7 September 2020, sometime in the middle of the godforsaken night…
“Oh God, I am never going to be able to leave this bed and walk again. I’ve been put on unpaid sick leave, my boss hates me and I am never going to walk again. I’ll never be able to finally resign and say fuck you to this energy sucking job. That means I’ll be broke, homeless, never travel again, never meet the father of my kids or ever have them. I’m nearly 35, trying to restart my life and I am going to die alone and really, what the fuck is the point of living anyway…”
Kids, the national lock down had seen me have a couple of breakdowns, most of which I shook off after a week and were helped by two hour- long phone calls with your aunt Lutfia, thousands of texts with your Wyrd godparents Leo and Tendai and your Nan’s epic cooking but fuck it, that endless night in September had me beat and was the first time in a very long time that I seriously considered just ending it all.
I scared myself.
I still don’t know how exactly I made it through the night but, to quote Two-Face:
I’d learnt from my previous depressive episodes: reaching out and letting the people who love you know you’re struggling and asking for help is the first step so that’s what I did. I told Leo and Tendai how bad it had gotten the night before and what was fucking me up big time.
A problem shared is a problem halved (or split in three in this case) and together, we worked on a plan on how to get me out of at least some of the shit I was in while I was on my six week forced unpaid sick leave.
Starting with …
A new job:
Gods, if I had to tell you the amount of jobs I applied for, the number of online interviews I attended and the hours and hours of freelance work pitches I did!
I hustled so hard in that month and a half at home and it paid off. Besides scoring a few freelance gigs and interviews in September and October and being reintroduced to my damn fine self (talking about my past achievements and career highlights really helped to remind me that I was incredible LONG before I’d become a mountain rock star and I was capable of everything and more that my nemesis had made me feel I was failing at); I clinched a really cool new role in a totally different sector.
I wasn’t going to be homeless or starve (at least not for another three months anyway) and if I was smart about it, I could travel again when the lock down and pandemic ended.
Speaking up for myself:
Even before securing a new gig, I was determined to resign from my current awe-inspiring role and not allow the bully, who had been making my life and injury recovery a living hell for 7 months, to dim my fucking light anymore. Enough was fucking enough!
But, oh, that sweet, sweet moment of justice, gratification and vengeance when I stopped her ,mid-rant about “the way things were going to work from now on” with my “I have a new job so I am resigning!” declaration…
The look on her face and the absolutely incredible feelings of relief, courage and closure flowing through my body were more than fucking worth it.
While I had been slowly transforming into a female Howard Hughes in lock down and the injury had extended my couch life by a couple of months, I realised I did have to get out and about if I was going to socialize again. That meant saying yes to invitations from friends, occasionally venturing further than my backyard and agreeing to activities outside of my comfort zone.
2020 had forced everyone to hit the pause button on their lives but I was SO done waiting! Let’s do this, Baby!