Work Defined Me
I was let go from my facility a year ago at 58 in a Restructuring (the new term for layoffs). I was a department director and enjoyed my work and co-workers. I’ve been working full time since I was 19 and have always lived under my means so I can’t even talk about financial problems.
I always thought I would retire in my early or mid 60’s then do some consulting work. I had a plan. When my plan collapsed I found myself waking up every morning still at 4am but would lay there thinking where did I go wrong. Your mind can be your worst enemy.
Reinventing myself throughout my career was a way of life and I tried to convince myself I will do it again. This time it was harder to get out of bed, concentrate and socialize. To help, I kept telling myself "you beat cancer twice, you can beat this situation".
Work turned out to be who I was. It unfortunately defined me as a person and when it was gone so was my identity. The feelings of being alone and worthless, all contributed to bringing down my self esteem. There is a condition called dysthymia which is a form of depression that some people have and don’t even realize. Think of a sign wave where you have high peaks and lows. When you lose the strength to pull yourself out of a low cycle it can last for months to years. That’s when you need professional help which is what I am getting.
In the meantime I keep busy by reading, exercising and keeping up with all the new regulations in the slight chance a facility might want a 59 year old person with one eye and a bum leg. Have to try to keep some humor to all this.