Friday, February 1, 2013

A painful review for week 14

Actually, there's a lot of dipping below the start point too...
This week I woke up and realized that I was starting a new job-working-for-someone-else almost exactly four years after my last position working for someone else. I felt ashamed. As though I had failed myself, my family (especially the Emperor), my team members; but the worst part was that I was the only one who felt this way. 

I tried to ignore these feelings of shame, not discussing them with anyone but Captain Jack at the end of day one of my new j-o-b. However, Mable caught these feelings much sooner than I did and on Tuesday I started having this intense urge to self-destruct. First, panic. I ran screaming from the room*, promising myself (outloud) that I wasn't going to the bathroom to throw up. I then promised myself that I would wait until I got home** to lose my shit. I succeeded at that, and was able to make it home where I had a melt down after holding onto this need for nearly two hours. 

I wanted so badly to implode; to completely self-destruct. I wanted to barf, and smoke, and cut myself and I very nearly made a phone call to someone who would gladly help me lose what I had built***. I didn't do any of these things, and after talking to the Emperor in a very intimate way, we decided that I would have something to eat. 

So, despite the entire cycle starting like it always did, I made the painful decision to be a grown-up who is able to acknowledge that my decisions have consequences and that I couldn't fall back into completing that cycle. I swallowed my pride, acted like an adult, and went on with business. 

And got 5 hours of sleep the night before my first day back to working-for-someone-else.

The first job I got all by myself, way back in college, was at a Hallmark shop on 4th Ave in downtown Seattle. On my first day I got so upset by something that I had to run off the sales floor and throw up. I thought I would be "let go" for my lack of professionalism, but it ended up being okay and the day went on. My first day at this new job reminded me much of that first day, except -- while I did have to run to the bathroom a few times to keep from losing my mind in front of my cow-orkers or our client -- I didn't run out of the room and throw up. So, when I asked myself what the hell kind of progress I have made since then, I was at least able to give myself credit for mostly holding it together*'. 

These last few days have been rather difficult. I thought I had swallowed my pride and dealt with it when I started looking for a day job, but once the reality hit it was very difficult not to clamor for old coping mechanisms. 

On a professional note, I noticed that my attitude toward work has changed greatly since the last time I held an hourly position as an employee. Now, even though I'm counting hours*'', I still think of myself as a contractor. I'm in charge of my time. The position I hold currently is not some employer liking me enough to give me money for answering their phones, but rather I decided that I was willing to answer their phones for an hourly fee.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
I'm not happy that I had to take a second job. But the way my health has been in the last several months, and how it has interfered both with my business and my leadership growth and practice necessitated this move. I realized at some point that I had to fulfill the bottom level of my personal hierarchy of needs FIRST before I could really give my business and its accompanying leadership practice their due. 

That's what's been going on this week. I've felt completely insane. I've reached out in ways I could, and did my best to be around people who give me a feeling of meaning and importance (even though sometimes I deny myself that feeling). I also successfully avoided reaching out to people who have the opposite effect. And while I'm trying to give myself credit, I simply continue to feel like I've failed. I'm trying not to, but I just have to accept that feeling, validate it and eventually let go and move on because the only way to let go of something is to acknowledge that it's there.

*Not literally.
**from my real job
***However this person has never read the script to the play wherein he was the accomplice to my undoing.
*'Although, because of my exhaustion, the time I spent with Jack that night was hardly worthy of how fond I am of him.
*''The timeclock that we use has buttons that say "Punch In" and "Punch Out". It's not cute. It's stupid.

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