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A work in progress. Just not THAT work.


My work life has been spotty at best the past two years. My job at Company A (which I adored and would go back there in a heartbeat) got budgeted right out of existence. I was totally bowled over - never saw it coming.

That meant months on unemployment and serious financial pinching.

I was hired by Company B (alas, no bugle boy), an organization who's business plan was written by blind and deaf chimpanzees. It was unpleasant, in the way that diarrhea is unpleasant.

I was having some issues with the way things were done, and my understanding of processes that I had not been hired to do. My tenure there lasted 2 weeks. Good-bye.

Then, a round of interviews for a job with the local diocese. Sure, it wasn't what I was looking for but I could easily do the job.

Or so I thought.

My last two jobs have taught me something: my brain does not function the way it used to. Oh, I'm not saying I've got a serious medical condition having to do with my brain. No, it seems as if the trauma of the past two decades, along with depression, anxiety and the meds used to treat them have taken a toll.

You don't need to believe me, by the way. You can read many, many articles about this.

The best way I can explain it is that it's like being partially deaf, partially blind, and limp. With time and compensation, a person can certainly live a normal life by focusing on "work arounds." But there will always be circumstances that are difficult: a noisy and crowded party for instance.

I haven't figured out my work arounds. If my brain can still function in some ways, I need to figure out how. As I told my new therapist, "If this is who I am NOW, then what am I now capable of?"

I am not at all unhappy. The job I just left was literally going to give me a heart attack. By Sunday afternoons, I was getting sick to my stomach at the thought of having to go back to work. Walking into my office: it was a crap shoot as to whether or not I'd have a panic attack. I could not eat.

So, a week ago Sunday, I was at Mass. I told God: "Look something has to give. I'm going to have a heart attack. You know this is not working for anyone involved. Give me a break, God!"

In spectacular style, God came through. I walked into another performance last Monday morning. My boss went through the list of concerns (which I had memorized), and was once again agonizingly awful. Finally, as the review wrapped up, and my boss set the date for the next review, I asked to speak with her in private. (Yes, there were others present. Just in case I had a shred of dignity left.)

I said, "This is stupid. I'm not making improvements. You've been more than generous. But one more week won't make a difference. I would quit today, but I need unemployment."

She straightened up and said, "I'll fire you today, if that's what you want."

It was. I walked out of that building on a cloud. The weight of the world was off. For now, I'm happy to just be. I'll find my way.

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