Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Letting go

I had a friend visit me yesterday that I used to work with back in the day.  She's a great lady and she and I used to commiserate about how bad our jobs sucked once management changed and some people (namely our bosses) showed their true colors.

I was lucky, I was able to leave and while I was pretty bitter for a year or two having to leave a job of 12 years over people being flaming a-holes, I also knew that they were closing our branch so I'd be out of a job in a year anyway.  I was right and I was glad I left on my terms.  It would've literally killed me due to stress if I stayed there.  I had my two week notice letter on my desktop for three months and at the end of the day every day, I moved my last day one day out.  One day, my boss pushed me too far and I was under such stress I lost my hearing.  I thought I was having a heart attack.  I messaged the Mr and told him what was going on and he told me to print out the resignation letter and get the hell out.  I told him not to tell me that unless he was serious because I would and he said it was time to put my health first.  There was nothing like seeing my supervisor's face when she found out the only support staff that knew everything (including part of her job) was leaving.  I still smile a bit when I think of it.  It was hard that first year after because the bitterness of having to leave at all when I cared about so many of my co-workers was still consuming me.  When I heard that the boss got a job at another place and karma hit her life pretty friggin' hard, I knew I could let it all go.  She wasn't sitting around worrying about me, why the hell should I hold on to all of that anger about her?

I told you that to tell you this, if I sounded bitter, my old co-worker is me x100.  Not only does she hold on to the bitterness of the job we worked at together but also one that she was let go from a few months ago.  Now I'm not saying she doesn't have the right to be angry, her boss was rude and belligerent and I think was trying to get her to quit.  She didn't but he doubled her duties while she was in the throws of a hard chemo treatment when she tried to come back to work too soon.  He felt he had cause (I don't think he did) and she is consumed by making him pay for lying about her.  As I sat and listened to her and tried to encourage her to let it go and let karma take care of it all, I saw the person I used to be.  I don't think I ever complained or obsessed quite as much as she did but I saw how hard I must've been to live with when I was going through the worst of my stuff with my former employer.  It brought back all of those bad feelings and I was so thankful that I'm in the position to be able to work from home and not have to deal with people who make my work existence so horrific that it consumes me not only off the clock but months and/or years later.

via SearchQuotes

I worry about her taking all of that on still because she's fighting cancer and she doesn't need to worry about crap that doesn't aid in her recovery.  One thing I have learned once I left was to stop letting people or circumstances out of my control eat at me so furiously that it could be killing me from the inside out.  I'm a dweller so that kind of stuff is in my nature but I don't know if it's age, experience or just not giving a rat's ass as much but I think I'm improving on that stuff and it kills me to see people allowing those things to control them.  I know I have improvements to make but after seeing her, I know I already have made big strides in taking control of my mental health which as we all know translates to better physical health.  I just say a little prayer for her that she lets go so she can focus on the good things in life since she's been given a second chance at living.

Have you let your job and/or other people's actions affect your mental well being?  How do you learn to let go?

====================
Like this post? Don't miss another one...subscribe via email or RSS feed. (Or you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter )

30 comments:

  1. It's amazing how far you've come from those days. It's easy to get bogged down in stress and let it consume thoughts, happiness, health, etc. But once you figure out how to deal with it better and learn to let go more, the benefits are evident and there is really no going back! I only hope your friend can figure it out before it's too late.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I look at journal entries from that time and I see how angry and mentally unhealthy I was. It's like a completely different person; one I wouldn't want to be around.

      You and me both.

      Delete
  2. I work at a financial institution. Every day I have to tell people they are overdrawn and not return those fees. Everyday I get told stories of hardship and loss and sometimes just outright stupidity. But I can't take that home. I would be forever depressed if I let other peoples issues sit along side mine. Yes I care that you are ruining your financial health by using payday loan places, but I can't stop you. You need to learn on your own if you wont listen to me to find another way.
    Learning to leave work at work and home at home is difficult but must be done to have any sense of peace while in either place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I worked at a place where we had to collect debt from people who had been sent to collections. It was NOT the job for me. I still remember names of people who affected me from pulling heartstrings to pissing me off so bad I wanted to smack them. Jobs where finances are involved are ones you absolutely have to leave at work. You can't make other people's problems your own.

      Delete
  3. Until a few years ago, I held on to EVERYTHING. I was always keeping track of every slight and negative thing that ever happened to me and obsessing over it. Work stuff, private stuff, all of it. I was a crabby, bitter person. Negative, negative, negative.

    Exercise is what helped me change. They say exercise is good for your brain/emotional health and it was so true for me. I also started being more healthy in general (eating and all that) but the exercise was the key for me.

    The best exercise for helping me let go? Yoga. Yoga just struck a chord with me. It's constantly teaching me, humbling and encouraging me in equal measures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I spent quite a few years the same way. Your brain never had any peace. I'm so glad you found a way to let that stuff go and that yoga was part of it for you!

      Delete
  4. I hope your friend can let go of her anger. Stress is a major contributor to cancer, she doesn't need any more of it than she already has, just fighting the disease. I have heard good things about Yoga, or even mental health counseling. She needs to find a release for all that anger and get it out of her body. Keep us posted--we care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too. I remember seeing the change in her and it was when she left one job at the company to come back and work in my dept. I'd be lying if I said at the time, I didn't feel responsible for her change in attitude but I can't take responsibility for the way she chooses to react to situations. You can tell someone 100x to stop touching the hot burner but some people prefer to continue burning themselves. :(

      Delete
  5. I hope ur friend can let it go...but frankly u have to figure it out yourself..I finally let go of a lot of things but have a long way to go...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too. You do have to figure it out for yourself and you'd think fighting a life threatening disease would be enough to switch priorities for her health but it doesn't seem to be. I'm glad you've learned to let go and just keep working toward letting more go of the things that hold you back. It's a process, that's for sure!

      Delete
  6. I agree with previous commenters that your friend could be in serious trouble for her battle if she can't find a way to relieve the stress. However, I have another comment. If she can prove to a state labor relations board that her supervisor doubled her duties or that she was forced to return to work too early, she has a good chance at winning a discrimination suit. My daughter went through something similar when she was pregnant. She has suffered from fibromyalgia since she was very young, about 5, we think now. She also has hypothyroidism. Between severe morning sickness, not being able to take her pain meds, and her thyroid going whack, her pregnancy was very difficult. Her thyroid swelled to the point that it was pressing on her vocal chords, making it painful for her to take phone duty, which was not her primary job. Her supervisor made her so miserable that she had a panic attack on her first day back at work and has not been able to continue. Her stress levels made her drop her discrimination suit, and her family is now in financial straits because of it. It isn't right, it isn't fair, and it isn't legal. Be sure your friend knows that there is help available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me, she knows there is help but she's choosing to drag it out trying to time it when it'll hit them hardest. I feel the longer she's choosing to do that, she's putting her health at further risk by not just getting on with it. She wants the boss to suffer and I think she's counting on feeling some sense of justice that may come at the expense of her health or worse, her life.

      Delete
  7. It's hard to tell sometimes what comes first Do I eat because other things are eating at me or do things eat at me because I'm too busy eating to do other things to keep me healthy. Same thing with your friend. Is she obsessing about this because it seems more cut and dried than her cancer challenge or is the cancer made worse by her hanging on to things she can't change.

    Whatever the cause, I know that when I start purging one thing, it all starts to come off: weight, anger, messy closets, all of it. And it may hurt at first but in the long run, when I keep up the effort, I feel better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. I hope she figures it out soon, I don't want to see her health suffer needlessly.

      You said messy closets and I have to say, I need to tackle mine asap. I don't even want to open the door in there any more and I know that's plaguing a part of my mind! LOL

      Delete
  8. Oh, I know how much my job was affecting my health! I'm curious to see if my hair will start growing back and if my bp numbers improve. I feel for your friend because it's extremely difficult to have to face those "difficult" people day in, day out....and sadly it's everywhere it seems. I made my decision about 3 months ago to start looking, but I didn't stress about the details. I had my part to do, and I left the details up to God. As soon as I let go of that control, doors started opening. I knew I had to get out for my health (how many of us have eaten copious amounts of food because of work stress??) and I'm so happy I did. My former boss is wreaking havoc on the ones who remain, and it just reinforces my decision to put my health first. I took a pay cut, and while that gives me some concerns, I also know that no amount of money could have kept me there (and oh did they offer me money--it was fascinating to see her desperation once she figured out the scope of how much I did). Funny, I'm so used to the crazy rush, rush, rush at that place, that I haven't been able to mentally relax this week so far. That's given me insight into just how stressed my mind has been.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think you made the right decision getting the heck out of there. I went from making a laughable salary to a salary that MIGHT let me pay a bill or two a month to feel like I'm contributing. Pay vs health is an easy decision if your finances are okay to take the cut. Wishing you zen before your new adventure!

      Delete
  9. I'm working really hard on this. I have a new boss and it's been a bumpy road to say the least. I used to get all stressed about it but then I had an opportunity to reshape the program I oversee. I had to make at least a year commitment to see it thought and I did because I care about what I'm doing that much. I'm still frustrated daily but I don't let it consume me. Plus I've been working out a lot more and that helps :) thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be quite nice to be able to shape how a program goes so I hope you get some satisfaction out of that. Sounds like you're doing good work even if the boss is less than ideal.

      Delete
  10. One thing I have learned once I left was to stop letting people or circumstances out of my control eat at me so furiously that it could be killing me from the inside out. <-- OMG, this is something I needed to hear right at this moment. I am a dweller too and I will ignore everything positive to focus on the negative and let it eat at me. I need to stop doing that. It's unhealthy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you heard it when you needed to! I relate to your last statement all too well. I need thicker emotional skin.

      Delete
  11. I was a teacher for almost 5 years and left my job, not because I didn't love the kids, but because I couldn't take the politics and the crap that got dumped on me day in and day out. talk about guilt, feeling like I was "giving up" on those kids.

    I ended up working in my family business and though some days it's not as "fun" as teaching, I leave work at work and I go home, most days, with absolutely no tears and anxiety, stress and fear. I realized it's about me and my life and my choice to be happy.

    Kudos to you for making that decision, which was probably not only for your mental health, but you're physical health too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You certainly didn't give up on those kids. You're less than you can be when you're that stressed out and unfortunately, the kids lose out on a great teacher. It's great you can basically leave work at work.

      Delete
  12. I cannot turn off from home to work to home again. One could be so very busy to not have the time to dwell on other matters, but I don't think anyone has a magic switch. Being in a situation makes it hard to see it from the outside-in and have an objective view. It's sad that most of us find ourselves working in a job that we have just made our way into or stumbled into/found that pays the bills but offers no other satisfaction. Not a lot of us are working in fields that support and fuel our passions. And not all of those jobs would be able to pay the bills. Hey you were looking for a job when you found that one, right? Think about it. Yoga is an amazing exercise for mind, body and spirit. The key is to have a 'great' yoga teacher. The wrong one can make it not so pleasant. If you feel awesome when you're done, even if it kicks your butt, the savasana at the end (corpse pose, fully resting), makes it all worth it. Also peeps, let's 'clear that clutter!' (Try Karen Kingston's "Clear Your Clutter with Fung Shui" - has the emphasis on clearing the clutter...the fung shui effects just 'happen' when you clear that clutter) Clear it from our minds, bodies and living spaces...working spaces, cars and yards/patios, etc. The universe will rush in to offer many opportunities. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's nothing like savasana especially when you have sweat dripping off of you after a good session!

      Delete
  13. I used to work at a place where I cried almost everyday and there was a time when I could not sleep or eat because of the way I was treated. I came across and old email from them a few weeks ago and it was amazing how I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that same feeling of stress. Letting go is really hard for me too, in fact, I am reading a book about it right now. I read last night that when you let that stress, or anger take over, it really is about the core issues a person has. I know you are making great strides in everything you do and mental health is key, as you said!!

    It must be amazing to work from home and not have to deal with people, they are the worst, wink, wink!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, sorry you had to go through that, it's an all too familiar story. Isn't it funny how reading something from that time can take you right back to how you felt?

      It's nice to work from home but being a social person, it kinda stinks not having co-workers. I miss the social interaction face to face.

      Delete
  14. I read this early this morning, but didn't have time to comment. I used to be really good at letting things go. I was the proverbial duck with the bad vibe waters rolling off my back. Now I have a tougher time with it. Where I once took people at face value, now I over-analyze every nuance and I have a tough time letting anything go. Dog meet bone. I'm not sure where I lost my zen, but I need to find it again because I was a much happier person back then.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't usually let people affect me for more than a few days, if that. However, in early 2012, I was SEVERELY burned by someone that I cared about a lot. It turns out he was a scam artist. He stole my rent money. He also stole my prescription pain pills and almost caused me to lose a friend over it (admittedly, she was battling a pill problem, but I was fairly certain she'd never steal from me and I was right). I ended up losing my apartment. My credit is screwed because of him. I lived with my father for quite a few months, then a hotel, then my "new" (we've been together almost 10 months now) boyfriend's mother's place. We've got a place now, but I still feel the ramifications of my ex sometimes. Sometimes, I get SO angry. The only that makes me feel better is knowing that he's done it to two other women since me. I mean, I'm not glad they had to go through that (I wouldn't wish it on ANYONE), but for months afterward, I thought it was my fault and there was something wrong with me. Now, I realize there is something wrong with HIM. I barely ever think of him anymore, but every once in awhile, something reminds me of that time in my life and I wanna punch him in the nose all over again. :P

    ReplyDelete
  16. It took me a very long time to learn to let go. I finally realized that when I held on to negative issues, especially with other people, I was only hurting myself, physically, mentally and spiritual. My anger does not affect the person or place I am angry with. Only me.

    Like you, I can look back and see what it was like and realize I am at a much better place. Whew...

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I appreciate thoughtful readers like you! If your comment doesn't show up right away, check back in a few minutes. I promise it'll get posted. The system can get a little glitchy. (Rude or spammy comments will be deleted. Fair warning.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...