I was having lunch with a friend the other day who knew things were going rough in life for me lately. She knew the highlights of how I was suffering from anxiety and had taken a medical leave from my job as a result. Lunch was the talk I needed to pour out my heart over margaritas and burritos to get my footing back under me. It was one of those lifelines of support we all need when things seem challenging and we’re having a hard time figuring out what is next in life.
At the heart of it I knew the advice she would give me was right. I already knew the right answer myself but sometimes hearing someone else say it makes it more real. We actually hear it this time. I was tired. It had taken it all out of me and I felt I had nothing left in me for more. My shoulders hung low and I had spent the last 12 days crying at any chance I could out of sight from my husband and son. I couldn’t hide it from my friend though. There are just friends in our lives who can see through the charade and get directly to the pain without having to ever describe it.
It was time to leave my job. The abuse and toxicity had taken their toll. I had lost 8 staff out of 24 in the last 3 weeks because of it. Everyone knew it was that time to find a life boat off the sinking ship and yet I still pushed, pulled, tackled and held on thinking it was going to get better. My heart hurt over it because this was a company I was so proud to be back working for after 17 years away at their competitors. This was where I was going to retire from and do great things to help thousands of other people. I was good at my job too. It wasn’t enough though as the abuse was unstoppable and it wasn’t going to get better. Everyone seemed to know that but me.
In addition to feeling like a failure at my job I felt I was letting my team down. The people who were still there betting their livelihood I was the leader who was going to get them out of this battle field. I was their warrior to buffer them from the abuse and navigate this to a better place for all of us. That guilt is so strong when you are a leader. I was letting them down. I had accepted another job that I didn’t even care or was excited about because of the burn out I felt from this one; the one I felt like an utter failure at.
The simple answer to it all was I had lost my perspective. I had lost the ability to see the forest for the trees. I was so beat up from the abuse of screaming and backstabbing I couldn’t even feel the pain anymore and kept getting up like a warrior who wouldn’t die. Yet there was no denying the damage of it all to my health. I had put on weight that wouldn’t go away. I worked 12 hours a day non-stop to the point my brain was consumed. I was having panic attacks and my doctor was worried about a possible stroke and my blood pressure numbers. I have never had blood pressure problems or even anything remotely high in it ever in my life. Now my body was giving the signals it couldn’t keep doing this every day. I knew it too but was the choices? There was no simple answer to it that secured an income for my family and gave me the assurance the people I cared about that worked for me would be alright too.
My friend kept listening to it all as I stirred melting slush of my margarita as a distraction to what I was telling her. Finally she told me to look at her because she was going to tell me something important and I needed to hear it. Here is was the simple answer that would make all this stop and I could just do a job I actually like, leading a team of people who did great work and gave me their best every day. She quietly said, “It’s not you and you’re taking on a war that is not yours to win. You are dying on a mountain for something that isn’t even going to pay for your funeral or remember you.”
I took a big drink of my margarita.
Those were the words I knew already and had been tearing myself up over during this medical leave time. I was fighting for a job that didn’t give a shit about what happened to me or my team. I was putting it all out there in time, energy and effort that took from my family time they needed with me, it negatively impacted my health and was stealing my peace of mind. And I kept giving them more. My family was eating cereal at 8PM at night for dinner because that’s when I finally got done with work that night and hadn’t seen them all day. This couldn’t go on anymore.
It was a job. Something I depended on like everyone depends on their job. I had let the simple perspective of what that means consume me because of someone else’s personal agenda for world domination and enjoyment of being an abusive bully. I let them get to me to the point I couldn’t sleep and was having panic attacks over it.
Why do we let our lives become these numb toxic situations that result in us wearing stretch pants and messy buns while watching hours of Netflix to checkout from our lives? Why do we let stress build up so high in our lives we don’t even know what a normal heart beat feels like anymore? Why do we let pain of situations in our life lead us to emotional eating for self-soothing comfort? In all of it why don’t we simply walk away from it?
When something takes from us the very joy of waking in the morning it means something isn’t working our life. When we are drained versus energized it is a red flag we are not aligned in what is right for us. I had been mind numb thinking it would get better and this was just what was necessary in work to be successful and I was completely fooling myself. I was not even considering anymore that I could literally die from this either.
I had skipped the workouts, was working non-stop, eating frozen pizza and cereal late at night because there was no time for anything else. I spent my weekends sleeping and trying to recoup so I could do it again the next week. For what! Oh yeah for a paycheck and ability to say I was working at the company I was proud to be back at after 17 years. Yep that was worth it.
Why is it so easy to see how others are doing this to themselves but we cannot see it ourselves when we are doing the same? If it had been my friend sitting across from me like that I would have told her the same thing she told me. Would she hear me though?
Did I hear her now?
It is not about using essential oils or eating organically that makes living naturally possible. Those things are great helpers but not the answer alone. What does it truly is bringing back the simplicity of what it means to live in a way that is right for us. It is bringing back in the picture things that make us happy, bring us joy and give us that place of comfort, security and serenity. An essential oil reminds us of those things and help us heal from things that threatened state of existence that we are self-soothing in from Netflix, junk food and exhaustion. The work of changing that requires us to first acknowledge we cannot exist like this anymore. It means changing our perspective of what simple looks like in our life and working to build it.
I would take another job and leave this abusive situation. I would also admit via this blog that I have written for 3 1/2 years now about living naturally that I still have work to do about that. Maybe we never get it all figured out but I have to believe acknowledging there is better out there and that we deserve it is a very healthy simple perspective to start building from.
If you’re ready for a simpler perspective in your life, let’s chat at dragonspitapothecary.com