On Sunday I got a strange email from the head of my department at work asking me to come in on Monday (usually my day off). It’s hard to explain what it was about the email that tipped me off, but when I read it I knew what was coming.
I emailed her back saying I could not come in. Why should I want to go all the way to the city on my day off just to get fired? The coworkers I text about it on Sunday thought I was being paranoid. Why would they want to fire me? She probably just asked me to come in to work. After all, we had just been asked to do overtime from home the weekend before to try to catch up on the backlog. But Monday morning I started getting texts from those coworkers. The first said only, “you were right.”
Boy. Way to ruin one of my favorite phrases.
As more and more messages came in it became clear this was not isolated to my team. About half of my department was laid off, myself included. (Score for not having to go in and face being canned in person!) Lay offs are hard. It’s not personal; It’s a business decision. But I personally do not have a job now so it can be hard to keep that in mind. There are no hard feelings in theory, and it’s not like we are leaving empty handed.
I’ve never left a job on bad terms.
The outreach from my friends has been touching. Especially the offers to come work at their bars. I know everything will be fine and it means a lot to feel so much support.
At first I wasn’t worried. I actually had a job interview Tuesday anyway. On Tuesday I woke up feeling motivated and excited about the possibilities ahead. I got up and ran three miles, cleaned the apartment, started a new design project and prepared for my interview. After my interview I attended my friends birthday party with some other people who still work at the company. That was the manic energy that precedes a fall.
Wednesday was the first day I got up with no place to go because I have no job. That’s when the anxiety and intrusive thoughts set in. I could not calm the fuck down. After pacing around my apartment for several hours and only feeling worse I decided to put on my running shoes.
I’d like to say that it worked! No problem! I ran it out and now I AM FINE! But that isn’t what happened. I ran a couple miles and felt sort of better but by the time I was out of the shower I felt lousy again. I kept feeling lousy all night. I still feel lousy.
But I got up and ran again today. I’m out of practice; since the half in October I’ve been doing a lot of partying and very little running. I am trying to take this setback as an opportunity to get back into it. I may not have felt much better yesterday after my run, but today I felt a little better than yesterday. And tomorrow I will get up and start my day with a run again. I’m excited about the idea of signing up for races again. Before I had to work weekends and couldn’t take off to race as often as I would have liked. Most 5Ks are on Saturdays.
The great thing about running is that you are in control and the more you do it the easier it is and the more you enjoy it. While each individual run can’t fix you or totally put the breaks on negative emotions, the results are cumulative. It’s a long game in the fight against depression and anxiety. Those small gains add up. While it may be tempting to run a short con on your negative feelings and just crush them under burritos and tequila, you will lose more in the long run.
So that’s the plan. I’m going to run it out. I just signed up for The Santa Hat Dash on December 19th and I’m looking for a long distance race to start training for. Maybe 2016 will be the year I do my first full marathon. For now I’ll start by getting back into 5Ks.
UPDATE: The position I interviewed for the Tuesday after the layoff… Well, a week later, I got the call… I GOT IT!!
This means that the layoff is more like a month long paid vacation! I start with my new company the first Monday of the new year. Hooray 2016!