Life post workplace bullying tends to resemble a large-scale construction project like the one currently nearing completion in our neighbour. Unlike this construction project, our "reconstruction" project has no beginning, middle or end. At least, not one we can see with our eyes. Yet, the signs of recovery are there. We just have to look harder for them.
As I was pondering what to write about today, one theme kept recurring to me. Life post workplace bullying.
What does life post workplace bullying look like? Really look like? Is it all dark and gloomy? It's definitely not all fun. There seem to be periods of both intertwined in the journey. Sometimes in the same day.
There are flare ups, to be sure, such as what I've been experiencing with our mail situation, yet even in the middle of those flare ups, there were still positive signs of recovery. Such as two days ago when we needed some groceries and hubby was too worn out from working. Since he now has three jobs to try to pay the bills, it's hard to schedule a day off and he gets tired working seven days a week. We needed groceries - and I felt alert and alive enough to go out alone and get them.
For most people, this is not noteworthy. In my past life this was never a problem. In my present life, I rarely go places alone. But two days ago, I went out alone without a backward glance - or a qualm. For once, I felt strong. Even after a week fraught with strong feelings of anger, rage, etc. Fraught with flashbacks of the past and a resurgence of physical affects, I felt emotionally stronger than normal. I'm not sure why.
I chose to go to a different store than normal, one smaller. One unfamiliar to me. One where you have to bag your own items. No one does it for you. Other than the fact that the stress from the episode of workplace bullying has caused eye problems and while I can see the "big" pictures i.e. large things like people, carts, etc., the small details are a problem. Especially in a different store. I needed honey. Where was the honey? It was hard for me to see individual items and read the signs. So I slowed down and took it easy. I decided it would be an adventure. And it was. Eventually I found everything on my list - and a few things that were not - and headed to the cashier. As luck would have it, one cashier was just finishing up with a customer. And she had a smile to die for! In addition, she was kind and had a radiant personality.
One of my daughters called while I was out and was shocked to hear that I was grocery shopping alone. Unaided. Unprotected.
I was proud of myself too. I went out, alone, unprotected and survived! Hubby? He'd been worried and was just glad I made it home in one piece - rather than in pieces.
It's incidents like that that give me hope for full recovery. That show me in concrete ways that though I felt I was relapsing with all the "yucky" emotions and symptoms reappearing, that in the midst of all the bad, yucky stuff, there are concrete, irrefutable signs of recovery. Those are what I need to look for. And focus on. Not the other, transitory stuff like emotions.
Emotions come and go. There is really nothing bad about them per se, I've learned. It's what the person chooses to do with them.
I think I'll stop here today and simply bask in that one moment of concrete recovery. Something that I've not been able to do before. Something, that even though I'd had an emotionally - and physically - bad week shows that recovery is still slowly happening.
There are more stories about seemingly small things. Things like going into what I felt was the whale's belly (referring to Jonah in the Bible) when my daughter accompanied me to Canada Post's distribution centre yesterday to pick up our accrued mail.
Life ... is what happens when we have other plans.
Life has thrown me several curve balls - and continues to throw them regularly just to see what I'll do with them.