Day 50: Unemployment, day 1

I was definitely in a state of shock all day yesterday, and being laid off still feels surreal. My mind was spinning with thoughts of all the things that need to get done, and it feels as though every one of those things is equally urgent.

Today is the Narcissist’s 40th birthday. I thought that was going to be the Big Emotional Thing I was going to have to deal with today.

In part because of this, I have an appointment with my therapist scheduled for this afternoon. Granted, my therapy appointments usually are on Thursdays regardless, but I remember thinking, “There’s a chance having an appointment on that specific date will feel like a blessing,” back when I set it up.

I had no idea that the Narcissist’s birthday was going to feel like such a ridiculously monumental blip by the time today rolled around.

Losing my job, in comparison, is like trying to compare the size of a mountain to that of a ladybug.

I’m feeling a little better today, overall, than I was yesterday, though. My brain went a mile a minute all day and I walked around in a daze. I didn’t know which of the many Big Important Things to tackle first.

I chose unemployment. Yesterday, I filed for unemployment. I got that done.

I also cancelled some monthly recurring expenses, like my contributions to my IRA.

But I also did some of the normal everyday things that I do, and that helped a little, too. I walked on the treadmill for a while. It was at the gym instead of the weird little workout room in the basement of my old office building, but I made a point of going there and getting that done.

It was an act of self-care and I’m proud to have done it. I know I start to feel stagnant and depressed very quickly, and my brain does not function at optimal levels, when I do not incorporate some movement into my day. I took care of myself in this way.

I also emptied the dishwasher and went grocery shopping, and made a healthy recipe that will last for 9 meals. I divided it into 8 containers (one serving went directly into my mouth) and froze a bunch of them.

Finally, I’m proud that I noticed and took care of my emotional state. I was so tired yesterday that it felt as though I couldn’t move. I wanted to crawl into bed, close the curtains, pull the covers over me and curl up in a ball.

Simultaneously, it’s bothered me that I was feeling so emotionally numb. I knew I was in shock and I would start having feelings at some point, but in the moment I felt trapped in fight/flight/freeze state and I couldn’t get my body to calm down and allow any real feelings through.

I’m proud that I realized the connection between those two things; weird utter exhaustion and inability to feel my feelings.

“Ah,” I thought. “Those ARE my feelings.”

So, I gave in to them. By 6:00, after I finished making dinner, I was curled up in bed with a book. And then, because my brain refused to focus on the book, I grabbed my phone and allowed myself to screw around on it for a while instead of trying to read.

It worked. It was what I needed. I don’t know that I would have had the self-awareness to know what I needed a few years ago. I probably would have kept spinning.

Four more people were let go yesterday. That’s on top of the two of us from Tuesday. My boss was let go at the same time I was. I don’t recall if I mentioned that yet. He and I were both cut.

I know this layoff wasn’t in any way personal and that my performance at my job was always stellar. That knowledge is helpful to me right now. The confidence it brings will come in useful as I embark on a job search.

Today, I’ll go to the gym again. I have lunch plans with my cousin. This afternoon, I’ll go to therapy. In between each of these things, I’ll probably continue making my way through my to-do lists.

I’ll also review the responses I received to a post I put on reddit. I didn’t have the bandwidth to be able to process them well yesterday.

I seem to be doing okay for now. I’m proud that I seem to be managing this well. I’m making lists, identifying and tackling the highest priority items, and am aware of my self-care needs and engaging in them appropriately.

So far, so good?

One comment

  1. I have been let go many times being in the tech industry. I perform stellar in every role, but alas living in the Portland area it’s an easy cut to make. I go through all the stages of losing someone as my job is my friend and my confidant. Now I’m in another new role for two years now. Trying to learn to not let my career own me. It’s been a struggle, but I am positively gaining ground on this new concept in my brain.

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