Maybe if I can just slap some words over all this dread and fear, it would help. So even though I feel like I can't do it, I'm going to try.
Things I am afraid of:
- That working here is going to drive me crazy. I feel crazy right now, I really do.
- That I'm going to be laid off.
- That I'm never going to find another job.
- That I am absolutely, positively, unemployable outside of this place.
- That, without my income, we will have to sell our house.
- That I live in a world that no longer has any use for people like me.
- That I am lost, and I will never find my way.
- That our country, our economy, our world are broken beyond repair.
- That I'm not going to sleep tonight.
- That I am depressed.
- That I am headed for some kind of mental breakdown.
- That I am ruining other people's lives with my anxiety and depression and insomnia.
- That, unlike many of the people on this sinking ship of a company, my husband has a good job that will allow us to live a good, middle-class life even if I lose my job. (No, we probably can't afford our house without some kind of income from me, but we won't starve or have to move to the projects.)
- That the economy will get better one day.
- That this situation is temporary. Someday, somehow, I will find my way out of this stuck place.
- That I am valuable.
- That my situation is only intolerable inside my own head. In every rational respect, I am perfectly OK.
Last night, I hardly slept. I'm working the fucking night-shift this week--I now have to do it one out of every nine weeks--and it's got my very delicate sleep schedule out of whack. And I lay there in the dark feeling like my chest was squeezing, crumpling. And I kept thinking, I'm stuck in a work situation that is intolerable. I can't stand it anymore. And there's no way out. None of the masses of people that our company has laid off this year have found full-time work in this area. Not a single one. So I am trapped working at this place that is making me crazy. I'm not emotionally capable of continuing to work there, but I have no choice. I felt like I was going to die or go nuts or I don't even know what.
Today, I came to work and our boss told us that it's looking like we're going to have to make lots more severe cuts next year. He told us all to start getting prepared. The tone of his voice and the look in his eye said, "We are fucked. We are hanging on by a thread. There is no hope." I'm not sure what preparations I'm supposed to be making. I feel overwhelmed, powerless, lost, adrift in an endless ocean. I know that someday I will look back and see how close I was to shore, how everything really was OK. That I had my family and my health and my (relative) youth and all the things that really mattered. But right now I can't see it. I can't see the horizon from here, and I am scared.
I need to focus on what's right here and now. Telling myself stories about a better future is not going to help. Right now, I have air to breathe and food to eat. Right now, I have a steady income. Right now, I have a beautiful, happy daughter. Right now, I have a husband who loves me. Right now, I have lots of vacation time. Right now, I get to go home every night to my family. Right now, I am healthy. Right now, there is a beer in the refrigerator waiting for me. Right now, I am going to leave work and go home and try to breathe.