Depression. Self-doubt. Procrastination. Laziness. Fear. Boredom. Denial.
That’s where I’ve been. Unfortunately, my blog, podcast, newsletter, and everything else I’ve been working on were lost in the mosh pit of my emotions. I believed (and still working on this) that all my projects were pointless and that no one cared. I stopped writing. I stopped podcasting. I stopped creating content. I just stopped trying. On top of that, I was struggling with unemployment and the onset of mild depression.
At the start of the year, I lost my job. The work environment I left was extremely toxic. It was led by two of the most incompetent, cheap, malicious, and privileged people I’ve ever met. Because of their titles, they used their power to constantly intimidate me and fuck with my paycheck simply because they could.
When that job came to an end I was mad at myself for staying so long. My job had shown me months before my termination of how little they valued and respected me. Yet, I stayed to stick it out until I found something better. Unfortunately, the better didn’t come and before I could resign my job found a way to flex their power and find a reason to fire me. Since Georgia is an at-will employer state and the company I worked for didn’t handle employee relations on a corporate level, there wasn’t much I could do. I’ll include some examples of what situations I faced working at this employer in the accompanying podcast episode to this blog.
The biggest lesson I learned is staying at a job that doesn’t respect you does nothing for you. It doesn’t matter how much money you are making, the benefits value, or the proximity to your home. When you first notice that your job is not valuing you the way you deserved to be valued go find better. If I would have done that myself then I would have left months before 2018 wrapped up. Yet, I stayed because I wanted to have found a new job before leaving that one.
Then came a very long stretch of unemployment and a string of dark days. Here I was being wronged by an employer AGAIN, but I don’t get a happy ending? How was this fair to me? What had I done so wrong to be mistreated not once but twice? Why was the search for my dream job becoming a nightmare? What the hell am I not doing right? Does God not see I’m trying? These were all questions plus more that I asked myself after months of failed attempts to secure an offer after an interview.
One day I woke up and felt different. I had no energy to do anything or feel anything; I just felt hopeless and worthless. I stayed in one spot on the bed in my robe all day and watched tv. I rarely watch tv. I remember feeling so unhappy and pathetic. The next day, I felt better and I knew I was experiencing the brink of depression and I had to do something about it. For the next few weeks, I would have on and off days. One day I would wake up depressed then the next day fine.
I started to look for a therapist and ever since watching “She’s Gotta Have It” season one, I wanted a Black woman as my therapist just like Nola Darling. And I found one!
Once I started to go to therapy, I was able to unleash my pent up frustration about the job search and what unemployment was doing to my mental health. I was that strong friend that friends were advised to check on. For the first time in my life, I was getting help to work through my troubles. I was able to face truths that I’ve been scared to face. All those ugly and scary adjectives were being matched with the experience/trauma. I was releasing.
It’s not a one day switch or even a one month switch; it’s healing that takes place over time. I am healing and in that process, I’ve had many setbacks. But I am working to tear down the cement fortress of depression, self-doubt, low confidence, and fear I’ve lived in my entire life. It explains why I’ve never consistently performed to my best abilities in many areas of my life. I’m learning that demolition isn’t easy and every day is a new day.
I’m also working on creating my dream career and the life I vision for myself. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing or what my dream job even is. But what I do know is I’m tired of punching the clock and working for pennies. I’m tired of doing my resume and cover letter hundreds (literally) of ways to get noticed. I’m tired of trying to impress people enough to put me on the payroll. Overall, I’m tired of not believing in myself. I also discovered that I was seeking some type of self-validation and happiness through a job–a good one.
So there it is.