So for the last couple of weeks I have been very excited about a 5 day job opportunity to work at a local event. The hours were going to be long but I knew it was temporary and that I could push through, show my strength, make a chunk of cash, and have a reference and know I was strong enough to get a real big girl job when it was all done.
Well, that didn't work.
I worked one day, it was a 12 hour day on my feet serving cake and coffee, and I felt mostly fine while doing it even though I only got a 20 minute break. I was so proud of myself, feeling like I could really do this!! Then quitting time came and I walked home, and the pain started. Every muscle fiber in my body caught on fire and I felt like my tendons were ripping from the bones. I sat down every few feet because I felt I might herniate. I cried in the park knowing there was no way I would be going back to the job tomorrow. My boyfriend had been so proud that I had taken this job on and now I knew I had to let him down, as well as the people I was working with. I got home and couldn't move. I have never been in so much pain in my entire life. I went to bed and slept for 20 hours.
My bladder burned, my head was so foggy I could not think, and I could not keep my eyes open. I've had a fever since I left the show grounds. Two days later I am less sore, thank goodness, but dizzy, having stomach problems, a lower fever, and without any strength. I'll manage to stay awake longer today and will see the doctor either today or Monday to get a sick note.
My employers were of course very unsupportive. When I told them I couldn't come back they shamed and guilted me in every way they knew how and I stuck to my guns and knew there was no way I could give them what they wanted. They have threatened even to charge me, but they can't because I literally spent my last few pounds purchasing uniform for the job.
I was so proud and excited to work this job I had Matt take photos of me like a first day of school photo in my uniform.
I prepped for two weeks getting up early and staying awake all day.
It wasn't meant to be. Even though I'm in the reintegration period, working 50 hours in 5 days was not bouncing the boundaries, it was signing up for failure and relapse.
SO DONT DO WHAT I DID.
Reintegration means getting back into things slowly. (I've been in reintegration for a little more than a year now, having worked a part time job and being more physically active this year). My biggest blind spot was that I was (am) desperate for money and desperate to get back into the real world. The company was extremely vague and not very communicative about the nature of the work so I literally did not know what I would be doing until I arrived. I also had to stand all day without any of my belongings, without my water, pills, almonds, nothing to support me at all. I needed much more information about the job before I started, but I was going too much on blind faith. I have been praying for the right job for a couple months now and thought this would be perfect, being part of a community event and getting a good chunk of money for a short time.
Oh well, we live and we learn. Hopefully I'll recover from this set back soon and know how to move on. I've been reviewing the different kinds of financial support from the Secrets to Recovery site and might try to get a supplement while I find a part time job. I just know I'll find the right thing eventually but this year has been exactly the opposite of how I envisioned it. I thought I would find my perfect job quickly and suddenly everything would all fall into place. I guess it all has to break apart first.
In between sleeping I would wake up sobbing. I felt like such a failure. I felt like I'd let the entire universe down. I felt so worthless. I was certain Matt was envisioning our future crumble before his very eyes. None of this was true. I listened to some Secrets calls and remembered I am not insane and I am not crazy and I will find a way to wind through this wild and crazy world. I just have to be patient. And I have to be realistic. And I have to ask questions and stick up for myself.
People can be real ass holes. There will be people who don't have an ounce of compassion in them. Then there are beautiful souls who look at you and say "oh yes, hello there, fellow traveler." Don't waste any time on the assholes. I was surrounded by people who made my existence feel miserable and tried to convince myself I just had to buck up and get through it. NO. Surround yourself with the people who light up your life. If you interview for a job or sit in front of a doctor who makes you feel like a piece of crap, move on honey, there is a brilliant soul out there waiting to meet you. If you, my fellow warrior, ever come across an asshole who is trying to pressure you into being or doing something you can't or don't want to do, PLEASE say to yourself, well that Jenny girl who blogs loves me and would totally stick up for me right now!!! Because I would. And you are loved.
Amor Fati. That's Latin for Love Thy Fate. It's so much more inspiring than "love your life". When you love your fate you completely embrace everything that you've chosen and everything that has happened to you. You respect your choices and you look straight in the eye into events that have occurred outside of yourself.
Having graduated from a successful Master's program at a university in the heart of Hollywood, I have a lot of uber talented and beautiful and humble friends and acquaintances that have found their way to big success and found themselves in... my dream job. I scroll through my news feeds elated and heart-sick with want when my pals post about their production projects or a new job in my dream company.
When I completed my MFA the world was wide open with a hundred paths that would lead me down "success". I had to close the way to all the paths I felt like my whole life was leading up to because I was so severely ill. It's a strange feeling when life gives you only one choice and it isn't the choice you ever imagined. In some ways it is liberating that life is forcing you so hard down one path you have no option but to just give in and go with it. I challenge you to accept that calling because you never know what amazing places it could take you (also because if you do come across one of those times, resistance is pretty futile :P, so just go with it.).
As I scrolled through and saw another one of my contemporaries successfully work their way into the life I wanted for myself, my face explodes in a smile, and my heart fills with joy for this person, and then suddenly I break down in tears feeling like my opportunities for the same path have all vanished. Then I nearly slap myself silly realizing this may look like ingratitude for the beautiful place life has brought me. I have found the love of my life and moved to Europe. While I don't have the "success" I imagined in terms of high achievement and financial stability, I have a beautiful "wayfinder" life. To say I wish things had been different means that I would negate the miracles that have found me despite my inability to rise to other paths.
It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do. And then when I found the way, Life came in and
swept it all to a different direction. This illness has taught me a little bit about what Pocahontas called following the
wind. You can set your compass in any direction and make all your efforts produce the results you want, but you also have to listen to the wind. Your soul is whispering things to you on a daily basis that show you how the universe outside of you is calling to the universe inside of you. This doesn't mean sitting around waiting for life to happen to you. It means Loving Thy Fate. There is no room for regret or bemoaning how things have turned out. Love every turn life has given you, because I truly believe everything happens for a reason. If right now sucks, remember that you love your fate, and tune in with yourself to figure out what on Earth to do next. One step at a time. As my friend Kristen riffed, "Half a League, Half a League, Half a league onward, marched Zelda toward her health and dreams."
Living in a small town now, looking for a new job, trying to start a career 4 years after finishing school, is a quick journey to the dark parts of the soul. There is no way to explain what I've been through in the last decade, and how day to day life continues to challenge me on a physical level, which then challenges me on an emotional and spiritual level. But I know if I were to speak to a friend in the same situation I would say, "There is nothing you can do which will mean you are no longer loved. Be kind, be honest, do your best. Don't for a minute waste your life trying to be what others think you should be, or what you think the world wants you to be. Listen to the song of your soul and you can do no wrong."
In one of her podcasts, Marianne Williamson describes the love of the Universe never allows for missed opportunities. If for some reason you were not able to show up for one opportunity, the spiral of life will bring about the opportunity again, in the form in which you will be able to accept it. You just have to be open enough to see it, and allow it to be something different from what you expected, because , well I trust at least that perhaps the Universe does a better job of organizing things than I ever could.
Half a League, Half a League, onto this strange unpaved path before me.