Thursday, 1 March 2012

The pit

It’s hard to know at one point I fell into the pit.

The more I think about it, the more I think that’s because there was no impressive, arm-twirling, comedy falling backwards moment. I think instead I tripped up, fell and have been desperately clinging on to twigs and bits of earth ever since then to stop myself slowly sliding down to the bottom.

The pit is not unfamiliar to me. I wouldn’t use the D-word because I’m not the type of person that gets a snotty nose and calls it the flu but it’s a pattern I’ve seen before which sees me fall into a pit, scrabble around in the bottom for a while, and then suddenly find the magic trapdoor that releases me back out into the wild again.

It wouldn’t take a genius to work out the major cause of my fall. I’ve now been waiting five weeks to find out whether I’m going to be made redundant. I hear you, they are indeed bastards. Five weeks of not having a clue what’s going on, whilst the CEO jets off on a skiing holiday and you daren’t buy a pair of shoes because you need to save as much money as you can in case you don’t have a job.

It has been woefully mishandled and judging by the other people that are in the same position as me, we’re all at various points, clinging on to the walls of the pit. The kick of it is that when they do decide to tell us something, it could just as easily be the “good” news that your job is safe as it could that you’re being made redundant. Unfortunately, they’ve treated us so badly that I feel the need for the inverted commas – not many people want to stick around even if it turns out they’re not in the pool.

The process doesn’t do wonders for your self esteem. I know it’s not supposed to be personal and I know it’s a strategic decision. But when you’re the only person that does your job, it’s not particularly nice to think “Wow. 5 years and they still think I’m irrelevant. Awesome.”

Then you add to that that the job market sucks at the moment and you slide another couple of feet down the pit.

Then you start applying for jobs that you’re not really that interested in but you feel you have to apply for because you weren’t brought up to just go on the dole and having any job is better than no job. And then they reject you. Cue another mudslide that pushes you further down the pit.

Then you start applying for jobs that you know you’re not really qualified for and you don’t really stand a chance of getting but you feel you have to try. And even though you know they’re going to reject you and you dig your heels in and brace yourself against falling – you still fall another few metres.

Then the person that you work with basically gets headhunted to do a job that you could probably do and you can feel your legs shaking under the effort of holding yourself up and remaining positive and cheery.

And then there’s a throwaway comment by a friend that isn’t meant as an insult and a stupid “fun” discussion with a group friends and a trip into town where you literally cannot find anything that suits your body shape and you will find you have finally reached the bottom of the pit, where you are unable to find anything remotely positive about your physical or mental self.

Instead you become convinced that you are a fat loser who is unemployable and will never amount to anything and will never get the house, the marriage, the babies, the job that everyone else around you has.

And I do believe at this point you have reached total meltdown.

No amount of self-cajoling can pull me out at the moment. I know it’s not helpful and I know that there could be so much else wrong and I should be thankful I have my health etc etc but that’s the thing about the pit – it seems to have an invisible barrier to reason. In fact then you start to feel guilty that you’re wallowing in self pity and should get a grip and you discover that you actually haven’t reached the bottom of the pit, there’s a layer of quicksand at the bottom for you to sink into. Add “selfish witch” on to the list of bad characteristics.

All of this is just a terribly convoluted way of saying “Sorry I haven’t been blogging much lately” which is a much simpler sentence to write and could leave you with images of me jetting around the world, meeting wonderful people and doing interesting things, when in fact I’m sitting at home, eating my emotions and wondering if drowning in a cup of tea might actually be the best way to go because I really love tea.

I’ll be back any minute now. I just need to find that magical trapdoor, I know it’s in here somewhere.


  1. Woah there Nelly!

    I hate pits... I'm teetering on the edge of one... Hope you find the trapdoor soon... Or that something magical happens overnight, which it invariably does.


  2. I've missed you :) but you must take as long as you need know what 'they' say about time and healing and whatnot.

    Think of Penny day you'll be able to draw a magic door to get out of the depths of the pit, you just gotta take a little while looking to find your crayons in the dark. They'll be there somewhere. Until then, massive HUGS for you!

    I hope it works out for you soon. xxx

    Ps, They (your company) are bastards, massive steaming twatters. xx

  3. Well I have to say I don't really want you to be in this pit. Would it help matters if I were to make you some kind of ladder and pull you out? Well, assist you in climbing anyway.

    There is a job going at my place, but our jobs only pay £11k a year so it's probably not worth your while.

    Have you looked at jobs near The Person too? Yes I should imagine you have, stupid thing to say Heather.

    Perhaps, in lieu of a ladder, you could write down one thing each day that has been A Good Thing, and use these as little steps to life you out of the pit? I dunno, I'm not much help really.

    Sorry hun x

  4. I've been missing you, but I do understand, and you must take the time to find that door. It is there somewhere.

    I'm so sorry they are such £$682!%s. Do you know how long the wait will be? (We had a 'three month consultation' a couple of years ago. That was fun. Also happened to coincide with finding out our landlord wanted to sell the flat, and the end of my doctoral funding. Joy!)

    There isn't much I can say - the voices in the pit are also idiots, however much they might sound like rational and sensible versions of you, and you do have skills, experience, learning and brains.

    Sending you hugs, R

  5. I'm really sorry :-) I've been in that pit myself many times and it's awful. Have you got people around you that you can talk to? If you can feel it getting worse, I would urge you to see your GP. Take care of yourself x

  6. Just simply a lovely big hug, a cup of tea, and an ear if needed.
    Kier x

  7. Ah yes the pit. I know it well. I think that most people find themselves there from time to time. It is horrific when you are there but you know one day the edge doesn't seem so far out of reach. I hope that day comes soon. I hope that your employers pull their finger out quickly and can at put a stable footing to your pit and enable you to start planning how to get out.

  8. missed you! take your time, and work it through.

  9. Sorry to hear you're struggling. It is horrid to go through. I had a couple of months of my job being on the line a few years back and it was crap. I hope they let you know where you stand soon.

  10. Sending big hugs your way. Hope you find your trapdoor soon. L xxx

  11. That sounds so shxt!!!
    I hope it gets better soon.
    Take care, and I am sending positive thoughts and wishes your way, so that the work situation gets resolved quickly.
    Also sending you cyber hugs!!!

  12. If you read "Men are from Mars...." It explains about the pit - they call it a well, and women regularly fall into the well (or pit). You cannot come back up until you have hit the bottom, and then you will rise to the top again. And I know all of this is true. Hang on in there chuck, and you look out for yourself and everything will come right. In my working life, I have been made redundant 4 times ( a price you pay for deciding to stay in the North). The first time I ended up quite ill,breathing attacks etc and even though it was the shitty 80's I managed to get another job - which was a shitty job, and I was getting divorced at the time, but I managed to find Mr
    Heartshaped through it. Not many people have great employers these days, employers seem to have realised that they can be bastards. Try to keep your head and look after yourself. xxxxxx

  13. Make some cake. Dance around like a crazy to disco music. Drink tea eat cake and write metaphorical blog posts.

    That's basically what I'd do. It doesn't always help. But sometimes it does.

  14. Theres no wonder you are in 'the pit'.
    I fall in regularly for no reason and have to wait to find the trapdoor.
    l don't have to deal with all the stress you do and know that nothing anyone says will make you feel better.
    Hoping you find the trapdoor soon, until then (((hugs))).

  15. Oh rubbish. Life surely is a series of challenges aka seriously pants times. Think I agree with Flitterbee - tea, dancing like a nutcase and writing cathartically are all winners for me. Oh and long walks in beautiful (preferably windswept!) places where I can indulge my personal misery a bit... And sometimes it just takes some time for things to come right again, hope you soon get some stability back, and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. x

  16. Oh dear... don't worry, we live in hard times. You'll get through it. I feel the same sometimes with my less than £12K a year job. I've been made redundant before and failed my probation period and been badly bullied at work to the point where I almost had a break down. It will be ok!! xxx

  17. What a total bunch of wankers your company is. My company kept saying "no more redundancies" and then getting rid of someone else, and eventually is was me. But to be honest, I was relieved more than anything else - I'd never been happy there. I know it isn't like that for you so I would advise you to give them a big F**k you and focus on getting another job.

    Big hug.

  18. Being under threat of redundancy is awful, I've been there 4 times but only been made redundant once. So far. That is bound to change as that is the way of the world nowadays, no jobs for life anymore.
    All you can do is keep plodding on and hopefully they will put you out of your misery soon, hopefully for the better. In the meantime have a good wallow until you feel ready to climb out of the pit. Also I'd recommend treating yourself, it doesn't have to be anything extravagant - maybe a calorific cake, a new item of make-up or a glossy mag, just something to say sod you I'm not putting my life completely on hold.


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