I have been away for some time from this blog, embarrassingly long and I apologise for that. I have had a difficult few months due to the stress that has come with my employment contract ending and some difficulties with my manager, along with other things. It got to the point that it was all too much that I just couldn’t handle it anymore and I took my life into my own hands. A month ago I handed my notice in to my job before my contract was due to end and decided that I wasn’t going to go through the motions anymore or wait for my contract to be extended.
I felt very under pressure to apply for any job that came up and to compromise what I want long term in my life and that was stressful. I felt physically sick when I thought about the jobs I could apply for and started to feel trapped by the future I would have in that position. I have been trapped by religion before and to be trapped again did not appeal.
By taking my life into my own hands and making a decision to break away from where I was working, I was putting myself first and doing the right thing for me. This will be a good thing for me long term. Then why do I still feel somewhat uneasy?
Like with every other feeling that I have, it takes some time for me to really understand it and to realise what my feelings are saying or meaning. This uneasiness I am feeling is not because I am afraid of my future or regretful about my decision, but because the religiously indoctrinated part of my subconscious feels that by making a decision for myself and doing what is right for me, is “wrong” and “of the devil”. By making a decision that benefits me and my health, I am not doing what is right for god and the greater good. All decisions should be made to benefit god and normally at the expense of yourself.
I was always told that life was hard and that there was nothing truly worthwhile in life without some hardship, toil, feelings of inadequacy and pain. By choosing not to put up with a stressful situation and look for a job that is good for me, less stressful and easier, I am going down a path that I have not followed before. A path that seeks out ease and situations that make me feel comfortable. A path that is leading me to only apply for jobs that I know I could easily do and that will give me the opportunity to work from home with the work life blend that I want. Perhaps it is a bit hopeful of me to think that my career change will be all rosy and stress free, it may not be, but in all likelihood it will be, because I am making different choices now that should enable me to continue down a less stressful road.Sometimes the thought crosses my mind that “I shouldn’t be having thoughts flitting through my mind about how god is disapproving of my life choices and how it is bad to do what I want, I am an atheist now!” Yes I am an atheist now but I have only been an atheist for about 5 years, so why do I expect myself to have rewritten 24 years of religious programming already? It took a few years to stop myself from automatically praying in my head or softly under my breath when I had a problem and to learn how to make decisions for myself and refuse to “leave it up to god”, so if you look at that way, I am only just learning the skill of decision making and it is taking some time to contradict and rephrase the negative religious thinking in my mind into a more positive and constructive dialogue.
Anxiety and stress has been my default position in life for some time, it therefore makes a lot of sense that I would also feel uneasy about moving away from that familiar feeling. How would it actually feel to not be anxious all the time? How will it feel not to overwork myself again? It will feel ridiculously uncomfortable and terrifying that’s what. Over the past few months I have cut back on any extra discretionary activities that I did at work in my attempt to make myself feel like I added value and show others I did. I cut back on involvement in working groups, networking meetings and meetings that people just expected me to go to, and I felt so much better for it. People at work respected me for cutting back and taking my health seriously, they didn’t think less of me for not attending that meeting.
I added a lot of value to that organisation and I am a loss to them, but if they really cared they would have extended my contract instead of letting me go. I don’t want to be seeking approval from anyone for a while and whatever job I go into next I will know that I will do an awesome job. No thanks to god but to me, all thanks to me.