleep.
I don’t remember much after that, just my sisters seeing me stumbling into my kitchen to get more alcohol and speaking incoherently. She then took me to the hospital. The rest was a blur, I remember waking up restrained and thinking shit I couldn’t even get this right. There was that damn curse again. I was admitted to Psych and was there for approximately 9 days, those 9 days changed my life and not for the reasons you may be thinking.