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Things got … new since I last blogged. The summer contained a new type of stress that forced me to deal with things in a new type of way. I’ve wanted to write for a while and now seems like a good time because a chapter of my life has ended and a new one is about to start. The old one is still right in my head, giving me nightmares. But I hope they’ll fade.

I knew that working my notice would heap pressure on but I had hoped that the knowledge that it would be over quickly would propel me through. It didn’t. When I cracked enough to open up to a colleague she asked me that and I felt weak for admitting that I was struggling to cope with such a short time left, but there you are.

This summer has seen me asking for help to an extent that has bewildered me. I knew when I was applying for new work that my notice period would be tricky. The spotlight was on me to do all the things and prove that I’d done them. I do did lots of things in my job but the things I’d been avoiding had to not be avoided anymore. That was always going to be hard. Doing the things I’m afraid of and fighting off the things that made me afraid of them at the same time. You might do it wrong. You might have already done it wrong and it’s too late. You’ll be found out. You’ll be told off. That was the early part of August and the beginning of needing all the help. There were panicked crying attacks on a train, on a station platform, in a coffee shop, hiding in the loo, on the floor of my office, in the shower, on the sofa with a friend. Bottles of wine were downed. Pleas for reassurance were … pleaded.

I felt like I should have been able to handle this on my own, or at least with my trusty friend alcohol, but nope. Knowing that I had to do everything made me clutch at anything that would help me. Even letting some friends see my wussiness in its wheezing, snotty glory. Even begging for benzos. Dropping the jokes and asking for help. A few of you deserve medals for your patience as each little fear got dumped in your laps.

A couple of weeks in things got harder because, trying not to drop anonymity entirely, the notice period was handled badly. I shouldn’t really have expected otherwise. I got so stressed I even broke my ‘don’t ever talk to boss’ rule and asked him for help, which was wasted breath.

I’ve always wanted to be a calm and collected person. I’ve looked up to my step-mum for years. She actually is a calm and collected person. We’re quite similar in a lot of ways at our cores, but I’m neurotic and unstable and sort of flaily. I hate that I got so needy this summer. So completely unable to handle anything myself. Changes came out of nowhere and floored me. I know I’m a panicky person but I’ve been learning to give myself a bit of breathing space and wait for non-panicky feelings and thoughts to provide balance. That adaptability disappeared this summer and each time something new was thrown at me I froze. In a moment of shame I deleted a bunch of my more flappy posts to my friends so some of my neediness has become a bit hazy. Stress does funny things to the memory. Shame tells me that I have really good things happening and I should have been grateful and stronger and not whined so much when other people have worse things to deal with. I’m trying not to let shame gain too much of a foothold because I guess the important thing is that those people I reached out to have been patient and kind and I got the things done. Thank you so much.

The unlucky few even boosted my confidence enough for me to stand up for myself at work right at the end. I agonised about doing what I did because it felt like it was motivated by revenge. I’d dreamed about making my boss pay for months and now I was finally taking the chance. That’s not very Christian. But what I did will hopefully check him and protect future employees, maybe even the existing ones. And I finally protected myself when I needed to. The satisfied smirk of revenge tells me I should probably remind myself of those fruits of the Spirit nobody really likes to think about when they’ve been hurt. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I’ve also had to deal with some consequences. I royally pissed off some colleagues and I got a knife twist in the form of a realisation that not many people I worked with gave much of a damn. And a new set of fears have said hello. I’m feeling sad today so probably shouldn’t be blogging at all. Some people did give a damn and that’s lovely. But I’m bruised and sore. My emotions are squiffy. I get overstimulated and turn into a Catherine wheel really quickly. I’m scared I’ll be rubbish at the new job. I’m so glad I took a month off before starting. Even now, a week and a half after I finished the old job, I can’t find resources inside me to help stabilise myself. I’m using my environment to do that now. We went away somewhere peaceful and pretty for a few days and I think the stillness seeped inside me a bit. When the Catherine wheel slows down a bit I remember I stood up for myself. I’m making a big change that could be, y’know, really great, and I got through a horrible summer not unscathed but with my head held high at the end. I have fledgling feelings of pride. Now I’m home for a few days and doing not much but knitting. I did a little meditation two days ago. I should do more of that. I listened to a sermon last weekend and even took notes. I should look back on them. Maybe even listen to the mp3. But right now I have yarn and it’s very pretty. 🙂