Hey there - it's LAS over at This Too Shall Pass - guest posting for Nina. It feels like it's going to be one of those long nights, so I figured I would post over here since I already posted over there.
So, anyway, there is this partner at my firm who puts "gone fishing" on his out-of-office reply when he's out. Nothing else - simply "gone fishing." I don't know why, but I love that. It makes me think he might be one of the few of us who doesn't religiously check email and voice mail and in fact work while on vacation, and probably isn't bothered in the least about it. Maybe he has mastered the ability to check-out completely. I want to be like that. My out-of-office reply might as well say, "I'm currently out of the office, but rest assured, I am working anyway, so feel free to send me anything and request it immediately, I'll do it, even if it means I have to stay up all night." I'm serious.
I personally have had to take a medical leave of absence in order to accomplish checking-out of work completely, though I prefer to call it a "holiday" like my European colleagues. I'm on holiday folks - from right now until I'm not sure when. I don't want it to seem like this is an extended vacation, it is a medical leave of absence, and it is necessary. This is what happened: I got sober, 4 months later I moved to Chicago for a job, three weeks later was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer (on my 29th birthday), my boyfriend of three months in early sobriety moved to be with me, we got married the day I started chemo drugs (stupid, stupid), he refused to get a job, I worked 50 hours a week through cancer treatment which took seven months, while paying all of his bills including his child support, I kicked him out finally, survived breast cancer, had my one year AA anniversary two days later and then divorced him. I did that all in fifteen months and worked through the whole thing full-time with but a few days off. I even offered to come back to work the day after I had my surgery. (Yes, the people I work for think I am crazy). I emerged on the other side still standing and seemingly unaffected. Until it hit me.
Now a year and a half after officially surviving cancer - I found myself thinking oh, shit that really happened, and I need to stop pretending that it didn't, and I better find a way to deal with it cause the fear and anxiety is preventing me from living my life and enjoying it, and work isn't distracting me anymore. I don't enjoy my life at all (well until recently) and I have a nice life when I manage to remember that (which isn't nearly often enough - I frequently suffer from a complete and total loss of perspective). On top of not being able to handle it all anymore, I'm bipolar, but was not medicated, and totally lost whatever control I thought I had over that all at the same time. I nearly ended up in the psych ward, and quite possibly should have.
Hence, I am on holiday. Everyone but me thinks I deserve this holiday. I am working on getting over that. This holiday is all about me. Me doing nice things for me. Me doing whatever I want. Me not feeling guilty about it. Me trying to feel like I deserve it. I deserve it, don't I? The goal is to move the fuck on from what happened to me, to get over it, all of it - my issues about my mother, my horrible childhood, everything. I need to move the fuck on people and get on with my life. It's all weighing me down. Figure out what I want, what I like to do, what I am all about, cause I have no clue. I started by buying a nice camera. I've always wanted one. I feel like I am on a new journey to a new life, life is good and it's all going to be okay.
On the agenda is a spa vacation to Miraval spa resort (for 8 days!!!) where I am going to jump off the 35 ft poll and leave it all behind (in theory anyway), as well as a couple of trips home to Michigan, and maybe one more trip to an undecided location. I intend to thoroughly enjoy every last little second of this entire holiday. Anyway, I am planning to post over on my blog every day, or as often as possible about what I am up to, so check back.
Also, a special thanks to Nina (I love you, you are awesome) who has helped me more than she knows with all of the things that I've been dealing with. I'm not sure where I would be right now if it weren't for her help. She has talked me through a lot of stuff and made me realize that I needed to be on medication and get some help - which I have a hard time asking for, but which quite possibly has saved my life. And the meds are working! I always thought that no one would show up for me in a crisis (after all, no one really did when I had breast cancer, not even my parents) - but it turns out I am wrong, people do show up to help you. And I am grateful to her for that. Stop for a second okay - and think about who you are grateful for today.
Have a great night!