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.