A sign of progress

Today was a rough day at work. Most of them are—some worse than others, of course—but I find that as I get closer to the end of the week, my ability to cope with the rough days decreases markedly as my emotional reserves run out. I end each week emotionally worn to a nub with no buffer to deal with the ugliness.

However, I did manage to note today that I’ve made some progress in my reaction to these very bad days when I’m at the end of my emotional rope. Normally, my default setting when I get to this point to become rather suicidal and feel like life is not worth living and that I don’t even deserve to live because I am so unable to deal with the situation in which I find myself. Today, while equally as ugly as most days that leave me in tears at my desk, I realized that my response had shifted. Today, my thoughts were on turning in my resignation (without another job lined up) because I deserve to be treated better than what I’m getting there.

It may not seem like a big change. I still wound up crying at my desk at work. I was still emotionally worn to shreds. I was still utterly miserable, still angry. I still have not yet quit (only because it would be nice to have another source of income lined up first). BUT the shift from an “I deserve to die” reaction to a “I deserve to be treated better and will do what is necessary to protect myself from further bad treatment” reaction is a huge step in the right direction.

I still need to figure out how to get out of there. I still need to figure out how to protect myself better until I can find a way out. I still need to improve my ability to disengage and let it all go. However, this movement from punishing myself to protecting myself will make finding and executing an exit plan so much easier. I’m proud of my progress, even if it’s baby steps. I’m getting there.