Saturday, March 31, 2012

An explanation.

I feel like one is owed to you, readers, for my absenteeism and generally bad attitude last week. It’s a long story, and frankly, I don’t blame any of you for skipping to the last couple of paragraphs and getting on to your life. But for anyone who’s wondering just what has me so freaked out lately, well, here it is.

First, you should know that I’m prone to anxiety/depression issues. I won’t go into the nitty gritty (because really, who wants to read about 10 years of mild-to-moderate mental issues?), but suffice to say that this history of being prone to depression and panic attacks is the root of my problems of late.

Fast-forward to this January. I interviewed for a new job and, within the same week, was verbally offered the position. It was such fantastic news; I was completely beside myself. I was told that it could be anywhere from four to six weeks before the hiring process was complete. I told my current boss right away, because I hated the thought of abandoning her without enough notice or time to find a replacement, particularly because this happens to be our busiest time of year and my leaving would make her job a lot harder.

Fast-forward again, to present day. To summarize a complicated series of events, I’m still waiting for the hiring process at the new job to be finalized. The higher-ups at my current job, thinking that time was limited, found my replacement. She starts soon. Obviously, there’s no need for two people in my position, so I won’t be staying at my current job after the new hire starts.

If you’ve been reading VM for some time, you’ll know that I’m on a pretty strict Financial Diet, which requires meticulous financial planning and smart spending. Faced with the prospect of possibly going a week or two or more without a job (until the hiring process at the new place is complete), I’ve been understandably stressed out. And when I get stressed, I have panic attacks. And when I need to suppress those (say, all day every day when I’m at work), I get exhausted. And depressed. Which causes more anxiety and becomes a loop of crazy. Hence, the past week.

So yesterday, I sat down and gave myself a stern talking-to. I told myself that I could sit here and wallow in self-pity and regret the fact that I mentioned leaving far earlier than I ever should have. I could let my old nemesis consume me. I could stay at home and cry and feel bad for myself. I could make multiple trips to the bathroom each day just to take deep breaths and wipe away tears.


I could do something about it. I could take measures to make sure my bills get paid (thanks, Kate, for getting me in touch with the temp agency!) during the interim period. I could realize that this is the way things are, and feeling sad or anxious won’t do a thing to change the situation. I could accept the consequences of my actions, learn from them, and move on.

The truth is, sinking into depression is easy. Letting go and allowing myself to be consumed by negativity is as simple as sitting on the couch and watching TV until my brain is mush and I go to bed before realizing that I forgot to eat dinner. But being positive? That takes a hell of a lot of work. But as they say, nothing worth having comes easily. I deserve happiness, even if I have to really work to get it.

And starting now, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to trust that things will work out. I’m going to accept that just because one thing isn’t going the way I thought it would, doesn’t mean that everything is turning to crap. I'm going to remember that I’m incredibly lucky. I have an amazing and supportive boyfriend. Helpful and caring friends. Parents who always have an ear for listening and kind words of encouragement. Siblings who can always, always make me smile. And a personal determination to rise above this muck and make the most of every situation I’m handed.

Starting now, I’m going to be positive. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be fine.


  1. Aw Emma, that really really sucks. Being in a situation that you can't really control like this is super hard. But I think you're right - if you take on a positive attitude, things always work out for the best. Also, you can't blame yourself for telling your superiors too early about the job change - you told them based on what your new company had told you... 4-6 weeks. So it's not your fault if it's taken longer and I think you did the right thing by letting them know early. Better that than too late. :)

  2. Good for you. Being strong in the face of adversity is a skill we can develop -- and, like any muscle, it gets bigger with practice.

    We all struggle with anxiety; the difference is merely degree. So I readily understand your plight and have a reservoir of sympathy for it. Hang in there. Do your best. And everything will turn out okay.

  3. oh friend, I am so proud of you! What a wonderful post, so honest, so open and so CLEAR. By writing this and sharing this you have set yourself up for success. I felt your tiredness, your freakingoutness and your view of the easy give up road, and I commend you standing ovation style for sticking to your guns and choosing happiness because damn straight you deserve it! SO proud of you! If there is ANYTHING i can do to help, even from up here in frigid Ontario you let me know! Lots of hugs and love friend! xo

  4. It can be so easy to get sucked into that 'everything is terrible' hole. I'm sure you'll be back on your feet soon enough! Congrats on the new job! Positive thinking becomes much more habitual and much less work the more you do it I think.
    Just think of your days off less as 'unemployment' and more as 'stay-cation' ;)


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