While this goes back further than I am going to start today, I feel like a more recent experience with it is needed for someone today.
In December of 2019, I was given a letter of separation from the manager at the station where I had been assigned. This letter came in following injuries that were sustained while I was on the clock. I wasn't one hundred percent sure why the manager was requesting a meeting with me, as I had been doing my part in getting all of the forms filled out for the reporting of the injuries.
There were a group of higher ups in the station, when I walked in. I was advised that the manager was in his office, and I would report to him there. First, he had asked me to fill out another statement, as he had not seen my original statement around the accidents which had caused the injuries. While I was writing this out, he excused himself to go talk with the higher ups in the building. As I was feeling out my statement, I kept feeling in my gut that he was going to let me go. I would battle this feeling with the fact that I had been injured, and he wouldn't let me go. This battle continued through the duration of his absence from the office. By the time he walked back in, I had been done with the statement for a while, and my anxiety had brought on physical shaking, that I was attempting to calm with the fact that employers don't fire employees after they had sustained injuries. He started talking. Going over numbers, which I had never seen before, nor did I understand how any of it worked. In the end, he printed out two papers. He placed them face-down on his desk, and at the end, looked at both of them, back and forth, until he handed me one of the forms. As he handed it to me, he stated that this was a letter of separation. They were no longer keeping me as an employee.
My heart sank. I felt like I was a complete failure. I loved this job. I was excited to work here. This was one of my little girl dream jobs. And now it was no longer my job. I felt as though speaking would cause me to have a complete and total meltdown, so I pushed all of these thoughts away as I walked back out to my car. Josh was nearby, because we had made plans to switch out cars, along with kids. I called him to let him know my meeting was finished, so we planned out our meeting location. I had grown to know the area decently well, due to having worked downtown for a couple months at this point. When we met, I left the letter, upside down, on the passenger seat. I couldn't tell him what had happened. If I would have tried, I would have broken.
We switched vehicles to go on with our day.
I had mentioned that I had sustained injuries. While I no longer had this employment, I still had appointments that I was going to. They were still figuring out the depth of the injuries. Multiple appointments, multiple co-payments, multiple worries. As I went to each appointment, I knew I was using money we needed for food. Money we needed to pay our bills. Money we needed to fill our vehicles with fuel, so that I could go to these appointments. Fuel for Josh to go to work.
As the worries were piling up, I was digging a deep hole, that seemed to only continue to get deeper with each appointment. When the Orthopedic physician told me I could stop going to physical therapy, I was both excited - to not have to make those copayments, and worried - because I knew I was still in pain, and not sure being done with physical therapy was the right move. Because of the financial situation I found myself agreeing.
By the time I was done with all of these appointments, I felt like I had spent more money than I had made while I was at this job. Even after the appointments had ended, I still found it difficult to make all of our bills, as we had already had to skip payments due to not having the funds needed.
Even while I was still attending these appointments, I knew I needed to get a job. Our life required my income. Now we were so far behind, I wasn't sure I would be able to find a job that would pay me enough to be able to catch up. Beyond that, what job could I get anyway?
I had fallen. When I fell, I had hard impact with both of my knees, and both of my wrists. The injuries with my knees placed restrictions on standing and walking for any length of time, as well as a weight restriction when it came to lifting anything. The injuries with my wrists also brought on a weight restriction when it came to lifting. The left wrist had sustained more than the right wrist. With my left wrist, I had to keep it in a brace to immobilize it. It also lowered the max weight I could lift down to 3 pounds, rather than the 5 I was originally given.
Not only could I not walk, stand, or lift anything above 3 pounds, I also couldn't type, twist my wrist, or, basically, use it for anything. As I was looking for jobs, and reading their descriptions, this brought on an even deeper sense of depression. My anxiety, added to the depression, made it difficult to physically move. I no longer wanted to wake up in the morning.
While this was going on, I wanted to disappear. I found myself not wanting to go see anyone, or do anything. I had been walking a lot while working, and now I couldn't walk, at least not for any length of time. My injuries brought on a lot of swelling, even if I was sitting. I was growing. I did not want others to see the weight that was adding onto me. My left hand was so swollen, it hurt when I finally got my wedding ring off of my finger, before the MRI was to happen.
Having had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia previously, I understood that not moving was going to increase the pain I had grown used to having each and every day. It also increased the depression and anxiety that I was trying to fight against each and every day. It was a vicious cycle, and I kept finding myself falling deeper.
Each time I found a new activity I was unable to accomplish, I found myself with growing anger. I was angry that I was unable to wash dishes. I was angry that I was unable to do laundry. I was angry that it seemed the only thing I could do was sit around with ice on both knees, and my wrist.
I started yelling. I was yelling at everyone who was around me, because I couldn't yell at myself enough. Why did I allow myself to accidentally fall? Why did I allow myself to lose my job? Why did I allow myself to get injured? Behind every smile I would give was heartache, heartbreak. An anger that ran so deep, I was better off being alone. I didn't want anyone to see me this way.
During this time filled with so much negative, my sister invited me to join her at a conference. She had been gifted free tickets, and she wanted me to use one of them. While I was sitting in the audience with her, I was skeptical. This was a conference for people with businesses. When asked what I did, or, more like called out to share what my business was, I decided that I was at this conference to grow my Usborne Books & More sales.
Each time I was told to share my business with another, I would state that I was a Usborne Books and More consultant. As the day went along, I was hearing words, and seeing excitement, that drew me in. I had to leave early that first day, but had decided I would be going to the second day, and I would attend the entire day. I was meant to be there. There was something for me at this conference, and I wanted to learn fully what it was.
At the second day, we were given a journal prompt which threw me off. While I was journaling, I was given the realization that I wasn't at this conference due to being a consultant. I was here because I was being shown that I had all of the needed attributes to start the business I had dreamt of starting, but never believed I could.
It was time to jump. So I did. I got the legal foundation set up within the month of January, as I had set the goal to do. I started working through my mindset, removing the negative, and replacing it with positive. I was starting a business so that I could bring in the finances we needed, while doing something that I love doing, and that I am able to do - even with the injuries.
Then came the day when I learned I needed to become more visible. Becoming visible when I didn't like myself and my current state of size, took even more work. I was becoming happier again, becoming a believer again, but visibility? I had been happy with being invisible for so long. Why must I become visible?
As I started on this journey, I started to re find myself. Re discovering who I am deep within. As I have grown into being me, the real me, I have learned how to love my exterior appearance. While my love for who I am grows, I have learned to love all of me. I may not be the size I want to be. I may not be perfect, I may still make mistakes, yet, I am me. Exterior and all.
I can go out in the water, wearing my swimsuit, without worrying about how I look. I can be comfortable, I am comfortable, with me. I am still working on growing my visibility. At the same time, I am still working on myself. Both have grown since January, and my life pivoting moment. My life isn't perfect. My finances aren't perfect. I am choosing to believe it will all work out.
We still run into moments when our finances aren't seeming to work out as we would like them to. We have had to choose which bills get paid, and which bills need to wait. We have run into times when utilities have been turned off, and close calls when they were going to be turned off. We have been watching as our food supply has seemed to grow smaller. We have times when we aren't able to do any driving, due to not having money for fuel. It may not be moving as fast as I want it to, yet, as long as I believe that it will all work out, and I lean into it fully, believing without doubt, things have been working out.
Yet, we are happy. We are choosing to believe. Choosing into the positivity, while releasing the negativity. As I release the things that no longer serve me, I feel my mental health, along with both my physical and spiritual health, growing stronger. It isn't always easy choosing the positivity. Having the tools to help me release the negativity and receive the positivity, definitely has been a need.
Do you have these tools? Are you looking for these tools? Would you like for me to teach you these tools as I have learned them to be? I have been given the tools I need to be able to teach others how to not only survive, but believe. Are you ready?