Several members of staff left.
I stayed on.
I could see my boss was a good person struggling with a lot. I also thought I could make the situation better, for them, for me.
I tried and I tried and I tried and I tried… til I CRIED!
And then, I tried some more.
I tried and I tried (and had a chokey throat a lot of that time), until I literally made myself ill.
I didn't make the connection directly at that moment, but as my illness developed into a long term fatigue which I just couldn't shake, my wisdom (despite my despair), pointed me to look at the mind/ body/ adrenal connection to all that I'd been thinking and feeling over that time.
To cut a potentially long story short: we cannot (HOWEVER hard we try!) control what is happening around us: but we are in (some sort) of control of how we think about our thoughts about what is happening around us (worth reading that sentence twice, as it can be a bit of headblast – if you want to know more, Michael Neill’s TEDX talk is a good place to start).
In short: I made myself ill from beating myself up about not coping better in the situation I found myself in.
Looking back I think three things:
1. Maybe knowing what I know now, I might have found more love for myself and my boss to have seen with compassion the mess we were in - the losing battle we were fighting going about life that way - and maybe that might have made things tenable.
2. Maybe knowing what I know now, I might have called it quits earlier, before getting ill and removed myself from a situation that wasn’t good for me.
But maybe, (thing number 3), the struggle, the illness, the learning, was all ‘part of the plan’; part of life playing itself out the way it was meant to.
I would not be the person I am today (well not entirely…!) without that important, tough, part of my journey.
Postscript: I realised the other day that there is no longer any emotion attached to that experience – the struggle, the illness – just a fondness for the person and people we were back then, and gratitude for the opportunity it presented for growth.