Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Post Workplace Abuse: A day in the life

 What is an average day in the life of a person recovering from workplace abuse?

Other than the fact, that I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as an average day in the life of anybody.

Add to that the fact that we're all different.  The abuse we suffered was different.  The damage was different.  Our stages in life are different.

Etc.  Etc.  Etc.

So here I am.  A "mature" adult who has just turned 65.  An empty nester.  Married to the same long-suffering guy for more than 30 years.  A co-dependent from an early age.

My life, post workplace abuse, is going to look far different from someone who is much younger, who has children still at home, who hopefully has come into this with more elasticity and is able to bounce back a bit more than someone like me who is older and getting worn out by life's circumstances.

For me, many times an average day in the life post workplace bullying consists of simply putting one foot in front of the other.  Waking up in the morning, putting coffee on for my beloved and seeing him off to work.  Working on this blog.  Writing a daily email to my best friend, who is also my cousin and has been an invaluable support to me on my journey.

Most of my life is lived in a small room on the second floor of my house facing the street.  It contains almost everything, except the bathroom and the kitchen, that I need to sustain life:  my computer, my collection of DVDs, a phone, books, and most importantly, hooks, needles, some yarn and some patterns.  The rest of my yarn and patterns are housed in a room nearby where I can get them easily.

During the acute - and especially the beginning of the chronic - phases of my life after the workplace, my world shrank drastically.

I was no longer able physically to do many of the things I had enjoyed before.

I used to cope by taking long walks.  We live near a river and there is a walking path by the river.  Yet, my energy was so drained that except on rare occasions, this was no longer possible.

After even a simple outing, I would find I was so drained of energy that I would sleep for up to 13 hours and spend days afterwards lying in bed.  Sometimes unable to even sleep, I would turn to prayer.  It was the only thing I could do on those days.

On top of that, my balance became badly affected.  At one point I would take a cane with me so that if I started to fall or veer in a strange direction, I could balance on it.  Oh, how I envied my mom and the folks at her assisted living place their wheeled walkers!

One thing though that grew and flourished during this time has been my creativity.  I've crocheted for more than 40 years.  During this time I learned how to knit.  Both of these are serve as a crucial right-brain therapy.

A typical day in my life involves writing this blog first thing in the morning.  As you've undoubtedly noticed, there are days it doesn't appear.  Those are the days when the thoughts just won't come.  When I feel draggy and lethargic from the get go.  Those are the days when I just sit here and watch DVD's and maybe crochet or knit.   Those are the days when even crocheting and knitting become a chore.  Those are the days when I don't go outside the house.  I could call those the "bad" days and in some ways, they are.  Yet, I've learned that even a low energy, low productivity day can still be a good day.

It's a good day when I'm able to get a meal on for hubby.  When he comes in the door after work, sniffs the air and says: "It smells like somebody loves me."

It's a good day when I have a text conversation with one of my daughters and with a friend out west.

It's a good day when I see something growing from the hook or needles in my hands.

There are many "small" things which can make an "average" day into a "good" day.

So today as I end this blog and prepare to push the publish and then the share buttons, I look forward to what this day might hold.  I look forward to those little things that make up the journey towards recovery.

I remind myself that the key word here is:  forward.

I look forward.

Until tomorrow....

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