Well, things with my last job have finally come to a close.
If you’ve missed some of what happened up to this point, here’s a quick rundown:
I started working at the corporate office of a large clothing company as a technical designer at the end of July, despite having the feeling that full-time work was beyond the scope of what I was currently capable of. I got off to a rocky start, but seemed to excel for a brief time before the anxiety took hold of me. Very quickly, panic attacks began happening at work (more frequently and severely as the month progressed) and paranoia crept into the equation until I had the unyielding feeling that my boss was not only trying to sabotage me, but also the company. These paranoid delusions (which I took to be real) led me to begin an inquiry against my boss with the HR department, only to find that she had done nothing wrong.
At that point the mixed sort of episode of paranoia “fun” morphed into a mixed episode weighing heavily on the side of depression, and I pulled myself out of work to go on a leave of absence. A month ago I was cleared to go back to work, but only for three days per week. I put in an accommodation request form with my employer, asking to be reduced to part-time status.
I had been waiting for almost an entire month to hear back (which has really been stressing me out, I have been dying for any news at all), but Monday the wait finally ended. My employer got back to me and they decided not to make my requested accommodation. They gave me a few options to consider, none of which really made any sense for my situation except for “separation” [that’s the polite word for termination] from the company.
I can’t say that I am surprised, and I am almost a little grateful this is how things turned out because it was a very chaotic atmosphere to work in and I have been very nervous about the prospect of being thrust back into a group of people that I’d just had some of the most intense paranoid delusions of my life around. Needless to say, I felt a little self conscious, and I know many of their attitudes toward mental illness are based on ignorance alone, making it something of an uncomfortable potential reunion.
Don’t get me wrong -I am definitely sad to miss out on the great wages, medical benefits, a position where I could learn new things, working with a team of excellent people, but this job also had a lot of downfalls. That, and I’m simply not surprised at their final decision, I genuinely expected it after the way things have gone with my previous employers.
Admittedly, I’ve secretly been planning in my head for the occurrence of this situation, so I have a plan already, and some money saved to help limp me through to the next phase of… whatever. Life, I guess. Once the moves I’m making become a little less immediate and anxiety producing I plan on sharing a bit more with you.
What I’m left with, and what I expected to be left with when I started this job, was to find out just how realistic (or unrealistic) full-time work is for me. And if the paranoid delusions have anything to say about it, the verdict has me leaning toward unrealistic. Unfortunate, but again, not a surprise, and in the last two years I’ve had plenty of time to accept it.
That acceptance has left me walking away from this whole situation calmly, in good spirits, and even with a little bit of grace (if you can imagine that). As much as I fantasize sometimes about leaving a job and wreaking havoc upon my evil employers, this way (with understanding) has been a lot easier, a lot less stressful, and subsequently with a lot less erratic mood behaviors.
And any time there are less jagged-shaped mood swings I have to say, “yay”!