Oh my. It has been a crazy few weeks for me. Emotionally, professionally, academically. I even celebrated my 10-month soberversary on the 9th. I feel a little overwhelmed with what to even say, so I’ll just start at the beginning.
My last post was at 290 days, shortly before the spring semester ended. Spring semester was really rough for me. There was so much going on, so many obligations and moving pieces to keep in order – by the end, I was a bundle of stress and nerves. When the semester was finally over and I had turned my last paper in, I breathed the deepest sigh of relief and slept so, so well.
Shortly after, I left the midwest for a 9-day trip to the Northeast – Boston and New Hampshire, to be exact. The boyfriend and I left early on April 28th for Boston, where we had a wonderful, three-ish day vacation together. We explored the historic downtown area, ate delicious seafood, and found out firsthand how incredibly chaotic and frustrating driving through Boston is. We saw Harvard, toured the Paul Revere house, visited the Boston Public Market and bought a box of fresh strawberries at the farmer’s market. On Sunday, we took a boat tour through the Boston harbor and learned about the history of the city.
Then later that day, on Sunday, two of my classmates arrived at the airport, one from Denver and the other from Pittsburgh. They were getting into town for our one-week intensive out at our university campus in New Hampshire. The boyfriend and I went to pick them both up at the airport, after which we grabbed some dinner. It was at that point that I kissed my boyfriend goodbye and climbed back into the car for a 2-hour drive out to NH with my classmates. I roomed with them in a cheap little hotel a few miles from the school and am so glad that I did; I feel like I made some lifelong connections there with them that would’ve been nearly impossible to find otherwise, and I now have reason to look into booking flights to both Denver and Pittsburgh sometime in the near future.
The intensive itself was…well…intense. It’s a required component of my program, where I have the chance to get in-person learning opportunities about how to lead group therapy. The whole week consisted of either participating in a group therapy session as a member, or acting as a group therapy session leader for practice. They were real therapy sessions, where we talked about ourselves and different aspects of our lives. I was drained, emotionally and physically, at the end of each day. They even managed to get me to cry on day 2, when I started talking about the two kitties I had rehomed in the winter of 2015 and how it symbolized the loss of the family I thought I was going to have with my ex-husband, but lost. This was kind of a big deal – I rarely cry in front of others, and almost never in front of people I don’t know well. They comforted me and validated my sadness. That felt really nice. It made me feel less alone.
Toward the end of the week, I started chatting with a good friend of mine, who lives out in Denver. I mentioned to her that I had cried, and talked about how it was related to my failed marriage. This friend of mine, who happens to be friends with my ex-husband as well, told me that she had hung out with my ex only a few weeks earlier, and that he had expressed sadness and guilt over what happened between us. This was truly one of the first times I had heard anything like this, about how he was processing the divorce or how he felt about it. She told me that he had been battling for a while with the desire to send me a letter, but had ultimately decided against it in order to respect our distance. She also told me that he felt that not knowing how I’m doing is his punishment for “throwing away” our marriage.
This really floored me. I never really expected to hear any first- or second-hand accounts of guilt, sadness or remorse from him. I could almost feel some sort of weight lifting from me in that moment. It felt like no coincidence that I had used part of my intensive week to re-process what the ending of my marriage meant for me, only to hear from my friend that my ex, too, was still processing and had similar feelings as me (for different reasons, of course).
After the week was ended, my two roomies/classmates and I parted ways, and I landed back in Boston at an Airbnb in Winthrop, right out on the coast. I took Saturday to drive to Salem by myself, where I walked around in drizzly/cloudy conditions. It was fascinating. I loved Salem, and having some serious time to myself was sorely needed, especially after the week I’d managed to have.
On Sunday, I woke around 8, got my things in order, dropped off the car and flew home. I spent the afternoon at a MayDay celebration at a park near my house, and followed that up with a cozy nap and a bonfire with my boyfriend.
This week was on off week for me. No school, which is nice, but I felt “off” at work. A little antsy, having just returned from an intense and refreshing vacation. I wasn’t quite ready to submit to the desk again. But I did, and it was normal and fine. I put in my four 10-hour days and reveled in the fact that I didn’t have to go home to do homework afterward.
But then, this morning (my day off), I got a call from my boss, who told me he needed to talk to me about a few things. My throat got really tight, and thank goodness I was sitting, because my head started to spin a little. He proceeded to tell me that eight people had been let go from the company, and even though I wasn’t one of them (DEAR GOD THANK YOU), I was facing a reduction in hours for the foreseeable future, down to 32. He said that I was still a vital part of the team, that the eliminations were not due to performance but to “restructuring” of the company.
Today I lost some coworkers I really like, and in the process, my faith in whatever stability I was starting to build was shaken to the core. It instantly triggered the same types of feelings that I experienced when I was laid off in the summer of 2014, right before my husband left me and my grandfather died. Even though I didn’t lose my job, I felt like I could see the ground beneath me starting to crumble. “Oh god, not again.” I thought.
Not again. Please, not now.
A little bit later, while out to lunch with my boyfriend, I got a call from one of the other head honchos at my company. He was calling to check in on me and to make sure I was aware of what was going on. He told me that in addition to letting people go, that there was going to be some significant organizational restructuring, and that he would be my new supervisor from now on. He reassured me that he valued my work and felt that I was an integral part of the leaner team going forward, and even said he was excited about the new projects we’d be able to take on now that we were going to have more stable financial grounds beneath us.
At the end of the call, my (new) boss told me to try to have a good weekend and take my mind off of things, suggesting that I get drunk as he was likely going to do (we’re a small company, so talk like this isn’t uncommon). I laughed and said, “yeah, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.”
It made me feel a little better. A little. But still, I’m faced with the dilemma now of accepting reduced work hours and lower income, or trying to find something new. I just don’t think my heart is in it to find something new. And all things considered, I had been toying with the idea recently of converting to hourly and reducing my workload to accommodate for school work. I was going to need to do it anyway in late August, to fit in my new internship schedule, but I wasn’t certain one way or the other that I wanted to reduce my hours quite yet.
So, this may be some sort of blessing in a sad disguise. In essence, it’s forcing me to scale back. Take a breath. Regroup. Even if my wallet takes a bit of a hit, my mind will probably eventually thank me.
So here I am. Still a little shaken. Honestly, still processing a lot of what’s gone down over the past 2+ weeks. Still sober, thankfully. Just keeping on with keeping on, as one can only ever do these days.