Not Going Down This Time…Nope!

I have to start out by saying I have been feeling much better as of late. It started about a couple of months ago. I have been hopeful that the new medication combo would finally be the one. It started out well, but in the back of my mind I knew I wasn’t quite there. I felt the medications were the right ones and we needed to dial in the dosage. Well, I am happy to admit, I think we are finally there. At least for now. The medication hasn’t been everything, but it has been the hardest part of all of this at least as I think about it. It’s hard to have a successful turn around without fixing the neurotransmitter side of the equation. Medications, at least for me, have been the right fit into this equation. I know a lot of people are doing more natural things to get back to good and I am not discrediting those means. I try and use some, but for me I also need the medication addition. This is what is working for me. I encourage you to keep going with what is working for you.

At the end of last month, my wife and I went to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, to finally celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary which occurred back in September. I was about a month into feeling better so I was excited for the prospects of this vacation. I felt like I was finally in a place to actually enjoy myself which presented a nice potential for an amazing trip. It was a great trip! The weather was great and the resort we like to stay at in St. Thomas didn’t disappoint. I was still having my moments, but they weren’t depressive moments. I was still having some social anxiety issues, so I tended to stay in places where I didn’t have to interact with many people (the view from our beach access patio was awesome). We hung-out, we ate a ton of seafood, we laughed a lot, and the snorkeling over on St. John was spectacular! It was great to get away and shut my mind down. Forget about the real world for awhile. Forget about work for awhile. Just chill. And so we did.

We got back home on a Friday which was great. We had the whole weekend to get acclimated back into the real world and get ready to go back to work on Monday.

Monday was an uneventful day. There was some speculation traveling around after we got an email Sunday evening from the main boss of our division. It looked a whole lot like some cuts where coming, but of course it didn’t say it clearly at all. This is something I have been through before. It is always nerve racking as you begin to question if your job is going to be safe. Thankfully, I live in a mostly rural area so we always need both of us, a sales rep and a clinical specialist (me), to cover everywhere due to the travel times to get to everywhere within our territory. This thought always decreased my nerves some. Also, I have made it through multiple cuts in the past, so this also helped to calm my nerves.

It is in my nature to overthink these situations and I let myself get more nervous than I should. I have trouble just letting things ride. I know I need to, but it’s hard for me to not focus on what may come or not come.

And then I noticed the email I received from basically the boss of my boss, the Area VP. It was a one-on-one Microsoft Teams invite for tomorrow morning (Tuesday). Gulp! This is a new one. They’ve never done this in the past when you are safe, so now I really am getting nervous and this time I think it is warranted.

I got up the next morning and got ready for work before jumping on the call.

I get on the call.

The meeting starts immediately. The meeting was about me getting let go from my position of twelve years.

I’m in shock. I didn’t really say much to the Firer. It was an extremely cold phone call so I figured me saying anything would be a huge waste of my time.

Wow! I don’t have a job.

I went from thinking that this place was the place I would retire from, to being dropped like a bad habit. All of a sudden the position I have worked at for twelve years is now a part of the problem and not the solution. At least that is what the third party company they hired said. It turned us from people into a number and nothing more. It makes no sense. I’m in a daze.

I did begin to hear of some others who were let go as well. People I have known for a lot of years. They let go some seriously experienced and obviously dedicated employees. This is a place that prides itself on longevity. They celebrate work milestones. They come off as a place you can make a career at. I was duped and I must have gotten too comfortable with this thought because I was left blindsided and dazed.

No matter what, you are never anything but a number to these cooperate machines no matter what they tell you to keep you making money for them. It’s the way it is and it’s the way it has always been.

They did give me a really good severance package based on my years of service, but I would much rather remain on and keep my job.

So, here I am. I’ve been laid off for almost three weeks now. It’s a lot of time to do nothing. It allows a ton of time to crawl back into my head. This is a major life changer that I was not ready to experience and didn’t want to experience.

Again, I have been feeling much better. I’m tired of all the hits. I’m tired of being knocked down. I want to stay here and then POOF there goes my job. Wham, like a punch upside the head, I’ve taken an upper cut this time. I could fall or I can stand firm.

I’ve come way to far over the past three years. I have had some really bad times throughout these past three years. I have spent too much time doubting and hating myself. There have been times I have wanted to end it all. I feel like I have been through and also handled a lot through all of this.

Here is a bit of a recap from these past few years. I finally asked for help. I’ve stayed on a mental health unit. I’ve been through multiple psychiatrists mostly due to them moving elsewhere. I’ve had two therapists again because of moving, and this was all during a pandemic where the world shut down and we isolated completely taking away a huge social component and allowed me to avoid anything and everything to the point it became a problem. Any social anxiety I had before got cranked to ten. I’ve trialed numerous medications over the last three years. Some seemed to help and others seemed to exacerbate my symptoms. There have been good times for sure, but there has been a lot of dark times as well.

I really could crumble. Maybe I should. I don’t think anyone would be surprised, but I refuse to crumble this time. I just got to a good place and I’m not ready to leave it yet, so keep throwing your bullshit at me. This is a big one. It should knock me out, but I’m not going down this time…NOPE.

You’ve now awakened Jason the fighter and pissed off mental health patient. I want to skip over the depression phase that can come with these types of occurances. This time I’m pushing back. This time I’m not going to be hiding in my bed. This time I’m not going to question everything I do. My self esteem is improving and I am liking what I have been seeing lately.

With all of that said, I have to come up with a new plan. A new path to add to the other paths I’ve been walking. Honestly, this maybe is a blessing. Sales is tough even though my main role was a clinical role, but there was still a sales aspect to my job. I was getting burned out on the Sales side. The problem was leaving. I wasn’t allowing myself to pursue something different. I will admit, it paid well and let’s face it…that’s hard to leave.

The nervousness I do have right now is more due to a fear of the unknown. I have no idea where I am going next or what I want to do next. I have choices. I thankfully have a nursing degree to fall back on, but is that what I want to do next? Get back into nursing?

It’s certainly on the table right now. I loved my years working as a nurse. I left due to the opportunity to do something different. Let’s just say that was 12 years ago and the reason I left is now the reason why I am here right now. Speaking of 12 years, can I really go back to nursing after 12 years off? This would be the one aspect that gives me pause in returning. Thankfully, with my last job, I was around nurses all of the time in the procedure rooms so I could at least keep up a little bit from a procedural standpoint of what their roles are like now. I want to be sure I trust myself to take care of patients again which I know I do trust myself. The old me is still there, just a bit rusty

I could return to the medical device sales world. I have a ton of experience now and I am good at what I do. I feel like I have respect with my peers in the area and I’ve met a lot of awesome people over the years, so it’s not like I wouldn’t be welcomed back. I’m a bit burned out on it right now, so I think it would have to be the perfect fit. Whatever that might look like.

I could do something unrelated to both. Do something completely new. I have no idea what that would be or look like, but it does perk my interest to look into this possibility more.

I’ll get more into making these decisions as I go, but honestly I like being me right now. I like me without the stress of work. The me feeling happier. The me being more creative again (new music hopefully coming soon). My sleep schedule has been flipped up side down and I’ve mostly been hanging out at home not doing much. That get’s annoying after a while so what I really want to get back into is creating content for mental health awareness and for Rocking Mental Health. Get back to gearing my mind to being more creative and then laying down art of some form.

Losing my job sucks. I would prefer to be employed as, overall, I really don’t mind doing my job and I love it most of the time, but now that part is gone and that chapter has closed. I’m basically making it up as it goes right now, but I don’t feel bad. I still fill pretty good after all this has gone down. I hope it stays this way and I am going to do everything I can to keep it this way.

I’m nervously excited for the next chapter in my professional life and really my life as everything effects something. I get the chance and also have been allowed some time to figure out what I want to do next.

So right now, I’m going to keep enjoying being me and start to figure out where I am going next. I am going to continue pushing back on the negativity that is always looking to return to my life leaving me feeling terrible about myself. I’m not in that mood to deal with the terrible right now, so I refuse to fall back into a hole.

We Got This! You Got This! I Got This! Let’s keep walking this journey together.

Have a great day!

Jason

Come on over and check out rockingmentalhealth.com. I have been working on gathering a collection of works from others who are also dealing with mental illness. You will find stories and experiences, told by individuals, utilizing some form of creative expression to relay their thoughts. There are Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Music, Art, Photography, Books and so much more. We are always looking to add anyone who wants to participate and share. To me it’s not about if you are talented or not. It’s about the feelings, stories, and experiences you are sharing through what you have created.

Published by Jason Kehl

Nurse, artist, musician. One I have done professionally and two I have not😉. I enjoy creating art and music as a hobby. I do it mostly because it helps me to feel better or express something that I feel inside. I am a believer in Mental Health Awareness. My goal is to throw myself out there in hopes that someone sees it and can gain the strength to seek help or keep working on themselves. We are an unfinished product! That's OK!

2 thoughts on “Not Going Down This Time…Nope!

  1. Oh, Jason! That’s so tough! I know how it feels being ‘redundant’. (it sucks) Hang in there! When I was fired, Ernie and I had a vacation to Yellowstone planned. I was reluctant to spend the money…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (sorry, it posted before I was done! lol) Ernie was adamant that we still go. Turns out, I had 5 job offers in a week and a job secured before we left, so all was well. I ended up retiring from that job! Things have a way of working out, thankfully. You will come out of this happier than ever, I’m sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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