Grieving an Unexpected Loss

I didn’t realize it, but this past month I was grieving the unexpected loss of my job. I had just come back from vacation and was expecting to return to work in 2 days when the Mayor of LA put out the Safer-at-Home order. Then following, the California Massage Therapy Council also recommended that we stop working. So out of respect and despite my reluctance, I cancelled my appointments. That was on March 16th.

Afterwards I was in denial about how long this might last. I lost interest in learning and doing. I spent a lot of time playing video games and watching TV. I thought I was just getting over some jet lag and recovering from a very go-go-go vacation. We walked 10 miles a day so I just assumed that I needed to rest. But then two weeks after our vacation I was still tired and sleeping later into the day. Finally I got upset and didn’t know how to handle it. I got annoyed with Don and spent a whole day mad at him, when really I was mad at the situation. I wanted to work and help people and live in my purpose but I couldn’t do it. The very life I was working for was right at my fingertips, but denied to me because of the global situation. I understood but I it still sucked. This all happened about 2 weeks ago. And since those downhill moments, life has been getting better.

There’s still a day or two in between productivity that I spend just sitting around or watching TV, but now I’ve incorporated walking each day. I promised myself I’d go outside for 30 minutes a day and that’s been helping. A few days ago I started listening to podcasts again and checked-in on the state of the world. I was invited to listen to a podcast on grief hoping to learn something that could help my clients. Instead I learned that I was going through my own grieving process.

I didn’t even know I could grieve the loss of my job, but upon reflection that’s exactly what was happening. And it helped to know that I was going through this process. That my emotions and fluctuations in moods and sleeping a lot weren’t some unforeseen issues, but that I was sad and mourning and that in time it would pass.

I know that one day I will be able to continue my work, but the truth right now is that I don’t know when that will be. So until I can see the hope, there is none to hold. Instead I’m learning how to accept the state of my life and to maybe move on into something new.

Looking forward to doing a bit more gardening these days.

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