“Maybe This Is Just The Way It Had To Be….All These Thoughts I Can’t Ignore, Thoughts That Whisper In A Quiet Roar”– Remedy Drive ‘God I Hope So’

**SELF HARM WARNING***

I had my ECT treatment yesterday….. about an hour into my sleeping when I got home, I received a text from my supervisor saying that the Director said she will keep me on staff at the same amount of hours until I find a new job, or they fill the new position. So I am happy in one sense, because I don’t have to continue to scramble to find something by July 1st and worry about new insurance (at this moment), but at the same time I am not happy at all. I feel a mix of emotions. I feel defeated and used. I feel as if they are only keeping me on because they want to help themselves….but yet I’m not good enough to keep on for the future…..only until I find a new job or they fill the new position. I feel angry. I feel alone, and I feel like none of this is for my own benefit at all. I can almost guarantee that if they find someone before I find a new job, they won’t give me notice, that’s just the way they are. As my title of this blog says though…….Maybe this is just the way it had to be. I don’t know, but I know I don’t like it. Honestly, I’m thinking of just walking. Just up and leave the organization and not worry about the medical bills and such until they come. But I know I can’t do that. I have to “tough it out” and take what I can get and be grateful for the opportunity to still be working while looking for another position. (Man I pulled those words out of my ass lol).

Tomorrow is Father’s day. I have a feeling it will be the last Father’s day we have with my dad’s dad, my grandpa. It hurts just to think about it. I can’t imagine life without him in it. I can’t imagine what it’s going to do to my dad, my grandma, ….all of us.

I’ve been having more self-harm thoughts/ impulses lately. More so the impulses…..as I have been dealing with the thoughts every day for a long time. The impulses though, those can be different. They are the moments I’m eating with a steak knife and all of a sudden wish I had used it on myself and not my food.  Or when I use a razor in the bathroom and it takes everything within me not to use it to intentionally cut myself. The stress from work hasn’t  been helping this either. I’m glad I had ECT yesterday though, because it helped to tame them down for now. They for sure aren’t gone, but it’s not the constant, overwhelming, ongoing impulses.

Do any of you ever just feel so down, so depressed, but so grateful and blessed all at the same time? I am going for a certification called CRSS, Certified Recovery, Support Specialist. Well, it costs $125 for just the test. It was $75 just in the application fee. Well, some people at my church, they are in my Adult Sunday School class, they had asked me last week how the process was going. I told them honestly I don’t have the money to take the test right now, so I’m hoping at some job interviews I can say I have applied and just have to take the test, and that the job would pay for it. Well, these people in my class, they responded with this, “We don’t have our checkbook today, but we want to pay for your test. We want to help you.” I received a check and a card on Wednesday this past week. I cried for a long time, I’m still baffled. I just can’t believe that they did that. That they saw enough hope, purpose, and whatever else within ME to want to do that. I mentioned in the last post I just don’t feel I have a meaning, a purpose, and I don’t feel much hope at all. The only thing I can be hopeful in is Christ, which really is all I need. I am so grateful for these people in my class, so blessed to know them, and just so thankful. I just am still having a hard time figuring out why they love me when I can’t and don’t even love myself.

I’m sorry this post probably means nothing to any of you. I just use this blog as more of a journal, a way to get things out and feel heard, but not feel like I’m going to be judged or get in trouble for what I have to say. I appreciate all of my followers, and I don’t know what I’d do without the comments, or likes you all leave me.

Thank you all.

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They Say It’s Going To Be Okay…..But It Doesn’t Feel That Way At All.

So, I think I mentioned in my last post about how my position at work is basically being eliminated due to budget issues. Well, I have until July to find a new job and I haven’t been getting any bites on my resume……I had 2 job prospects at 2 different places, but both would require me to work every weekend, and that is just not something I can commit to. I just built a community of support at a new church over the last 2 years and I can’t give that up, it wouldn’t be good for my own recovery and I can recognize that. I have applications out at other places too, and just haven’t been hearing anything back. I feel completely hopeless. I don’t know what I’m going to do when July comes and I don’t have a new job…..I need insurance for all my ECT treatments and meds etc. I don’t know how I’ll be able to pay for COBRA insurance, and I just have so much anxiety inside of me right now it’s ridiculous.

I have been going to work and feeling completely unmotivated and just dreading it each morning when I wake up. All because of how they went about this, what they did, and how betrayed I feel. Honestly, if I had a choice in this, I would just walk now….but as I said, I need the insurance as long as possible.

On top of all the work stuff, my sister got engaged last weekend. I know, I know, I should be happy for her……and I am in some ways. And at the same time I feel jealous. Out of all 5 kids (my 3 cousins and then my sister and I) I am now the only one who doesn’t have either a husband, fiance, or significant other. I am the only one alone. The only one who doesn’t have that relationship. I never have, and honestly, believe and feel like I never will. I feel so unworthy of being loved by a man. I feel so stupid, ugly, and worthless. I feel as though no one will ever love me, how could they? I can hardly make friends……yes I have a few, and I love them to death. I have a best friend whom I can rely on for anything, and I know she is always there for me. But my head tells me I am unworthy. Ever since I was a teenager and was shot down by guys when I asked them to go to a dance with me, or hang out, or in college when guys just showed no interest in me either, to now that I’m almost 32 y/o and I wouldn’t even know how to go about meeting someone or dating someone. I just feel unlovable, unworthy, ugly, and stupid. My sister is a bitch. No lying there. She is not nice to me or my mom, He is a great guy, he is funny and just ideal. But God bless him honestly. I hope he knows what he’s getting into.

I know this is a random post….talking about work, then relationships, and now I’m just going to say that I have really been having a hard time…..mostly because of the things mentioned above, but the self injury thoughts are coming up more often, stronger, and I just feel blah. I feel somewhat better than I did now that my psychiatrist changed one of my meds, but I am far off still from being where I want to be and need to be. I just feel empty. I feel worthless. I feel more stupid than I ever have and I feel incapable of succeeding in life. I just have no hope for the future, and I hate that feeling. I’m scared. Anxious. Lonely. I just don’t know where to go from here. I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to live either. (no I’m not suicidal, I just am saying how I feel. I won’t do anything to hurt myself, and I would tell someone if it got to that point. I can promise you all that).

I know I have supports around me. My best friend, my parents, my grandma, my therapist and psychiatrist, people from church. I just feel so ashamed sometimes to speak up and say anything. I just want to cry all the time, but the tears just don’t seem to come, so in turn I get this blank empty look on my face and when someone asks what’s wrong I just respond with “I’m just tired” because as I’ve said before, there are times where it’s like the words just haven’t been invented yet to describe how I feel. It’s like everything and nothing is going through my head all at the same time.

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” – Winnie the Pooh

I use this blog as a place to come to write out everything that’s going on in my life/mind at the moment. I don’t write every day, or even every week. I tend to only write when there’s something, or a few things that have been going on in my life that I need to just let out. I don’t expect responses from people, I don’t even know how many people actually read this blog. I’ve said this before. I use this blog more as a journal that I know at least a few people read some times and because of this I feel heard. I never was able to just have a journal that I would write in and no one read it. I never really saw the point. I didn’t ever feel as if that helped me because I would be getting the words out but no one would know how I was feeling. With this blog, even though I don’t know the people who read it, I can say I feel heard. It’s a form of validation.

Anyways……. I don’t really know why I decided to start this specific blog with that statement above. I just know that the last couple of weeks there have been some really stressful, bad, and some really good things that have happened. Over the last month or so changes have been made at my workplace. People have been laid off, and other people have had position changes. All because the organization wasn’t, in my eyes, being responsible with the money that was coming in, and was spending to quickly rather than taking a step back and looking at where we really could be spending and where we really needed to save. The executive director, I feel, is only letting the employees in on a small part of the reasoning behind all these big changes, and I just get this gut feeling there’s something more going on. I love the organization I work for. I love helping the people we help. And I can honestly say, this organization helped myself and my family through some of the darkest times of our lives due to my mental illness. I’ve been volunteering for this organization for over 5 years, and officially on staff since March of this year. I hate to say I am considering looking for a new job because of all that’s going on.

On top of all the stress at work, there is the stress at home. I don’t want to get into it much, but let’s just say my mom has some major depression issues she’s not working on and it’s pushing myself and my dad to the edge.

My grandpa. He was diagnosed with dementia over a year ago. Things have been getting worse and the fact that my grandma is the one taking care of him (with the exception of 6-8 hours a day they have a care taker come in to help 5 days a week), is draining her to her core. She is getting frustrated, angry, and she just can’t do it anymore. We are often going up there to help, my aunt and uncle are too, but it’s just not enough. I fear for my grandma. I fear this will put her over the edge and I honestly fear she will die before my grandpa. I have thought about quitting my job and telling her I will be up there full time from 8-8 every day to help her with him. I told my dad this and he said he won’t allow it. I just want so badly to help more than what we are now. I don’t know how to do that though. My family is really close. I talk to grandma at least every other day, and we are at their house multiple times a week. We all would drop everything if it meant it would help a member of our family, and we all know we have family support no matter what. This doesn’t just mean immediate family. I’m talking about my cousins, my aunt, and my uncle too. We’re all like a big puzzle and if there’s a piece missing we all work together to get that piece back and complete the picture.

I fear the day my grandpa dies. The picture will never be complete again. I don’t know what we’ll do. I don’t know what my dad will do…..he’s always been so close to pa. We all have. I can’t even think about what it will be like. Empty. That’s all I can think of to define what that moment in time will be.

I know I’ve been talking about some of the tough things that have been going on, but I wanted also to bring up some good too. I was finally able to get together with my good friend Johanna …….outside of work…..not just talking for a few minutes over a quick lunch in the office on a day we’re both there, or a quick phone call while one of us is driving. We managed to get together for lunch and while we talked mostly about work, we were able to laugh, bring up random things, and just have fun being together. This made my week……my month. Honestly, I can’t say how much I appreciate her friendship and just knowing she’s there and that she “gets me”. That is what friendship is about. I had a great time that day and I just cherish moments like that.

Another good thing…..just this past Saturday my parents and I went and spoke at my therapists class she teaches at a local university for the master’s of social work program. We shared our story of living with mental illness and how we all worked together and continue to work together to support one another and help each other through the good and the bad days. I was really proud of my parents.

Thank you to everyone who does read this blog, whether it’s 1, or 100 people. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to gain this glimpse into my life, my mind.

 

“I’ve Stood On This Stage Night After Night, Reminding The Broken It’ll Be Alright. But Right Now, Oh Right Now I Just Can’t”- – MercyMe

We all live in a world where admitting you need help is seen as a weakness by many. I work in a profession where I am helping others daily. I at one point, was going out and speaking to people who were struggling. Sharing my story of recovery, hope, and letting them all know they don’t have to stay in the place they currently are. I would use my story to let them know recovery is possible. I would share the tough times, but I would bring hope by letting them all know where I have come, how far I have gotten, and that while it wasn’t easy, it was more than possible. Just like the title of this blog, I would let others know it was going to be alright, and I enjoyed and still enjoy doing that. I believe it will be alright many times. However, I get to a place sometimes in my own journey, where telling others it will get better feels like the biggest lie of my life. I feel like such a fake. I feel like the words “it’s going to get better” are the hardest words to say ever. Why? because even though I have come so far, I still have a road in front of me and that road is not perfect. I still have pot holes, I still have curves, and I still have hilly ups and downs. I know I brought this up somewhat in my last blog, but it has truly been on my mind ever since. I just feel like people hold me to this standard of “being better” and while I am better, I am not “cured”. The hurt, the struggle, the anxiety and everything else, it doesn’t go away. I cope with it differently, yes, but people don’t realize the amount work that goes into every day and getting through it. People don’t realize the smile on my face may not be the way I am feeling on the inside; and people really don’t realize that I can’t always keep that smile going because it’s just too exhausting.

My journey lately has not been the best. Meaning, it’s been harder lately than it was before. I’m in a place emotionally I don’t want to be. I’m going through a major medication change, and I just feel blah. Yes, I described it as blah. I feel alone. I feel lost, and I feel like no one truly understands. Even people who have a diagnosis. Not that my situation is any worse or whatever than theirs is. It’s just different. As is everyone’s. Each person has a unique journey, and I’m in a place right now where I can’t really describe what’s going on in my head. Therefore, how could anyone understand?

At work I am 100% over stressed. I am doing not only my job, but the work others should be doing. And now a fellow staff member is probably leaving and I will end up “helping” with the stuff she usually would be doing until they find someone else to fill the position. I’m getting pushed to the limit. I’ve brought it up to my supervisor, and she’s basically saying there’s nothing she can do as it is just going to have to be this way for awhile. She has no control over the changes being made. I’m really considering searching for another job. I would hate leaving where I am. I love the people, and I love the mission and purpose of the organization I am at now. I feel like if I were to leave, it would leave people pretty upset, as I have only been on staff for about 6 months. I wouldn’t want to leave them in a bad situation and I would feel like I couldn’t go back as a volunteer, which I would absolutely love to do. Anyway, I just feel like while it’s a supportive environment in many ways, it’s not in many others. I feel like this is not what I had signed on for when I got the job.

On top of all of this, my grandpa, who I have grown up with being very close to, is not doing well at all. I am scared to death of when he dies. I seriously have no idea what I am going to do. He has always been there. I grew up going to his and grandmas house every week and talking to them on the phone at least every other day. We are a very close knit family. Pa has always been a strength in the family, the one giving advice, helping with whatever needed to be fixed, and just being there to joke around with. He’s not only my grandpa, but he’s my friend. To watch the dementia take over his mind, his body become weaker and weaker each day, and to hear him ask who people are that he has known forever, it kills me to watch it. It hurts when the illness takes over and he gets mean. It hurts to know he’s in there somewhere, but the dementia is taking over his mind. It hurts to know that when he dies, not only will I be shaken, but my entire family will be different. I’m scared. Scared of what will happen to my dad when pa is gone. Scared and worried about grandma, and how will she do being at home all alone with him gone? Then I think to myself, he’s not gone yet, don’t get ahead of yourself. I just get so anxious about it all. I don’t want to miss out on the time that’s left by worrying about the what if’s and everything else. I just wish I could get my mind to stop sometimes.

I really don’t know if all that many people actually read this blog. I don’t really know if it matters. All I know is I can type faster than I can hand write and this blog helps me to get the thoughts out of my mind. To write on here and know that maybe someone is reading it, it makes me feel heard. And maybe, just maybe, someone can relate to what I have to say, and who knows, maybe my thoughts can help someone else too.

Thank you to everyone who read the previous blog I posted and went ahead and liked it. I really appreciate when people hit like, or leave a comment. It helps me as I said, to know I am heard.

To everyone having a hard time, keep your head up, each breath is a new beginning.

When Everything Around You Takes You By Surprise…….

I know I am not as “regular” of a writer here on this blog as many of you are, but I tend to just write when something’s going on, or when something just inspires me to write. I don’t do the every day thing, but I really enjoy reading the blogs of people who are. Anyway, there’s no real reason for that little side note, other than the fact that I am stalling writing this next blog.

Everything I’m going to write about today may not make too much sense to you all. It may be a longer blog than normal, but I would still appreciate your feedback; whether through comments, or just simply liking the blog. Thanks.

So the last time I wrote was just a little over 2 weeks ago. I had just tried the support group for women victims of sexual abuse. I was so anxious that day, and I wanted to give a quick update on how the second one went. It went really really well. There were a couple people who didn’t make it to the first one, but are part of the group, and made it to the second one, and the mixture of personalities is really cool. I felt super comfortable with these ladies and the facilitators and I really believe this is a good thing for me. I don’t want to lie, I still took an ativan, and I was still crazy nervous to get out of my car and actually go in, but once I did, I was super glad. I have a feeling this next meeting will be a lot less anxiety provoking for me.

A lot has been going on in my life over the last 2 weeks. I had a group of co-worker’s over to my house for a BBQ and it was great. I love each and every one of them, and respect them all just as much. They are truly great people doing great things. The only unfortunate thing, however, is I found out the Thursday before this BBQ (which by the way had been planned for over 3 weeks), that the program these co-worker’s are part of at the organization was going to be going through some cuts due to budgetary issues. I didn’t know what to think when my boss told me this was going to be happening. I was angry, sad, scared, and just shocked that the organization let the budget get this out of control (I can’t say specifics, but it never should have gotten this bad). I decided after hearing the news to still have the BBQ and enjoy the time with all these people. It was hard though, knowing this budget issue would touch each of them personally, either directly or indirectly. Then the following week came, and we had to sit down and have a meeting with these people to tell them all the basics of what was going on. Some got really upset, others, just sat there in silence, and you could just see they were boiling. We met with them as a group, but would be setting up times to meet with each individually to talk to them about how it would affect them personally. We were going to be cutting the hours of the program in half basically, and go down to staffing for those hours being done by only one individual, and not two. So some of them would be losing all their hours in this program completely.

It was horrible to be in the meeting where our director and my supervisor were telling everyone what was going on. To see the faces of these people, who just 3 months ago, I was working directly with, I was doing the same job, they were not only my co-workers, but my friends. Now, I had to sit on the other side and be there when they all found out this news. It’s not easy for sure. I don’t want any of them to feel like I “went to the other side” or “ditched them” I just took on a new position and I care for each of them just the same. Unfortunately, some of them just don’t that.

 

My Grandpa has also been struggling pretty bad lately. He went into the hospital on Memorial Day because he was leaning to the left and saying he was sitting straight up. He was unable to lift his feet up to be able to walk effectively or to step up a 3 inch step into the house, and we as his family, feared stroke, and so did his doctor when we called him. We took him to the ER and from there he was admitted. After a couple days in the main hospital, he was accepted into the rehab program. He was over in that program until just 3 days ago. While in the program, he was so so confused. He also had dementia, and as part of that horrible disease, when you are taken out of your known environment, the confusion gets worse. Well, it did. He had no idea what was going on 99% of the time. Unsure of who was around him, where he was, why he was there. He believed at times he was at a hotel and he was insisting on making sure it was paid for. Every time he would get a meal to eat , he would ask for the bill and would want to pay it.

This is so hard to watch, as it is not my grandpa. He is not the man I know. He is in there somewhere, but this disease has taken over his mind and it’s horrible to watch, to see it affect my grandma and my dad, and the rest of my family, and it’s hard to be on this side watching pa get frustrated because at times I truly believe he know’s something is wrong.

 

Lastly, there’s my mom. I’ve mentioned on here before, she has a lot of health issues, depression included. The problem, though, is she doesn’t seem to be moving forward in her treatment. She uses her therapy sessions as a time to complain, rather than a time to let things out, and then challenge herself to change things. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to just unload on your therapist, because I do that too, the difference is, my therapist listens, AND when I’m done, challenges me to try things differently in order to make things better. She doesn’t just say “oh I’m sorry it’s going like that” and then “I’ll see you next week”. So my mom has been super irritable lately, and no matter what you say to her, she snaps back at you. And I’ve gotten to the point where I’m standing up and speaking up, asking her why is she so crabby, or standing up for myself, or at times, I quit responding at all because I’m not looking to get into an argument and I refuse to respond to her when she is seeking an argument out. It feels like no matter what she’s looking for a  fight, and I’m tired of it. Dad’s tired of it, and neither one of us knows what to do anymore. We have tried going to therapy with her before for family sessions, but it ends up as as fight, with her saying “you are just teaming up against me” and other crap like that. We AREN’T against her, we are TRYING to get her to realize she has to be the one to make some changes in her own recovery to be able to move forward and feel better. SHE has to come to a level of acceptance that she at this point is refusing to do. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or giving in, it just means you no longer want whatever it is in control of your life to no longer be in control. Acceptance is taking the control back into your own hands and preparing to move forward. Mom and I are always fighting it seems like lately, and I’m tired of it. I’m missing the mom I used to have, the person she used to be. I miss my friend I no longer have.

 

 

There’s No Such Thing As “Being Prepared”

I let you all know I was going to be going to the first support group meeting for women survivors of sexual abuse. Well…..this past Tuesday was the first group. The Saturday before, I had an appointment with my therapist and I was feeling really good about going to this group. I felt……prepared…..ready…….confident. Then Sunday came, and Monday, and my anxiety started getting to be more and more. I relied on my good friend, talking to her a bit, and I relied on Ativan too….I can’t lie. I was getting nervous, but still felt like I could do this, like I knew my nerves were going to be there, but they didn’t have to get in the way.

Then Tuesday came…….I worked and worked and worked. I didn’t take a break at all that day. I felt like if I kept myself busy all day then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t think about the group that night, or my anxiety wouldn’t get any worse. I took another ativan, which helped. Keeping busy helped to an extent. I got off of work at 4pm and the group wasn’t until 6:15pm. So I called my dad, who’s office was halfway between my work and the location of the group, and I told him I was going to get some dinner and just bring it to his office and eat it there, and then sit there for a bit before heading to the group. I did that. I got my food, went to my dad’s office, and started to eat. I was so hungry because I hadn’t eaten lunch that day. However, it didn’t matter how hungry I was, my body was responding to my anxiety. I took a few bites and felt like I was going to throw up. So I gave my dad the rest of my food and just sat there staring at my phone as if I would actually remember what all I was looking at.

The time went soooo slow. But finally the time to leave my dad’s office and head to the group came. My dad knew where I was going and could tell how anxious I was. He gave me a little dad to daughter pep talk, letting me know he was proud of me and to take a deep breath, that it would all be good. I felt better after that. I drove to the group with my window down and my music up trying to distract myself and my mind. I got to the location and just sat in my car. Going back and forth with myself saying “you can do this, you are strong, you got this and it’s going to be good”  and then saying “no you can’t do this, you don’t deserve this, you aren’t worth this, it’s going to suck” and so forth. I sat there for what felt like an eternity, but was really only about 10 minutes arguing with myself and trying to gain the courage to get through those doors.

I finally got myself out of my car and into the building. I felt my face getting red, and I sat in the waiting room with 3 other women who at that point I didn’t know were there for the group also. The group leader came out and got us all and brought us to the group room where there were positive quotes and paintings on the walls, which I’m assuming were done by previous group members during some activity or something. I sat down, and when I finally found myself looking up, I looked across the table, past the person directly across from me, and saw a painting on the wall with the words, “Just Breathe”, and I knew I had to be breathing, but I wasn’t being mindful of it at all. I took a deep breath and finally was able to focus. I realized the group had started, but to this point I hadn’t heard anyone saying anything because I was so focused on my own anxiety.

We talked about a lot of heavy things. About our self-esteem and how the abuse had affected it. I hadn’t really thought about it, but I realized I didn’t have much positive self-esteem at all, that I don’t see my own worth.

We talked about the fact that the perpetrator of our abuse doesn’t deserve to have the power over us that we unconsciously give them. They were wrong, they were the ones who made the decision to do what they did, and we are not at fault. This was a really hard thing for me to even think about let alone grasp. I still am not at the point where I don’t blame myself for a lot of what happened to me, even though I was only a child, I feel like I should have stopped it. I know, it’s messed up.

When the group was over, I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and in some ways, proud. I was processing everything we had talked about. I was thinking about the people who had been there, who have also been to previous groups and are further along in there recovery than I am. I thought about how I want to get to that point, but I also realized those people gave me hope. Hope that it is possible to get through this.

I went home that night and literally went right to bed, and fell asleep the fastest I have fallen asleep in a long time. I was so emotionally exhausted from everything over the last few days. I still had nightmares, but I have a feeling over time with this group and the healing that will come from it, those nightmares might, just might, get better.

There’s one last thing I want to mention. On Sunday before the group, I was in my class at church and I brought up the fact I was anxious about this upcoming group and that I would appreciate prayer. I shared the reason I was going to the group, which I haven’t shared with a lot of people in general, and the whole class stopped right then, a few put their hands on my shoulders, and they prayed for me, in that moment. They let me know they supported me, loved me, and that they would be praying the whole time for me. I can’t tell you enough how much that meant to me. I haven’t felt the way I did in that moment before. I felt like I was completely wrapped in God’s arms and that He was 100% with me and in me. It was amazing. I can’t explain it. I appreciate my church family so much. I appreciate my best friend, who often will pray for me also, and who lets me vent and laugh and cry with her.  And my family, who may not understand, but they love me through it. I don’t know what I would do without any of these people.

When You Have A Review At Work, And You Make Your Boss Cry…….

You read that title correctly……I definitely had my review/evaluation at work yesterday, and at the end, my boss started crying……and I have to admit, I was crying too.

Now, some of you may be thinking, Oh my gosh, it must have been a really BAD review. While actually, it was quite the opposite.

I started at this job just about 2.5 months ago, and this is the yearly review……..everyone has to have one and it’s always at this time of year, no matter when you started the position. So, I had to do a self evaluation first, fill in all the things I thought I was doing well, and the things I felt I needed improvement on or things I still need to learn, and the things that would be helpful to have as I continue in my position.  I gave this to my boss, and then she had to fill one out evaluating me. We then met yesterday and compared the two and went through them and went over everything.

Before I go into this too deeply, I want to tell you a little bit about my boss. She is not a “soft” person. Meaning, she doesn’t really show emotion much, or compliment people either. She is more of a hard shell type person who sets expectations and lets you know when you haven’t met them. She has had a really hard life, has a lot of stress outside of work, and because I have known her for so long (I knew her before getting the job I have now), I know she has the capacity to care about people, she just doesn’t show or express it very well. If you want a complement from her, it’s something you have to seek out, it’s not something she will easily give.

Anyways, I was sitting in her office listening to her give me praises for how I have been doing so far in my position, and hearing her tell me she wanted me in this position months ago, but knew I wasn’t quite ready or at a point in my recovery where I could handle the details and stress of the position, so she ended up hiring someone else back then, but knew when he left I would be the one filling the position.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I knew she appreciated me, and my position, but she had never expressed it to me in a way where she was complementing me, my work, and my courage to take the job. I realized at this time I was truly meeting a goal I had set for myself years ago when I was diagnosed with mental illness. I had set the goal to get off of disability and support myself. I had tried jobs before but they became overwhelming so quickly I quit and beat myself up for not being able to handle it. I realized I have reached a point in my recovery journey that I never really believed would be possible. I started to tear up and I told my boss these things. I told her how much I appreciated her having the trust and belief in me and my abilities to even hire me for this job. I let her know how much it truly means to me that she saw in me, the ability to meet the job expectations and everything that comes along with it. As I was telling her these things, crying myself, she started to cry too.

At that moment I truly realized how much she is behind me, backing me up, and how much she truly cares. It’s not just a job in a lot of ways, but it’s a journey she wanted to be on with me. She wanted my coworkers to be on with me, and she believed I could handle, even before I believed it myself.

So yes, I made my boss cry at my review this week, but if you knew how much those tears taught me, then, you would fully understand the impact just one person could have.