A couple of years ago I was going through a lot of changes in my home and personal life, and I became completely overwhelmed. I work in a fairly highly stressful environment, but one of the things I had working for me is that I worked with my husband and my oldest sister. I also had a good supervisor and worked on a very good team.
The stress began when the team started dismantling. My supervisor retired and people began leaving all around the same time. My sister and my husband were among the people who left. The void was felt all around. It is hard to describe how things totally fell apart for me. One of the changes is that my personal support system at work was gone. My husband was working and living out of town during the week. We had gotten into a routine where in the morning I got our son ready and my husband took him to daycare and I picked him up in the evenings. Now I was back to rushing in the mornings. On top of that I was being mistreated at work. I was exhausted in the evenings and only bringing home a depressed, exhausted shell of a mom to my son. I tell y’all, that son of my was sometimes the only way I made it through the day. While I’m writing this, all of the emotions are rushing back to me and I’m crying.
I can remember one morning I was at my desk and my oldest sister called me on her way in to work. I was on the phone crying about how I didn’t know how much more I could take. She showed up at my desk to hug me and provide encouragement. I sat at my desk crying so many days over the treatment of those people. I had one co-worker who would take me outside for a breather.
One afternoon I picked my son up from daycare, and I sat in that parking lot just crying like my world was ending. He was telling me that everything was gonna be alright. He was probably two at the time. I talked to my mom who gave me encouraging words.
This one day I had been in a meeting with some very disrespectful people who I had allowed to get my spirits down. I was on my way to a luncheon and had tried calling two or three people who didn’t answer. I sat in my car crying about how alone I was. I was like, “I see how people commit suicide.” I finally got myself together and went to the luncheon. That moment was really scary though.
This entire time my sister kept encouraging me to contact the Employee Assistance Program for some help. I remember the final incident that pushed me over the edge enough to where I finally called the number for assistance. They got me set up with a counselor. That was one of the best decisions I ever made when I finally reached out for help. It felt so good to talk to someone who didn’t know me nor any of the people or situations I needed to discuss. It has been a big help to just talk about everything and realize that I am not just crazy. Although I cannot control/change the people around me, I can control my response/reaction. Counseling has somewhat helped me with coping.
Some of my regrets about the two years I let those people control me is that I allowed it to affect my health. My weight got out of control again, and with it went my blood pressure control, and I was diagnosed with diabetes. I feel like I loss control of my life. I feel so much embarrassment and hopelessness about letting people who really should not mean much to me cause me to lose so much of myself. I’m still struggling, but I have been trying to regain control of my life. I became more vocal at work, which could be seen as good or bad. While some people think I’m a rebel, there are others who see me as a person who speaks when I have something valuable to say and it is always the truth.
To anyone who may be reading this and who might be dealing with work and home stress or any jumble of emotions, don’t be afraid to seek help. People look at you everyday and judge. They think they know, but they have no idea. Please try and treat people kindly because you really don’t know the things they may be suffering through in life. I am still dealing with forgiving people who mistreat me and have been unapologetic about it because I still have to work with them as though things are fine.
I am on a journey to becoming a better me. I don’t know what all this journey will entail. I’m scared, and I’m excited. Most people who know me know that I live in fear a lot, and that’s something I’m trying to change. Stay well and join me in becoming a better me.
P.S. Thanks to all the people who prayed for and with me during those trying times. You all really helped bring light during some dark days.