One of the best things I ever did for myself was quit my job. Ok, I’m not so far removed from it right now so it may turn out to be the worst thing I have ever done but in this moment I feel on top of the world compared to how I felt. There are so many stages of ‘what the fuck’ that I went through before I got to the glory land. The emotional crap that I was going through at work, the stress, the uncertainty, feeling like everything I did might get me fired. You can only walk on pins and needles so long before you step on the one that crushes your soul and I stepped on that one.
One Saturday morning I work up early, went to the bathroom, got back in bed, slept a few more hours. Woke up and stayed in bed. It was 10am, then it was noon, then it was 2pm. My husband was concerned. Neither of us had been sleeping well. The uncertainty with my job had been keeping us up at night. Not sleeping well through the night. But I couldn’t be that tired? And I wasn’t tired; I just couldn’t get out of bed, except to pee. I played on my phone stared at the wall. But I wasn’t getting out of bed, I couldn’t get out of bed. My husband laid down with me for a while put the dogs in the bed. And I laid there. Was I hungry? Nope, not at all.
Then my husband had his breaking point. It was 6pm and I was still in bed. He didn’t understand what was going on and at the time I didn’t really either. I had no desire to get out of bed, or eat, or watch TV, or be around another person, or probably even exist. I was nothing in those hours. I wasn’t suicidal, didn’t want to hurt myself or someone else. I just felt nothing. I had reached a point of depression that there was nothing there. And I couldn’t will anything into a thought of anything, just nothingness everywhere.
My husband begged and pleaded for me to get out of bed. He couldn’t help me and he couldn’t understand that. ‘Just please get out of bed, I’ll make dinner, what do you want? Please get out of bed. Just come sit on the couch with me and watch TV. Please get out of bed.’ So at 7pm I got out of bed and sat on the couch, nothing. Kelsey brought me dinner. I ate it, nothing. No hunger no desire, nothing. We watched TV, nothing. Went to bed, nothing.
Got up the next day and I did get out of bed but not for me. I got out of bed because I could see what this was doing to my husband and I didn’t want to hurt him. I didn’t want him to worry or cause him anymore stress. There was still no desire, just nothing. I can’t explain totally how I felt or why it hit me when it did. But not being able to get out of bed was the worst for me because I felt like I couldn’t control it. I couldn’t will myself to do anything. I knew it was time to leave my job, on my terms. Stop waiting for them to fire me or see if things get better. I had been in denial for too long.
K and I talked about it at length. I love my coworkers and it is a pretty cool job. But there was so much else that didn’t make any of it worth it. We figured out the math on our income and I put in my notice. Relief should have come over me and set me free but it didn’t. Even a week later I didn’t feel relief. As I started to tell me coworkers that I was leaving, I say shock on their face and then the most wonderful things came out of their mouth. If I had known quitting my job would boost my self-esteem I would have quit a long time ago! I was called sunshine and the only person they liked. What? They have to been kidding. Then person after person said the same thing. I called clients and told them I was leaving. One cried! One offered me a job! I was shocked. Someone else called me sunshine. What? The love I felt was over whelming. Wow! Did I really impact so many lives?
Now for those who have never worked in sales much less advertising sales, look up the memes. They are all true. It’s a hard life, full of money, and no time with your family or friends. Work hard play hard takes on a whole new meaning in advertising sales. There are nice sales people but no one would ever describe them as sunshine. They are honey badgers! Have you seen a honeyeater? Not a pretty sight.
Being a little over a month out from leaving my job I still feel so confident in my decision. The former coworkers that I still have lunch with and talk to often, the clients that I still talk to as friends, those who have offered me jobs or help looking, it was been overwhelming. I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me during this transition. I feel like I have won the lottery in life. This is a far cry from how I felt a month or two months ago.
Relief didn’t come immediately. Depression just doesn’t go away after one good day or one good decision. Depression sucks and it is hard. More people need to talk about it publicly. You need to know it is ok to reach out for help. It is ok not to be able to make things better on your own. You will be ok. You can do this!